Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/02/1995 03:37 PM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 SSTA - 2/2/95                                                                 
             SJR 11 LIMITING TERMS OF LEGISLATORS                            
 Number 184                                                                    
 SENATOR SHARP brings up SJR 11 as the next order of business before           
 the Senate State Affairs Committee and calls the first witness.               
 Number 190                                                                    
 JOSH FINK, Aide to Senator Kelly, the prime sponsor of SJR 11,                
 reads the sponsor statement on SJR 11.                                        
 Number 246                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN notes that under SJR 11, persons could serve four               
 full two-year terms as a Representative, and then serve two full              
 four-year terms in the Senate, before being required to retire.  So           
 it would not limit a person to serving eight years in the                     
 legislature, but 16 years in the legislature.  Senator Leman                
 supports SJR 11, it is an improvement over present circumstances.             
 He also thinks the "out" time should be four years, and not two               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP adds that term limits tend to be implemented by                
 voters at the ballot box.                                                     
 Number 291                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY thinks SJR 11 is a reasonable proposal.  However, he           
 is concerned that the legislature look at what affect SJR 11 may              
 have on the balance and separation of powers between the executive,           
 judicial, and legislative branches of government in Alaska.                   
 Senator Donley feels uncomfortable supporting term limits while not           
 exploring other aspects of the constitution he thinks need                    
 SENATOR LEMAN makes a motion to discharge SJR 11 from the Senate              
 State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations.                      
 Number 315                                                                    
 SENATOR DONLEY asks the chairman if he would be willing to have a             
 committee meeting so other elements in the state constitution which           
 he feels should be revised can be discussed.  He is interested in             
 looking at the areas of: how the legislature can call a special               
 session; providing for legislative confirmation of members to                 
 boards of public corporations; and considering making the attorney            
 general an elected office.  The public wants better government, not           
 just term limits, and Senator Donley thinks the areas he previously           
 mentioned would help.  He also thinks there should be an option for           
 key positions in the legislature, such as the Speaker of the House,           
 the President of the Senate, and perhaps the Finance Committee                
 chairpersons, to be full-time, year-round positions.  It would be             
 good if the legislature could have at least a couple full-time                
 persons to represent it, in order to counter full-time personnel in           
 the executive branch.  Senator Donley supports SJR 11, but feels              
 uncomfortable passing term limits without amending some of the                
 other items in the state constitution that he feels need changes.             
 CHAIRMAN SHARP likes Senator Donley's comments and thinks the                 
 committee should plan a worksession for the issues raised.  The               
 chairman would like to see some legislative oversight for public              
 Number 363                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN thinks the legislature could have a shorter session             
 length too, and he would like to add that subject to any discussion           
 on possible amendments to the state constitution.                             
 Number 372                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no further discussion or objection, orders            
 SJR 11 released from committee with individual recommendations.               

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