Legislature(1997 - 1998)

03/03/1998 01:45 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
           HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                             
              March 3, 1998                                                    
                 1:45 P.M.                                                     
                                                                               
TAPE HFC 98 - 49, Side 1                                                       
TAPE HFC 98 - 49, Side 2                                                       
TAPE HFC 98 - 50, Side 1                                                       
TAPE HFC 98 - 50, Side 2                                                       
                                                                               
CALL TO ORDER                                                                  
                                                                               
Co-Chair Gene Therriault called the House Finance Committee                    
meeting to order at 1:45 p.m.                                                  
                                                                               
PRESENT                                                                        
                                                                               
Co-Chair Hanley    Representative Kelly                                        
Co-Chair Therriault   Representative Kohring                                   
Representative Davies  Representative Martin                                   
Representative Davis   Representative Mulder                                   
Representative Foster                                                          
Representative Grussendorf                                                     
                                                                               
Representative Moses was absent from the meeting.                              
                                                                               
ALSO PRESENT                                                                   
                                                                               
Representative Jeannette James; Representative Brian Porter;                   
John Key, General Manager, Cominco Alaska; Jim Baldwin,                        
Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law; Chris                           
Christensen, General Counsel, Alaska Court System; Deborah                     
Behr, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law; Jeff                      
Logan, Staff, Representative Green; Keith Laufer, Alaska                       
Industrial Development and Export Authority, Department of                     
Commerce and Economic Development; Randy Simmons, Executive                    
Director, Alaska Industrial Development and Export                             
Authority, Department of Commerce and Economic Development.                    
                                                                               
SUMMARY                                                                        
                                                                               
HJR 36 Proposing amendments to the Constitution of the                         
State of Alaska relating to redistricting of the                               
legislature, and repealing as obsolete language in                             
the article setting out the apportionment schedule                             
used to elect the members of the first state                                   
legislature.                                                                   
                                                                               
HJR 36 was HELD in Committee for further                                       
consideration.                                                                 
                                                                               
HJR 44 Proposing amendments to the Constitution of the                         
State of Alaska relating to redistricting of the                               
legislature.                                                                   
                                                                               
HJR 44 was HELD in Committee for further                                       
consideration.                                                                 
                                                                               
HB 264 "An Act providing for a negotiated regulation                           
making process; and providing for an effective                                 
date."                                                                         
                                                                               
CSHB 264 (FIN) was REPORTED out of Committee with                              
"no recommendation" and with two fiscal impact                                 
notes, one by the Department of Revenue and one by                             
the Office of the Governor.                                                    
                                                                               
HB 386 "An Act relating to the financing authority,                            
programs, operations, and projects of the Alaska                               
Industrial Development and Export Authority; and                               
providing for an effective date."                                              
                                                                               
 CSHB 386 (FIN) was REPORTED out of Committee with                             
a "do pass" recommendation and with a zero fiscal                              
note by the Department of Commerce and Economic                                
Development.                                                                   
HOUSE BILL NO. 264                                                             
                                                                               
"An Act providing for a negotiated regulation making                           
process; and providing for an effective date."                                 
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES, SPONSOR spoke in support of                    
the proposed committee substitute for HB 264, Work Draft 0-                    
LS0910\L, dated 2/25/98.                                                       
                                                                               
Deborah Behr, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law                    
reviewed changes made by the proposed committee substitute.                    
                                                                               
? Page 3, lines 1 & 3, "An agency shall notify the public                      
so that interested parties can apply..."                                       
                                                                               
Ms. Behr noted that this language allows flexibility to                        
notify the public in a manner that results in the least                        
cost.  "Interested persons" was included to clarify that an                    
individual may volunteer their time, even if they are not                      
directly affected by the regulation.  This is to allow                         
retired public officials, judges and others to participate.                    
                                                                               
? Page 3, lines 17 & 18, "The agency should strive to                          
achieve the balanced committee representation..."                              
                                                                               
