Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

02/03/2022 03:30 PM Senate STATE AFFAIRS

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
             SB 142-SOVEREIGNTY OF STATE ELECTIONS                                                                          
4:10:46 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER announced  the consideration of SENATE  BILL NO. 142                                                               
"An Act relating to the sovereignty of state elections."                                                                        
Speaking   as  sponsor,   Senator   Shower   introduced  SB   142                                                               
paraphrasing the following sponsor statement:                                                                                   
[Original punctuation provided.]                                                                                                
     Congress passed  HR 1 in  the House but the  Senate did                                                                    
     not have  the votes to  break a filibuster.  It remains                                                                    
     stalled, for now. HR 1  federalizes state elections and                                                                    
     foists  constitutionally questionable  federal mandates                                                                    
     upon   the  states,   overriding  long   honored  state                                                                    
     election procedures.                                                                                                       
     Congress  has the  constitutional  authority to  manage                                                                    
     certain aspects of federal elections.  Article 1 Sec 4:                                                                    
     "The times, places and manner  of holding elections for                                                                    
     senators  and representatives,  shall be  prescribed in                                                                    
     each  state   by  the  legislature  thereof;   but  the                                                                    
     Congress  may at  any time  by law  make or  alter such                                                                    
     regulations,  except  as  to  the  places  of  choosing                                                                    
     The  relationship   between  states  and   the  federal                                                                    
     government has  been long and cooperative.  States need                                                                    
     their  federal  representatives  elected and  have  the                                                                    
     staff,  voting  system and  voter  rolls  of who  is  a                                                                    
     resident  and  further   prescribes  what  qualifies  a                                                                    
     voter.  In return,  the feds  enjoy  utilizing the  low                                                                    
     maintenance state election system  to elect our federal                                                                    
     congressional members.                                                                                                     
4:12:58 PM                                                                                                                    
     Today  many states,  including Alaska,  are working  to                                                                    
     restore confidence  in the election system.  The last 5                                                                    
     years have  shaken the confidence of  many Americans in                                                                    
     our election process across  the political spectrum. In                                                                    
     a   gross   overreach,   the  federal   government   is                                                                    
     attempting  to foist  a "one  size  fits all"  approach                                                                    
     with HR1 by mandating  federal policy nationwide versus                                                                    
     the  long-standing  practice   of  letting  states  set                                                                    
     policy  and manage  their  own  elections. We've  heard                                                                    
     fake  cries  of "putting  people  in  chains" and  "Jim                                                                    
     Crow"  type election  laws from  the highest  levels of                                                                    
     government,  including  the  president and  members  of                                                                    
     congress. Divisive  and virtue signaling  language from                                                                    
     elected officials does not  help solve Americans shaken                                                                  
     confidence in our election system.  We are asked for ID                                                                    
     to "prove"  who we  are in nearly  every aspect  of our                                                                    
     lives.  Asking  a voter  to  prove  they are  a  United                                                                    
     States Citizen,  resident of a state,  or to positively                                                                    
     identify   themselves   is  prudent   and   reasonable.                                                                    
     Verifying a  person's identity and eligibility  to vote                                                                    
     is  sound  policy, it's  why  we're  asked for  ID  for                                                                    
     nearly  anything  we  do  today  of  any  significance.                                                                    
     Voting is one of the  most sacred and important actions                                                                    
     we  take  as citizens.  Who  we  elect and  what  those                                                                    
     officials do affects us at  every level of our lives. A                                                                    
     Congressional policy  of not showing  identification to                                                                    
     vote is a clear and present danger for our Republic.                                                                       
4:14:13 PM                                                                                                                    
     We  believe  because  the state  legislatures  formerly                                                                    
     gave  up the  power  to choose  our  own senators,  the                                                                    
     states are  justified with the  fight to  retain strong                                                                    
     control  of how  they are  elected by  the people.  The                                                                    
     17th   Amendment  repealed   this   provision  of   the                                                                    
     constitution  and afterward  the states  prescribed the                                                                    
     procedures  of   the  people,  not   the  legislatures,                                                                    
     electing their Senators to represent them.                                                                                 
     If  the Federal  Government  nationalizes the  election                                                                    
     system,  undermining  the   long  tradition  of  mutual                                                                    
     cooperation, or worse, the sovereign  rights of a state                                                                    
     to manage  its internal  election affairs,  then Alaska                                                                    
     should simply tell the federal  government to run their                                                                    
     own election, bifurcating the election process.                                                                            
