Legislature(1999 - 2000)

05/14/1999 02:15 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
           HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                              
              May 14, 1999                                                                                                      
                 2:15 P.M.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
TAPE HFC 99 - 138, Side 1                                                                                                       
TAPE HFC 99 - 138, Side 2                                                                                                       
TAPE HFC 99 - 139, Side 1                                                                                                       
TAPE HFC 99 - 139, Side 2                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Therriault called the House Finance Committee                                                                          
meeting to order at 2:15 p.m.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Therriault   Representative Foster                                                                                     
Co-Chair Mulder    Representative Grussendorf                                                                                   
Representative Austerman   Representative Kohring                                                                               
Representative Bunde   Representative Moses                                                                                     
Representative J. Davies   Representative Williams                                                                              
Representative G. Davis                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Beth Havegig, Staff, Senator Wilkens; Margot Knuth,                                                                             
Department of Corrections; James Armstrong, Staff, Senator                                                                      
Donley; Catherine Reardon, Director, Division of                                                                                
Occupational Licensing, Department of Commerce and Economic                                                                     
Development; James Armstrong, staff, Senator Donley; Margot                                                                     
Knuth, Assistant Attorney General, Department of                                                                                
Corrections; Douglas Salik, Staff, Senator T. Kelly;                                                                            
Catherine Reardon, Director, Division of Occupational                                                                           
Licensing, Department of Commerce and Economic Development;                                                                     
Mike Tibbles, Staff, Representative Therriault; Gail                                                                            
Fenumiai, Election Program Specialist, Division of Election,                                                                    
Office of the Lieutenant Governor;                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE:                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Paul Costello, Land Management Director, Fairbanks North                                                                        
Star Borough; LARRY DIETRICK, Acting Director, Division of                                                                      
Spill Prevention and Response, Department of Environmental                                                                      
Conservation; Ardith Lynch, Attorney, Fairbanks North Star                                                                      
Borough; Craig Tillery, Assistant Attorney General,                                                                             
Environmental Section, Department of Law, Anchorage; Virgil                                                                     
Norton, Kenai                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 11(JUD)                                                                                                                    
"An Act relating to good time credits for                                                                                       
prisoners serving sentences of imprisonment for                                                                                 
certain murders."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 11(JUD) was heard and HELD in Committee for                                                                                
further consideration.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 51(L&C)                                                                                                                    
"An Act relating to barbers, hairdressers,                                                                                      
manicurists, and cosmetologists; providing that                                                                                 
the only qualification necessary for licensure as                                                                               
a manicurist, other than payment of fees, is                                                                                    
completion of a class that is 12 hours in                                                                                       
duration, addresses relevant health, safety, and                                                                                
hygiene concerns, and is offered through a school                                                                               
approved by the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers;                                                                              
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HCS CS 51 (L&C) was REPORTED out of Committee with                                                                              
"no recommendation" and a fiscal impact note by                                                                                 
the Department of Commerce and Economic                                                                                         
Development; and a fiscal impact note by the                                                                                    
Department of Environmental Conservation,                                                                                       
published date 3/26/99.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 110(RLS) am                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to liability for the release of                                                                                
hazardous substances involving certain property                                                                                 
acquired by a governmental entity; relating to                                                                                  
making a determination as to when a hazardous                                                                                   
substance release has occurred; relating to                                                                                     
liability of a party other than the party                                                                                       
responsible for the initial release of a hazardous                                                                              
substance; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HCS CSSB110 (JUD) was REPORTED out of Committee                                                                                 
with a "do pass" recommendation and with a zero                                                                                 
fiscal note by the Department of Transportation                                                                                 
and Public Facilities, published date 4/29/99.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB 141 An Act providing for preferential voting in state                                                                        
and local elections.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HB 141 was heard and HELD in Committee for further                                                                              
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
  NOMINATIONS TO THE ALCOHOL BEVERAGE CONTROL BOARD                                                                             
  No action was taken.                                                                                                          
CS for SENATE BILL 110(RLS) am                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to liability for the release of                                                                                
hazardous substances involving certain property                                                                                 
acquired by a governmental entity; relating to making a                                                                         
determination as to when a hazardous substance release                                                                          
