Legislature(2021 - 2022)ADAMS 519

04/20/2022 09:00 AM House FINANCE

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      April 20, 2022                                                                                            
                         9:04 a.m.                                                                                              
9:04:41 AM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Merrick called the  House Finance Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 9:04 a.m.                                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Neal Foster, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Kelly Merrick, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Dan Ortiz, Vice-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Ben Carpenter                                                                                                    
Representative DeLena Johnson                                                                                                   
Representative Andy Josephson                                                                                                   
Representative Bart LeBon                                                                                                       
Representative Sara Rasmussen                                                                                                   
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Adam Wool                                                                                                        
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Senator  Gary Stevens,  Sponsor;  Ben  Brown, Chair,  Alaska                                                                    
State Council on  the Arts; Tim Lamkin,  Staff, Senator Gary                                                                    
Stevens;  Neil Steininger,  Director,  Office of  Management                                                                    
and  Budget, Office  of  the  Governor; Representative  Adam                                                                    
Wool,  Sponsor; Ashley  Carrick, Staff,  Representative Adam                                                                    
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Andrea Noble,  Executive Director,  Alaska State  Council on                                                                    
the  Arts, Eagle  River; Jeffery  Schmitz, DMV,  Division of                                                                    
Motor Vehicles, Department of  Administration; Dr. Julie Jak                                                                    
Meier,  Chair,   University  of  Alaska   Faculty  Alliance,                                                                    
HB 21     ADD FACULTY MEMBER UNIV BOARD OF REGENTS                                                                              
          HB 21 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
CSSB 71(FIN)                                                                                                                    
          COUNCIL ON ARTS: PLATES & MANAGE ART                                                                                  
          CSSB 71(FIN) was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                      
          further consideration.                                                                                                
Co-Chair Merrick reviewed the agenda for the morning.                                                                           
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 71(FIN)                                                                                                
     "An  Act  relating   to  special  request  registration                                                                    
     plates  celebrating the  arts; relating  to artwork  in                                                                    
     public  buildings  and   facilities;  relating  to  the                                                                    
     management of  artwork under the  art in  public places                                                                    
     fund; relating to  the powers and duties  of the Alaska                                                                    
     State  Council on  the  Arts;  establishing the  Alaska                                                                    
     arts and  cultural investment  fund; and  providing for                                                                    
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
9:05:15 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GARY  STEVENS, SPONSOR, thanked members  for hearing                                                                    
the bill. The  bill was related to the  Alaska State Council                                                                    
on  The  Arts  (ASCA)  and the  council  had  requested  the                                                                    
legislation.  It  was a  result  of  complications that  had                                                                    
occurred  during the  council's  budget cycle  in 2019.  The                                                                    
legislation  would  provide  some needed  stability  to  the                                                                    
council  and make  it less  reliant on  unrestricted general                                                                    
funds (UGF).                                                                                                                    
9:07:14 AM                                                                                                                    
BEN BROWN, CHAIR, ALASKA STATE  COUNCIL ON THE ARTS, thanked                                                                    
Senator   Stevens  for   introducing  the   legislation.  He                                                                    
detailed the purpose  of the bill and explained  that it was                                                                    
not simply about state license  plates. Prior to holding the                                                                    
first  contest  to  design  an  Alaska  license  plate,  the                                                                    
council ensured that  the winning plate would  become one of                                                                    
the  three default  plates available  in the  state, meaning                                                                    
that it  could be chosen  by drivers at no  additional cost.                                                                    
The license plate program had  been a tremendous success and                                                                    
had  become  a  popular  option at  the  Division  of  Motor                                                                    
Vehicles (DMV). He  thought that the license  plates were so                                                                    
popular because Alaskans were unified  in their love for the                                                                    
state's natural  beauty. The council thought  the popularity                                                                    
of the  plates presented an opportunity  to generate revenue                                                                    
with  the  program.  The  bill   would  implement  a  modest                                                                    
surcharge  at a  maximum  of $50,  though  the charge  would                                                                    
