Legislature(1995 - 1996)
05/03/1996 03:30 PM House FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE May 3, 1996 3:30 P.M. TAPE HFC 96-158, Side 1, #000 - end. TAPE HFC 96-158, Side 2, #000 - end. TAPE HFC 96-159, Side 1, #000 - end. TAPE HFC 96-159, Side 2, #000 - end. TAPE HFC 96-160, Side 1, #000 - end. TAPE HFC 96-160, Side 2, #000 - end. TAPE HFC 96-161, Side 1, #000 - end. TAPE HFC 96-161, Side 2, #000 - end. TAPE HFC 96-162, Side 1, #000 - end. TAPE HFC 96-162, Side 2, #000 - end. TAPE HFC 96-163, Side 1, #000 - end. CALL TO ORDER Co-Chair Mark Hanley called the House Finance Committee meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. PRESENT Co-Chair Hanley Representative Martin Co-Chair Foster Representative Mulder Representative Brown Representative Navarre Representative Grussendorf Representative Parnell Representative Kelly Representative Therriault Representative Kohring ALSO PRESENT Senator Lydia Green; Representative David Finkelstein; Laura Williams, Staff, Senator Pearce; Anne Ringstadt, Staff, Senator Sharp; Brooke Miles, Alaska Public Offices Commission, Department of Administration; Steven (Neal) Slotnik, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law; Mike McMullen, Division of Personnel, Department of Administration; Susie Barnett, Select Commission on Legislative Ethics; John Gaguine, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law; Jim Nordlund, Director, Division of Public Assistance, Department of Health & Social Services; Curtis Lomas, Welfare Reform Program, Department of Health & Social Services; Michael Tibbles, Staff, Senator Green; Glenda Straube, Director, Child Support Enforcement Division, Department of Revenue; Jack Chenoweth, Attorney, Alaska Legal Services, Legislative Affairs Agency; Nancy Slagle, Director, Division of Budget Review, Office of the Management and Budget, Office of the Governor; Virginia Lembo, Anchorage; Rex Lamont, Anchorage; Hugh Fleischer, anchorage; Scott Davis, Anchorage; Becky Davis, Anchorage; Gordy Williams, Staff, Senator Zharoff; Kim McGee, Anchorage Friends; Brant McGee, Director, Office of Public Advocacy, Department of Administration; Anne Wilkas, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law; Kevin McCoy, Anchorage; Joyce Bamberger, Alaska Human Rights Commission; Averil Lerman, Anchorage; Barbara Brink, Public Defender Agency. Anchorage; Barbara Hood, Anchorage; Susan Orlansky, Attorney, Anchorage; Michael Lemay, Anchorage; Kathy Harris, Anchorage; John Salemi, Director, Public Defender Agency, Department of Administration; Rebecca Davis, Fairbanks; James McComas, Alaskans Against the Death Penalty; Charles Campbell, Juneau; Rachel King, Alaskans Against the Death Penalty; Dean Guaneli, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law; Kevin Brooks, Director, Division of Administration, Department of Fish and Game. SUMMARY HB 500 An Act making capital and other appropriations; and providing for an effective date." HB 500 was rescheduled to another time. SB 52 An Act authorizing capital punishment, classifying murder in the first degree as a capital felony, and establishing sentencing procedures for capital felonies; authorizing an advisory vote on instituting capital punishment; and providing for an effective date. SB 52 was HELD in Committee for further consideration. SB 98 An Act making changes related to the aid to families with dependent children program, the Medicaid program, the general relief assistance program, and the adult public assistance program; directing the Department of Health and Social Services to apply to the federal government for waivers to implement the changes where necessary; relating to eligibility for permanent fund dividends of certain individuals who receive state assistance, to notice requirements applicable to the dividend program; and providing for an effective date. HCS CSSB 98 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with "no recommendation" and with nine Department of Health & Social Services fiscal impact notes for the Comprehensive Plan; and with ten fiscal impact notes pertaining to the Comprehensive Plan; one by the Department of Revenue, 4/22/96, one by the Department of Education, 4/22/96, two by the Department of Labor, 4/22/96, one by the Department of Public Safety, 4/22/96, three by the Department of Commerce and Economic Development, 4/22/96, and two by the Department of Fish and Game, 4/22/96; and with a zero fiscal note by the Department of Health & Social Services; or with eight fiscal impact notes pertaining to the Waiver Plan from the Department of Health & Social Services. SB 141 An Act relating to legislative ethics; and providing for an effective date. SB 141 was HELD in Committee for further consideration. SB 191 An Act relating to election campaigns, election campaign financing, the oversight and regulation of election campaigns by the Alaska Public Offices Commission, the activities of lobbyists that relate to election campaigns, and the definitions of offenses of campaign misconduct; and providing for an effective date." HCS CSSB 191 was reported out of Committee with "no recommendation" and with two fiscal impact notes, one by the Department of Administration, dated 4/9/96, and one by the Department of Law, dated 3/25/96; and with two zero fiscal notes, one by the Office of the Governor, dated 3/20/96, and one by the Legislative Affairs Agency, dated 3/25/96. SB 265 An Act relating to receipts of commercial fisheries test fishing operations; and providing for an effective date. CS SB 265 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with a fiscal impact note by the Office of Management and Budget, 5/1/96. SB 270 An Act relating to juveniles; relating to the jurisdiction of juvenile courts; relating to the release of juveniles; and relating to records concerning juveniles. SB 270 was rescheduled to another time. SCR 23 Relating to long range financial planning. SCR 23 was rescheduled to another time. SENATE BILL NO. 141 "An Act relating to legislative ethics; and providing for an effective date." JOHN GAGUINE, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL commented on sections which require individuals to file conflict of interest statements under AS 39.50. He noted that there are currently approximately 600 - 800 high level employees and boards and commission members that have to file conflict of interest statements. The legislation would expand this number to another 450 - 500 state employees, including a large number of employees not in policy making positions. He noted that psychiatrists at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API), public defenders, and assistant attorney generals would be among those required to file. He questioned if the legislation would be constitutional. He noted that an employee has privacy rights in regards to their finances. He explained that to require a disclosure there must be some nexus between the public interest in disclosing and the person's privacy interest. He suggested that the Court might find that some of the positions affected cannot be required to disclose under the Constitution. He added that the Court may find equal protection violations. He pointed out that the bill applies to ranges 19 and above in the executive branch and legislature but not in the judiciary branch. He noted that classified employees do not have to disclose. Representative Martin asked if the problem could be solved with a severability clause. Mr. Gaguine replied that a severability clause would not hurt. He did not think that a severability clause was necessary. He explained that a ruling that some individuals cannot be covered would not affect the remaining sections of the bill. Representative Martin asked if employees of the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) and Alaska Railroad should be covered. Mr. Gaguine observed that Alaska Railroad senior officials are in policy making positions. He thought they could be included in the disclosure requirements without fear of a constitutional challenge. Mr. Gaguine commented on section 72 on page 42 which was added by the Senate. He noted that while the legislature is in session the governor and lieutenant governor may not fund raise. He maintained that the provisions on page 9, section 13 would not preclude a senator running for governor from fund raising during the legislative session. He observed that the intent was to allow fund raising for statewide office during the legislative session. If the parallel language was drawn then the governor could not raise money for legislative races. Funds raised during the session could not be accepted by any incumbent in a legislative race. BROOK MILES, JUNEAU BRANCH ADMINISTRATOR, ALASKA PUBLIC OFFICES COMMISSION (APOC) noted that several sections of SB 141 affect APOC. She noted that the Commission has serious reservations concerning sections 27 and 28, Legal Defense and Election Challenge Funds. She acknowledged that Senate Intent Language would limit the scope of the Fund. She expressed concern with possibilities for abuse of the Fund. She recommended guidelines concerning contribution levels, when contributions can be made and received and how much could be spent. She noted that there are no reporting requirements. She observed that APOC would be required to issue regulations. The Legislative Ethics Committee would administer and adjudicate cases. She noted that they are in different branches of government. She observed that the Commission has issued a fiscal note. Representative Parnell questioned why the Fund is limited to defense of a civil criminal administrative action. Ms. Miles noted that the Commission was not consulted in regards to the legislation. Representative Brown referred to section 49, page 27. She noted that language relating to gifts and loans was deleted. Ms. Miles noted that the deletion is the recommendation of the Legislative Ethics Committee. Gifts will be reported to the Committee. Copies of disclosure of gifts would be forwarded to the APOC and contained in each legislator's file. In response to a question by Representative Parnell, Ms. Miles clarified that any person required to submit a financial disclosure report under AS 39.50 or AS 24.60 could raise their own funds. A legislative employee has the same right. REPRESENTATIVE DAVID FINKELSTEIN stated that under current law a legislator cannot raise funds for a