Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/04/1994 01:36 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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                     HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                          March 4, 1994                                        
                            1:36 p.m.                                          
                                                                               
  TAPE HFC 94-47, Side 2, #000 - end.                                          
  TAPE HFC 94-48, Side 1, #000 - end.                                          
  TAPE HFC 94-48, Side 2, #000 - 244.                                          
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson called the House  Finance Committee to order                 
  at 1:36 p.m.                                                                 
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson                                                              
  Co-Chair MacLean            Representative Martin                            
  Vice-Chair Hanley           Representative Navarre                           
  Representative Brown        Representative Parnell                           
  Representative Foster       Representative Therriault                        
  Representative Grussendorf                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Hoffman was not present for the meeting.                      
                                                                               
  ALSO PRESENT                                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative Olberg; Larry Labolle,  Staff, Representative                 
  Foster;  John  Walsh,   Special  Assistant,  Department   of                 
  Community  and Regional  Affairs; Terry  Elder,  Division of                 
  Elections,  Office of the  Governor; John  Hartle, Assistant                 
  Attorney,  City  and  Borough   of  Juneau;  Crystal  Smith,                 
  Director, Member  Services, Alaska  Municipal League;  Carol                 
  Collins, Staff,  House Finance  Committee; Reed  Stoops, Air                 
  Carriers  Association;  Steve  Van   Sant,  State  Assessor,                 
  Department of Community and Regional  Affairs; Clyde Benson,                 
  Department  of   Revenue;  Robert  Hallford,   National  Air                 
  Carriers.                                                                    
                                                                               
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
                                                                               
  HB 49     "An Act  relating  to  facsimile  absentee  ballot                 
            application and facsimile absentee voting."                        
                                                                               
            CSHB 49 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with a                 
            "do pass" recommendation and  with a fiscal impact                 
            note by the Office of the Governor.                                
                                                                               
  HB 364    "An  Act relating  to allowable absences  from the                 
            state for  purposes of  eligibility for  permanent                 
            fund  dividends; and  providing  for an  effective                 
            date."                                                             
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                1                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
            HB 364 was assigned  to a subcommittee  consisting                 
            of    Representative    Foster   as    Chair   and                 
            Representatives Parnell and Navarre.                               
                                                                               
  HB 397    "An Act  relating to  the power  to levy  property                 
            taxes in second class cities."                                     
                                                                               
            CSSSHB 397(FIN) was reported out of Committee with                 
            individual recommendations and  with a zero fiscal                 
            note by  the Department of Community  and Regional                 
            Affairs, published 2/4/94.                                         
                                                                               
  HB 406    "An Act relating to municipal  sales and use taxes                 
            involving  air  carriers;  and  providing  for  an                 
            effective date."                                                   
                                                                               
            CSHB 406 (FIN) was reported  out of Committee with                 
            "no  recommendation" and  with  three zero  fiscal                 
            notes,  one by  the  Department  of Community  and                 
            Regional  Affairs, published  2/15/94  one by  the                 
            Department of Revenue, published 2/15/94, and with                 
            a   zero  fiscal   note  by   the   Department  of                 
            Transportation  and  Public   Facilities;  and   a                 
            municipal fiscal impact note  by the Department of                 
            Community  and  Regional  Affairs   on  behalf  of                 
            municipalities.                                                    
  HOUSE BILL NO. 397                                                           
                                                                               
       "An Act relating to the power to levy property taxes in                 
       second class cities."                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE HARLEY OLBERG provided members with AMENDMENT                 
  1 (Attachment 1).   He  explained that  the amendment  would                 
  allow second class  cities to levy  a 20 mill property  tax.                 
  The current version allows a 30 mill levy to be raised.                      
                                                                               
  Representative Brown questioned the impact of CSHB 397 (FIN)                 
  on state revenues.  She noted that second class cities would                 
  be allowed to tax the pipeline.                                              
                                                                               
  Representative  Parnell  asked the  impact  of  deleting the                 
  referendum requirement.                                                      
                                                                               