has occurred; relating to liability of a party other                                                                            
than the party responsible for the initial release of a                                                                         
hazardous substance; and providing for an effective                                                                             
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
BETH HAVEGIG, STAFF, SENATOR WILKENS testified on behalf of                                                                     
the sponsor in support on SB 110. She read the sponsor                                                                          
statement:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
"This bill will assist municipalities in performing their                                                                       
statutory duty to enforce liens for delinquent real                                                                             
property taxes. Tax foreclosure is a mandatory process                                                                          
leading to the taking of a tax deed that places the title                                                                       
to a tax delinquent property in the municipality's name.                                                                        
Some properties with delinquent taxes are contaminated.                                                                         
Municipalities are concerned that they may be held liable                                                                       
for pre-existing contamination of foreclosed land with                                                                          
significant environmental remediation costs.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The federal Comprehensive Environmental Response,                                                                               
Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) exempts by                                                                             
definition state and local governments who acquire                                                                              
property through "bankruptcy, foreclosure, tax                                                                                  
delinquency, abandonment, or similar means." However, the                                                                       
state law which addresses liability for damage caused by                                                                        
the release of hazardous substances, AS 46.03.822, does                                                                         
not precisely mirror the federal law. SB 110 will amend AS                                                                      
46.03.822 to ensure that federal and state laws are                                                                             
similar in this respect. The municipality may therefore                                                                         
have title to the contaminated property without                                                                                 
involuntary exposure to cleanup.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Changes in the Senate also recognized the need to extend                                                                        
this courtesy to innocent third parties, which are not                                                                          
directly responsible for contaminating the property they                                                                        
have acquired. Subsection (m) clarifies state law to say                                                                        
that a person who acquires a facility without knowledge of                                                                      
prior existing contamination is not liable under AS                                                                             
46.03.822 so long as they follow due diligence steps to                                                                         
begin operations to contain and clean up the hazardous                                                                          
substance."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Havegig responded to questions by Co-Chair Therriault.                                                                      
She noted that section (m) only works if the person                                                                             
undertakes "all reasonable inquiries into the previous                                                                          
ownership and uses of the property consistent with good                                                                         
commercial or customary practice in an effort to minimize                                                                       
liability." The new owners must take steps of due diligence                                                                     
at the time of purchase.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster noted that a common citizen is not                                                                        
liable as long as they follow due diligence. He questioned                                                                      
if municipalities need to follow due diligence. Ms. Havegig                                                                     
responded that municipalities would be responsible for due                                                                      
diligence. Steps would have to be taken to assure that the                                                                      
spill doesn't get any worse. The new owner would not be                                                                         
responsible for passive leaching.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Austerman asked if there was discussion on                                                                       
making the provisions retroactive. Ms. Havegig stated that                                                                      
there had not been discussion on providing a retroactive                                                                        
clause.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ARDITH LYNCH, ATTORNEY, FAIRBANKS NORTH STAR BOROUGH                                                                            
testified via teleconference. She explained that the                                                                            
legislation addresses municipal ownership in two different                                                                      
ways. In section (m) the municipality is in the same                                                                            
situation that a private person would be in if they purchase                                                                    
a piece of property. The municipality would still have to                                                                       
use due diligence to clean up a hazardous substance.                                                                            
Subsection (l) on page 2 deals with the limited issue of                                                                        
when a municipality acquires a piece of property through                                                                        
foreclosure. Foreclosure is a mandatory process that the                                                                        
borough must conduct when someone is delinquent in his or                                                                       
her real property taxes. In those cases the borough takes                                                                       
title to the property and puts it on the market for sale.                                                                       
The municipality is forced into the chain of title. The                                                                         
municipality would be responsible for taking steps to                                                                           
prevent additional obvious contamination.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative J. Davies noted that the municipality                                                                            
effectively removes control of the land from the potentially                                                                    
liable person when it forecloses. He questioned if the                                                                          
municipality takes on liability to resolve the issue when it                                                                    
removes the responsible person. Ms. Lynch acknowledged that                                                                     
the municipality would have responsibility to take steps to                                                                     
address leakage that is discovered after the borough took                                                                       
