Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/02/1993 03:00 PM House L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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                                                   
  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                                                   
  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                               
  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                                                                   
  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                     
  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                  
  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                   
  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                      
  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                   
  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                   
  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                       
  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                   
  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.                   
  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.                           

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