     Doing so will require  the federal government to create                                                                    
     its  own  exhaustive  system   of  voter  rolls,  voter                                                                    
     qualifications,   tabulators,    reporting,   counting,                                                                    
     recruiting  and training  volunteers, and  a myriad  of                                                                    
     other  details which  are  expensive  and difficult  to                                                                    
     manage  without  the  state's  cooperation.  In  short,                                                                    
     Congress  should   think  long   and  hard   about  the                                                                    
     unintended consequences of  mandating federalization of                                                                    
     elections upon sovereign states  and should be reminded                                                                    
     it  was  the  states  who  originally  delegated  their                                                                    
     powers to  the United  States. (Tenth  Amendment). This                                                                    
     bill rescinds a portion of that delegated authority.                                                                       
4:15:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER  stated that those  who tout HR  1 may not  feel the                                                               
same  way when  the  other  party has  the  presidency, and  both                                                               
bodies  of Congress.  He stated  his preference  to maintain  the                                                               
federated system  because one size fits  all is not the  best way                                                               
to govern. The Founding Fathers  recognized this. SB 142 is about                                                               
protecting states'  rights, up to  and including  bifurcating the                                                               
election system if necessary.                                                                                                   
4:17:07 PM                                                                                                                    
SCOTT   OGAN,   Staff,   Senator  Mike   Shower,   Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature,  Juneau, Alaska,  presented  the sectional  analysis                                                               
for SB 142 that read as follow:                                                                                                 
[Original punctuation provided.]                                                                                                
     Sec 1. AS 15.80.001 adds  a new section that authorizes                                                                  
     the Division  of Election Director to  determine when a                                                                    
     federal election  law is inconsistent with  a provision                                                                    
     of  our  elections  and regulations,  it  requires  the                                                                    
     division to  stop administering federal  elections, but                                                                    
     allows them to carry on with state office elections.                                                                       
     Furthermore, Sec  1 bans an  agency, employee  or agent                                                                    
     of  the state  or a  municipality from  expending funds                                                                    
     for aforementioned activity.                                                                                               
     Additionally,  Sec   1  lets  the   federal  government                                                                    
     administer its own elections.                                                                                              
4:17:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COSTELLO  noted  the  zero  fiscal  note  and  asked  if                                                               
Alaskans  would be  able to  vote for  the president  and federal                                                               
offices if this bill were to pass.                                                                                              
MR. OGAN said  the federal government is not  prepared to conduct                                                               
an election  but would  have to  figure out  a way  to accomplish                                                               
that formidable task.                                                                                                           
CHAIR SHOWER offered  his understanding that it  is a requirement                                                               
and the federal  government would have to organize,  pay for, and                                                               
conduct   federal  elections.   He  opined   that  it   would  be                                                               
interesting should this go to court.                                                                                            
4:21:44 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HOLLAND  commented that  subcontracting elections  to the                                                               
federal government may  be a new revenue source. He  asked if any                                                               
other states had successfully pursued similar legislation.                                                                      
CHAIR SHOWER said he would  follow up with more information about                                                               
successes,  but  he  did  know that  several  other  states  were                                                               
looking at the issue.                                                                                                           
SENATOR HOLLAND  asked if  the Department  of Law  or Legislative                                                               
Legal Services had issued an opinion.                                                                                           
CHAIR  SHOWER  replied  they  will be  invited  to  a  subsequent                                                               
4:22:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER stated that the fiscal  note for SB 142 currently is                                                               
zero. He read the analysis for OMB Component Number: 21.                                                                        
     This legislation requires the  Division of Elections to                                                                    
     cease administering  federal elections if  the director                                                                    
     determines that  the federal  government has  enacted a                                                                    
     measure relating  to voter  registration or  conduct of                                                                    
     elections  that  is   inconsistent  with  Alaska  State                                                                    
     election laws.                                                                                                             
     Passage  of this  legislation  will  have no  financial                                                                    
     impact on the division.                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER held SB 142 in committee.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB0156 BILL Immun Rights and Objections to C-19 Vax.PDF SSTA 2/3/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 156
SB 156 Immunization Rights and objections to C-19 vax Sponsor Statement 1.30.22.pdf SSTA 2/3/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 156
SB 156 Immunization Rights and Objection to COVID-19 Sectional 1.29.22.pdf SSTA 2/3/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 156
SB142 sponsor statement.pdf SSTA 2/3/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 142
SB142 Sectional Analysis.pdf SSTA 2/3/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 142
testimony support Kendall.pdf SSTA 2/3/2022 3:30:00 PM
SB 156