Ms. Behr emphasized that the intent is to achieve balance.                     
It was not placed in statute because it would be difficult                     
to assess when balance is achieved.                                            
                                                                               
? Page 5, lines 16 & 17, "Members of a negotiated                              
regulation making committee are responsible for their                          
own expenses of participation."                                                
                                                                               
The prior version would have required agencies to certify                      
need.  The subcommittee decided that each member would pay                     
his or her own way.  Ms. Behr maintained that this provision                   
would result in meetings being held in metropolitan areas.                     
Groups will have to take donations and pay for their own                       
members to travel.  Teleconferencing will be used.                             
                                                                               
? Page 5, lines 26 - 29, Disclosure                                            
                                                                               
This would require a member to disclose gifts; grants or                       
other financial benefits that exceed $150 dollars and have                     
been accepted to finance the disclosure member's                               
participation on the regulation committee.  Ms. Behr did not                   
think a member would have to disclose their salary.                            
                                                                               
? Page 7, line 17, Immunity for members of a negotiated                        
  rules making committee and its members.                                      
                                                                               
Ms. Behr noted that CSHB 264 (STA) did not provide absolute                    
immunity to members participating on the committee.  The                       
proposed committee substitute provides absolute immunity.                      
She observed that the members would only advise on various                     
decisions.  She emphasized that the provision would                            
encourage private businesspersons to participate.                              
                                                                               
? Page 7, lines 27 - 30, Members of a Negotiated Rule                          
Making Committee.                                                              
                                                                               
Ms. Behr explained that this would exempt members from the                     
provisions of the Executive Ethics Act.  Public officers on                    
a negotiated rule making committee would still be under the                    
provisions of the Executive Ethics Act.  Member's financial                    
contribution to the meeting would be disclosed under                           
previous provisions.  This would indicate their position.                      
Criminal provisions would still apply to gross conduct, such                   
as accepting a bribe.                                                          
                                                                               
? Page 8, lines 1 - 5, Conforming amendment                                    
                                                                               
Ms. Behr observed that this provision would bring back the                     
existing law after five years.                                                 
                                                                               
Representative Mulder MOVED to ADOPT Work Draft 0-LS0910\L,                    
dated 2/25/98.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                   
                                                                               
Discussion pursued regarding the amendment to the Executive                    
Ethics Act.  Ms. Behr clarified that the legislation takes                     
negotiated regulation making committees out of the Act.  She                   
emphasized that they are short-term committees that are not                    
making final decisions.  Only their travel is disclosed.                       
                                                                               
Representative Davies did not recall discussion on the                         
subject during the subcommittee.  Representative Kelly did                     
recall some discussion on this matter during the                               
subcommittee hearing.                                                          
                                                                               
Representative James spoke in support of the provision.                        
Representative Davies expressed concern with the provision.                    
He noted that a person would not need to disclose close                        
financial associations or their employer.                                      
                                                                               
Ms. Behr emphasized that the intent of the legislation is to                   
encourage upper level executives of private businesses.                        
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault observed that members do not authorize                     
actions.  Representative Davies spoke in support of                            
balancing disclosure requirements to indicate a member's                       
general bias.  Co-Chair Therriault asked if there is a                         
problem in the current stakeholder process mechanism.                          
                                                                               
Representative Davies MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 1 (copy on                      
file).  Co-Chair Therriault OBJECTED for the purpose of                        
discussion.  Amendment 1 would amend page 5, line 17 by                        
inserting "if they have adequate resources.  However, an                       
agency may pay for a committee member's reasonable travel                      
and per diem expenses..."  He observed that the amendment                      
would allow agencies to pay for members.  Members would                        
still be generally responsible to pay their own way.                           
                                                                               
Ms. Behr clarified that the legislation would not allow                        
agencies to pay for a member's travel.  She noted that if                      
the section were deleted the status quo would prevail.  She                    
expressed concern with Amendment 1.  She noted the                             
difficulty in assessing the ability to pay.                                    
                                                                               
