Legislature(2019 - 2020)BUTROVICH 205

02/20/2020 03:30 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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Audio Topic
03:30:22 PM Start
03:31:35 PM Confirmation Hearing(s)
04:24:57 PM SB169
04:46:06 PM SB167
05:16:25 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
Alaska Police Standards Council
- Ed Mercer - Juneau
- Joseph White - Ketchikan
- Jennifer Winkelman - Juneau
- Daniel Weatherly - Anchor Point
-- Public Testimony on all Appointees --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
Moved SB 167 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
             SB 169-LICENSE PLATES: COUNCIL ON ARTS                                                                         
4:24:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   REVAK   reconvened   the   meeting   and   announced   the                                                              
consideration  of  SENATE  BILL  NO.  169,  "An  Act  relating  to                                                              
special  request registration  plates  celebrating  the arts;  and                                                              
relating to the Alaska State Council on the Arts."                                                                              
4:25:35 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GARY  STEVENS, Alaska  State Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska,                                                              
sponsor  of SB 169,  stated that  he appreciates  carrying  a bill                                                              
relating to  the Alaska State Council  on the Arts  (ASCA) because                                                              
he  has always  admired  the organization  and  the  work it  does                                                              
throughout the state.  He related that the council  requested this                                                              
bill  to   provide  stability  to   its  budget   structure  after                                                              
complications  arose during  the last budget  cycle. He  explained                                                              
that  SB 169  is  a housekeeping  measure  to  amend the  existing                                                              
license  plate  program  to  allow people  who  support  the  arts                                                              
council to  provide it with addition  revenue. It also  provides a                                                              
means for  legal representation  when needed, consistent  with the                                                              
process provided  to other state  agencies. It holds  harmless the                                                              
ASCA's private funds from the Executive Budget Act.                                                                             
CHAIR  REVAK  asked  Mr.  Lamkin to  walk  through  the  sectional                                                              
analysis for SB 169.                                                                                                            
4:27:22 PM                                                                                                                    
TIM   LAMKIN,   Staff,   Senator  Gary   Stevens,   Alaska   State                                                              
Legislature,  Juneau,  Alaska, delivered  the  sectional  analysis                                                              
for SB 169. He  noted that two members of the  committee heard and                                                              
passed  the  committee   substitute  from  the   Senate  Education                                                              
     Sec. 1:  AS 28.10.421(a), relating  to fees paid  to the                                                                   
     Division  of Motor  Vehicles (DMV)  for vehicle  license                                                                   
     plates,  allows for  an additional  fee,  set by  Alaska                                                                   
     State  Council on the  Arts (ASCA)  regulation, and  not                                                                   
     to  exceed   $50,  when  a  person  chooses   a  new  or                                                                   
     replacement  ASCA artistic  plate.  The subsection  also                                                                   
     provides  that these additional  fees will be  accounted                                                                   
     for separately  and that the  total amount that  exceeds                                                                   
     the costs of  the Artistic License Plate Program  may be                                                                   
     appropriated to fund the ASCA.                                                                                             
MR.  LAMKIN advised  that the  fee  that will  go to  the ASCA  is                                                              
proposed  to be  $3, but it  could be  increased  to $50 over  the                                                              
long term if there is market demand.                                                                                            
     Sec. 2: AS  44.27, relating to the ASCA  generally, adds                                                                   
     a  new   section  (AS  44.27.053)  providing   that  the                                                                   
     Attorney General  is legal counsel for ASCA,  similar to                                                                   
     other  state  agencies,  and  also allows  the  ASCA  to                                                                   
     retain additional  legal counsel  as needed, subject  to                                                                   
     the approval of the Attorney General.                                                                                      
MR. LAMKIN related  that the Senate Education Committee  added the                                                              
common contract  language  that the attorney  general approval  of                                                              
the representation would not be unreasonably withheld.                                                                          
     Sec. 3: AS  44.27.055(d), relating to the  ASCA managing                                                                   
     its affairs,  exempts from the purview of  the Executive                                                                   
     Budget  Act those funds  received by  ASCA from  private                                                                   
     non-profit foundation partners.                                                                                            
MR. LAMKIN summarized  that the funds raised privately  to support                                                              
the ASCA cannot be vetoed.                                                                                                      
     Sec. 4: AS  44.27.080(a), relating to  an ASCA-sponsored                                                                   
     competition  for  artistic  plates  design,  from  being                                                                   
     mandatory to  being optional,  every four years,  at the                                                                   
     discretion of ASCA.                                                                                                        
     Sec.  5:  AS  44.27.080(c),  relating  to  the  artistic                                                                   
     plate  design competition,  restores  authority for  the                                                                   
     ASCA  to  award  the  artist of  the  winning  design  a                                                                   
     monetary  amount  set  in  regulation,  from  the  funds                                                                   
     generated  by the  artistic plates.  This provision  was                                                                   
     repealed in 2018.                                                                                                          
     Sec. 6: Provides an effective date of July 1, 2020.                                                                        
MR.  LAMKIN advised  that  Senate  Education Committee  added  the                                                              
effective date at the request of the ASCA.                                                                                      
4:31:57 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WILSON  asked if  the Department  of Motor Vehicles  would                                                              
collect the $30 fee plus the $3 fee that the ASCA adds.                                                                         
MS.  LAMKIN   confirmed  that  the   DMV  would  collect   the  $3                                                              
surcharge, which would  go directly to the ASCA, and  the $30 fee,                                                              
which goes to the general fund.                                                                                                 
SENATOR  WILSON  asked if  older  ASCA  plates in  inventory  will                                                              
continue to be available.                                                                                                       
MR. LAMKIN  replied he  would defer  to the  ASCA, but  he assumes                                                              