possession of the title.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Havegig stated that "person" is defined to mean "any                                                                        
individual, public or private corporation, political                                                                            
subdivision, government agency, municipality, industry, co-                                                                     
partnership, association, firm, trust, estate, or any other                                                                     
entity whatsoever." She concluded that subsections (m) and                                                                      
(l) could apply to municipalities. The issue is voluntary                                                                       
vs. involuntary ownership.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
In response to a question by Representative J. Davies, Ms.                                                                      
Lynch acknowledged that there are property owners that feel                                                                     
that the borough will not foreclose on property due to the                                                                      
risk of liability. In some cases private businesses are                                                                         
being operated on property without paying the property tax.                                                                     
This puts their competitors at a disadvantage. She                                                                              
reiterated that in the case of a foreclosure that the                                                                           
borough is not voluntarily taking on the burden. The borough                                                                    
should be liable for obvious problems such as leaking                                                                           
batteries.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Austerman questioned the definition of                                                                           
"vessel" on page 2, line 17. Ms. Havegig noted that "vessel"                                                                    
means every description of water craft or other artificial                                                                      
contrivance that is used or is capable of being used as a                                                                       
means of transportation on water, or that carries hazardous                                                                     
substance for the purpose of incineration of the hazardous                                                                      
substance.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CRAIG TILLERY, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, ENVIRONMENTAL                                                                        
SECTION, DEPARTMENT OF LAW, ANCHORAGE testified via                                                                             
teleconference. He clarified that vessel would also apply to                                                                    
vehicles that have leaking batteries. He noted that the                                                                         
legislation provides a municipality with immunity for                                                                           
contaminates that are leaking on the property at the time                                                                       
the property is acquired. Municipalities would be                                                                               
responsible for addressing containers that are actively                                                                         
leaking at the time the property is acquired.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
VIRGIL NORTON, KENAI testified via teleconference. He                                                                           
provided information on the legislation. He noted that he                                                                       
worked with the Senate Judiciary Committee to add section                                                                       
(m). He maintained that AS 46.03.822 imposes obligations on                                                                     
property owners that discover contamination. He emphasized                                                                      
that cost recovery liability should be directed toward the                                                                      
person or the party that actually committed the act of                                                                          
pollution.  The responsible party is the party that first                                                                       
released the contaminate into the environment. He observed                                                                      
that the average person does not have the resources to                                                                          
battle the Department of Environmental Conservation or the                                                                      
Department of Law. He maintained that if the property owner                                                                     
has incurred costs in acting responsibly that he should be                                                                      
able to recover from the guilty party.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Therriault observed that there is a zero fiscal                                                                        
note from the Department of Transportation and Public                                                                           
Facilities.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster MOVED to report HCS CSSB110 (JUD) out                                                                     
of Committee with the accompanying fiscal note. There being                                                                     
NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HCS CSSB110 (JUD) was REPORTED out of Committee with a "do                                                                      
pass" recommendation and with a zero fiscal note by the                                                                         
Department of Transportation and Public Facilities,                                                                             
published date 4/29/99.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
NOMINATIONS TO THE ALCOHOL BEVERAGE CONTROL BOARD                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Therriault handed out information pertaining to                                                                        
nominations to the Alcohol Beverage Control Board. He                                                                           
observed that there would be a joint session to address                                                                         
confirmations. He noted that members did not indicate a                                                                         
desire to hold a meeting on the nominations.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL 11(JUD)                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to good time credits for prisoners                                                                             
serving sentences of imprisonment for certain murders."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
JAMES ARMSTRONG, STAFF, SENATOR DONLEY testified on behalf                                                                      
of the sponsor in support of SB 11. He read from the sponsor                                                                    
statement:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
"Senate Bill 11 would reduce good time sentence                                                                                 
reduction by one-half for individuals convicted of first                                                                        
and second degree murders.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Under Alaska statute 33.20.10, a prisoner is entitled to                                                                        
a deduction of one-third of the term of imprisonment if                                                                         
the prisoner follows the rules of that correctional                                                                             
facility." Persons convicted of first and second degree                                                                         
murder would be dropped down to sixteen and a half                                                                              
percent.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Bunde noted that correctional facilities use                                                                         