Representative Grussendorf spoke in support of allowing                        
agencies to pay.  He observed that there might be                              
circumstances where an agency would want to pay someone's                      
way to achieve balance on the committee.                                       
                                                                               
Representative Martin spoke against the amendment.  He                         
expressed concern that it would be costly.                                     
                                                                               
Representative James emphasized that it is a volunteer                         
system that should not be costly.  She preferred that                          
agencies not pay for member's travel.                                          
                                                                               
Representative Davis stressed that it would not be fair to                     
pay for some and not others.                                                   
                                                                               
Representative Davies observed that industries would pay for                   
their representation.  He noted that members of the public                     
might not have the same ability to pay.  He stressed that                      
the status quo allows agencies to decide.  He pointed out                      
that it would be cheaper to pay for one person's travel then                   
to send several agency people to the area the person                           
resides.                                                                       
                                                                               
Representative Grussendorf stressed that the ability to pay                    
would differ.  He emphasized that the amendment would help                     
achieve balance.                                                               
                                                                               
Representative WITHDREW Amendment 1.  There being NO                           
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                  
                                                                               
Representative Davies MOVED to delete subsection (c) on page                   
5, lines 16 and 17.  He observed that the amendment would                      
retain the status quo.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so                    
ordered.                                                                       
                                                                               
Ms. Behr stated that the fiscal impact was not changed by                      
the proposed committee substitute.                                             
                                                                               
Representative Martin MOVED to report CSHB 264 (FIN) out of                    
Committee with the accompanying fiscal notes.  There being                     
NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                               
                                                                               
CSHB 264 (FIN) was REPORTED out of Committee with "no                          
recommendation" and with two fiscal impact notes, one by the                   
Department of Revenue and one by the Office of the Governor.                   
HOUSE BILL NO. 386                                                             
                                                                               
"An Act relating to the financing authority, programs,                         
operations, and projects of the Alaska Industrial                              
Development and Export Authority; and providing for an                         
effective date."                                                               
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault provided members with a proposed                           
committee substitute for HB 386, Work Draft 0-GH2023\E,                        
dated 3/3/98 (copy on file).                                                   
                                                                               
KEITH LAUFER, ALASKA INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AND EXPORT                         
AUTHORITY (AIDEA), DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC                         
DEVELOPMENT reviewed the proposed committee substitute.  He                    
noted that the sunset date would be July 1, 2003.  Minor                       
wording changes occurred on page 5, line 11.  Section 8 was                    
replaced.  The original legislation would have set up a                        
procedure for AIDEA to create categories of confidential                       
documents.  Documents that could never be made confidential                    
were identified.  This provision was changed to set forth                      
the specific items that can be made confidential on page 6,                    
line 21 - page 7 line 2.  Subsection (b) addresses concerns                    
regarding information compiled by AIDEA that can also remain                   
confidential if the information fits within one of the                         
confidential categories.  The definition of "political loss"                   
was moved to section 10 by request of the drafter. "Shall"                     
was changed to "must" on page 7, line 22.  Other technical                     
changes were made to conform to drafting recommendations.                      
Section 23 is new.  Section 23 is the legislative                              
authorization to finance bonds for the DeLong Mountain                         
transportation project at Red Dog mine and for the Nome port                   
improvement project.  The effective date was changed to                        
clarify that only section 21 has a June 30, 1998 effective                     
date.                                                                          
                                                                               
Representative Davies asked if legislative approvals in                        
section 23 would follow the due diligence process.                             
                                                                               
RANDY SIMMONS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ALASKA INDUSTRIAL                           
DEVELOPMENT AND EXPORT AUTHORITY, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND                   
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT clarify that the due diligence process                    
would apply.  The process would start in the following week.                   
The Board of Directors must approve findings on the                            
projects.                                                                      
                                                                               