likely  be much  lower than  the  maximum. The  goal was  to                                                                    
charge  just  the  right  amount  in  order  to  reduce  the                                                                    
council's  reliance   on  UGF.  In  order   to  receive  the                                                                    
allocation  as  a  state  arts   agency  from  the  National                                                                    
Endowment  for the  Arts  (NEA), the  council  had to  match                                                                    
dollar-for-dollar about  a $700,000  grant that came  to the                                                                    
council  every  year as  part  of  a three-year  partnership                                                                    
agreement.   It  was possible  for the  program to  generate                                                                    
between  $50,000 and  $100,000.  He relayed  that it  seemed                                                                    
that the governor and the  Department of Administration were                                                                    
amenable to  the bill. He  was happy to discuss  the vetting                                                                    
of  the bill  that took  place  in the  House State  Affairs                                                                    
Committee, which was the previous committee of referral.                                                                        
9:10:18 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wool  wondered if  the artistic  plates would                                                                    
move in  statute from the  category of plates that  could be                                                                    
selected at the  DMV that came at no additional  cost to the                                                                    
category of plates with an additional fee.                                                                                      
Mr.  Brown replied  that  the artistic  plate  would not  be                                                                    
moved to another category in  statute. He explained that the                                                                    
artistic  plate  would  remain  one  of  the  three  default                                                                    
plates.  He relayed  that  the council  was  the only  state                                                                    
agency with its  own plate. The bill would  simply allow for                                                                    
a  surcharge  of  the artistic  plate  that  would  generate                                                                    
additional   revenue.  He   indicated  that   Representative                                                                    
Jonathan  Kreiss-Tompkins  was   involved  in  the  original                                                                    
legislation  for   the  artistic   plate  program   and  was                                                                    
insistent  that  the mechanism  of  the  program stayed  the                                                                    
same. He emphasized  that the process would  remain the same                                                                    
apart from the modest surcharge.                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Merrick   indicated  Representative   Johnson  had                                                                    
joined the meeting.                                                                                                             
Representative Wool  understood that  if a person  wanted an                                                                    
artistic  plate,  there  would  be a  surcharge  that  would                                                                    
benefit  ASCA.  Other  plates  that were  not  part  of  the                                                                    
default three also  had surcharges, but the  money would not                                                                    
go to a state agency.                                                                                                           
Mr. Brown responded that he was correct.                                                                                        
9:13:02 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Foster asked  if people  who already  had artistic                                                                    
plates would be grandfathered  in and therefore not required                                                                    
to pay the surcharge.                                                                                                           
Mr. Brown  responded that the  charge would only  apply when                                                                    
an individual  received the physical  plate. There  would be                                                                    
no additional  fee associated with car  registration renewal                                                                    
stickers for  individuals who  already had  artistic plates.                                                                    
Only  upon  receiving  a  new   plate  associated  with  the                                                                    
upcoming license  plate design  contest would the  fee begin                                                                    
to apply.                                                                                                                       
Co-Chair  Foster asked  whether  the surcharge  would be  in                                                                    
addition to the fees already in place.                                                                                          
Mr.  Brown responded  in the  affirmative.  The council  was                                                                    
envisioning a charge in the $3  range. A person would not be                                                                    
paying $50  or $100  as they  would with  some of  the other                                                                    
specialty plates.                                                                                                               
Representative LeBon  suggested that  people would  only pay                                                                    
the surcharge once.                                                                                                             
Mr. Brown responded that he was correct.                                                                                        
9:14:47 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Johnson  thought   that  the  surcharge  fee                                                                    
should be consistent.                                                                                                           
Mr.  Brown responded  that the  bill was  set up  with input                                                                    
from   DMV.  The   program  would   be  easy   to  implement                                                                    
administratively as  it would change  the current  system as                                                                    
little as  possible. He spoke  of the robust  interest there                                                                    
had  been in  the design  contest in  the past.  Over 15,000                                                                    