"good time" as a bribe for good behavior. He questioned the                                                                     
motivation for the legislation. Senator Donley decided to                                                                       
introduce the legislation after being approached by families                                                                    
of crime victims at a crime victims' memorial. Thirty other                                                                     
states have implemented similar provisions. Some require at                                                                     
least 85% of the sentence be served.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Therriault questioned if there is a problem under                                                                      
the equal protection provision. Mr. Armstrong noted that the                                                                    
original bill would have covered first and second degree                                                                        
attempted murder or conspiracy to commit murder in the first                                                                    
degree. These were removed. He did not think that there was                                                                     
a problem with the current legislation.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative J. Davies observed that the state of Alaska                                                                      
already has longer sentences than most other states. Mr.                                                                        
Armstrong noted that the legislation targets the most                                                                           
heinous offenders.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Therriault noted that the legislation is                                                                               
prospective. It would not affect current convictions.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
In response to a question by Representative Austerman, Mr.                                                                      
Armstrong clarified that the legislation would provide                                                                          
sentencing guidelines of 84.3 percent of sentence. Release                                                                      
for good time is currently at 66.3 percent of sentence. The                                                                     
Department of Corrections estimates that there will be a                                                                        
fiscal impact to the state in the year 2008. Representative                                                                     
J. Davies stated that the estimated impact is approximately                                                                     
$1.2 million dollars.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Armstrong reviewed a handout demonstrating the affect of                                                                    
SB 11 on the current prison population (copy on file). Vice-                                                                    
Chair Bunde stressed that SB 11 "would make a life sentence,                                                                    
truly a life sentence."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MARGOT KNUTH, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF                                                                         
CORRECTIONS provided information regarding the fiscal                                                                           
impacts of SB 11. The legislation would increase sentences                                                                      
for those convicted of murder 1 or 2. These sentences would                                                                     
have an impact starting in the year 2008. If these sentences                                                                    
had applied since statehood the accumulative impact would                                                                       
have been $50 million dollars to the state in additional                                                                        
incarceration time. She added that age 50 is considered old                                                                     
in prison life. The medical component greatly increases from                                                                    
age 50. There is no way to predict actual costs. She                                                                            
observed that pace makers range in cost from $15 to $50                                                                         
thousand dollars and gave other examples of the cost of                                                                         
keeping elderly prisoners incarcerated. She emphasized that                                                                     
once a prisoner reaches the age of 43 their recidivism rate                                                                     
drops to 2 percent. The legislation moves release ages from                                                                     
the 50's and 60's to 70's and beyond. She referred to an                                                                        
article, "Should Elderly Convicts be Kept in Prison", which                                                                     
was taken off the Internet (copy on file).                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
(Tape Change, HFC 99 - 138, Side 2)                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Knuth acknowledged that there are a few prisoners that                                                                      
receive relatively short sentences for murder 2, 15 - 20                                                                        
years. She reiterated that the legislation will costly to                                                                       
the state. She pointed out that shorter sentences are                                                                           
generally accompanied by extenuating circumstances.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Bunde questioned how SB 11 affects medical                                                                           
parole. Ms. Knuth noted that there is a parole option for                                                                       
medical circumstances, but emphasized that prisoners have to                                                                    
be essentially a quadriplegic. Prisoners must be non-                                                                           
ambulatory.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
In response to a question by Representative G. Davis, Mr.                                                                       
Armstrong stressed that the core of the legislation is that                                                                     
murders should not be entitled to the same "good time"                                                                          
release as other prisoners. Ms. Knuth pointed out that                                                                          
Alaskans that are convicted of murder 1 or 2 serve on an                                                                        
average 467 months. This is longer than other states that                                                                       
have "truth in sentencing".                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Therriault questioned the cost of the legislation                                                                      
past the year 2008. Ms. Knuth responded that the cost would                                                                     
increase ten fold every 10 years. In FY 2008 it would be $35                                                                    
thousand dollars. In FY 2018 it would increase to $533                                                                          
thousand dollars. The cost would be closer to $5 million in                                                                     
FY 2028. This does not include geriatric costs. She added                                                                       
that murder 1 and 2 have the lowest recidivism rates of any                                                                     
criminal group. Sex offenders have poor recidivism rates.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Armstrong argued that there is an issue of public policy                                                                    
versus the cost of the legislation.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 11(JUD) was heard and HELD in Committee for further                                                                        
consideration                                                                                                                   
CS for SENATE BILL NO. 51(L&C)                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