Representative Grussendorf pointed out that "political loss"                   
could refer to nationalization, confiscation, or destruction                   
by military activities.  Mr. Simmons agreed and noted that                     
AIDEA used to require insurance on every export transaction                    
regardless of the country of export.                                           
                                                                               
In response to a question by Representative Martin, Mr.                        
Simmons noted that AIDEA could authorize bonds up to $400                      
million dollars a year.  Bond covenants apply to certain                       
coverage.                                                                      
                                                                               
(Tape Change, HFC 98 -49, Side 2)                                              
                                                                               
Mr. Simmons noted that AIDEA has $322 million dollars in                       
loans outstanding.  He clarified that the state of Alaska is                   
not morally obligated on any of the bonds issued by AIDEA.                     
                                                                               
JOHN KEY, GENERAL MANAGER, COMINCO ALASKA read his written                     
testimony in support of HB 386 (copy on file).                                 
                                                                               
Mr. Simmons noted that there are 44 years left on the AIDEA                    
loan to Red Dog.  He explained that AIDEA owns the                             
facilities on development projects they finance.  The Alaska                   
Industrial Development and Export Authority may receive                        
payments to the State long after there are outstanding                         
bonds.  Red Dog would still be responsible for their                           
financial commitments if the bonds were paid off.                              
                                                                               
Representative Foster MOVED to ADOPT Work Draft 0-GH2023\E,                    
dated 3/3/98.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                    
                                                                               
Representative Foster MOVED to report CSHB 386 (FIN) out of                    
Committee with the accompanying fiscal note.  There being NO                   
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                  
                                                                               
CSHB 386 (FIN) was REPORTED out of Committee with a "do                        
pass" recommendation and with a zero fiscal note by the                        
Department of Commerce and Economic Development.                               
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 44                                                  
                                                                               
Proposing amendments to the Constitution of the State                          
of Alaska relating to redistricting of the legislature.                        
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault provided members with a proposed                           
committee substitute for HJR 44, Work Draft 0-LS0528\I,                        
dated 3/3/98 (copy on file).  Representative Mulder MOVED to                   
ADOPT , Work Draft 0-LS0528\I, dated 3/3/98.  There being NO                   
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                  
                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER, SPONSOR, testified in support                     
of HJR 44.  He explained that the legislation would change                     
the method of appointment to the reapportionment board.  The                   
legislation would codify single member districts for the                       
House and Senate.  The Alaska Supreme Court has indicated                      
its support for single member districts.  The Governor                         
currently appoints the reapportionment board.  He noted that                   
only one other state involves their governor in the                            
appointment of their reapportionment board.  Under the                         
legislation the chief supreme court justice would appoint                      
the reapportionment board.  He maintained that the current                     
process is partisan.  He discussed the 1992 reapportionment                    
process. Due to litigation a superior court judge appointed                    
a couple of masters to redraw the 1992 reapportionment plan.                   
The court plan was rejected at the federal level.  It was                      
subsequently readjusted.                                                       
                                                                               
Representative Porter stated that the Supreme Court has                        
requested that page 3, line 3 be amended by deleting                           
"subject to the provisions of this section" and inserting as                   
provided by law".  He observed that the legislature might                      
want to provide criteria for how the appointments should be                    
made.  He asserted that at least one person should be                          
appointed from each of the judicial districts to guarantee                     
geographical representation.                                                   
                                                                               
In response to a question by Representative Grussendorf,                       
Representative Porter observed that if the plan were                           
challenged in federal court, it would be appealed in federal                   
court.  If an Alaskan citizen challenged the plan, it would                    
be brought before the Alaska Superior Court.  He thought                       
that the chief justice would have to remove himself if it                      
were appealed to the Supreme Court.                                            
                                                                               
In response to comments by Representative Grussendorf,                         
Representative Porter observed that interest in the issue                      
would be greater as the event becomes closer.  He stated                       
that the intent is to be objective and to get partisan                         
politics out of the process.  He observed that the Supreme                     
Court appoints the Ethics Committee.                                           
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault clarified that subsection (c) on page 3                    
was included in the previous version.                                          
                                                                               
