Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/28/1994 08:35 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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                     HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                         April 28, 1994                                        
                            8:35 a.m.                                          
                                                                               
  TAPE HFC 94-144, Side 1, #000 - end.                                         
  TAPE HFC 94-144, Side 2, #000 - 241.                                         
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson called the House  Finance Committee to order                 
  at 8:35 a.m.                                                                 
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson             Representative Hoffman                           
  Co-Chair MacLean            Representative Martin                            
  Vice-Chair Hanley           Representative Navarre                           
  Representative Brown        Representative Parnell                           
  Representative Foster       Representative Therriault                        
  Representative Grussendorf                                                   
                                                                               
  ALSO PRESENT                                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative  Jerry Mackie;  Jim Gasper,  Attorney, Public                 
  Safety Employees Association, Anchorage.                                     
                                                                               
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
                                                                               
  HB 457    "An  Act  making  appropriations  to  satisfy  the                 
            monetary  terms  of certain  collective bargaining                 
            agreements  for  certain  public safety  employees                 
            under an arbitrator's decision; and providing  for                 
            an effective date."                                                
                                                                               
            HB  457  was   reported  out  of  Committee   with                 
            individual recommendation.                                         
                                                                               
  SB 312    "An Act  relating to  school construction  grants;                 
            and providing for an effective date."                              
                                                                               
            HCS CSSB 312  (FIN) was reported out  of Committee                 
            with individual  recommendation and with  two zero                 
            fiscal notes by the Department of Education.                       
  SENATE BILL NO. 312                                                          
                                                                               
       "An  Act relating  to school  construction grants;  and                 
       providing for an effective date."                                       
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JERRY  MACKIE spoke  in support  of CSSB  312                 
  (HES) am.  He noted that under current law the Department of                 
  Education   must  accept   or   reject   the  total   school                 
                                                                               
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  construction  project.  A project  can  only be  rejected if                 
  found to not  be "in the best  interests of the state."   He                 
  observed that CSSB 312 (HES)  am would allow the  Department                 
  of Education  to modify  or  revise the  scope of  submitted                 
  projects to assure that schools are adequately sized for the                 
  community to  be served.   In  addition, CSSB  312 (HES)  am                 
  would  allow  the Department  of  Education to  require that                 
  school construction projects be phased in.                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Mackie noted that the bill was amended in the                 
  Senate.  The first  amendment allows a school term  to begin                 
  and end on  dates fixed by  the governing  body of a  school                 
  district, as long as the term is equivalent to not less than                 
  180 days.   The  second amendment  would  create four  pilot                 
  projects for special  education services.  He  asserted that                 
  the  legislation  will  allow  more,  smaller and  efficient                 
  schools to be built.                                                         
                                                                               
  Representative Brown provided members with AMENDMENT 1 (copy                 
  on file).   She  explained that  the amendment  would expand                 
  pilot  projects  to allow  inclusion of  intensive students.                 
  The amendment would  increase the  number of pilot  programs                 
  from four to six.                                                            
                                                                               
  DUANE  GUILEY,  FINANCE  DIRECTOR,  DEPARTMENT OF  EDUCATION                 
  expressed concern with the  inclusion of intensive students.                 
  He   noted   that  intensive   students   already  have   an                 
  individualized education program.  He noted that the purpose                 
  of the pilot is to reduce  the number of students identified                 
  as special  education students  in order  to prevent  labels                 
  being  attached  to  students.    He emphasized  that  early                 
  intervention can  prevent students from  receiving the label                 
  of a resource room  student.  He stressed that  the addition                 
  of  "intensive"  students would  make  it more  difficult to                 
  evaluate application and  to provide  measurable gains.   He                 
  noted that the  department supports  the expansion to  eight                 
  pilot programs.  He  added that if the amendment  is adopted                 
  the  department would  write  strict guidelines  determining                 
  when intensive students would be included.                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Brown MOVED  to ADOPT AMENDMENT 1.   Co-Chair                 
  MacLean  MOVED  to DIVIDE  the  question.   There  being  NO                 
  OBJECTION, it was  so ordered.   The  amendment was  divided                 
  into two parts.  Amendment 1A would delete "four" and insert                 
  "eight" on page 3,  line 31.  Amendment 1B would  insert "or                 
  intensive" on page 3, line 17.                                               
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean MOVED to ADOPT  AMENDMENT 1A.  There  being                 
  NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                             
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown  MOVED  to ADOPT  AMENDMENT  1B.   She                 
  emphasized  that  the  bill  states  that  "the  project  is                 
                                                                               