"An Act relating to barbers, hairdressers, manicurists,                                                                         
and cosmetologists; providing that the only                                                                                     
qualification necessary for licensure as a manicurist,                                                                          
other than payment of fees, is completion of a class                                                                            
that is 12 hours in duration, addresses relevant                                                                                
health, safety, and hygiene concerns, and is offered                                                                            
through a school approved by the Board of Barbers and                                                                           
Hairdressers; and providing for an effective date."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DOUGLAS SALIK, STAFF, SENATOR T. KELLY testified on behalf                                                                      
of the sponsor in support of the legislation. He explained                                                                      
that the legislation changes "cosmetologist" to                                                                                 
"esthetician" in multiple locations in the statutes. The                                                                        
legislation also requires a 12-hour hygiene class and a                                                                         
temporary license for those taking the class. The Board can                                                                     
add endorsement to the license for persons that complete an                                                                     
advance manicurist class. Reciprocity would be allowed with                                                                     
other states with similar classes. Senate Bill 51 also                                                                          
changes an instructor's license to a dual instructor's                                                                          
license. If further issues a temporary permit to persons                                                                        
that are licensed to practice the profession in another                                                                         
state. Students can have a permit to practice while they are                                                                    
continuing to learn the profession.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
In response to a question by Representative Foster, Mr.                                                                         
Salik noted that persons that do not comply with manicuring                                                                     
licensing requirements are guilty of a violation. "A person                                                                     
who practices barbering, hairdressing, or esthetics                                                                             
[COSMETOLOGY], or operates a shop, or operates a school of                                                                      
barbering, hairdressing, or esthetics  [COSMETOLOGY], or                                                                        
teaches in a school of barbering, hairdressing, or esthetics                                                                    
[COSMETOLOGY], without a license, temporary permit,                                                                             
temporary license, or student permit and who is not exempt                                                                      
under AS 08.13.120 or under AS 08.13.160(d) is guilty of a                                                                      
class B misdemeanor."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CATHERINE REARDON, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF OCCUPATIONAL                                                                           
LICENSING, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT                                                                      
provided information on the legislation. The Division of                                                                        
Occupational Licensing provides staff support to the Board                                                                      
of Barbers and Hairdressers. She observed that the Board has                                                                    
supported licensing of manicurists. The Board recommended                                                                       
changes to the name.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Therriault reviewed the accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                     
He noted that the Division has requested $8.5 thousand                                                                          
dollars for personal services and questioned the effect of                                                                      
not funding this amount. Ms. Reardon responded that there                                                                       
would be slower service in licensing. She noted that the                                                                        
Division is requesting less than a quarter position because                                                                     
they currently have a half-time position that can be                                                                            
expanded. There is also $3 thousand dollars in the                                                                              
Department of Commerce and Economic Development's fiscal                                                                        
note that will be collected in fees and paid to the                                                                             
Department of Environmental Conservation. The Department of                                                                     
Environmental Conservation is requesting $3 thousand dollars                                                                    
to cover the cost of writing the regulation.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster questioned if the class can be taken                                                                      
by correspondence. Ms. Reardon stated that the class could                                                                      
be offered by correspondence if the private sector offers                                                                       
the course. The legislation requires manicuring schools to                                                                      
offer the 12-hour course.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster expressed concern regarding the                                                                           
ability for rural residents to meet the requirements.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Salik stated that it is the sponsor's intent to keep the                                                                    
requirements at 12 hours to allow rural residents to                                                                            
complete the training within a weekend.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative J. Davies expressed concern with the use of                                                                      
"esthetics". Ms. Reardon explained that "cosmetologist"                                                                         
refers to persons that specialize in skin care. She noted                                                                       
that there is some confusion regarding the term. There is no                                                                    
grandfather clause.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
In response to a question by Representative Austerman, Mr.                                                                      
Salik stated that there is concern regarding the use of                                                                         
dental chemicals for manicures. The 12-hour health and                                                                          
safety hygiene class would address this issue.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Reardon stressed that if there is a danger that everyone                                                                    
should have the training. Representative Williams spoke in                                                                      
support of a two-year grandfather clause. Mr. Salik spoke                                                                       
against the inclusion of a grandfather clause.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grussendorf questioned if a problem exists.                                                                      
Ms. Reardon did not know if a problem exists. Vice-Chair                                                                        