people  voted  to  select  the  currently  offered  artistic                                                                    
Co-Chair  Merrick  indicated  Representative  Rasmussen  and                                                                    
Representative Carpenter had joined the meeting.                                                                                
Representative Wool  asked whether the  $3 fee was  the goal                                                                    
of the  bill. He thought  it seemed  low and wondered  if it                                                                    
would  be  enough  to  generate   the  revenue  the  council                                                                    
desired. He asked where the revenue would be applied.                                                                           
Mr. Brown  thought people would  pay more for  luxury goods,                                                                    
but license plates were not a  luxury item. There would be a                                                                    
public process  in which the council  would receive feedback                                                                    
on  whether the  $3  fee seemed  reasonable.  If the  public                                                                    
thought the fee should be higher, it might be revised.                                                                          
9:17:52 AM                                                                                                                    
TIM  LAMKIN,   STAFF,  SENATOR  GARY  STEVENS,   noted  that                                                                    
committee packets included a  helpful document: "DMV License                                                                    
Plates Total by Calendar year"  (copy on file). He explained                                                                    
that it behooved  the council to not make  the surcharge too                                                                    
high. The maximum  fee was set at $50 in  the bill simply to                                                                    
allow for  flexibility, but  it was  unlikely that  it would                                                                    
reach that amount.                                                                                                              
Co-Chair  Merrick indicated  that her  notes reflected  that                                                                    
three members recommended amending  the bill. She asked what                                                                    
the suggestions were.                                                                                                           
Mr.  Brown  relayed that  there  was  some discussion  about                                                                    
other  sections of  the bill  unrelated  to license  plates.                                                                    
There were  some questions about legal  counsel and ensuring                                                                    
that it was  clear that the Attorney General  would serve as                                                                    
legal counsel for ASCA. There  were also questions about the                                                                    
Arts and Culture  Investment Fund in Section 6  of the bill.                                                                    
He  assumed  that  this  section   was  the  target  of  the                                                                    
amendments but  disagreed with  amending the  section. There                                                                    
had been  significant collaborative work to  ensure that the                                                                    
bill  would not  create a  dedicated fund  but a  designated                                                                    
fund. He elaborated that the  $700,000 that ASCA received as                                                                    
part of  the agreement with NEA  was only 45 percent  of the                                                                    
council's  budget. The  remaining 55  percent came  from the                                                                    
Rasmuson Foundation  and other  state partners.  The council                                                                    
was the only state  agency leveraging non-governmental money                                                                    
to  accomplish its  work.  He thought  it  was important  to                                                                    
identify that the council was bringing in private funds.                                                                        
Co-Chair  Merrick  agreed that  Section  6  might have  been                                                                    
9:21:30 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Foster asked if the fund was sweep-able.                                                                               
Mr. Brown understood that it was not.                                                                                           
Mr. Lamkin  confirmed that  the issue came  up in  the State                                                                    
Affairs  Committee and  representatives from  the Department                                                                    
of Law  and the  Legislative Division  reported that  it was                                                                    
not sweep-able.                                                                                                                 
9:22:25 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair   Foster  asked   what   the   vision  was   around                                                                    
capitalizing the  fund. He wondered whether  the state would                                                                    
capitalize  the fund  or if  it  would be  a combination  of                                                                    
state and private capitalizations.                                                                                              
Mr.  Brown  responded  that  the  fund  consisted  of  money                                                                    
appropriated by  the legislature, donation funds,  and other                                                                    
sources.  It  was  a  combination  of  state,  federal,  and                                                                    
private contributions.                                                                                                          
Co-Chair  Foster  asked  what  the plan  would  be  for  the                                                                    
initial capitalization from the state.                                                                                          
Mr. Brown responded that it would  be the same as the budget                                                                    
allocation,  which was  approximately  $3.7  million in  the                                                                    
operating  budget.  He  thought   the  allocation  had  been                                                                    
pleasingly consistent.                                                                                                          
9:23:40 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wool  referred to the license  plate handout.                                                                    