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  designed to demonstrate  appropriate alternative methods  to                 
  meet  the  educational  needs  of  (A)  students  who  would                 
  otherwise receive  resource and self-contained  services and                 
  generate funding at  those levels."   She stressed that  the                 
  issue is  how funding  is distributed  under the  foundation                 
  formula.   The  amendment would  allow funding  to follow  a                 
  severely disabled  child if  they participate  in the  pilot                 
  project.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative    Grussendorf    spoke    in   support    of                 
  "mainstreaming"  intensive  students.   Representative Brown                 
  observed that the  amendment would allow students  that must                 
  have an aide with them at all times to spend 1 or 2 hours in                 
  classes with other levels of students.                                       
                                                                               
  A roll call vote  was taken on the motion to adopt AMENDMENT                 
  1B.                                                                          
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Parnell, Brown, Foster, Hanley, Martin, Larson                     
  OPPOSED:  Therriault, Grussendorf, Navarre, MacLean                          
                                                                               
  Representative Hoffman was absent from the vote.                             
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED (6-4).                                                     
                                                                               
  In  response  to a  question  by Representative  Hanley, Mr.                 
  Guiley discussed sections 2  and 3.  He noted that section 2                 
  will sunset after  June 1, 1994.  Section 3  will extend the                 
  sunset date  on the provision  to allow school  districts to                 
  adopt  a  school  term   of  less  than  180  days   if  the                 
  commissioner approves the use of up to 10 in-service days or                 
  a plan to  provide the educational  equivalent of a 180  day                 
  term.  Members discussed the provisions of section 3.                        
                                                                               
  Representative Navarre noted  that the provision in  current                 
  law was adopted  to allow rural villages to  pursue cultural                 
  and religious activities.                                                    
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean MOVED to  report HCS CSSB 312 (FIN)  out of                 
  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                 
  accompanying fiscal notes.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was                 
  so ordered.                                                                  
                                                                               
  HCS CSSB  312  (FIN)  was  reported out  of  Committee  with                 
  individual recommendation and with two  zero fiscal notes by                 
  the Department of Education.                                                 
  HOUSE BILL NO. 457                                                           
                                                                               
       "An Act making appropriations  to satisfy the  monetary                 
       terms of  certain collective bargaining  agreements for                 
       certain public safety  employees under an  arbitrator's                 
                                                                               
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       decision; and providing for an effective date."                         
                                                                               
  TERRY  CRAMER, LEGAL  COUNSEL,  DIVISION  OF LEGAL  SERVICES                 
  explained that if the legislature failed  to pass HB 457 but                 
  did  pass an  operating budget  that funded the  salaries at                 
  some level for public safety employees, the action on salary                 
  would  constitute  approval  of the  monetary  terms  of the                 
  arbitrated  agreement.  In order to  disapprove the terms of                 
  collective  bargaining, the legislature  would need to adopt                 
  language to the  effect of, "failure  of the legislature  to                 
  make  a   special  appropriation  to   fund  the  collective                 
  bargaining contract, constitutes disapproval of the monetary                 
  terms.     The  legislature  cannot disapprove  the contract                 
  through its inaction.                                                        
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  Larson summarized that  adoption of the Department                 
  of  Public  Safety's  budget  contained   in  HB  370  would                 
  constitute an  action  that  would  put  the  terms  of  the                 
  arbitrator  into effect.  Ms.  Cramer agreed that the action                 
  would obligate the state to pay at the negotiated level.                     
                                                                               