legal defense fund because money that is not earned or given as a political contribution or a legal gift cannot be accepted. He emphasized that there is no mechanism for a legal defense fund. Money would have to be accepted as a campaign contribution. The legislation would create a new area for legal defense funds. Representative Brown asked for a clarification of effective dates in sections 27 and 28. Ms. Miles explained that section 28 would take effect if the initiative dealing with campaign finance reform is enacted by a vote of the people. She noted that section 27 would be effective if legislation is enacted into law and is found to be substantially similar to the initiative. Representative Brown provided members with Amendment 1 (copy on file). She noted that the amendment incorporates changes recommended by APOC. MIKE MCMULLEN, PERSONAL MANAGER, DIVISION OF PERSONNEL, DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION discussed sections 68 - 70. He noted that a substantial amount of work would be moved to the Personnel Board in the Division of Personnel. He observed that the Personnel Board is a lay board. There are three members on the Board. The three members of the Personnel Board are also members of the Public Employee Retirement System Board. They meet several times a year. He estimated that the legislation will require an additional monthly meeting. He expressed concern with the additional responsibilities of the Personnel Board. He noted that the Board has not been informed of the proposed changes. Mr. McMullen discussed the shift of responsibilities from the Legislative Ethics Committee to the Executive Branch. He spoke against the addition of language stating that an appearance of a conflict of interest is a violation. He observed that the Executive Branch Ethics Act already applies to public employees. The bill would add a subcategory called a "state official". He maintained that additional requirements that are less demanding than the existing Act will cause confusion. He questioned if both provisions will apply to state officials. He noted that section 69 is already covered under existing statute. STEVEN (NEIL) SLOTNIK, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF LAW explained that existing law under AS 39.52.120 is more stringent then the proposed requirements. He compared subsection (a)(1) on page 37, to current law. He observed that "personal interest" is deleted from current statue. He asserted that the current law maintains a higher ethical standard. He referred to section 71. He noted that existing law prohibits a public official from accepting a gift in circumstances from which it could be inferred that the gift is intended to influence the public officer's official duties. The legislation would allow gifts of under $250 dollars. There is no requirement to determine if the gift was intended to influence the official's duties. He observed that subsection (e) prohibits a state official from soliciting, accepting, or receiving, during a legislative session, a gift with any monetary value from a lobbyist or a person acting on behalf of a lobbyist. He stressed that the language implies that a gift could be accepted outside of session. He questioned the need for the additional language. Mr. Slotnik acknowledged his confusion in regards to section 71. He stated that it is unclear how the original statute would be affected. He noted that currently gifts under $50 dollars are presumed not to be meant to influence official duties. He stressed that he is unclear how to interface the language of the old act with SB 141. Mr. Slotnik noted that there is a new definition of "family member" in section 102, page 52. The new definition requires that the child or parent live with the individual and be financially dependent. The current law covers blood relation regardless of whether they are living with and financially dependent on the state official. Mr. Slotnik observed that the legislation creates two tiers of public employees. He referred to section 69. He observed that section 69 is in addition to the prohibitions under AS 39.52.120. He stated that the implication is that AS 39.52.120 does not reach to the additional provisions of AS 39.52.125 as contained in SB 141. He suggested that the prohibitions in section 69 would only apply to the top tier of state employees, but not to the remainder of employees in the classified service. Before the legislation, current statute was interpreted to prohibit the use of state funds, equipment or services in campaigning. He stressed that since the provisions are not contained in the current statute they would no longer be implied to pertain. He maintained that there should not be two tiers in the executive branch. He emphasized that it would be easier to maintain compliance to a single high ethical standard and educate employees if there is one executive branch ethical act. Mr. Slotnik noted that disclosure requirements are not in the Executive Branch Ethics Act. He acknowledged that there are currently two tiers in reporting requirements. Representative Brown questioned the point of having two tiers in the Executive Branch Ethics Act. Mr. Slotnik noted that he was not consulted in regards to drafting the legislation. (Tape Change, HFC 96-158, Side 2) In response to a question by Representative Brown, Mr. Slotnik stressed that he is comfortable with the rule in the existing Executive Branch Ethics Act, which prohibits an executive branch employee from taking a gift if it is in circumstances that could be inferred that it was intended to influence their performance of official duties. Mr. Slotnik reiterated that the new statutes would be applied in addition to the current statute. He added that the transfer of responsibility for advisory opinions and investigation of ethic complaints from the Office of the Attorney General to the Personnel Board is problematic. He observed that the Personnel Board is a lay board that does not meet regularly. He pointed out that the Attorney General's office is equipped to advise agencies. There are people on staff who are knowledgeable in regards to the Ethics Act and the operation of the agencies. Representative Parnell questioned if the Personnel Board would be more independent. Mr. Slotnik questioned if independence is of concern. He noted that opinions are available for review. He did not think the quality of advise would improve by the transfer. Mr. McMullen reviewed new requirements of the Personnel Board in sections 70, 71, and 90 - 100. Representative Mulder stressed that the issue is the perception of independence and impartiality. He thought that public confidence would be raised by the transfer to the Personnel Board. Mr. Slotnik noted that there are two issues, advice and investigation of complaints. Under current law, complaints are investigated by the Attorney General. If probable cause is determined then an accusation is filed with the Personnel Board. The Personnel Board hears the case and makes a decision as to whether a violation did occur. If a complaint is filed against a attorney general, governor or lieutenant governor then the Personnel Board appoints independent counsel. Representative Mulder stressed that the perception is that complaints are not going to receive an impartial hearing under current law. Mr. McMullen noted that the legislation would direct the Personnel Board to give the complaint to the Attorney General to serve notice and prosecute the case before the Board. In response to a question by Representative Brown, Mr. McMullen explained that the Attorney General's staff counsels the Board. Representative Brown asked if the current system is broken or if there is a specific problem. Mr. McMullen and Mr. Slotnik did not know of a specific problem. Representative Brown questioned the affect of not adopting the Department of Administration's fiscal note. Mr. McMullen stressed that there would be standstill in ethics investigations. He emphasized that there is not enough staff for the existing workload. LAURA WILLIAMS, STAFF, SENATOR PEARCE observed that the closest thing in the executive branch to an ethics committee is the Personnel Board. She observed that Senator Pearce felt that the Board would be more removed. Representative Brown questioned why the section prohibiting gifts during session was inserted into the Executive Branch Ethics Act for year around employees. Ms. Williams explained that the second tier was created to more closely reflect the Legislative Ethics Act. She noted that the intent is to make it clear that state officials should have the same prohibitions as legislators. It was not the Senator's intent to weaken the Executive Branch Ethics Act. She maintained that the current law would apply to the state offices. Representative Brown pointed out that the standards in the legislation would not pertain to these employees. Mr. McMullen provided members with Amendment 2 (copy on file). He explained that the amendment would delete "compensated" and insert "appointed" on page 35, line 16; and add "in the exempt services" on line 17. The amendment would also make this change on page 53, lines 6 and 7. He noted that the amendment would cover exempt service. Representative Brown discussed Amendment 1. She noted that the amendment was offered by the Administration. Mr. Slotnik explained that the amendment deletes almost all of the changes to the Executive Branch Ethics Act. If the amendment is adopted there would no longer be two tiers. All state employees would be subject to the Executive Branch Ethics Act. The disclosure changes would remain. Representative Brown MOVED to adopt Amendment 1. She noted that the amendment would delete the transfer to the Personnel Board and the two tier structure for state officials and other public officers. It would leave in the bill the changes in disclosure reporting for employees at range 21 and above. She noted that it is not the intent to weaken the Executive Branch Ethics Act. Representative Parnell spoke in opposition to the amendment. He suggested that both new and old prohibitions would be enforced. He spoke in support of the investigation function being transferred to the Personnel Board. Representative Brown WITHDREW Amendment 1. Mr. Slotnik clarified that current law pertains to commissioners, directors, board members and other high level policy makers. He observed that the two branches have similar ethic regulations. Mr. McMullen discussed Amendment 2. He explained that the same 800 individuals would be affected. He noted that the amendment clarifies that the requirements would pertain to persons that occupy a position at range 21 or higher as opposed to receiving pay equal to range 21. He noted that a lower range with a higher step could have pay equal to a range 21A. He explained that every hire is technically an appointment to the position. All range 21 and above employees would be covered, not just political appointees. Mr. Slotnik observed that the compensation level was added to cover exempt employees that are not scheduled by range. He questioned the status of University of Alaska employees. Representative Brown MOVED to adopt Amendment 2. Representative Kelly OBJECTED. Representative Brown noted that the amendment would make the disclosure cut-off at range 21. (Tape Change, HFC 96-159, Side 1) Mr. McMullen further explained that the range level would be the cut-off point rather than the compensation amount. Representative Kelly WITHDREW his objection to Amendment 2. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Representative Brown amended Amendment 3 to add "limited" on page 4, line 29 after "C" (copy on file). She MOVED to adopt Amendment 3. Representative Mulder OBJECTED. Representative Mulder disclosed that his wife is a lobbyist. Representative Brown disclosed that her husband has filed as a lobbyist. She noted that all legislators are affected by the legislation. Representative Brown explained that Amendment 3 restores current law. She noted that the intent is that an occasional or incidental letter or call not related to their office which is handled by a legislator in their state office is permitted. She argued that without the amendment there would be unlimited use of telephones and fax machines for non-governmental purposes. Representative Finkelstein clarified that "limited" would prevent the running of a campaign or mailing house from the office. Representative Parnell questioned the affect on the legislator's staff. Representative Kelly asked if "limited" is defined. Representative Mulder stressed that there is no definition of "limited". He argued that there are protections built in to the current system. Representative Martin spoke in opposition to the amendment. Representative Finkelstein noted that the supervisor interprets the use of "limited". Representative Kelly expressed concern with the lack of definition. Representative Finkelstein stressed that the amendment requires that employees comply with the policy of the supervisor. A roll call vote was taken on the MOTION to adopt Amendment 3. IN FAVOR: Therriault, Brown, Kelly OPPOSED: Martin, Mulder, Kohring, Foster Co-Chair Hanley and Representatives Navarre, Parnell and Grussendorf were absent from the vote. The MOTION FAILED (3-4). Representative Brown MOVED to adopt Amendment 4 (copy on file). Amendment 4 would delete on page 3, lines 23 -30. She reiterated that her husband has filed as a lobbyist. She explained that the amendment would delete section 3, which bans legislative spouses from being employed as a lobbyist. Representative Martin OBJECTED. Representative Brown maintained that spouses should be required to disclose their lobbying activities. She stressed that legislators are not prevented from contracting with or receiving gifts from lobbyists. She noted that spouses may be employed in the other body. She emphasized that the ban would be inconsistent. She stressed that Alaska is a small state and there are limited things that spouses can do in Juneau. Representative Mulder reiterated that his wife is a lobbyist. Representative Martin spoke against the amendment. He stressed the poor public perception of allowing legislative spouses to lobby the legislature. Representative Kelly maintained that legislators vote their conscience. He added that they will have to answer to their constituents. A roll call vote was taken on the MOTION to adopt Amendment 4. IN FAVOR: Mulder, Therriault, Brown, Kelly, Kohring, Foster OPPOSED: Martin Co-Chair Hanley and Representatives Navarre, Parnell and Grussendorf were absent from the vote. The MOTION PASSED (6-1). Representative Brown MOVED to adopt Amendment 5 (copy on file). She explained that the amendment would clarify that legislator's offices are considered public areas and are not appropriate areas for display of campaign materials. Representative Mulder OBJECTED. He asked if a campaign button on a legislator's jacket in their office would be a violation. SUSIE BARNETT, SELECT COMMITTEE ON LEGISLATIVE ETHICS noted that legislative employees cannot wear campaign buttons while performing legislative duties. Representative Martin indicated that a legislator's office becomes their home away from home. Ms. Barnett indicated that a division could be made between a legislator's inner and outer office. Representative Therriault maintained that no campaign material should be distributed or posted in legislator's offices. He added that a brochure or pin inadvertently worn or carried into the office should not be considered as distributing or posting. Representative Brown noted that campaign buttons could be excluded. Representative Mulder spoke in support of maintaining the privacy of legislator's inner offices. He maintained that legislators are not campaigning from their inner offices. Representative Parnell suggested that "distributing and posting" be further defined. He agreed that the inadvertent position of campaign brochures or pins should not be considered as distributing or posting. He expressed concern with the proposal to exempt the inner office from the prohibitions. Representative Brown summarized that "distribute or post" means to deliberately put something out, proactively distributing or posting for view. A roll call vote was taken on the MOTION to adopt Amendment 5. IN FAVOR: Parnell, Therriault, Brown, Kelly, Kohring OPPOSED: Martin, Mulder, Foster Co-Chair Hanley and Representatives Navarre and Grussendorf were absent from the vote. The MOTION PASSED (5-3). Representative Brown MOVED to adopt Amendment 6 (copy on file). She explained that the amendment prohibits legislators from receiving more than $100 dollars in any form. The legislation would raise this amount to $250 dollars. Representative Finkelstein explained that the intent is to raise the threshold to $250 for gifts outside of the legislature, from friends or families. Legislative gifts would still be held at $100 dollars. He noted that the federal level is $50 dollars. Representative Martin spoke in support of reducing the gift level to $50. Representative Brown noted that there are exemptions for gifts that are not connected to a legislator's status. Representative Therriault noted that food consumed at a social event or meal is not included. There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment 6 was adopted. Representative Brown MOVED to adopt Amendment 7 (copy on file). Amendment 7 would delete discounts when on state business. Representative Kelly spoke against the amendment. (Tape Change, HFC 96-159, Side 2) Representative Finkelstein emphasized that discounts can be a way to circumvent the gift prohibitions. Representative Martin pointed out that many legislators receive discounts on housing. Representative Kelly maintained that the danger of the ethics law is not that a legislator will make an ethical violation, but that there will be a perception of a violation in the media. He spoke against the amendment. Representative Finkelstein stressed that pricing based on rental length or season is not a discount. Representative Martin questioned if he could take advantage of a 15 percent discount on carpet cleaning. Ms. Barnett noted that the discount would be under $100 dollars. She added that the discount is also being offered to a broader group. A roll call vote was taken on the MOTION to adopt Amendment 7. IN FAVOR: Brown OPPOSED: Kelly, Kohring, Martin, Mulder, Parnell, Therriault, Foster Co-Chair Hanley and Representatives Navarre and Grussendorf were absent for the vote. The MOTION FAILED (1-7). Representative Brown MOVED to adopt Amendment 8 (copy on file). Representative Finkelstein explained that the amendment would provide for contribution and time limits on legal defense funds. It also clears up the division between the Legislative Ethic Committee and the Alaska Public Offices Commission. Ms. Miles summarized that the amendment would provide more statutory guidance concerning the accounting behavior of legal defense funds. It would also require that the Commission by regulation determine when reports would be filed disclosing who contributed to the Fund. It provide that the Alaska Public Offices Commission the enforcement body and provide for civil penalty assessments of late filings of required reports. In response to a question by Representative Parnell, Ms. Miles noted that there would not be provision for a loosing candidate who is not a seated legislator, subject to AS 24.60. However, they would be disclosure on their financial disclosure reports. Representative Finkelstein noted that the State of Alaska acts on behalf of the winning candidate. Representative Parnell expressed concern with the contribution and time limits. He felt uncomfortable with placing limits on someone who can be sued just because they are legislators, when a person who does not hold office can raise all the money that they want to participate in a lawsuit. Representative Parnell MOVED to AMEND Amendment 8 by deleting the reference to page 16, line 2 and page 16, line 27. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment 8 was adopted. Representative Brown provided members with Amendment 9 (copy on file). Amendment 9 would delete "political" "or public policy" on page 15 and 16. She questioned the need for this language. Ms. Barnett noted that the language was added by Senator Donely in the Senate. She stated that the language was added to clarify that the defense fund could not be used to fund divorce proceedings or other personal matters. Ms. Miles observed that the without the amendment any civil, criminal or administrative action could be covered. ANN RINGSTADT, STAFF, SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE clarified that Senator Donley's intent that the Fund should only refer to the political position or election. Divorce or small claims cases would not be covered. She noted that monies could be used to defend against a frivolous case having to do with a campaign. Ms. Miles noted that expenditures for election challenges are proposed for inclusion in other legislation. Representative Mulder summarized that the legislation will codify provisions regarding legal defense relating to campaigns. In response to a question by Representative Brown, Ms. Ringstadt noted that the intent is to cover the cost of actions arising against a legislator that was not under their control. Representative Brown HELD Amendment 9. Representative MOVED to adopt Amendment 10 (copy on file). She explained that the amendment would allow the subject of a complaint to attend amy meeting concerning the complaint. She noted that the Committee can consider the request and if it decides to deny the request notify the subject of the complaint their reasons. Representative Kelly spoke against the amendment. Representative Finkelstein noted that committee final deliberations are not open to the public or the subject of the complaint. He stressed that the amendment clarifies the internal inconsistency. Representative Therriault argued that the Legislative Ethics Committee should not be elevated to jury status. Representative Martin spoke against the amendment. A roll call vote was taken on the MOTION to adopt Amendment 10. IN FAVOR: Brown OPPOSED: Kelly, Kohring, Martin, Mulder, Parnell, Therriault, Foster Co-Chair Hanley and Representatives Navarre and Grussendorf were absent for the vote. The MOTION FAILED (1-7). Representative Finkelstein noted that page 22, line 17 is inconsistent. He noted that the legislation would prohibit the subject of the complaint from being present at committee deliberations and vote on the dismissal order and decision. Representative Kelly MOVED to adopt oral Amendment 11, delete "or the subject of the complaint" on page 22, lines 11 and 12. A roll call vote was taken on the MOTION. IN FAVOR: Kelly, Kohring, Martin, Mulder, Parnell, Therriault, Foster OPPOSED: Brown Co-Chair Hanley and Representatives Navarre and Grussendorf were absent for the vote. The MOTION PASSED (7-1). Representative Brown MOVED to adopt oral Amendment 12 to delete on page 23, lines 24 - 28. Ms. Barnett noted that the amendment would retain the status quo. The language would impose restrictions on the release of information by the subject of the complaint unless the complainant has agree to be bound by similar restrictions and has not made public the information contained in the complaint, information about the complaint, or the fact of filing the complaint. She noted that the language would tie the Committee to conditions as set by a person that the Committee has no jurisdiction over. She noted that the language pertains to be information irrelevant to the case. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Representative Brown MOVED to adopt oral Amendment 13, on page 8, line 29 insert "incidental" before "political activities". She maintained that the language is too broad. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Representative Mulder questioned if a ethics complaint can be initiated within 60 days of an election. He alleged that ethic complaints are being used as campaign tools. Mr. Gaguine noted that AS 11.56 makes the crime of false accusation with the Legislative Ethics Committee, a class A misdemeanor. Representative Parnell pointed out that the penalty requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt. In response to a question by Representative Martin, Ms. Barnett noted that the statues do not speak to a gift given to a family member and imputed to the legislator. She noted that family members are limited to those people listed on page 13, lines 17 - 23. (Tape Change, HFC 96-160, Side 1). Representative Brown spoke to the need for changes within the proposed legislation. She pointed out that following communication with Senator Pearce's office, some changes would be permissible. Representative Brown suggested that the current bill could cause unfortunate repercussions. She stressed that the legislative ethics as proposed would be "forced" into the Executive ethics, explaining that the two concepts are quite different. SB 141 was HELD in Committee for further discussion. SENATE BILL 52 "An Act authorizing capital punishment, classifying murder in the first degree as a capital felony, and establishing sentencing procedures for capital felonies; authorizing an advisory vote on instituting capital punishment; and providing for an effective date." BRANT MCGEE, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF PUBLIC ADVOCACY, ANCHORAGE, spoke in opposition to the proposed legislation. He pointed out that costs do not appear to be attached to the proposal. Mr. McGee stressed that implementing the death penalty would be "astronomically" costly and that execution would be many times more expensive than life in prison without parole. The legislation will impose indirect costs on every citizen who attempts to bring their case before an impartial tribunal. Mr. McGee continued, the defense and prosecution costs estimated for the first four years would alone amount to $18 million dollars. He urged the Committee to consider the costs associated on any bill associated with the death penalty. Representative Martin agreed that voters should be informed regarding the costs involved. V. BONNIE LEMBO, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY, DEPARTMENT OF LAW, ANCHORAGE, opposed the legislation as passage would seriously increase the work load for all prosecuting attorneys and it would become more difficult to obtain the cooperation of witnesses. If a person knows that when they cooperate with the government as a witness, and that someone they care about could face execution, they are more hesitant to provide the needed information. Ms. Lembo continued, it will be more difficult to obtain convictions in homicide cases. The standard of proof being "beyond a reasonable doubt" would remain legally the same. Both practically and humanly, a person would be more reticent to loath someone to death unless they are convinced without a "shadow of a doubt". Ms. Lembo concluded, she feared that there would be court case capital rulings which will make it more difficult to obtain a court conviction in other kinds of criminal cases, and judges will become more careful in capital cases. In a judgement call, judges will tend to error in favor of the defense when a human life is at stake. She informed members that there is little scrutiny on appeals or curatorial attacks in other case convictions when sentencing to life without parole. Ms. Lembo pointed out that the bill as written does not have a fiscal note attached. This is a very complex matter and will involve increased expenses for the defense agencies, the Department of Corrections and the Court System. She stressed that each agency should be required to provide a meaningful fiscal note. Representative Martin requested a faxed copy of Ms. Lembo's testimony. REX LAMONT, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), PRIVATE PRACTIONER- CRIMINAL DEFENSE, ANCHORAGE, spoke in opposition to the death penalty. He addressed the impact to the poor and the minorities. Our criminal justice system continues to have a number of fallacies in adequately representing the poor. Currently, the Legislature is unable to fully fund the public defender and public advocacy agencies. He urged the Committee not to pass the proposed legislation. AVERIL LERMAN, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), ANCHORAGE, spoke against the proposed legislation. She provided Committee members with a brief history of the death penalty in the State of Alaska. There were three hangings in Fairbanks between 1900 - 1957. Three hanging also took place in Juneau during a ten year period. The history of Alaska has shown that an ill advised vote by "uninformed" people will not reflect the way those same people will feel ten years later. At that time it would be too late for the decision to be reversed. HUGH FLEISCHER, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), ANCHORAGE, spoke against passage of SB 52. He had read an article written in February, 1995, by a well known attorney/prosecutor in New York, Robert Martinthaw. Mr. Martinthaw spoke about the death penalty and how it hinders the fight against crime. To date, 350 people have been wrongfully accused and convicted of murder. SUSAN ORLANSKY, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), ATTORNEY IN PRIVATE PRACTICE, ANCHORAGE, spoke in opposition to SB 52. She stressed that an advisory vote on the death penalty would not be a good idea. When people vote on ballot questions, they vote on limited information and emotion. Legislators are chosen representatives for the people, and are responsible to analysis information regarding voters concerns. She pointed out that we like to think that we live in a civilized society, although, no other modern western civilized country supports the intentional killing of other human beings by the state. Ms. Orlansky urged Committee members to take a stance to support the dignity and sanctity of human life and vote against the bill. Representative Martin agreed. SENATOR ROBIN TAYLOR questioned what the fear was in allowing Alaskans to express an opinion at the poll. He suggested that the question was a simple one, and that Alaskans should be given the opportunity to voice their opinion. He emphasized that voters should not be kept from expressing their opinions because of someone else's personal, philosophical or theological points of view. Senator Taylor referenced a poll that had been provided to the Senate Judicial Committee. Representative Martin asked who had requested the poll. Senator Taylor replied that the pollster provided the poll independently and then sent the result to him on his own. The poll had not been requested. This was a statewide poll taken involving an interview of 500 people. Senator Taylor interjected that the people of Alaska have not been heard from on the issue. Representative Martin questioned the costs involved with the proposed legislation. Senator Taylor responded that there was no way to project the costs. He suggested, an attempt to ascertain the savings associated with the change, would be equal to the cost of the trial. He concluded that the only cost