  JOHN WALSH,  SPECIAL ASSISTANT, DEPARTMENT OF  COMMUNITY AND                 
  REGIONAL AFFAIRS stated  that the  Department is neutral  in                 
  regards to CSHB  397 (FIN).  Representative  Olberg observed                 
  that the referendum  right is not currently  being employed.                 
  Representative Grussendorf  noted that  second class  cities                 
  could require  a referendum vote under city ordinances.  Mr.                 
  Walsh noted that  second class cities would  not be required                 
  to approve a tax increase by referendum.  He agreed that the                 
                                                                               
                                2                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  option to require approval though a referendum would remain.                 
                                                                               
  Representative Hanley expressed concern that the legislation                 
  would take  away the  incentive  to incorporate  to a  first                 
  class city.                                                                  
                                                                               
  CRYSTAL SMITH, DIRECTOR OF MEMBER  SERVICE, ALASKA MUNICIPAL                 
  LEAGUE stressed that only 37 out  of 117 second class cities                 
  are large  enough  to incorporate  to  a first  class  city.                 
  There  are  approximately  10  second  class cities  with  a                 
  population of 400 to 500.  She clarified that only home rule                 
  municipalities operate with a charter.  Other municipalities                 
  operate under general  law statutes and  adopted ordinances.                 
  She  observed that  only 3  second class cities  collect any                 
  property tax.   Sixty one second class  cities collect sales                 
  tax.  She asserted  that a 5 mill limitation  is inefficient                 
  to assess and collect property taxes.   She added that a lot                 
  of property in second class cities is exempt from taxation.                  
                                                                               
  Representative  Martin maintained  that the deletion  of "by                 
  referendum", as provided in amendment 1, would  have a large                 
  impact on the rights of citizens.                                            
                                                                               
  Ms. Smith noted  that the  Alaska Municipal League  supports                 
  amendment 1.  She pointed out  that referendum elections are                 
  expensive  to operate.  She observed  that most second class                 
  cities have a population of under  200.  She maintained that                 
  local officials in small communities are well informed as to                 
  public opinion.                                                              
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown  observed  that  Delta Junction  could                 
  obtain  $312.0  thousand  dollars  through  taxation  of the                 
  pipeline.  She  asked if this would represent a  loss to the                 
  state.    Ms. Smith  acknowledged  that the  amendment would                 
  allow  second  class cities  to tax  the  pipeline up  to 20                 
  mills.   She felt  that it was  unlikely that the  full mill                 
  rate  would  be imposed.   She  pointed  out that  the local                 
  residents would have to pay the same mill rate.                              
                                                                               
  STEVE VAN SANT, STATE ASSESSOR,  DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AND                 
  REGIONAL AFFAIRS  stated that  there are  only three  second                 
  class  cities that  would have  the possibility  to tax  the                 
  pipeline, Delta Junction, Glennallen and  Copper Center.  He                 
  observed  that the  pipeline  is the  only asset  that could                 
  effect state revenues.                                                       
                                                                               
  CAROL COLLINS, STAFF, HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE clarified that                 
  Representative  Hoffman MOVED  to ADOPT AMENDMENT  1, during                 
  the 2/28/94 House  Finance Committee hearing.   She reviewed                 
  previous  action  taken  by  the  Committee  in  regards  to                 
  amendment 1.                                                                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                3                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean  asked for further clarification of section                 
  2, amendment 1.   She observed  that section 2 would  repeal                 
  statutes allowing incorporating second class cities to place                 
  a tax proposal on the  incorporation ballot.  Representative                 
  Hanley  pointed  out  that the  the  statute  being repealed                 
  states that second class cities "may" combine a property tax                 
  proposal with an  incorporation referendum.   Representative                 
  Olberg agreed with the deletion of section 2.                                
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean MOVED  to delete section 2, CSHB 397 (FIN).                 
  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                 
                                                                               
  Representative Martin expressed  concern that the  amendment                 
  restricts the rights of citizens.                                            
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson restated the main  motion to adopt AMENDMENT                 
  1.  Representative Parnell  OBJECTED.  A roll call  vote was                 
  taken on the motion.                                                         
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Brown,  Foster,   Grussendorf,  Hanley,   Navarre,                 
                 Therriault, MacLean, Larson                                   
  OPPOSED:  Martin, Parnell                                                    
                                                                               