He  noted  that the  artistic  plate  was the  most  popular                                                                    
option in  2019. He relayed  that when he had  recently gone                                                                    
to get  a new license plate,  he was told by  a DMV employee                                                                    
that he would  simply get whichever plate was on  the top of                                                                    
the  pile and  he did  not  get a  choice. He  asked if  the                                                                    
surcharge  might   cause  the  amount  of   artistic  plates                                                                    
distributed to go down.                                                                                                         
Mr. Brown would be surprised  if it was normal DMV procedure                                                                    
to  get the  plate  that was  at  the top  of  the pile.  He                                                                    
thought the only  thing that would change would  be that the                                                                    
artistic  license  plate  would include  the  surcharge.  He                                                                    
thought  the question  would  be better  suited  for DMV  in                                                                    
terms of  how staff was trained.  The goal was to  make sure                                                                    
the  license   plates  were   accessible.  He   assured  the                                                                    
committee that  the artistic plate  contest would  be highly                                                                    
Co-Chair Merrick jokingly asked  if rank-choice voting would                                                                    
Mr. Brown  supposed that it  could, but  it would be  at the                                                                    
discretion of the council.                                                                                                      
Representative  Thompson  was  in  favor  of  the  bill  and                                                                    
offered to cosponsor it.                                                                                                        
9:26:49 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Merrick asked Mr. Brown  to present the fiscal note                                                                    
from  the  Department  of Education  and  Early  Development                                                                    
(DEED)with control code zPppx.                                                                                                  
Mr. Brown deferred to Mr. Lamkin.                                                                                               
9:27:08 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
9:28:19 AM                                                                                                                    
ANDREA NOBLE,  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,  ALASKA STATE  COUNCIL ON                                                                    
THE ARTS,  EAGLE RIVER (via teleconference),  explained that                                                                    
Fiscal Note 6 with control  code zPppx had a one-time impact                                                                    
of  $6,000 in  order to  meet the  obligations set  forth in                                                                    
9:30:17 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Merrick  asked  Mr. Steininger  to  review  Fiscal                                                                    
Note 4 put forth by the governor with control code FVAZY.                                                                       
NEIL STEININGER, DIRECTOR, OFFICE  OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET,                                                                    
OFFICE OF THE  GOVERNOR, explained that the  fiscal note was                                                                    
indeterminate and  structured to ensure that  the fund would                                                                    
not be  considered a  dedicated fund.  It would  ensure that                                                                    
the  funds  were  appropriated  by  the  legislature  before                                                                    
becoming available  to the  council. The  fiscal note  was a                                                                    
placeholder for  a language section item  that would include                                                                    
the amount of capitalization should the bill pass.                                                                              
Co-Chair Merrick  indicated Fiscal Note 5  would be reviewed                                                                    
at a future meeting.                                                                                                            
9:31:43 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Carpenter asked  if there  was an  estimated                                                                    
cost that would be incurred by the Department of Law.                                                                           
Mr. Brown  replied that the  Department of Law was  de facto                                                                    
counsel  for  ASCA. In  2019  when  funds were  vetoed,  the                                                                    
assistant attorney general at the  time was having to advise                                                                    
two clients with diametrically  opposed positions, which was                                                                    
a  violation of  the rules  of conduct.  It would  have been                                                                    
better to have a second  attorney general to advise ASCA. He                                                                    
suggested that a fiscal note  by the Department of Law would                                                                    
be indeterminate  because ASCA's need for  legal counsel was                                                                    
unpredictable.  He added  that  in the  unlikely event  that                                                                    
ASCA needed to  hire outside legal counsel, it  would not be                                                                    
a reimbursable service agreement.                                                                                               
Co-Chair  Merrick indicated  a representative  from DMV  was                                                                    
available to  review Fiscal  Note 5  from the  Department of                                                                    
Administration with control code mqgls.                                                                                         
9:35:04 AM                                                                                                                    
JEFFERY SCHMITZ, DMV, DIRECTOR,  DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF MOTOR                                                                    
VEHICLES,     DEPARTMENT      OF     ADMINISTRATION     (via                                                                    