Representative Davies stressed that the legislation would be                   
more prospective if it were to apply after the next                            
election.                                                                      
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault noted that the legislation's effective                     
date is 2002.                                                                  
                                                                               
Representative Porter emphasized that the intent is to make                    
the next reapportionment non-partisan.                                         
                                                                               
Representative Davies stated that the change could effect an                   
individual's decision to run for office.                                       
                                                                               
Representative Martin asserted that any plan would be                          
accused of being partisan.  He stressed that an attempt to                     
balance partisan interests can be made.  He expressed                          
concern with the criteria of "integrated socio-economic"                       
areas.  He gave examples of redistricting plans where he                       
felt that the criteria for a integrated socio-economic area                    
were misused.  He observed the difficulty of integrating                       
cultural groups in the State.  He pointed out that                             
population has not grown as fast in some areas of the State                    
as in others.  He suggested that it would be difficult to                      
maintain socio-economic integration of areas.                                  
                                                                               
Representative Porter spoke in support of retaining the                        
criteria of socio-economic integration.  He stressed that                      
this provision is intended to provide fair representation                      
for the State's minority population.  He noted that the                        
United States Supreme court ruled in favor of one man one                      
vote.  States are generally allowed a variance in population                   
between districts of 1 to 1.5 percent.  He observed that the                   
Alaska Supreme Court has allowed population variances of up                    
to 10 percent.  He acknowledged that the plan would not stop                   
litigation.  He asserted that there would not be a                             
presumption of the partisan politics if the board is                           
appointed through the court.  He observed that the court                       
will be able to use case law that has been developed over                      
the years.  He discussed the 1992 reapportionment process.                     
                                                                               
Representative Martin asserted that the Justice Department                     
and the Alaska Supreme Court are polarized.  The US Supreme                    
Court has emphasized one man one vote for equal                                
representation.                                                                
                                                                               
(Tape Change, HFC 98 -50, Side 1)                                              
                                                                               
In response to comments by Representative Martin,                              
Representative Porter observed that the legislation would                      
shorten the process by 90 days.  He reviewed the                               
reapportionment process timeline.  He discussed page 5, line                   
21.  If any litigation or interruption of the process occurs                   
to the extent that the up coming election is affected then                     
the prior reapportionment plan would be used.                                  
                                                                               
Representative Martin reiterated concerns regarding the use                    
of the chief justice of the Supreme Court.                                     
                                                                               
Representative Mulder noted that a potential conflict of one                   
judge does not mean that the court cannot make a decision.                     
If a justice felt that they had a conflict, he or she, could                   
excuse themselves.                                                             
                                                                               
Representative Porter agreed and added that the same                           
situation occurs with the appointment of the Ethics Board.                     
                                                                               
Representative Martin maintained that the court should be                      
kept as pure as possible.  He noted that a tie decision                        
could occur if one justice is removed.                                         
                                                                               
In response to a question by Representative Grussendorf,                       
Representative Porter asserted that he would support the                       
legislation regardless of the gubernatorial candidates.                        
                                                                               
Representative Grussendorf did not think that "socio-                          
economic" should be removed.                                                   
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault pointed out that the legislation has                       
been changed by the committee substitute.                                      
                                                                               
Representative Davies stated that the chief justice has the                    
mantel of impartiality.  He maintained that the legislation                    
might have unintended consequences.  He expressed concern                      
that judges would be subjected to a litmus test.  He felt                      
that judges could be put in the position of standing against                   
a recall election if reapportionment does not satisfy                          
everyone.  He observed that the Ethics Board is a judicial                     
function.  The legislation asks the court to be involved in                    
a legislative issue.                                                           
                                                                               
Representative Grussendorf noted that there has been                           
discussion regarding legislative approval or the election of                   
judges.                                                                        
                                                                               