  Representative Hoffman was not present for the vote.                         
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED (8-2).                                                     
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  MacLean  MOVED to  report  CSHB 397  (FIN)  out of                 
  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                 
  accompanying fiscal note.  There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                 
  so ordered.                                                                  
                                                                               
  CSSSHB  397  (FIN)  was  reported   out  of  Committee  with                 
  individual recommendations and  with a  zero fiscal note  by                 
  the Department of Community and  Regional Affairs, published                 
  2/4/94.                                                                      
  HOUSE BILL NO. 364                                                           
                                                                               
       "An Act relating  to allowable absences from  the state                 
       for  purposes   of  eligibility   for  permanent   fund                 
       dividends; and providing for an effective date."                        
                                                                               
  Representative Parnell  MOVED  to  RESCIND  the  Committee's                 
  action in reporting HB  364 out of committee.   He expressed                 
  concern  with  the  expansion  of  allowable  absences   for                 
  qualification  to  the  Permanent  Fund  Dividend   Program.                 
  Representative Foster OBJECTED.                                              
                                                                               
  Representative  Foster  pointed  out  that  the  legislation                 
  received lengthy discussion in the House  Finance Committee.                 
  He suggested that additional questions could be addressed on                 
                                                                               
                                4                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  the  House floor.    Representative  Navarre  observed  that                 
  further  deliberations by the  House Finance Committee would                 
  benefit the bills passage.                                                   
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 94-48, Side 1)                                             
                                                                               
  A  roll call vote  was taken  on the  motion to  RESCIND the                 
  Committee's action in reporting HB 364 from committee.                       
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Grussendorf, Hanley, Martin,  Parnell, Therriault,                 
                 Larson                                                        
  OPPOSED:  Brown, Foster, MacLean                                             
                                                                               
  Representative Hoffman was not present for the vote.                         
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED (7-3).                                                     
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson announced that HB 364 would be assigned to a                 
  subcommittee consisting  of Representative  Foster as  Chair                 
  and Representatives Parnell and Navarre.                                     
  HOUSE BILL NO. 406                                                           
                                                                               
       "An  Act  relating  to municipal  sales  and  use taxes                 
       involving air carriers; and providing for an  effective                 
       date."                                                                  
                                                                               
  Representative Foster noted  that HB 406  was assigned to  a                 
  subcommittee,  on  2/24/94,  consisting   of  Representative                 
  Foster as Chair and Representatives Grussendorf  and Martin.                 
  He provided  members with  a proposed  committee substitute,                 
  work draft 8-LS1599\E, dated 3/3/94 (copy on file).                          
                                                                               
  LARRY LABOLLE, STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE FOSTER explained  that                 
  the  committee  substitute  prohibits  a  municipality  from                 
  levying or collecting a tax or  fee on the transportation of                 
  individuals  or  goods  unless provided  for  in  U.S.C. App                 
  1513(b).  He  explained that  this section enumerates  items                 
  that can be  taxed, related  to air commence.   He  observed                 
  that the  retroactive effective  date was  removed from  the                 
  committee  substitute.   He acknowledged that  the committee                 
  substitute does not alleviate all  of the concerns expressed                 
  by the City and  Borough of Juneau and the  Alaska Municipal                 
  League.                                                                      
                                                                               
  In response to  a question by  Co-Chair Larson, Mr.  Labolle                 
  clarified that items sold at the air terminal are subject to                 
  municipal taxes. He explained that the legislation refers to                 
  anyone  traveling  in  air  commerce.    Federal  regulation                 
  prevents additional taxes on air fares.                                      
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean asked for an explanation of U.S.C. App 1513                 
                                                                               
                                5                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  (b) and (e).   Mr. Labolle observed that section  (e) allows                 
  the implementation of a three dollar head tax at the airport                 
  of  origin.    He  explained  that section  (b)  encompasses                 
  property taxes,  fuel flowage taxes,  personal property used                 
  in business  and other items  not directly connected  to the                 
  transportation of a person or freight.                                       
                                                                               
  Representative Foster  MOVED to ADOPT work draft 8-LS1599\E,                 
  dated 3/3/94.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                  
                                                                               
  Representative  Martin questioned  if  U.S.C. App  1513  (b)                 
  allows local governments  to tax transportation to  and from                 
  lodges  and car  rentals.  Mr.  Labolle stressed  that local                 
  government's  ability  to  tax  is  not  being  expanded  or                 
  diminished by the legislation.                                               
                                                                               
