Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

02/23/2021 03:30 PM Senate STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved SB 53 Out of Committee
Moved SJR 6 Out of Committee
Moved SJR 5 Out of Committee
Moved SJR 7 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
               SJR  6-CONST. AM: PERM FUND & PFDS                                                                           
3:46:44 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   SHOWER  reconvened   the   meeting   and  announced   the                                                               
consideration  of   SENATE  JOINT  RESOLUTION  NO.   6  Proposing                                                               
amendments to  the Constitution of  the State of  Alaska relating                                                               
to the  Alaska permanent fund, appropriations  from the permanent                                                               
fund, and the permanent fund dividend.                                                                                          
3:47:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER opened public testimony on SJR 6.                                                                                  
3:47:58 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
3:48:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER reconvened  the meeting and asked Ms.  Reid to begin                                                               
her testimony.                                                                                                                  
3:48:51 PM                                                                                                                    
CAROLYN REID,  representing self,  Soldotna, Alaska,  stated that                                                               
the portion  of the  permanent fund  that goes  to the  people of                                                               
Alaska as a dividend should be  left alone unless the people vote                                                               
for a  change. She opined  that the  majority of Alaskans  do not                                                               
want the  legislature to take  their dividend away and  they want                                                               
the dividends that have been stolen.                                                                                            
3:50:13 PM                                                                                                                    
TERRIE HARRIS, representing self,  Anchor Point, Alaska, reminded                                                               
the committee that  they were not voted into office  to make hard                                                               
decisions. Rather,  they were voted in  to represent constituents                                                               
and  those  constituents  have   repeatedly  said  to  leave  the                                                               
dividend alone.  She stated support for  a vote of the  people on                                                               
the PFD on the traditional formula only.                                                                                        
MS. HARRIS  said she also wanted  to testify on SJR  7 in support                                                               
of a  two-thirds majority  vote of  the people  on new  taxes and                                                               
increases to existing taxes.                                                                                                    
3:51:24 PM                                                                                                                    
TERESA  HANSON, representing  self, [unk  city] Alaska,  recapped                                                               
the  history of  the permanent  fund  up until  the first  $1,000                                                               
checks   were  distributed   in  1982.   Since  then,   she  said                                                               
legislators have tapped the  permanent fund without consideration                                                               
of the voice  of the people. She emphasized  that the legislature                                                               
should  only tap  into  the permanent  fund with  a  vote of  the                                                               
people,  and  it  should  "be   restored  back  to  its  original                                                               
agreement as set forth." The permanent  fund should not be a tool                                                               
for the  legislature to  use when it  overspends in  other areas,                                                               
she said.  She concluded  her comments  by asking  legislators to                                                               
stop the steal.                                                                                                                 
3:53:13 PM                                                                                                                    
BERT  HOUGHTALING, representing  self, Big  Lake, Alaska,  stated                                                               
opposition  to  the  governor's  proposal  because  it  puts  all                                                               
control over the permanent fund  in legislators' hands. "You will                                                               
ultimately end up being able to  determine who will and who won't                                                               
be  able  to  get  a  PFD  in the  future."  He  noted  that  the                                                               
resolution changes "shall" to "may"  meaning that the legislature                                                               
may choose  to protect  the dividend  for the  future but  it may                                                               
also choose  to change the law  and not protect the  dividend for                                                               
the  future. If  there is  a  constitutional cap  on the  budget,                                                               
there may be nothing left for the  dividend "So I am a no when it                                                               
comes to SJR 6."                                                                                                                
3:54:49 PM                                                                                                                    
VIKKI JO KENNEDY, representing self,  Juneau, Alaska, stated that                                                               
she opposes  SJR 6 because  she does  not want to  put everything                                                               
she depends on  in the hands of the legislature  when it can't be                                                               
responsible  for itself.  She cited  the  example of  legislators                                                               
saying  they  would not  collect  per  diem  after 120  days  but                                                               
changing  the law  the next  year. She  stated support  for using                                                               
part  of the  permanent  fund for  essential  services like  road                                                               
maintenance and ferry service.                                                                                                  
3:57:53 PM                                                                                                                    
MATTHEW  MAIXNER,  representing   self,  Juneau,  Alaska,  stated                                                               
support for  SJR 6 and sending  the question to the  people for a                                                               
vote. He  said he believes  there is  confusion about what  SJR 6                                                               
does. He offered his understanding  that the resolution gives the                                                               
people control over  how the PFD is spent. If  the dividend is in                                                               
the  Alaska   Constitution,  it  is  untouchable,   he  said.  He                                                               
disagreed with  a previous  testifier that  there may  be nothing                                                               
left for a  dividend because 25 percent is removed  from the fund                                                               
and  used   specifically  for  dividends   for  the   people.  He                                                               
understood the concern about essential  services, but he believes                                                               
the most  essential service is to  get the people the  money that                                                               
they deserve.  He also  agrees that  the legislature  should stop                                                               
stealing from the  people. He concluded his  comments stating, "I                                                               
do advocate the return of the money that you guys took from us."                                                                
4:01:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CRIS  EICHENLAUB, representing  self, Wasilla,  Alaska, testified                                                               
on SJR  6 to advocate  for enshrining permission from  the people                                                               
to  impose taxes  or increase  fees. He  offered his  belief that                                                               
from  this point  forward,  no  bills should  pass  that tax  the                                                               
people  or increase  fees until  the people  have received  their                                                               
traditional  formula PFD.  He suggested  that  paying the  people                                                               
first would make the idea of taxes and fees more palatable.                                                                     
He noted that  he missed the opportunity to testify  on SJR 5 and                                                               
SJR 7 asked if he had to call  back to testify on SB 53 or if the                                                               
committee would take his word that he opposed that legislation.                                                                 
CHAIR SHOWER  apologized and  advised that he  could stay  on the                                                               
line to  testify on SB  53 and he  was welcome to  submit written                                                               
testimony  on SJR  5 and  SJR 7  to ssta@akleg.gov.  It would  be                                                               
entered into the record.                                                                                                        
4:04:01 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER  closed public  testimony on SJR  6 and  solicited a                                                               
4:04:37 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HOLLAND moved  to report [SJR 6,]  work order 32-GS1694\A                                                               
from  committee  [with  individual recommendations  and  attached                                                               
fiscal note(s)].                                                                                                                
There  being no  objection, SJR  6 was  reported from  the Senate                                                               
State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SJR 6 Dept of Revenue Info.pdf SSTA 2/23/2021 3:30:00 PM
SJR 5 Response.pdf SSTA 2/23/2021 3:30:00 PM
SJR 7 Tax Ballot Measures.xlsx SSTA 2/23/2021 3:30:00 PM