Bunde stated that there is a problem on a national level. He                                                                    
felt that there was a reasonable need for the class                                                                             
requirement.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Reardon noted that an exemption was included for                                                                            
communities of less than 1,000 people that are not within 25                                                                    
miles of a community of more than 1,000. She observed that                                                                      
the worker is also at risk.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Austerman questioned if the legislation could                                                                    
be permissive. Mr. Salik stated that it is the sponsor's                                                                        
intent to assure that the safety and health of the public is                                                                    
protected. Ms. Reardon noted that there is an optional                                                                          
advance manicurist license. The 12-hour course is mandatory.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
(Tape Change, HFC 99 -139, Side 1)                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative J. Davies questioned if dangerous chemicals                                                                      
used by manicurist are available to the general public. Ms.                                                                     
Reardon did not think that there were state restrictions                                                                        
relating to the use of chemicals.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Bunde spoke in support of the legislation.                                                                           
Representative Foster questioned the need for the                                                                               
legislation. Representative Williams MOVED to report HCS CS                                                                     
51 (L&C) out of Committee with the accompanying fiscal                                                                          
notes. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HCS CS 51 (L&C) was REPORTED out of Committee with "no                                                                          
recommendation" and a fiscal impact note by the Department                                                                      
of Commerce and Economic Development; and a fiscal impact                                                                       
note by the Department of Environmental Conservation,                                                                           
published date 3/26/99.                                                                                                         
HOUSE BILL NO. 141                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
An Act providing for preferential voting in state and                                                                           
local elections.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Work draft #1-LS0669\S, Kurtz, 4/19/99 was adopted on                                                                           
4/20/99.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Therriault provided members with Amendment 1(copy                                                                      
on file).                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MIKE TIBBLES, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT explained                                                                        
Amendment 1. Amendment 1 would insert on line 8, page 2 one"                                                                    
and delete "candidates" and insert "one candidate for each                                                                      
office." The amendment clarifies that only one write in                                                                         
candidate per election can be marked as a preference.                                                                           
Current law only allows for one write in candidate. The                                                                         
amendment allows one write in candidate to be included in                                                                       
the voter's preference.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative J. Davies stated that the sentence is                                                                            
confusing. Co-Chair Therriault clarified that his motion                                                                        
would be conceptual and that the drafter could further                                                                          
clarify the language.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Therriault MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 2 (copy on                                                                         
file.) Mr. Tibbles explained that the amendment came as a                                                                       
request from the sponsor Representative Kott. Amendment 2                                                                       
would delete "first choice" on page 3, line 3. He explained                                                                     
that the language "first choice" would cause problems on the                                                                    
second and subsequent round of tabulation.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
GAIL FENUMIAI, ELECTION PROGRAM SPECIALIST, DIVISION OF                                                                         
ELECTION, OFFICE OF THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR provided                                                                            
information on HB 141. She clarified that after the first                                                                       
round elimination the next candidate that intention would be                                                                    
that the next candidate to be eliminated would be the                                                                           
candidate with the fewest votes, not the first choice least                                                                     
votes. She explained that after the first round, the                                                                            
candidate with the fewest first choice votes would have                                                                         
their second choice votes redistributed to the other                                                                            
candidates. If no candidate receives a majority then the                                                                        
candidate, in the remaining pool, that has the least number                                                                     
of votes would be eliminated and their second choice votes                                                                      
would be redistributed.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Therriault questioned if the language would be                                                                         
clarified by the addition of "that tabulation". Ms. Fenumiai                                                                    
responded that "accumulative" could be added.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative J. Davies summarized that the second choice                                                                      
becomes a first choice. Ms. Fenumiai observed that if there                                                                     
were five candidates and candidate number five had the least                                                                    
first choice votes then they would be eliminated and their                                                                      
second choice votes would be redistributed to candidates                                                                        
two, three and four. The candidate with the least remaining                                                                     
votes of these candidates would next be eliminated and their                                                                    
votes redistributed.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative J. Davies recommended the addition of                                                                            
"retabulated" or some other modifier.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
KELLY SULLIVAN, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE KOTT provided                                                                             
information on behalf of the sponsor. She noted that the                                                                        