  ROBERT  HALLFORD, NATIONAL  AIR CARRIERS  testified via  the                 
  teleconference network  from Anchorage, in  support of  CSHB
  406 (FIN).    He  maintained that  the  legislation  is  not                 
  intended to prevent or preclude  the state or municipalities                 
  which operate airports from continuing to tax the associated                 
  services connected  to air  transportation.   He noted  that                 
  landing fees, fuel flowage  fees, or property rent will  not                 
  be effected.  He asserted  that the legislation will clarify                 
  that  taxation  of air  transportation  is reserved  for the                 
  federal government  in exchange for the  "overriding benefit                 
  of the public at large."                                                     
                                                                               
  Mr. Hallford noted  that the  federal government collects  a                 
  ten percent excise  tax on passenger  fares and a six  and a                 
  half  percent transportation  tax  on  all  air cargo.    He                 
  asserted  that  case law  supports  the proposition  that no                 
  additional  taxes  are  allowed  on  air  transportation  of                 
  persons or freight.  He maintained that the legislation will                 
  clarify  federal  law  in  order  to prevent  litigation  by                 
  municipalities wishing to impose taxes on the transportation                 
  of property and people within the  state.  He suggested that                 
  references to  subsections (b)  and (e)  are redundant.   He                 
  pointed out  that these  sections pertain  to matters  other                 
  than the sale of  air transportation.  He asserted  that the                 
  legislation will  not hinder municipalities  from collecting                 
  allowable taxes.                                                             
                                                                               
  JOHN HARTLE, ASSISTANT  CITY ATTORNEY,  CITY AND BOROUGH  OF                 
  JUNEAU (CBJ) testified in opposition to  CSHB 406 (FIN).  He                 
  stressed   that   there   is   an   unfunded   mandate   for                 
  municipalities to  provide services to air  carriers without                 
  the ability  to  collect taxes.   He  acknowledged that  the                 
  legislation  will  prevent sales  tax on  transportation and                 
  goods  through  hub  communities.    He  conceded  that  the                 
  committee substitute improves the legislation.  He expressed                 
  concern  that   landing  fees   not  be   impacted  by   the                 
                                                                               
                                6                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  legislation.  He suggested that the addition of "air" before                 
  "transportation" would further clarify the legislation.   In                 
  response  to  a  question  by  Co-Chair Larson,  Mr.  Hartle                 
  elucidated that landing  fees would not  be impacted by  the                 
  committee substitute.                                                        
                                                                               
  Representative Hanley asked for further clarification of the                 
  City  and  Borough   of  Juneau's  position.     Mr.  Hartle                 
  elaborated that  federal law  is unclear in  regards to  the                 
  taxation of the  transportation of property.   The City  and                 
  Borough of Juneau believes municipalities  should be free to                 
  challenge the federal interpretation of taxation of freight.                 
  He  observed  that  freight  could  not  be  taxed  if   the                 
  legislation  is adopted.   He  added that taxation  would be                 
  precluded on the service of transporting property.                           
                                                                               
  Representative   Martin  MOVED   to   insert  "air"   before                 
  "transportation" on line 10, page 1.                                         
                                                                               
  Representative  Parnell restated  that  the amendment  would                 
  exclude  ground  transportation.    Mr. Hartle  agreed  that                 
  ground transportation would be excluded.  He added that  the                 
  legislative  history  is  clear  that   the  intent  of  the                 
  legislation  is to  prohibit sales  tax on  the carriage  of                 
  goods.                                                                       
                                                                               
  There being NO OBJECTION, AMENDMENT 1 was adopted.                           
                                                                               
  Representative Parnell clarified that "App"  on page 1, line                 
  12 refers to the appendix to the U.S. code.                                  
                                                                               
  REED  STOOPS,  ALASKA  AIR  CARRIERS  ASSOCIATION  spoke  in                 
  support of CSHB 406(FIN).  He  pointed out that air carriers                 
  pay a 10 ten  percent federal excise tax on  passenger fares                 
  and a  six and a  quarter percent federal excise  tax on all                 
  air cargo.  This tax goes to the federal Airport and Airways                 
  Trust Fund.  He noted that the state of Alaska receives more                 
  than it  contributes into  the Fund.   He  suggested that  a                 
  letter  of  intent   be  adopted   to  further  define   the                 
  legislative intent.                                                          
                                                                               
  CRYSTAL SMITH, DIRECTOR OF MEMBER  SERVICE, ALASKA MUNICIPAL                 
  LEAGUE  spoke  in  opposition  of  CSHB   406  (FIN).    She                 
  reiterated that federal law pertaining to the transportation                 
  of  goods  is  not well  defined.    She  asserted that  the                 
  transportation of  intrastate freight is  not exempted  from                 
  taxation.  She  noted that  St. Marys has  attempted to  add                 
  their municipal sales tax to the transportation of fish from                 
  St. Marys to  Anchorage.   They would collect  approximately                 
  $100.0 thousand dollars a  year if the sales tax  was added.                 
  She  alleged  that  there  is no  existing  state  case  law                 
  regarding intrastate taxation of air freight.                                
                                                                               
                                7                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Ms.  Smith  referred to  an  opinion  by the  Department  of                 
  Transportation and Public Facilities, Deputy General Counsel                 
  that states  that federal  law does  not preempt  intrastate                 
  taxation.   She referenced  a preliminary  opinion by  Judge                 
  Lincoln in Homer.   Judge Lincoln ruled  that municipalities                 
  may place a tax on non certificated air carriers.                            
                                                                               
  Ms.  Smith  recognized  that  the  committee substitute  did                 
  address  some  of  the  concerns  expressed  by  the  Alaska                 
  Municipal League.                                                            
  Mr. Hallford noted that the  letter referenced by Ms.  Smith                 
  from  the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities                 
  is dated 1986.   He observed that the United  States Supreme                 
  Court  ruled  in  1992  that  the preemption  provision  was                 
  intended by Congress to  have a broad effect.   He clarified                 
  that the preemption  provision is contained in  U.S.C. 1305.                 
  He cited the  supreme court  decision Morelis vs  Transworld                 
  airlines.  He  suggested that  the exception for  intrastate                 
  transportation  was  made  clearer  by  the  decision.    He                 
  asserted  that intrastate  transportation can  be interstate                 
  commerce.                                                                    
                                                                               
  Representative   Martin  MOVED   to   insert  "air"   before                 
  "transportation" on page 1, line 1.                                          
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown asked how flight seeing services would                 
  be effected.  Mr. Hartle replied  that sales taxes on flight                 
  seeing services would be prohibited  by the legislation.  He                 
  added that  CBJ  has considered  assessing  a sales  tax  on                 
  flight seeing  tours that operate in Juneau.   He emphasized                 
  that  the state  has reduced  aide to municipalities  and is                 
  cutting into the municipal tax base in statute.                              
                                                                               
  Representative Hanley  noted that  Judge Lincoln's  decision                 
  found  that  the  air  taxi  service  in  Homer  was  a  non                 
  certificated  air  carrier   and  could  be  taxed   by  the                 
  municipality  of  Homer.    Mr.  Hartle  observed  that  all                 
  commercial  aviators carrying  passengers have  some federal                 
  certificate.   He felt that the broad  language contained in                 
  CSHB 406 (FIN) would prevent the  taxation desired by CBJ on                 
  sight seeing air transportation.                                             
                                                                               
  Mr.  Hartle  clarified  that  the  confusion  regarding  the                 
  taxable status of air freight is contained in section (a) of                 
  U.S.C. APP 1513.   He maintained  that reference to  section                 
  (b) would not create further confusion.                                      
                                                                               
  Representative Foster MOVED to report CSHB 406 (FIN) out  of                 
  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                 
  accompanying fiscal notes.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was                 
  so ordered.                                                                  
                                                                               
                                8                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  CSHB  406  (FIN) was  reported  out  of Committee  with  "no                 
  recommendation" and with three zero fiscal notes, one by the                 
  Department  of  Community  and  Regional Affairs,  published                 
  2/15/94 one by the Department of Revenue, published 2/15/94,                 
  and  with   a  zero  fiscal   note  by  the   Department  of                 
  Transportation and Public Facilities; and a municipal fiscal                 
  impact  note  by the  Department  of Community  and Regional                 
  Affairs on behalf of municipalities.                                         
  HOUSE BILL NO. 49                                                            
                                                                               