teleconference),  reviewed  the  fiscal note.  He  explained                                                                    
that DMV made an estimate  that just over 3,000 people would                                                                    
select the  artistic plate option.  However, it  was unclear                                                                    
how  accurate that  estimate was.  The surcharge  amount was                                                                    
also unknown and  the DMV based the estimate  on the maximum                                                                    
surcharge of $50.                                                                                                               
Representative   Wool   asked   how  license   plates   were                                                                    
distributed.  He asked  if  people were  able  to choose  or                                                                    
simply given the next plate available.                                                                                          
Mr. Schmitz  responded that people  were given a  choice. It                                                                    
would  not  be the  correct  procedure  if people  were  not                                                                    
offered a choice between plate types.                                                                                           
CSSB 71(FIN)  was HEARD  and HELD  in committee  for further                                                                    
9:37:17 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
9:39:21 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Merrick invited Representative Wool to begin.                                                                          
HOUSE BILL NO. 21                                                                                                             
     "An  Act  relating  to  the Board  of  Regents  of  the                                                                    
     University of Alaska."                                                                                                     
9:39:42 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ADAM  WOOL, SPONSOR, provided a  brief review                                                                    
of the bill. He explained that  the bill would add a faculty                                                                    
member to  the Board of  Regents who would serve  a two-year                                                                    
term. Each University  of Alaska (UA) campus  would pick two                                                                    
faculty members  and the governor  would pick one,  and that                                                                    
person would  have to be  confirmed by the  legislature. The                                                                    
faculty   regent  would   have   all   the  privileges   and                                                                    
responsibilities  of the  other regents.  University faculty                                                                    
had requested  this change for  many years as it  would give                                                                    
them a seat at the table.  Many decisions were made when the                                                                    
board  goes  into  executive session  and  the  faculty  was                                                                    
excluded from those conversations.                                                                                              
9:41:47 AM                                                                                                                    
ASHLEY CARRICK, STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE ADAM WOOL, introduced                                                                    
the PowerPoint  Presentation: "HB  21: University  of Alaska                                                                    
Faculty  Regent" (copy  on  file). She  began  by reading  a                                                                    
portion of the sponsor statement:                                                                                               
     The  University  of Alaska  has  a  mission to  inspire                                                                    
     learning,  advance  and disseminate  knowledge  through                                                                    
     teaching,   research,  and   public  service,   and  to                                                                    
     emphasize  the  North  and  its  diverse  peoples.  The                                                                    
     University  of Alaska  Board of  Regents  is an  eleven                                                                    
     member board  that is responsible for  helping to guide                                                                    
     the University towards this mission.  The addition of a                                                                    
     Faculty  Regent  to  the  Board  would  serve  to  help                                                                    
     advance   this   mission   and   to   provide   further                                                                    
     representation to this key University stakeholder                                                                          
Ms.  Carrick discussed  the University  of  Alaska Board  of                                                                    
Regents  membership  on slide  2.  She  summarized from  the                                                                    
slide as follows:                                                                                                               
    10 Regents serve 8-year terms                                                                                            
    1 Student regent:                                                                                                        
        o Serves a 2-year term                                                                                                  
        o Has full board powers                                                                                                 
        o Must have 2.5 cumulative GPA                                                                                          
        o 2 students are elected by their campus                                                                                
        o and then a nominee is selected by the Governor                                                                        
    Current Role of Faculty with the BOR:                                                                                    
        o Faculty Alliance makes a report at each BOR                                                                           
        o Able to be called on to answer questions                                                                              
9:43:26 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Carrick continued to slide  3 to review a state-by-state                                                                    
comparison. She relayed that there  were 24 state university                                                                    
systems that had a student  regent and five systems that had                                                                    
a  faculty  regent. She  noted  that  Vermont was  currently                                                                    