incurred with passage of the legislation would be the cost in placing the measure on the ballot, which would amount to $2 thousand dollars. Representative Martin asked how many people would be eligible for the death sentence at this time, it the bill should pass. Senator Taylor explained that the November vote would only be an advisory vote to the Legislature as to whether or not to implement the action. No one already with a conviction and judgement would be subject to the sentencing. He reiterated that there would be no retroactivity to the death penalty. Representative Martin inquired why this legislation had been proposed as a bill instead of a resolution. Senator Taylor stated that it was a bill in order to accomplish the full purpose of implementing a death penalty within the State of Alaska. Representative Martin asked if Senator Taylor would object if the legislation was changed to a resolution. Senator Taylor noted that he would not support that motion. Representative Therriault agreed that resolutions were usually incorporated for motions as proposed. He asked if putting the question on the ballot would be subject to a veto. Senator Taylor replied that he did not know. Representative Therriault voiced concern with the finality of execution given the number of mistaken cases. Senator Taylor agreed that mistakes happen but he believed that the United States has the finest judicial system in the world. He added, people are killed all the time in accidents. People do not expect perfection out of any institutions within this country. Representative Kohring voiced his support of the legislation and noted that he wanted to cross-sponsor the bill. Representative Navarre countered Representative Kohring, speaking in support of the current judicial system. He acknowledged that SB 158 would be much worse for the criminal victims throughout the State. Representative Navarre emphasized that innocent people will die because of mistakes or because the judicial system is weighted in favor of the wealthy. He agreed that the legal system in this country is the best in the world, and that is because a person has the presumption of innocence, a right to an attorney and the right to an appeal process. In most cases, it will be the poor that the State will have to pay for the prosecution and the defensive all the way to the Supreme Court. He maintained that the status quo would be more financially sound. (Tape Change, HFC 96-160, Side 2). Senator Taylor responded that living in a correctional facility for the "rest of ones natural life" was a death sentence. He could not understand a philosophical belief system which could think that would be a more humane treatment than to execute that person. He emphasized that both sentences result in the termination of that person's life; although, one would take longer than the other. Senator Taylor stated that it becomes a choice whether that person deserves the right to continue to utilize services and receive benefits. He elaborated that those benefits and services should be made available to other productive members in society. Representative Navarre pointed out that there have been cases in which "new" evidence was brought forth and innocent people were set free. Many people are beat by the system and he concluded that the death penalty has no ability for recourse. JAMES MCCOMAS, PRESIDENT, ALASKANS AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY, ANCHORAGE, spoke against SB 158. He pleaded that the Committee consider the voice of rural Alaska. He noted the late hour of the meeting and the fact that the Legislative Information Offices (LIO) across the State had closed except in Anchorage. Mr. McComas stressed that information from rural Alaska is critical because 75% of the people executed have been and will continue to be Native. He interjected that 25% of the people executed were white even though white people committed 75% of the crimes. Every Native organization has strongly denounced the proposed legislation. Mr. McComas addressed Senator Taylor's intent. He stressed that the sponsor was playing a political game and that peoples lives are at stake. He thought that it was Senator Taylor's intention to have the Governor veto the legislation. Mr. McComas believed if Senator Taylor really had wanted to know what people thought, he would have proposed the idea as a resolution. The legislation's intent would be to force a veto in order that it could be campaigned against in the fall election. Mr. McComas objected to "politics" being played with issues of life and death. He continued, there should not be an advisory vote until the public is adequately educated regarding the concern. The volunteers for Alaskans Against the Death Penalty is a volunteer organization and can not afford such an undertaking. Legislators have the responsibility to debating important issues. Mr. McComas noted that there has been no debate on the death penalty within either Body of the Legislature. He informed Committee members that most people (voters) think that it would cost more to house a criminal for life in prison than the death penalty. That is a misconception! He advised that there are thirty-seven states with the death penalty in tact, and for the sponsor to insinuate that "we do not know the costs" is a lie. The attorney general's estimate for each execution will cost the State $5 million dollars. Mr. McComas pointed out that $5 million dollars is one half of the Department of Law's budget for an entire year. States that are going bankrupt because of enforcing the death penalty. It costs too much money. Mr. McComas continued, popular opinion is totally wrong. People were asked how long someone convicted of murder would be sentenced. He noted that 78% of Alaskans believed it would be 20 years or less; those people are afraid of a crime risk repeat which could not happen. Under the Alaska Statutes, anyone convicted of a first degree murder must serve twenty years without "good time" and without parole. No one is released. The average first degree murder sentence, according to the Department of Law, is 80-90 years. In those cases that could be death eligible, parole is restricted. Mr. McComas summarized, there is no public safety risk which the death penalty can address. He continued, the question proposed in SB 52 is slanted and inaccurate. Mr. McComas spoke to the "tolerance" that has existed in the State of Alaska. If the death penalty is ratified, the values of tolerance will decimate. He spoke to the mean spirited intent of the legislation's sponsor. He urged Committee members to further consider the death penalty. Capital punishment has been struck from the law of every western industrialized nation except America. It has been struck from the law of the Soviet Union and Africa. Yet, in the land of liberty, a sponsor schemes to provide a gubernatorial veto for the purpose of campaigning to create the false appearance of an uninformed public mandate in order that they can resume for first time in 46 years, which Alaskans are worthy of life. In defense of Representative Martin being cut off by Representative Mulder, Representative Navarre stressed that it is the Legislature's responsibility to provide adequate understanding of such complex issues as being presented. JOYCE BAMBERGER, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), SELF, COMMISSIONER, ALASKA HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION, ANCHORAGE, spoke against the proposed legislation. She compared the Legislature's intent not to place the North Star Oil lease legislation out for public vote, whereas, at the same time considering a vote on placing human resources out for public opinion. The duty of legislators is to protect life. KIM MCGEE, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), ANCHORAGE FRIENDS COMMUNITY - QUAKERS, ANCHORAGE, stated that Quakers have always been against the death penalty and are against the bill. Quakers uphold the sanctity of all life. "That of God" exists in each person. She concluded that the State can not emulate the person lost by taking another persons life. MICHAEL LEMAN, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), BUSINESSMAN, ANCHORAGE, spoke in opposition to the proposed legislation. He believed that the proposal was being fuelled by a misconception regarding the length of prison sentences. The death penalty will not save money. He summarized that the death penalty is "racist"; capital punishment means if you don't have the "capital", you get the "punishment". ANNE WILKAS, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), ASSISTANT PUBLIC DEFENDER, DEPARTMENT OF LAW, ANCHORAGE, voiced opposition to SB 52. She advised that voters are ignorant regarding the issue and that the House Finance Committee members are responsible for weighing the monetary conditions of the legislation. Voters do not have that information available to them. No agency affected by the death penalty, supports the death penalty. Ms. Wilkas spoke to the moral costs wrapped up in the death penalty. There does exist a racial disparity impact. Innocent people will be killed. She explained that there are strong moral implications of the death penalty bill. The decision should be made by people who are educated and informed. She urged Committee members to vote no on the death penalty. KATHY HARRIS, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), ANCHORAGE, spoke against the proposed legislation. She pointed out that almost all religious affiliations oppose the death penalty and noted that all the testimony had been against passage of the bill. KEVIN MCCOY, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), ANCHORAGE, testified against of SB 52. He suggested that the legislation should require careful study; matters this important should not be rushed through the last couple of nights. He reiterated the high costs associated with implementing the death penalty. CHARLES CAMPBELL, PREVIOUS DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, SELF, JUNEAU, spoke against the proposed legislation. He corrected Senator Taylor's misconception of life in a prison cell as "death". He agreed that it is not much of a life, but an overwhelming majority of "lifers" make a "life" for themselves somehow in it. They often have jobs at industries within the prison and are capable of sending money home to their families or try to cover restitution