  Ms. Cramer clarified that the legislature cannot selectively                 
  approve of terms in the  collective bargaining contract. The                 
  legislature  must   approve  or  disapprove  of   the  total                 
  contract.                                                                    
                                                                               
  JIM  GASPER, ATTORNEY,  PUBLIC SAFETY  EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION                 
  spoke in  support of  HB 457.   He  noted that  AS 23.40.215                 
  requires that the legislature make a determination within 60                 
  days.  He emphasized that the Alaska Supreme Court has ruled                 
  that the ultimate  arbitrator's award is final  and binding.                 
  He maintained that the findings are binding on the executive                 
  branch.   He  stressed that  there are  no opportunities  to                 
  renegotiate the basic terms of the agreement.  He noted that                 
  once  the arbitrator's  ruling  has been  given there  is no                 
  authority to resubmit  the ruling  for reconsideration.   He                 
  accentuated  that  the  legislature  can  only   approve  or                 
  disapprove of the monetary terms of the agreement.                           
                                                                               
  Representative  Martin  asserted   that  the   legislature's                 
  constitutional power of appropriation is being challenged.                   
                                                                               
  Mr. Gasper discussed  court rulings  regarding the terms  of                 
  contractual relationship created under collective bargaining                 
  and the legislature's constitutional right of appropriation.                 
  He concluded that the contractual relationship created under                 
  collective bargaining does not infringe on the legislature's                 
  appropriation ability.                                                       
                                                                               
  Representative Hanley  stressed that approval is an advisory                 
  expression  of legislative intent  and that  disapproval may                 
  result in renegotiation.   He observed that  the legislature                 
                                                                               
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  must  approve or disapprove of  the contract.  He emphasized                 
  that it is not appropriate to do nothing.                                    
                                                                               
  Representative  Hanley  MOVED  to  report   HB  457  out  of                 
  Committee with individual recommendations.                                   
                                                                               
  Representative  Martin  expressed   concern  regarding   the                 
  legislature's ability to control funding.                                    
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 94-144, Side 2)                                            
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  Larson  emphasized  that appropriation  bills  are                 
  handled  at  the  end  of  the  legislative  session.     He                 
  maintained that it  is not the legislature's  responsibility                 
  to negotiate contracts.   He  observed that the  legislature                 
  has been faced  with hard decisions regarding  reductions in                 
  the  Department  of Public  Safety's  operating budget.   He                 
  expressed concern  that proponents of  the legislation  were                 
  abusive to committee staff.                                                  
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean expressed  concern with the monetary  terms                 
  of the bargaining agreement.                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative Martin noted that other public employees have                 
  not received cost of living increases.                                       
                                                                               
  Representative Navarre observed  that collective  bargaining                 
  and binding arbitration statutes have  not been revisited in                 
  a long time.   He  stressed that statutes  provide that  the                 
  legislative  appropriation approval is  the final  aspect of                 
  the  collective bargaining  process.   He expressed  concern                 
  with  reductions  to  the  Department  of  Public   Safety's                 
  operating   budget.     He  noted   that  arbitrators   have                 
  consistently ruled in  favor of  the employees.   He  stated                 
  that as part of the collective bargaining process,  and with                 
  the financial situation  in the state, the  legislature must                 
  say "no" at some point.                                                      
                                                                               
  Representative Navarre OBJECTED to the motion to move HB 457                 
  from Committee.  A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                   
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Brown, Hanley, Martin, Parnell, Grussendorf                        
                 MacLean, Larson                                               
  OPPOSED:  Therriault, Navarre                                                
                                                                               
  Representatives  Hoffman and  Foster  were absent  from  the                 
  vote.                                                                        
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED (7-2).                                                     
                                                                               
  HB  457  was  reported  out  of  Committee  with  individual                 
  recommendation.                                                              
                                                                               
                                5                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting adjourned at 9:40 a.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
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