       "An   Act   relating  to   facsimile   absentee  ballot                 
       application and facsimile absentee voting."                             
                                                                               
  On 2/15/94, HB 49 was assigned  to a subcommittee consisting                 
  of Representative Parnell as Chair and Representatives Brown                 
  and Martin.                                                                  
                                                                               
  Representative Parnell  provided  members  with  a  proposed                 
  committee  substitute, work  draft 8-LS0359\I,  dated 3/3/94                 
  (copy on file).   He also provided members with  a sectional                 
  analysis of changes incorporated by the committee substitute                 
  (copy  on file).     He  discussed the  changes made  by the                 
  committee  substitute.     He  noted   that  the   committee                 
  substitute would  apply a phased  in approach  to allow  all                 
  absentee voters to vote  by fax.  He noted that the Division                 
  of Elections would  be unable to implement the provisions by                 
  the next primary  election.  Under the  committee substitute                 
  ballots  could  not  be  cast  by  fax  during  the  primary                 
  election.  Absentee  ballots could  be requested during  the                 
  primary election.   Ballots  could be  cast  in the  general                 
  election if the voter was residing outside of the state.  In                 
  two years all absentee voters would be  able to vote by fax.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative  Parnell  stressed   that  the   Subcommittee                 
  presumed that voters utilizing a facsimile machine to submit                 
  their ballot would  waive their  confidentiality.  A  waiver                 
  provision would be added to the ballot.                                      
                                                                               
  Representative Parnell MOVED to ADOPT work draft 8-LS0359\I,                 
  dated 3/3/94.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                  
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown expressed  concern that  the phase  in                 
  approach does  not  allow  all citizens  to  have  the  same                 
  opportunity to vote.                                                         
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 94-48, Side 2)                                             
                                                                               
  Representative Brown felt that the the  committee substitute                 
  improved the legislation.                                                    
                                                                               
                                9                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson asked if the  originals of the faxed ballots                 
  would be mailed.  Representative  Brown clarified that faxed                 
  ballots would be in leu of a written ballot.  She noted that                 
  ballots would have  to arrive  before or on  the day of  the                 
  election.  She observed that the legislation would allow the                 
  possibility of data transfers.                                               
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown  expressed concern  that possibilities                 
  for fraud exist.   She  acknowledged that opportunities  for                 
  ballot fraud exist in the current written ballot system.                     
                                                                               
  Representative Parnell asked if the phased in approach would                 
  change the Division of Elections' fiscal note.                               
                                                                               
  TERRY ELDER, DIVISION  OF ELECTIONS, OFFICE OF  THE GOVERNOR                 
  stated that the Division's fiscal note would not be changed.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Navarre  stressed  that  procedures  must  be                 
  implemented  to  assure  that  transmittal of  faxed  ballot                 
  information  is  processed  correctly.    He  asked  if  the                 
  statement  of oath  is  the same  as  currently utilized  on                 
  absentee ballots.                                                            
                                                                               
  Mr. Elder noted  that current absentee ballots  require that                 
  the  ballot is witnessed by any two  persons over the age of                 
  18 or a individual authorized to give oaths.  A commissioned                 
  or non commissioned officer, notary  or an election official                 
  may also witness the ballot.                                                 
                                                                               
  In response  to a  question by  Representative Navarre,  Mr.                 
  Elder noted that the age requirement was not included in the                 
  committee substitute.                                                        
                                                                               
  Representative   Parnell  MOVED   to  insert   a  conceptual                 
  amendment  to  require  that  witnesses  be   United  States                 
  citizens "over the age of 18."  There being NO OBJECTION, it                 
  was so ordered.                                                              
                                                                               
  Representative Martin MOVED to  report CSHB 49 (FIN) out  of                 
  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                 
  accompanying fiscal note.  There being  NO OBJECTION, it was                 
  so ordered.                                                                  
                                                                               
  CSHB 49 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with a "do pass"                 
  recommendation and with  a fiscal impact note  by the Office                 
  of the Governor.                                                             
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting adjourned at 3:45 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
                               10                                              

Document Name Date/Time Subjects