Representative Porter pointed out that the other justices                      
select the chief justice.  He noted that all judges have                       
their personal notions.  The challenge is to make judgements                   
based on the law.  He stated that he would be opposed to the                   
election of judges.                                                            
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault clarified that the intent of the                           
proposed change to page 3, line 3 is to allow the                              
legislature to add through statute further restrictions to                     
the appointment of the redistricting board.  He stated that                    
the legislature might want to require that members live in                     
an area a certain length of time of be a state resident for                    
a certain amount of time.                                                      
                                                                               
Representative Porter suggested the use of "may be amplified                   
through law".  He observed that the intent is to minimize                      
unnecessary language in the Constitution.  He emphasized                       
that the Constitution is automatically superior to statute.                    
Statutes can only amplify the Constitution.                                    
                                                                               
JAMES BALDWIN, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF LAW                   
discussed the committee substitute.  He spoke in support of                    
allowing the Court to do military surveys.  He observed that                   
over 9,000 of the people who applied for permanent fund                        
dividends were active duty military.  He noted that there                      
are a number of nonresident military residing in districts                     
that could affect redistricting.                                               
                                                                               
Mr. Baldwin clarified that the intent of the legislation is                    
that "two contiguous" house districts could pertain to                         
districts that are contiguous across waters.                                   
                                                                               
Mr. Baldwin discussed the proposed amendment to page 3, line                   
3.  He expressed concern that a substantial portion of the                     
constitutional amendment before the voters would yet to be                     
enacted by law.  He pointed out that partisan criteria could                   
be enacted through statute.                                                    
                                                                               
Mr. Baldwin observed that a member of the board couldn't run                   
for office.  He assumed that the State would have to show a                    
compelling state interest to justify this discrimination.                      
                                                                               
Mr. Baldwin discussed the current reapportionment process.                     
He noted that, under the current provision, an officer of                      
the Governor could make adjustments to the reapportionment                     
plan proposed by the Board.  He asserted that the                              
legislation does not provide a non-judicial "safety valve".                    
He observed that a statewide elected official that is                          
answerable to the public would not make the appointments.                      
                                                                               
Mr. Baldwin reiterated that language on page 5, lines 21 -                     
24 is a direct incentive for litigation.  He stressed that a                   
new plan would at least provide for one-person one vote.                       
Operation of the old plan would perpetuate a mal-apportioned                   
state for another two years.  He stated that the                               
Administration does not support the legislation.                               
                                                                               
Representative Martin disagreed with the proposal to allow                     
the Board to do a military census.  He noted that the next                     
census would count those on base.  The US Supreme Court has                    
upheld counting of military personnel.                                         
                                                                               
In response to a question by Representative Davies, Mr.                        
Baldwin stated that the language regarding military census                     
taking is ambiguous.  He acknowledged that the discussion in                   
the House Judiciary Committee placed on the record that the                    
intention is that the language would not allow the taking of                   
a military census.  He observed that the intent is to remove                   
individuals that do not vote in Alaska.  He noted that the                     
military population is concentrated in urban areas of the                      
State.  He observed that there would be more representatives                   
for urban areas of the State.  He asserted that the section                    
creates a voting rights issue.  He noted that the                              
Department's fiscal note is in response to this issue.  If                     
the military population is removed there is a smaller ideal                    
number per district.  He asserted that if military personnel                   
are counted there will be a heavier representation in                          
Fairbanks and Anchorage made up of people who don't vote.                      
                                                                               
Representative Davies observed that the current provision                      
does not allow public officials or employees to be members                     
of the Board.  Mr. Baldwin clarified that this prohibition                     
pertains to state, federal and municipal employees.  He                        
observed that the intent is that recommendations not be made                   
by anyone with a stake in the process.                                         
                                                                               
Mr. Baldwin expressed concern with the removal of "shall be                    
made without regard to political affiliation.                                  
                                                                               