considering  similar legislation  as HB  21 which  would add                                                                    
faculty  and staff  members to  the board.  Additionally, 15                                                                    
percent of  private institutions  also had a  voting faculty                                                                    
Ms.  Carrick  turned to  slides  4  and  5 to  discuss  some                                                                    
examples  of  faculty  regents  in  the  states  of  Oregon,                                                                    
Pennsylvania,   West   Virginia,  Florida,   Kentucky,   and                                                                    
Tennessee.  Each of  the states  had dramatically  different                                                                    
board  compositions. Most  states had  a Board  of Trustees,                                                                    
which would vary dramatically in  how many members served on                                                                    
the board.                                                                                                                      
Ms.  Carrick explained  how HB  21  worked on  slide 6.  She                                                                    
summarized from the slide:                                                                                                      
    Increases the number of Regents from 11 to 12                                                                            
    2 nominees from the Faculty Senate of each of the                                                                        
     three main campuses are put forward                                                                                        
    Governor  selects   one    appointee,   subject    to                                                                    
     confirmation by the Legislature                                                                                            
    Faculty must be tenured                                                                                                  
    Serves a 2-year term                                                                                                     
    Has the full powers of a  regent for  voting, travel,                                                                    
     and entering executive session                                                                                             
    Majority vote needed for  a motion  of  the Board  to                                                                    
9:45:58 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Carrick moved  to slide 7 to talk about  the benefits of                                                                    
a faculty regent. She read from the slide as follows:                                                                           
    More than a "seat at the tabl                                                                                            
    Faculty can enter executive session, travel for Board                                                                    
     meetings, and can vote                                                                                                     
    Improves the   ability   for   faculty   to   provide                                                                    
     stakeholder interest                                                                                                       
    Held to a standard of professionalism- they can recuse                                                                   
     themselves from a conflicted vote                                                                                          
    Ensures that faculty,  like  students,  are  given  a                                                                    
     voting interest in University affairs                                                                                      
Ms.  Carrick concluded  the  presentation  and made  herself                                                                    
available for questions.                                                                                                        
9:46:45 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative LeBon asked why  not allow the Faculty Senate                                                                    
to select one  nominee and the chancellor  to select another                                                                    
nominee. He wondered if his suggestion had been discussed.                                                                      
Representative  Wool replied  that  his  suggestion had  not                                                                    
been discussed.                                                                                                                 
Representative  LeBon  asked why  it  was  proposed for  the                                                                    
Faulty Senate to select two nominees rather than one.                                                                           
Representative   Wool  responded   that  it   provided  more                                                                    
options. It would  allow the governor to pick  from a larger                                                                    
pool and would allow for more discretion.                                                                                       
Representative  LeBon thought  that  commonality and  choice                                                                    
would  already  exist  within the  choices  of  the  Faculty                                                                    
Senate. Whereas,  if the chancellor  were to appoint  one of                                                                    
the positions it would allow  for more diversity rather than                                                                    
the same group providing two names.                                                                                             
9:48:11 AM                                                                                                                    
DR.  JULIE JAK  MEIER, CHAIR,  UNIVERSITY OF  ALASKA FACULTY                                                                    
ALLIANCE,  FAIRBANKS  (via  teleconference),  explained  the                                                                    
rationale behind the Alaska  Faculty Alliance's (AFA) desire                                                                    
to add a  faculty regent to the board. She  relayed that AFA                                                                    
represented  all  faculty  members  across  the  UA  system.                                                                    
Adding  a  faculty regent  was  one  of the  most  important                                                                    
things the  legislature could  do to help  UA. It  should be                                                                    
done for the  sake of the students, the  university, and the                                                                    
state. The  Board of Regents  currently only  heard feedback                                                                    
from  a   single  voice,   which  was   the  voice   of  the                                                                    
administration. Although  the administration  was important,                                                                    
there were other  groups that were not  currently allowed to                                                                    