costs associated with their crime. Mr. Campbell pointed out that the Legislature is more informed than voters regarding the issues. The death penalty is far more costly than life in imprisonment. He stressed that it is not fair to put the question to the voters, when legislators know they will be voting on misinformation. He stated that would be inappropriately using the electorate. In response to Representative Martin's question, Mr. Campbell indicated that there are about three thousand people on death row today. Death row continues to grow; there is no way that the number of persons added could be executed. The average time between the death sentence and the execution is nine years. (Tape Change, HFC 96-161, Side 1) BARBARA BRINK, PUBLIC DEFENDER, ANCHORAGE testified via the teleconference network in opposition to SB 52. She stressed that the death penalty is a complicated issue. She agreed that there is a costly appeal process. She emphasized that there is a separate sentencing trial. She noted that the cost of maintaining an inmate on death roll is greater than keeping an inmate in the general population. She noted that in the state of California it costs $15 million dollars per execution. She gave examples of costs in other states. She maintained that the cost will be significant enough to require taxes. She asked what programs will be reduced to pay for the cost of the death penalty. BARBARA HOOD, ANCHORAGE testified via the teleconference network in opposition to SB 52. She maintained that there is no constituency for the legislation. She emphasized that vengeance is a terrible trait. She alleged that the power to take human life is a power no government should have. JOHN SALEMI, DIRECTOR, PUBLIC DEFENDER AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION testified via the teleconference network in opposition to SB 52. He emphasized that the death penalty is not a simple issue. He acknowledged citizens are concerned regarding crime in their communities. He maintained that the perception of a yes vote on the death penalty is that public safety will be helped. He argued that studies demonstrate that the death penalty does not lessen crime. He noted that the cost of defending seven death penalty cases would be approximately $1.5 million dollars. He questioned where the funding will come from. He emphasized that the money could be better spent on other public safety items. He stressed that 38 other states have shown that there is no savings and that the death penalty does not deter crime. He noted that rural committees have not been heard from on the legislation. He observed that rural communities will be the most affected. REBECCA DAVIS, FAIRBANKS testified via the teleconference network in opposition to SB 52. She maintained that many innocent people have been executed in the United States. She alleged that more innocent people, particularly minorities, will be kill. She emphasized the fiscal cost. SCOTT DAVIS, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, FAIRBANKS testified via the teleconference network in opposition to SB 52. He maintained that it is inconsistent to be anti-abortion and pro-death penalty. He emphasized that the death does not deter crime. DEAN GUANELI, CHIEF ASSISTANT ATTORNEY, DEPARTMENT OF LAW testified in opposition to SB 52. He noted that the Administration opposes SB 52 because it is too expensive. He estimated that the cost per trial would be $3.5 million dollars or greater. He stressed that the death penalty skews the case law related to criminal prosecution. He noted that capital punishment is not reversible. He observed that capital punishment has a discriminatory impact on minority members. He added that capital punishment does not deter crime. The death penalty was repealed in 1957. Mr Guaneli stressed that the Legislature is the proper forum for discussion of the issue. He observed that an advisory vote is a snap shot of public opinion in one point in time. He maintained that the advisory vote is likely to be affect by the most recent news headline. He emphasized that it is a complicated issue that should not be resolved by a yes or no vote. He noted that the legislation would need to be amended to include a reference to the Alaska State Constitution. In response to a question by Representative Brown, Mr. Guaneli observed that the cost of instituting capital punishment is difficult. He noted that the costs are spread over a number of years. Trial and investigation costs occur early. Appeals at the state and federal level would be extended to a number of years. Representative Parnell noted that the Department of Law's fiscal note reflects the belief that an affirmative advisory vote would result in the institution of the death penalty. RACHEL KING, ALASKANS AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY spoke in opposition to SB 52. She noted that the addition of the fiscal notes reflect a cost of $5.0 million dollars before the first execution takes place. She observed that it has been difficult to testify in regards to the legislation. She gave examples of hearings in Senate Judiciary where individuals were unable to testify. She recounted experiences as a public defender in Ketchikan. She stated that she had a client convicted that she knew was innocent. The person's conviction was later reversed. She observed that as a public defender in Kotzebue she had an annual caseload of 225 cases. She alleged that the justice system in rural Alaska will be overwhelmed. She observed that since 1970, 59 innocent people have been released from death row. Representative Kohring spoke in support of SB 52. He MOVED to report CSSB 52 (JUD) out of Committee with individual recommendations and with the accompanying fiscal notes. Representative Martin OBJECTED. He MOVED to TABLE CSSB 52 (JUD). Representative Kohring OBJECTED. A roll call vote was taken on the MOTION to Table SB 52. IN FAVOR: Martin, Navarre, Therriault, Brown OPPOSED: Mulder, Parnell, Grussendorf, Kelly, Kohring, Hanley Co-Chair Foster was absent for the vote. The MOTION FAILED (4-6). Representative Martin maintained that the advisory vote should be established through a resolution. Co-Chair Hanley explained that the legislation was in order. A roll call vote was taken on the MOTION to report CSSB 52 (JUD) from Committee. IN FAVOR: Mulder, Parnell, Grussendorf, Kelly, Kohring, Hanley OPPOSED: Navarre, Therriault, Brown, Martin Co-Chair Foster was absent from the vote. The MOTION PASSED (6-4). Representative Martin MOVED to RESCIND the Committee's action in reporting CSSB 52 (JUD) out of Committee. Representative Kohring OBJECTED. He spoke in support of capital punishment. He WITHDREW his objection. A roll call vote was taken on the MOTION to move CSSB 52 (JUD) out of Committee. IN FAVOR: Parnell, Grussendorf, Kelly, Kohring, Hanley OPPOSED: Navarre, Therriault, Brown, Martin Co-Chair Foster and Representative Mulder were absent for the vote. The MOTION FAILED (5-4). CSSB 54 (JUD) FAILED to pass from Committee. SENATE BILL NO. 191 An Act relating to election campaigns, election campaign financing, the oversight and regulation of election campaigns by the Alaska Public Offices Commission, the activities of lobbyists that relate to election campaigns, and the definitions of offenses of campaign misconduct; and providing for an effective date." (Tape Change, HFC 96-161, Side 2) SENATE BILL NO. 191 An Act relating to election campaigns, election campaign financing, the oversight and regulation of election campaigns by the Alaska Public Offices Commission, the activities of lobbyists that relate to election campaigns, and the definitions of offenses of campaign misconduct; and providing for an effective date." SENATOR TIM KELLY testified in support of SB 191. He noted that SB 191 would replace the ballot initiative. He acknowledged that the legislation needs changes. He compared the initiative to SB 191. He noted that the initiative prohibits non-resident contributions, personal, office or other use of campaign funds, and carry forward of campaign funds. The legislation allows limited non-resident contributions, some transfers of campaign funds to office use and limited carry forward. Senator Kelly reviewed provisions identical in both the legislation and initiative. Both prohibit lobbyists from making contributions outside their district. He noted that this section will be disputed in court. Candidate to candidate campaign fund donations are prohibited. Personal candidate contributions are not prohibited. Corporations, partnerships, unions and companies are prohibited from making contributions. He noted that the legislation was passed unanimously by the Senate. Senator Kelly provided members with a number of technical amendments (copies on file). REPRESENTATIVE DAVID FINKELSTEIN noted that Amendments 1 - 5 are supported by the Sponsor, the imitative committee and Representative Finkelstein. Representative Martin MOVED to adopt Amendment 1 (copy on file). Representative Finkelstein noted that Amendment 1 states that groups organized on ballot propositions would not have to adhere to the lower limits included in the imitative. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Representative Martin MOVED to adopt Amendment 2 (copy on file). Representative Finkelstein explained that Amendment 2 clarifies that there are no limits on independent expenditures. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Representative Finkelstein discussed that Amendment 3 (copy on file). Amendment 3 inserts "or group" on page 5 line 18. Representative Navarre MOVED to adopt Amendment 3. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Representative Grussendorf MOVED to adopt Amendment 4 (copy on file). Amendment 4 increases the office account for the House amount to $10 thousand dollars. The legislation would allow $10 thousand dollars to be transferred from the campaign account to the House office account. Representative Grussendorf spoke in support of Amendment 4. Representative Finkelstein noted that the transfer is limited and must be disclosed to the Alaska Public Officials Commission (APOC). Representative Finkelstein discussed the disclosure requirements. Representative Brown OBJECTED to the adoption of Amendment 4. A roll call vote was taken on the MOTION. IN FAVOR: Grussendorf, Navarre, Kelly, Kohring, Martin, Mulder, Therriault, Foster, Hanley OPPOSED: Brown Co-Chair Foster and Representative Parnell were absent for the vote. The MOTION PASSED (8-1). Representative Finkelstein discussed Amendment 5 (copy on file). He noted that fund raising time frames vary in the legislation. The amendment clarifies that if any of the time restraints are struck down that campaign funds could be raised 18 months prior to the general election. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Representative Parnell MOVED to adopt Amendment 6 (copy on file). Amendment 6 would delete "and files a copy of the receipt with the commission" on page 12, line 28. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Representative Mulder maintained that complaints should be held confidential while under investigation. Representative Finkelstein questioned the penalty for releasing confidential information. Representative Mulder asked if complaints are prohibited within 60 days of an election. Representative Finkelstein noted that the concern is legitimate but emphasized the difficulty of legislating a solution. In response to a question by Representative Martin, Representative Finkelstein discussed section 2 (3). He stated that proceeds of charitable gaming activities, except the proceeds of a raffle or lottery, cannot be used for campaigning. He further explained that no municipality can use funds to support or oppose a candidate. Ballot propositions can only be supported or opposed by ordinance. In response to a question by Representative Grussendorf, Representative Finkelstein noted that campaign funds can be given to a party, non-profit, be returned to contributors, set aside for future campaigns or up to $10 thousand dollars can be transferred to an office account. Senator Kelly noted that there is a one time carry over for 1998. Representative Brown referred to page 17, lines 15 and 16. Representative Finkelstein clarified that a House member could transfer $10 thousand dollars to an office account and $5 thousand dollars to a future campaign. Any funds remaining after the allowed distribution would be returned to the General Fund. She noted that some candidates have large balances. Representative Finkelstein spoke in support of the legislation. He noted that there are earlier effective dates in the legislation than in the initiative. Representative Therriault provided members with Amendment 7 (copy on file). Representative Finkelstein noted that the legislation was amended by Representative Bunde to prohibit personal use of campaign funds after July 1, 1996. He did not think the amendment was needed. JACK CHENOWETH, LEGAL COUNSEL, LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS AGENCY explained that the amendment would cut off the opportunity to take campaign account money as personal income. He explained that section 20 would supercede section 19. Representative Finkelstein spoke against the amendment. (Tape Change, HFC 96-162, Side 1). Representative Mulder spoke against the amendment. He thought that adoption would "unravel" support for the initiative. Representative Therriault MOVED TO WITHDRAW Amendment #7. There being NO OBJECTION, it was withdrawn. Senator Kelly advised that next year on January 1st, if campaign finance reform and if the ethics bill passes, there will be changes in the way the political system works. Whether or not the bill passes, an initiative will pass in the fall. He recommended that legislators should take more time to fully understand the repercussions of choices made. Senator Kelly preferred passage of a bill over an initiative. Representative Therriault asked the effective date on HB 307. Co-Chair Hanley replied it would take effect after the election. Representative Finkelstein added, legislators will not be able to access those funds until after January 1st. Representative Martin pointed out that HB 307 provided an earlier implementation date and that it would not impact this year. Representative Mulder MOVED to report HCS CS SB 191 (FIN) with individual recommendations and with the accompanying fiscal notes. Representative Navarre asked if there had been testimony regarding the office account. Representative Finkelstein replied that a municipal office account had been added, although there had been no input regarding that concern. There being NO OBJECTION to moving the bill from Committee, it was so ordered. HCS CS SB 191 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with "no recommendation" and with fiscal notes by the (2) Department of Administration dated 4/9/96, the Department of Law dated 3/25/96, (2) zero fiscal notes by the Office of the Governor dated 3/20/96 and Legislative Affairs Agency dated 3/25/96. SENATE BILL 265 "An Act relating to the definition of program receipts; and providing for an effective date." GORDY WILLIAMS, STAFF, SENATOR FRED ZHAROFF, spoke in support of SB 265. SB 265 was introduced to enhance the ability of the Department of Fish and Game to successfully manage the complex fisheries. An important tool in the management regime would be the utilization of private sector vessels and expertise to conduct test fisheries. The fisheries provide valuable information on such things as the health of fish stocks, compositions of stocks, timing of fish runs, and the economic condition of our resources. Mr. Williams pointed out that the Department of Fish and Game is limited with regard to vessels and field staff in many areas of the State. As budget constraints continue, it is increasingly difficult for the Department to maintain or enhance their management capabilities without a significant cooperative effort with the private sector. SB 265 would not affect the legislature's role in making appropriations to the test fisheries program or the other programs that are identified as utilizing restricted program receipts. The bill recognizes the special relationship of these funds and clarifies their treatment in the budget process. NANCY SLAGLE, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF BUDGET REVIEW, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR, stated that the legislation would not restrict the authority of the Legislature in reviewing or appropriating funds. It would take those specific items received by the State by contract and would identify them as restricted program receipts. Ms. Slagle noted that attached to the fiscal note was a list of agencies affected by the legislation. Representative Mulder MOVED to report CS SB 265 (FIN) out of Committee with individual recommendations and with the accompanying fiscal note. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. CS SB 265 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with a fiscal note by the Office of Management and Budget dated 5/1/96. SENATE BILL 98 "An Act making changes related to the aid to families with dependent children program, the Medicaid program, the general relief assistance program, and the adult public assistance program; directing the Department of Health and Social Services to apply to the federal government for waivers to implement the changes where necessary; relating to eligibility for permanent fund dividends of certain individuals who receive state assistance, to notice requirements applicable to the dividend program; and providing for an effective date." Co-Chair Hanley explained Amendment #1, 9-LS0692\L.9, Lauterback, 5/2/96. [Copy on file]. Amendment #1 would remove crew members licenses from the list. He noted that those licenses could be purchased at locations such as Fred Meyers and that it would be unreasonable to require those types business to provide a Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) check before a license was issued. The amendment had been submitted by Representative Phillips. KEVIN BROOKS, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME, advised that the Department has approximately 400 vendors who sell crew licenses throughout the State and that approximately four thousand licenses are sold throughout the year. Co-Chair Hanley MOVED to adopt Amendment #1. [Copy on file]. There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted. Representative Brown MOVED to adopt Amendment #2 which would allow victims of domestic violence to seek public assistance to aid them to establish a life free of violence whenever necessary. [Copy on file]. She maintained that assistance should be available whenever needed in a time of "crisis" regardless of the time limits. JIM NORDLUND, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES, stated that the amendment would amend two sections of the bill. The first one would adjust the two year time limit within the waiver section. Under federal law, that would be an option available to individual states. Representative Brown noted that one of the reasons that abused women stay in abusive situations, is that they lack adequate financial resources to leave. She suggested that there should be a "showing" that the need existed in order to qualify for the funding. Co-Chair Hanley expressed concern that a woman could try to use a circumstance from an "old" abusive situation. He suggested that a time limit be placed on the matter. Representative Brown suggested amending the language following "believe", deleting "has been" and inserting "is or recently has been" on line 4 and line 13 of Amendment #2. There being NO OBJECTION, it was changed. There being NO OBJECTION to the amended amendment, it was adopted. Representative Brown spoke to Amendment #3. [Copy on file]. The amendment would address the confidentiality section and a fraud inquiry based on information received by a legislator on a person. The attempt would more clearly target the kinds of information which would appropriately disclose that situation. Mr. Nordlund explained that the legislator could not report back to the person who made the complaint with the information received from the Department. That is how the bill is currently constructed and would not be affected by the amendment. In response to Representative Parnell, Mr. Nordlund spoke to the portion of the amendment on line 11 & 12. Representative Parnell MOVED to divide the question. Co- Chair Hanley pointed out that the amendment had not yet been moved. Representative Parnell WITHDREW the MOTION. Representative Brown MOVED to delete lines 11 - 13 of the amendment. There being NO OBJECTION, it was deleted. Representative Brown MOVED to adopt Amendment #3. SENATOR LYDA GREEN spoke to the