sponsor supports the deletion of "first choice" on the                                                                          
advice of the Division.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative J. Davies MOVED to AMEND Amendment 2 by                                                                          
adding, "retabulated" before "first choice". "First choice"                                                                     
would remain in the legislation. There being NO OBJECTION,                                                                      
it was so ordered.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment 2 was adopted as                                                                            
amended. The new language read: "If no candidate receives a                                                                     
majority of the retabulated votes, then the remaining                                                                           
candidate with the fewest retabulated first choice votes                                                                        
shall be declared defeated."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative J. Davies provided members with Amendment 3                                                                      
(copy on file). Amendment 3 would add "for the offices of                                                                       
President and Vice-President of the United States." He noted                                                                    
that an Electoral College is used in the primary elections                                                                      
for President and Vice-President of the United States. Ms.                                                                      
Sullivan explained that the language was added to clarify                                                                       
that the preferential vote would be used for all elections.                                                                     
Representative J. Davies maintained that the system for                                                                         
selecting the President and Vice-President should be a                                                                          
nationally consistent process. Representative G. Davis                                                                          
pointed out that the legislation pertains to the popular                                                                        
vote not the Electoral College.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Davies, Grussendorf, Williams                                                                                         
OPPOSED: G. Davis, Austerman, Bunde, Mulder, Therriault                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representatives Foster, Kohring, and Moses were absent from                                                                     
the vote.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION FAILED (3-5).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Tibbles reviewed the fiscal note. He noted that the cost                                                                    
for the election is every other year and is not needed in                                                                       
the first year. The fiscal note reflects $175 thousand                                                                          
dollars for software redesign.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Fenuumiai responded that the fiscal note is inadequate                                                                      
to allow the Division to implement the legislation                                                                              
effectively. She added that the estimation for the software                                                                     
redesign was based on the first draft of the legislation,                                                                       
which did not contain the complex primary accounting                                                                            
mechanism. She did not think that the funding would be                                                                          
sufficient to get the programming enhanced. The remaining                                                                       
reduced amounts in subsequent years are not adequate.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
(Tape Change, HFC 99 - 139, Side 2)                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative J. Davies questioned why second choice votes                                                                     
are not counted. Co-Chair Therriault stressed that there                                                                        
would be no reason to switch to a person's second choice                                                                        
while their first choice is in the running. Representative                                                                      
J. Davies expressed further concerns with the legislation.                                                                      
He emphasized that it is difficult to anticipate the                                                                            
consequences of the system. He recommended that the                                                                             
legislation be held and discussed over the interim. He                                                                          
expressed concern that a person could get elected that had                                                                      
fewer first choice votes than another candidate did. He                                                                         
maintained that the issue is the number of registered voters                                                                    
that do not vote.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Austerman felt that the legislation should be                                                                    
in the form of a resolution. He emphasized that there should                                                                    
be a vote of the people.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Grussendorf spoke against moving the                                                                             
legislation. He pointed out that no other state has                                                                             
implemented the system for their elected officials. The                                                                         
system is only being used by the New York School Board,                                                                         
which is trying "to get out from under it."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Williams noted that the Division of                                                                              
Elections' fiscal note was reduced from $1.8 million dollars                                                                    
to $175 thousand dollars. Co-Chair Therriault pointed out                                                                       
that approximately $1 million dollars was included in the                                                                       
Division's fiscal note for new Accu-Vote machines for every                                                                     
voting location. The House Finance Committee fiscal note                                                                        
does not fund this request. Representative Williams noted                                                                       
the need to reduce additional spending.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Mulder recommended that the legislation be held for                                                                    
further view.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative G. Davis asked for more information regarding                                                                    
software needs. Ms. Fenumiai clarified that the current                                                                         
system that is responsible for tabulating ballots cannot                                                                        
accommodate the preferential voting system without                                                                              
substantial modification.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 141 was heard and HELD in Committee for further                                                                              
consideration.                                                                                                                  
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
The meeting adjourned at 4:20 p.m.                                                                                              
House Finance Committee 13 5/14/99                                                                                              

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