CHRIS CHRISTENSEN, GENERAL COUNSEL, ALASKA COURT SYSTEM                        
discussed the legislation.  He observed that the Court has                     
concern with section 8 on page 3.  He emphasized that the                      
people need to believe that the justice system is fair and                     
impartial and that it produces a just result.  He noted that                   
the framers of the Constitution created a unique judicial                      
system.  He observed that the system was created to be free                    
from the influence of partisan politics.  The Supreme Court                    
is concerned that section 8 will involve the Court in                          
partisan politics.                                                             
                                                                               
(Tape Change, HFC 98 - 50, Side 2)                                             
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault pointed out that the Court has been                        
involved in the current process.  Mr. Christensen                              
acknowledged that the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of                    
legal matters.  When the Court is called to review political                   
matters it is acting judicially to settle a case.  He                          
maintained that the appointment process is a different case.                   
                                                                               
In response to a question by Co-Chair Therriault, Mr.                          
Christensen observed that judges frequently appoint masters                    
to look at and evaluate evidence and make recommendations.                     
The master is serving as the judge's agent in evaluating                       
evidence and looking at a case.  He emphasized that this                       
process is different than the process of appointing a                          
reapportionment board.                                                         
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault noted that a judge would refrain from                      
discussing subjects that they would be asked to adjudicate.                    
                                                                               
Mr. Christensen pointed out that the appearance of                             
impropriety is as important as actual impropriety.                             
                                                                               
Representative Davies noted that masters tend to follow the                    
basic pattern set out by the underlying reapportionment plan                   
and make the minimum changes necessary to bring the plan                       
into compliance.                                                               
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault asked if a board appointed by the                          
judiciary made a recommendation that was challenged by the                     
court, would the court be precluded from setting up a master                   
to refine the recommendation before final judgement.  Mr.                      
Christensen could not answer the question.                                     
                                                                               
In response to a question by Representative Grussendorf, Mr.                   
Christensen stated that he is not aware of anything outside                    
the judicial branch that the court appoints.  He thought                       
that there were other states that involved their supreme                       
courts in the reapportionment process.  He observed that                       
judges are elected in many other states.                                       
                                                                               
HJR 44 was HELD in Committee for further consideration.                        
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 36                                                  
                                                                               
Proposing amendments to the Constitution of the State                          
of Alaska relating to redistricting of the legislature,                        
and repealing as obsolete language in the article                              
setting out the apportionment schedule used to elect                           
the members of the first state legislature.                                    
                                                                               
JEFF LOGAN, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE GREEN discussed HJR 36.                      
He noted that the sponsor concurs with proposed changes to                     
HJR 36 with on exception.  He referred to section 10, page                     
4.  This section deals with the effective date and                             
applicability.  He observed that it is the sponsor's                           
intention that the provisions of HJR 36 apply to the next                      
reapportionment cycle.  He proposed that "2001" be amended                     
to read "2000" and "December 31, 2000" be replaced with                        
March 25, 1994".  March 25, 1994 is the effective date of                      
the current reapportionment plan.                                              
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault observed that appointments are made                        
between January 1st and 16th of the year following the                         
census.  Mr. Logan noted that this language does not appear                    
in HJR 36.  He maintained that the reapportionment board                       
could be appointed anytime after receipt of the census.  He                    
observed that the census shall be completed within 9 months                    
after the census date.  He observed that the census could be                   
completed in the year 2000.  He stressed that it is the                        
sponsor's intention that the legislation applies to the next                   
reapportionment.                                                               
                                                                               
Representative Mulder MOVED to ADOPT proposed committee                        
substitute for HJR 36, Work Draft 0-LS0939\P, dated 3/3/98.                    
                                                                               
HJR 36 was HELD in Committee for further consideration.                        
ADJOURNMENT                                                                    
                                                                               
The meeting adjourned at 4:20 p.m.                                             
House Finance Committee 13 3/4/98pm                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects