Legislature(1993 - 1994)
02/02/1993 03:00 PM House L&C
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
JOINT HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE & HOUSE INTERNATIONAL TRADE & TOURISM STANDING COMMITTEES February 2, 1993 3:00 p.m. L&C MEMBERS PRESENT Rep. Bill Hudson, Chairman Rep. Joe Green, Vice Chairman Rep. Brian Porter Rep. Bill Williams Rep. Eldon Mulder Rep. Jerry Mackie L&C MEMBERS ABSENT Rep. Joe Sitton ITT MEMBERS PRESENT Rep. Jeannette James, Chairman Rep. Jerry Sanders Rep. Joe Green Rep. Jim Nordland Rep. Cynthia Toohey ITT MEMBERS ABSENT Rep. Curt Menard Rep. Terry Martin COMMITTEE CALENDAR *HB 92: "An Act relating to notaries; and providing for an effective date." MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE Confirmation hearing of Paul Fuhs, Commissioner Designee of the Department Commerce and Economic Development WITNESS REGISTER REP. GENE THERRIAULT Alaska State Legislature Room 421, State Capitol Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 465-4797 Position Statement: Prime Sponsor of HB 92 PATTY TROTT Notary Commissions Administrator Office of the Lieutenant Governor P.O. Box 110015 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0015 Position Statement: Supported HB 92 PAUL FUHS, Commissioner Designee Department of Commerce and Economic Development P.O. Box 110800 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0800 465-2500 Position Statement: Answered questions PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 92 SHORT TITLE: REGULATION OF NOTARIES PUBLIC BILL VERSION: SSHB 92 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) THERRIAULT TITLE: "An Act relating to notaries; and providing for an effective date." JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/27/93 163 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/27/93 164 (H) LABOR & COMMERCE, JUDICIARY 02/01/93 198 (H) SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED-REFERRALS 02/01/93 198 (H) LABOR & COMMERCE, JUDICIARY 02/02/93 (H) L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 124 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 7, SIDE A Number 001 CHAIRMAN BILL HUDSON convened the House Labor and Commerce Committee at 3:07 p.m., February 2, 1993. Members present were Reps. Hudson, Porter, Mulder, Williams and Green. HB 92: REGULATION OF NOTARIES PUBLIC Number 064 REP. GENE THERRIAULT, PRIME SPONSOR OF HB 92, read his sponsor statement and the sectional analysis to the committee and offered them for the record. Number 282 REP. BRIAN PORTER noted that during the campaign one of the concerns expressed over and over was regulation reform. He asked the sponsor what this bill would fix. Number 322 REP. THERRIAULT answered that the Lt. Governor's office deals on a daily basis with persons who are questioning the signatures of notaries. He also outlined a court case his attorney/wife had where a document was forged, seven years had passed, and then the notary couldn't remember the details of the transaction. REP. THERRIAULT noted that the use of a journal would eliminate problems in this area. He explained that the use of the inking seal as opposed to the embossed one would save costs and eliminate the problem of not being able to fax or duplicate something notarized as the raised area won't show. REP. PORTER questioned the use of the word "fee" on page 3, line 6. Number 370 PATTY TROTT, NOTARY COMMISSIONS ADMINISTRATOR, OFFICE OF THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, agreed with the committee that removal of the word fee would not hurt the intent of HB 92. REP. PORTER moved amendment 1: delete the word "fee" from page 3, line 6. The amendment was approved with unanimous consent and adopted. Number 375 REP. ELDON MULDER asked if through regulations it would be required that notaries change from the embossed seal to the inking stamp. MS. TROTT stated that the Lt. Governor does not have the authority to make that change. REP. MULDER voiced his opposition to the bill because of over-regulation. Number 393 REP. THERRIAULT expressed his support of HB 97 and suggested that while on first blush the bill may appear to make things more complicated, he didn't think that was so. He further noted that the cost will not go up, as the ink stamp will cost less than an embossing seal and the required journal runs about $15. Number 406 CHAIRMAN HUDSON inquired if the notary would be required to maintain the journal in the event there was a question about a prior notarization or would they have to periodically be required to turn them in to the Lt. Governor' office. MS. TROTT explained that a copy of the journal would only be sent to the Lt. Governor' office in the event of a notary's resignation. REP. GREEN asked if Rep. Therriault or Ms. Trott would address the concerns addressed in the sole opposition letter; primarily, exactly what happens to the journals after a notary gives up the commission. MS. TROTT answered that the Lt. Governor's office has served as the clearing house for notary information and the journals could be kept there for reference. Number 440 CHAIRMAN HUDSON questioned why the notary seals would be required to be returned to the Lt. Governor' office. Chairman Hudson noted that these are personal property. MS. TROTT explained that in the past there has been a problem with stolen seals and this would be one way to eliminate that problem. Number 458 REP. PORTER asked if there was a limit on the amount of time a person had to keep back journals. REP. THERRIAULT said that memories fade over the years but the journals would always be there for reference. REP. BILL WILLIAMS expressed concern over the amount of paperwork this bill would create. Number 516 MS. TROTT noted that Alaska's statutes on the duties and responsibilities of notaries is archaic and this bill would bring the statutes up to a minimum level compared to other states. Number 529 REP. GREEN expressed concern that given the numbers of notaries in the state and the amount of work they do, the bureaucracy would be an incredible burden both on the notary and the Lt. Governor's office. MS. TROTT disagreed, pointing out the computer capabilities the state has at its disposal. Number 565 CHAIRMAN HUDSON expressed his view that the committee had major concerns with the portion of HB 92 concerning keeping the journal, but other parts of the bill seemed to have support. REP. THERRIAULT said that the keeping of the journal was the meat of the bill. Number 638 REP. PORTER moved that HB 92 as amended be passed out of committee with individual recommendations. Without objection it was so ordered. TAPE 7, SIDE 2 Number 000 CHAIRMAN HUDSON convened the joint meeting with the House International Trade and Tourism Committee to hear the confirmation of Commissioner Designee Paul Fuhs. Members of the House International Trade and Tourism Committee present were Reps. Jeannette James, Jerry Sanders, Joe Green, Jim Nordland and Cynthia Toohey. Number 029 COMMISSIONER FUHS gave an opening statement and noted that his resume reflected the experience he has had in the area of economic development and management. Number 010 REP. GREEN asked what Commissioner Fuhs remembers or knows about the transfer of duties or combination thereof of the departments of Natural Resources and Commerce and Economic Development. Number 015 COMMISSIONER FUHS answered that the duty of the Department of Commerce and Economic Development is to advocate for business, and the duty of the Department of Natural Resources is the overall responsibility to manage resources. Commissioner Fuhs further noted that it was important for the two commissioners to work closely together. Number 159 REP. WILLIAMS asked the Commissioner how he felt about fin fish farming. COMMISSIONER FUHS stated that fin fish farming is politically dead in Alaska. Number 181 CHAIRMAN HUDSON observed that the Department of Commerce should have some sort of positioning within each of the other departments to make government more user-friendly to business. Number 225 COMMISSIONER FUHS pointed out to the committee that the Department has implemented multi-agency work groups to encourage more communication and cooperation in the executive branch. In turn, this type of communication and cooperation should make each department accessible and user-friendly. Number 232 REP. JEANNETTE JAMES asked Commissioner Fuhs what he envisioned for the future of international trade. COMMISSIONER FUHS stated that the areas of growth are oil and gas. He further stated that the Department is working hard on the sale of natural gas and they already have a commitment from Taiwan and they may, with President Clinton's help, get some commitment from Japan. COMMISSIONER FUHS added that another area of growth is timber. The prices are high and it is a seller's market. COMMISSIONER FUHS also added tourism and fisheries as strong areas of growth. Number 232 REP. JAMES asked what the Commissioner could do to add to the continuity in international trade. COMMISSIONER FUHS said that the Governor appointed Max Hodel to International Trade and he has moved to Tokyo to strengthen our interests in this area. Number 308 CHAIRMAN HUDSON, as former head of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Council, expressed concern regarding the intrusion of farmed fish coming from all over the world. COMMISSIONER FUHS explained that it is a policy question at this point; how much is done to combat this growth is directly related to money and how much can be spent on the problem. REP. TOOHEY asked what the Commissioner saw for tourism. COMMISSIONER FUHS explained that according to data he has, marketing is out in front of the state's ability to provide destinations and work needed to be done on additional attractions here in Alaska. Number 443 REP. TOOHEY noted that she had received lots of phone calls of support for Commissioner Fuhs. Number 450 REP. MACKIE stated his support for the confirmation of Mr. Fuhs. Number 468 REP. GREEN moved and asked unanimous consent for the confirmation of Paul Fuhs as Commissioner of the Department of Commerce and Economic Development. With no objection, Paul Fuhs' name was passed out of the Labor and Commerce Committee with a do confirm recommendation. REP. JAMES asked for the same recommendation from the International Trade and Tourism Committee, which was so moved. Without objections, Paul Fuhs' name was passed out of the International Trade and Tourism Committee with a do confirm recommendation. CHAIRMAN HUDSON adjourned the meeting at 4:20 p.m.