participate in  the board  process that  should be  heard as                                                                    
well.   Faculty  were   uniquely  positioned   to  bring   a                                                                    
knowledgeable  and   positive  perspective  to   the  board.                                                                    
Generally,  critical knowledge  of  the faculty  perspective                                                                    
was lacking within the board,  and faculty members were well                                                                    
suited  to provide  critical  information.  She thought  the                                                                    
legislature  was  wise  to  have   added  a  student  regent                                                                    
position  to  the   board  and  the  position   had  been  a                                                                    
successful addition.  She argued that  it was time to  add a                                                                    
faculty  member  position  to  provide  a  deeper  and  more                                                                    
thorough understanding  of the  university and what  it took                                                                    
to  help students  succeed. The  faculty  regent could  help                                                                    
other members  remain informed,  result in  better decisions                                                                    
being made,  and help  the board  more effectively  lead the                                                                    
university system.                                                                                                              
9:51:28 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative  LeBon  asked  Dr. Maier  whether  there  was                                                                    
discussion  about  allowing   each  campus's  chancellor  to                                                                    
nominate a faculty member for selection to the board.                                                                           
Dr.  Meier  responded  that constituent  groups  were  often                                                                    
consulted in decision making processes.  The problem she saw                                                                    
with  the  chancellors  potentially appointing  faculty  was                                                                    
that    the   chancellors    would   likely    select   more                                                                    
"administration  friendly" faculty  members. She  thought it                                                                    
was   most   important   to   nominate   people   who   were                                                                    
knowledgeable  about   governance.  If  a  member   was  not                                                                    
experienced, it took about one year  to get up to speed. She                                                                    
thought the  Faculty Senate would  select nominees  who were                                                                    
knowledgeable  both   about  faculty   issues  as   well  as                                                                    
Representative LeBon asked if it  would be acceptable if the                                                                    
bill were to  be amended to allow each  campus chancellor to                                                                    
make a nomination, or would it ruin the bill.                                                                                   
Dr.  Meier  responded that  she  would  be against  such  an                                                                    
amendment. The nominee needed to  put students first without                                                                    
being preoccupied  by the chancellor's opinion.  She thought                                                                    
it would detract from the bill.                                                                                                 
9:54:52 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Rasmussen asked why  the decision was made to                                                                    
add  one faculty  member  rather than  two.  She thought  it                                                                    
might be better to have an odd number on the board.                                                                             
Representative  Wool  replied  that he  had  not  considered                                                                    
adding two faculty  members. He agreed that  the board would                                                                    
be  comprised of  an even  number  of members.  Many of  the                                                                    
votes made by  the board were either unanimous  or there was                                                                    
an  overwhelming majority.  If there  was a  situation where                                                                    
the vote  was close, it  likely signified that  there needed                                                                    
to be  more discussion on the  subject. He thought it  was a                                                                    
valid  suggestion to  add  two members,  but  he thought  it                                                                    
should  start  with one  additional  member.  Also, in  past                                                                    
years there  had been  turmoil within  the Board  of Regents                                                                    
and discussion of unifying into  a single university. One of                                                                    
the complaints  from faculty members  was that they  had not                                                                    
been included in the discussions  around unification. One of                                                                    
the goals  of the  bill was to  ensure that  faculty members                                                                    
had a voice on the board,  particularly when it went into an                                                                    
executive session.                                                                                                              
Representative   Rasmussen  supported   having  boots-on-the                                                                    
ground board members.                                                                                                           
Co-Chair  Merrick indicated  that the  fiscal note  would be                                                                    
reviewed at a future hearing.                                                                                                   
HB  21  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
9:58:07 AM                                                                                                                    
The meeting was adjourned at 9:58 a.m.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 21 Backup Faculty Alliance Support Letter.pdf HFIN 4/20/2022 9:00:00 AM
HB 21
HB 21 Sectional.pdf HFIN 4/20/2022 9:00:00 AM
HB 21
HB 21 Sponsor.pdf HFIN 4/20/2022 9:00:00 AM
HB 21
HB 21 Backup Intro Presentation.pdf HFIN 4/20/2022 9:00:00 AM
HB 21