frustration on the part of legislators trying to seek information for constituents on inquires concerning persons who are eligible for public assistance. That constituent would not be assured that there had been a follow-up. The original language could achieve that. (Tape Change, HFC 96-162, Side 2). Senator Green commented that not every inquiry would have a fraud basis and that the amendment would narrow it. She did not think that the amendment was broad enough to get the information needed and that the standard would be "very" high for a legislator who had the information. Mr. Nordlund understood the language of the amendment to be limited to potential violations. Co-Chair Hanley added, it would allow the legislator to request a fraud inquiry. Representative Brown questioned other circumstances. Co-Chair Hanley reiterated that the legislature would not require a fraud investigation. It is stated that regulations must provide that the results of a fraud inquiry shall be disclosed. Mr. Nordlund responded that if any person suspected fraud, the Department would then be required to investigate. CURTIS LOMAS, WELFARE REFORM OFFICER, DIVISION OF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES, stated under current law, the standard response as to whether someone is or is not on public assistance would be protected information. Under current law, that would be the response that a legislator would receive. Whenever there is a claim that someone is suspected of receiving benefits fraudulently, the Division receives that information as a signal to do a fraud report. Co-Chair Hanley stated that information regarding a person being or not being on public assistance should not be confidential. Representative Therriault suggested adding language "the results of an inquiry or investigation". Representative Brown recommended substituting that language with "the results of inquiry based on a possible fraud". Senator Green thought that language could limit the scope. Representative Therriault disagreed. He thought that all information would be available from the results of a tip- off, thus providing legislators information regarding investigations to base public policy calls on. Representative Brown stated that it was not appropriate for a legislator have access to confidential information without a purpose to be served by it. She asked if a person on public assistance had the power to include their legislator in access to their own records. Mr. Lomas agreed they could. Representative Brown MOVED to adopt the amended Amendment inquiry regarding possible fraud, based on information received by a legislator, based on a particular person". Representative Mulder OBJECTED. A roll call was taken on the MOTION. IN FAVOR: Brown, Grussendorf, Navarre, Therriault. OPPOSED: Martin, Mulder, Parnell, Hanley. Representatives Kelly, Kohring and Foster were not present for the vote. The MOTION FAILED (4-4). Representative Brown MOVED to adopt Amendment #4. [Copy on file]. Mr. Nordlund stated that the amendment would make the bill in line with federal law. Co-Chair Hanley OBJECTED. Senator Green advised that the wording of the referenced section had been drafted carefully and she requested that it not be adjusted. Representative Brown refuted, the new language would only be used if there was a high unemployment rate. The proposed language would provide for a rateable reduction to recipients benefits. A roll call was taken on the MOTION. IN FAVOR: Navarre, Grussendorf, Brown. OPPOSED: Martin, Mulder, Parnell, Therriault, Kelly, Hanley. Representatives Kohring and Foster were not present for the vote. The MOTION FAILED (3-6). Representative Brown spoke to Amendment #5 to page 25 of the HESS version. [Copy on file]. The change would be to line 28, section (b), which would allow Native organizations to authorize the transfer of the State's share of funds appropriated for that purpose. Co-Chair Hanley questioned if federal law provided the authority to Native organizations to take control of the JOBS program. Representative Brown pointed out that the Legislature would still need to appropriate funds for that purpose. Mr. Lomas explained that section of the bill is the comprehensive reform section, and that it presumes passage of the reform legislation. It is modeled from language within federal law. The $944 thousand dollars was requested in the budget, currently is a fiscal note to be used for the Native JOBS program. Under federal reform, the JOBS program will no longer exist. It has been replaced with the new block grant program. Co-Chair Hanley noted that he wanted the language to be tight enough in order to address the specific funding purposes. Mr. Nordlund countered that the language in reference is not about the JOBS program; it is about state matching of a Native organization providing the entire program. That language was proposed by the Tanana Chiefs Council in a statement of intent. The Department would like the Native program and the federal program to run comparable benefits. Co-Chair Hanley reiterated his concern with the flexibility of the language and the implications it would provide. Senator Green stated that the main purpose of the original language was to give the Department authority to plan with the Native organizations. Following implementation of the new programs, it would be in the State's best interest to have a consistent program. Co-Chair Hanley suggested that language was not necessary. He recommended adding a Letter of Intent. Representative Brown noted that she would not move the amendment if there would be a letter of intent. Representative Therriault MOVED Amendment 6, on page 9, line 30, deleting "or emotional". Senator Green noted that federal language addresses a persons physical health and safety and also emotional and mental health conditions. She recommended that language remain in the bill. Mr. Lomas added, that provision had been included in the Governor's legislation and was included in HB 78 last year. The entire section addresses minor parents living with family or in some other appropriate setting. There have been times when the minor claims that the home is not suitable or safe either for physical or psychological reasons because of a history of abuse. He added, the Department will not allow a frivolous claim of emotional harm. There will need to be documentation of problems existing at that home to allow for the exemption. Representative Therriault thought if problems did exist, they would jeopardize the youths physical health also. Mr. Nordlund elaborated, situations exist where there is serious psychological stress for minors. The Division of Family and Youth Services (DFYS) should be able to take these circumstances into consideration. (Tape Change, HFC 96-163, Side 1) Representative Grussendorf pointed out that emotional stress can have a serious affect on the minor. A roll call vote was taken on the MOTION to delete "emotional," Amendment 6. IN FAVOR: Mulder, Therriault, Kelly, Hanley OPPOSED: Martin, Navarre, Parnell, Brown, Grussendorf Co-Chair Foster and Representative Kohring were absent for the vote. The MOTION FAILED (4-5). Co-Chair Hanley MOVED to adopt Amendment 7 (copy on file). He noted that the amendment would delete "day care assistance and" from the title. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Co-Chair Hanley referred to the fiscal notes. He noted that there are two fiscal note sets, one set each for the comprehensive and waiver provisions. The fiscal notes for the waiver provisions would not take effect if federal reform takes place. He explained that the net general fund match in the comprehensive set is $3.170 million dollars. The net general fund match is $3 million dollars for the waiver provision. Some program receipts would be collected to offset costs. Representative Brown asked what the impact would be if the legislation passed without adoption of the fiscal notes. Mr. Lomas stated that the Department would have a great amount of difficulty if fiscal notes were not adopted. Caseload reductions would be in danger without day care and work assistance funds. He explained that areas noted by asterisks are not currently in the budget. He emphasized that the Department requests that funding be restored. He noted that the Department needs $2 million dollars in federal authorization, $1 million unrestricted general fund dollars and $2 million dollars in increased child support enforcement program receipts for a total of $5 million dollars. Mr. Nordlund added that the two sets of fiscal notes are very close. Co-Chair Hanley summarized that the Department realized a savings in FY 96. The Department wished to reinvest the FY 96 savings in FY 97. Mr. Lomas explained that reinvestment funds from FY 97 is the requested funding source for the $2 million dollars shown in both provisions. He observed that child support collections in FY 97 were underestimated. He noted that some provisions do not require either a waiver or federal law change. He emphasized that 13 data processing positions would be lost without the reinvestment funds. He maintained that additional money for work programs and child care is necessary to put additional people into work activities. Co-Chair Hanley noted that the Governor may not support the legislation without funding for the fiscal notes. Mr. Nordlund emphasized the need for the child care and job training funding. Representative Martin MOVED to report HCS CSSB 98 (FIN) out of Committee with individual recommendations and with the accompanying fiscal notes. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. HCS CSSB 98 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with "no recommendation" and with nine Department of Health & Social Services fiscal impact notes for the Comprehensive Plan; and with ten fiscal impact notes pertaining to the Comprehensive Plan; one by the Department of Revenue, 4/22/96, one by the Department of Education, 4/22/96, two by the Department of Labor, 4/22/96, one by the Department of Public Safety, 4/22/96, three by the Department of Commerce and Economic Development, 4/22/96, and two by the Department of Fish and Game, 4/22/96; and with a zero fiscal note by the Department of Health & Social Services; or with eight fiscal impact notes pertaining to the Waiver Plan from the Department of Health & Social Services. ADJOURNMENT The meeting adjourned at 12:20 a.m. on May 4, 1996.