that just the new plate would be offered.                                                                                       
CHAIR REVAK asked Mr. Brown to respond to the question.                                                                         
4:33:20 PM                                                                                                                    
BENJAMIN BROWN, Chair,  Alaska State Council on  the Arts, Juneau,                                                              
Alaska, explained that  the idea is that the DMV  would issue just                                                              
one plate at any given time.                                                                                                    
CHAIR REVAK asked him to provide his testimony.                                                                                 
MR.  BROWN  agreed with  the  sponsor  that  SB  169 is  mostly  a                                                              
housekeeping measure.  He explained that after the  ASCA shut down                                                              
for a  period of time  last year after  the governor  vetoed their                                                              
funding,  so the  council looked  for  ways to  become more  self-                                                              
sustaining.  While  it  is  not  possible  to  raise  all  of  the                                                              
approximately $700,000  match for  the National Endowment  for the                                                              
Arts through  earned income,  a promising  way to  come up  with a                                                              
meaningful  amount  would  be to  add  a  small surcharge  to  the                                                              
existing Artistic  License Plate program.  This would not  be cost                                                              
prohibitive to Alaskans  who want to lend a financial  hand to the                                                              
MR. BROWN  agreed with Mr. Lamkin  that the bill allows  the ASCA,                                                              
as  a  public corporation,  to  work  through  the  Administrative                                                              
Procedures  Act  to select  the  appropriate amount  of  surcharge                                                              
that will be used  to match the federal National  Endowment of the                                                              
Arts funds  and reduce  the amount  of undesignated general  funds                                                              
the ASCA  needs to  continue operating. He  described that  as the                                                              
most important provision  in the bill. It provides  an opportunity                                                              
to  encourage  visual arts  and  celebrate  the beauty  of  Alaska                                                              
while  providing  meaningful revenue  at  a  time when  all  state                                                              
agencies   are  trying   to  find   ways  to   be  more   fiscally                                                              
MR.  BROWN  opined  that  Mr.  Lamkin  ably  described  the  other                                                              
provisions relating  to the attorney  general serving  as counsel,                                                              
the  ability to  hire  outside counsel,  and  the private  support                                                              
exemption  from the  Executive  Budget Act.  He  said the  council                                                              
requested the  Senate Education  Committee add the  effective date                                                              
provision to  start collecting the  surcharge at the start  of the                                                              
next  fiscal  year  to avoid  any  bookkeeping  problems  for  the                                                              
4:37:34 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KAWASAKI asked  if the old plates would be  retired once a                                                              
new one was available.                                                                                                          
MR.  BROWN replied  people can  get  new tags  for their  existing                                                              
plate, but  anyone who  wants to  buy a  license plate  could only                                                              
buy the current plate.                                                                                                          
4:38:57 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KAWASAKI  asked what happens to the unsold  license plates                                                              
that DMV may have in inventory.                                                                                                 
MR.  BROWN  said he  would  not  want  to waste  either  metal  or                                                              
someone's  time, but  he  would defer  to the  DMV  to provide  an                                                              
MR.  LAMKIN  added  his understanding  that  the  DMV  keeps  some                                                              
inventory but has  a good sense of the demand  for these specialty                                                              
plates and  does not  order beyond  what they  expect to  sell. He                                                              
offered to follow up after conferring with the DMV.                                                                             
CHAIR REVAK said he had anticipated an answer from the DMV.                                                                     
4:41:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WILSON  asked  the  customary   amount  an  artist  would                                                              
receive for designing a new license plate.                                                                                      
MR. LAMKIN  replied the most  recent ASCA  award to an  artist was                                                              
for $5,000, which is the amount provided in regulation.                                                                         
SENATOR WILSON  expressed satisfaction  that there are  guidelines                                                              
in regulation for the amount that can be awarded.                                                                               
CHAIR REVAK  asked the  reason for  the change  in Section  4 from                                                              
the council  "shall" hold competitions  to the council  "may" hold                                                              
4:42:40 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  BROWN said  after the  traumatic experience  of not  existing                                                              
for  [a couple  of  months], the  council  decided  that the  less                                                              
mandatory  language  in  the enabling  statute,  the  better.  The                                                              
intent  is  for  young  Alaskan  artists  to  be  compensated  for                                                              
creating art  while monetizing the  council's operations.  It also                                                              
helps  the council  become  less  reliant on  scarce  undesignated                                                              
general funds.                                                                                                                  
4:44:19 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEVENS  clarified  that  Mr.  Brown  meant  to  say  the                                                              
council did not exist for two months, not two years.                                                                            
4:45:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REVAK  opened public testimony  on SB 169. Finding  none, he                                                              
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
CHAIR REVAK held SB 169 in committee for future consideration.                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
APSC GOV App Joseph White Resume.pdf SSTA 2/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
Consideration of Governor's Appointees
APSC GOV App Ed Mercer Resume.pdf SSTA 2/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
Consideration of Governor's Appointees
APSC GOV App Jennifer Winkelman Resume.pdf SSTA 2/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
Consideration of Governor's Appointees
APSC GOV App Daniel Weatherly Resume.pdf SSTA 2/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
Consideration of Governor's Appointees
09_SB169_ArtsCouncil-Plates_Sectional_Version U.pdf SSTA 2/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 169
08_SB169_ArtsCouncil-Plates_BillText_Version U.pdf SSTA 2/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 169
10_SB169_ArtsCouncil-Plates_Summary-of-Changes_Version M to U.pdf SSTA 2/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 169
SB 167 DOC Responses to SSTA Questions 02.19.20.pdf SSTA 2/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 167
SB 167 AS 11.56.375 DOC Disposed Charges 2.19.20.pdf SSTA 2/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 167
SB 167 Article Corrections Officer GCCC.pdf SSTA 2/20/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 167