Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/11/1994 09:05 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 COMMISSIONER USERA states SB 250 is the reorganization of the                 
 commissions that deal with senior's programs.  There is no fiscal             
 note associated with SB 250.                                                  
 (the discussion returns to SB 248.)                                           
 as the next order of business before the committee.  The chairman             
 calls Ms. Meiners to testify.                                                 
 Number 317                                                                    
 MARY LOU MEINERS, State Chairperson, American Association of                  
 Retired Persons Legislative Committee commends the administration             
 for their work on senior's programs, but takes objection with the             
 provision in SB 250 on page 3, lines 12 and 13, which gives the               
 governor the power to appoint the chair of the Older Alaskans                 
 Commission.  The AARP feels that since the governor appoints all              
 the members of the commission, the commission itself should be able           
 to choose its' chairperson.  Otherwise, the AARP is in favor of SB
 Number 335                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN asks Ms. Meiners if she thinks her concern is really            
 that important.                                                               
 MS. MEINERS says she has received a lot of calls regarding that               
 provision, and people seem to be concerned with it.  She states the           
 people who have contacted her think it is important to retain that            
 one bit of power on the commission.                                           
 Number 345                                                                    
 SENATOR DUNCAN makes a motion, based on Ms. Meiners testimony, to             
 delete section 7 if it would give the commission the power to elect           
 their own chair.                                                              
 Number 352                                                                    
 CONNIE SIPE, Director, Division of Senior Services, Department of             
 Administration states if section 7 is deleted, that would enable              
 the commission to elect its' own officers and chairperson.                    
 Number 360                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN asks Commissioner Usera and Ms. Sipe if they can                
 defend section 7.                                                             
 Number 361                                                                    
 COMMISSIONER USERA responds the difference of opinion on section 7            
 lies in advocacy for the program.  The Older Alaskans Commission,             
 which under SB 250 becomes the Commission on Aging has a dual                 
 mandate, not only to administer programs and establish policy, but            
 also to be an advocate for senior's programs.  The administration             
 believes that advocacy role can be better served if there is a                
 relationship between the governor and the chairman.                           
 Number 383                                                                    
 SENATOR DUNCAN says it also makes sense for the senior community of           
 this state to have a different goal or policy than the                        
 administration, and that the chairman shouldn't necessarily be                
 simply a mouth-piece for the governor.                                        
 COMMISSIONER USERA says that isn't the idea, the idea is for the              
 governor to have access to the commission.  If the chairman of a              
 commission is so identified with the prior political appointment,             
 that their access to the governor or to the processes that entails,           
 impairs their ability to do the job.                                          
 Number 398                                                                    
 SENATOR DUNCAN says he has not been convinced and makes a motion to           
 delete section 7 from SB 250.                                                 
 SENATOR TAYLOR states he thinks deleting section 7 would be                   
 preferable.  He has found that if a governor can select all the               
 members of a group, part of the selection process can be that                 
 persons appointed agree to select the person the governor wants for           
 COMMISSIONER USERA says section 7 is in the administration's best             
 judgement and is their recommendation on how organizations can best           
 be managed.  Certainly, if there is a difference of opinion, the              
 administration will not attempt to hold the bill up or take great             
 exception to an amendment.                                                    
 Number 422                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there is objection to the motion to delete             
 section 7 from SB 350.  Hearing no objection, the amendment has               
 been adopted.  The chairman asks if there is further discussion on            
 SB 250.                                                                       
 Number 427                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR makes a motion to discharge SB 250 from the Senate             
 State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations.                      
 Number 433                                                                    
 COMMISSIONER USERA states that on page 2, line 17, section 3 there            
 is a provision allowing the governor to appoint the pioneer home              
 chairperson also.  In the interest of consistency, the commissioner           
 brings that to the committee's attention.                                     
 Number 446                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN makes a motion to delete the material on line 17,              
 page 2.  Hearing no objection, the chairman notes the amendment has           
 been adopted.                                                                 
 SENATOR TAYLOR renews his motion to discharge SB 250 from the                 
 Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations.               
 Number 454                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, orders SB 250 released from             
 committee with individual recommendations.                                    

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