Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/30/1993 08:00 AM House STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                            
                         March 30, 1993                                        
                            8:00 a.m.                                          
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
  Representative Al Vezey, Chairman                                            
  Representative Pete Kott, Vice Chairman                                      
  Representative Harley Olberg                                                 
  Representative Jerry Sanders                                                 
  Representative Fran Ulmer                                                    
  Representative Bettye Davis                                                  
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
  Representative Gary Davis                                                    
  OTHER HOUSE MEMBERS PRESENT                                                  
  Representative Cliff Davidson                                                
  Representative John Davies                                                   
  Representative Mike Navarre                                                  
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
  *HCR 11   Designating the month of March as "Women's History                 
            MOVED FROM COMMITTEE BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT                          
  HB 175    "An Act making an appropriation for a grant for                    
            construction of the Women In Military Service                      
            Memorial; and providing for an effective date."                    
            MOVED FROM COMMITTEE BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT                          
  SB 49     "An Act relating to preelection reports; closing                   
            the two day reporting gap in those reports;                        
            setting the date of February 15 for filing year-                   
            end campaign finance reports; and requiring                        
            reporting of zero year-end reports."                               
            MOVED FROM COMMITTEE WITH INDIVIDUAL                               
  HB 37     "An Act relating to open meetings of governmental                  
  HB 46     "An Act relating to frequent traveler credit for                   
            state-paid travel."                                                
            HELD IN COMMITTEE FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION                        
  (* denotes first public hearing)                                             
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
  Representative Bettye Davis                                                  
  State Capitol, Court Room 600                                                
  Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                         
  Position Statement: Prime Sponsor, HCR 11                                    
  Representative John Davies                                                   
  State Capitol, Court Room 604                                                
  Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                    
  Position Statement: Prime Sponsor, HB 37                                     
  Representative Mike Navarre                                                  
  Room 521, State Capitol                                                      
  Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                    
  Position Statement: Prime Sponsor, HB 208                                    
  Denny DeWitt, Director                                                       
  Division of Pioneers Benefits                                                
  Department of Administration                                                 
  P.O. Box 110211                                                              
  Juneau, Alaska 99811-0211                                                    
  Position Statement: Perceived a need for HB 208                              
  Representative Cliff Davidson                                                
  Room 400, State Capitol                                                      
  Juneau, Alaska  99801-1182                                                   
  Position Statement: Prime Sponsor, HB 175                                    
  Joelle Hall                                                                  
  Army Veteran                                                                 
  445 Nelson Street                                                            
  Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                         
  Position Statement: Supported HB 175                                         
  PREVIOUS ACTION                                                              
  BILL:  HCR 11                                                                
  SHORT TITLE:  WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH                                          
  BILL VERSION:                                                                
  SPONSOR(S):   REPRESENTATIVE(S) B.DAVIS,Ulmer,Brown,                         
  TITLE: Designating the month of March as "Women's History                    
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  03/01/93       484    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  03/01/93       484    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS                                    
  03/30/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  BILL:  HB 175                                                                
  BILL VERSION:                                                                
  SPONSOR(S):   REPRESENTATIVE(S) DAVIDSON,Ulmer,Menard,                       
  TITLE: "An Act making an appropriation for a grant for                       
  construction of the Women In Military Service Memorial; and                  
  providing for an effective date."                                            
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  02/24/93       434    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  02/24/93       434    (H)   MLV, STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE                      
  03/17/93              (H)   MLV AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 17                       
  03/17/93              (H)   MINUTE(MLV)                                      
  03/19/93       705    (H)   MLV RPT  4DP                                     
  03/19/93       705    (H)   DP: WILLIS, MULDER, FOSTER,                      
  03/30/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  03/30/93       850    (H)   STA RPT  5DP                                     
  03/30/93       850    (H)   DP: VEZEY,B.DAVIS,OLBERG,KOTT,                   
  03/30/93       850    (H)   REFERRED TO FINANCE                              
  BILL:  SB 49                                                                 
  SHORT TITLE:  YEAR-END CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS                              
  BILL VERSION:                                                                
  SPONSOR(S):   SENATOR(S) KELLY,Donley,Kerttula,Pearce,Taylor                 
  TITLE: "An Act relating to preelection reports; closing the                  
  two-day reporting gap in those reports;filing year-end                       
  campaign finance reports; and requiring reporting of zero                    
  year-end reports."                                                           
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  01/19/93        91    (S)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/19/93        91    (S)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY,                        
  01/29/93              (S)   STA AT 09:00 AM BUTROVICH ROOM                   
  01/29/93              (S)   MINUTE(STA)                                      
  02/01/93       202    (S)   STA RPT  2DP 1NR                                 
  02/01/93       202    (S)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (ADM)                           
  02/17/93              (S)   JUD AT 01:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211                   
  02/17/93              (S)   MINUTE(JUD)                                      
  02/19/93              (S)   JUD AT 01:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211                   
  02/19/93              (S)   MINUTE(JUD)                                      
  02/22/93              (S)   JUD AT 01:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211                   
  02/22/93              (S)   MINUTE(JUD)                                      
  02/24/93       460    (S)   JUD RPT   4DP 1NR                                
  02/24/93       460    (S)   PREVIOUS ZERO FN (ADM)                           
  03/01/93       538    (S)   FIN RPT   4DP 1NR                                
  03/01/93       538    (S)   PREVIOUS ZERO FN (ADM)                           
  03/01/93              (S)   FIN AT 09:00 AM SENATE FINANCE                   
  03/04/93              (S)   RLS AT 03:00 PM                                  
  03/04/93              (S)   MINUTE(RLS)                                      
  03/12/93       768    (S)   RULES TO CALENDAR  3/12/93                       
  03/12/93       775    (S)   READ THE SECOND TIME                             
  03/12/93       775    (S)   ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN                   
  03/12/93       775    (S)   READ THE THIRD TIME  SB 49                       
  03/12/93       775    (S)   COSPONSOR(S): KERTTULA, PEARCE,                  
  03/12/93       775    (S)   PASSED Y19 N- E1                                 
  03/12/93       786    (S)   TRANSMITTED TO (H)                               
  03/15/93       642    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  03/15/93       643    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE                           
  03/27/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  03/27/93              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                      
  03/30/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  BILL:  HB 37                                                                 
  SHORT TITLE:  OPEN MEETINGS LAW AMENDMENTS                                   
  BILL VERSION: 2D SSHB 37                                                     
  SPONSOR(S):   REPRESENTATIVE(S) DAVIES,Therriault,Brice                      
  TITLE: "An Act relating to open meetings of governmental                     
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  01/08/93        34    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                 
  01/11/93        34    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/11/93        34    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY                         
  01/20/93       117    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): BRICE                              
  02/11/93       321    (H)   SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED-                   
  02/11/93       322    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY                         
  03/10/93       589    (H)   2D SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRO-                     
  03/10/93       589    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY                         
  03/23/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  03/23/93              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                      
  03/30/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  03/30/93       846    (H)   STA RPT  4DP  2NR                                
  03/30/93       846    (H)   DP: ULMER, B.DAVIS, OLBERG,                      
  03/30/93       846    (H)   NR: KOTT, VEZEY                                  
  03/30/93       846    (H)   -ZERO FISCAL NOTE  (LAA)                         
  03/30/93       846    (H)   REFERRED TO JUDICIARY                            
  BILL:  HB 46                                                                 
  SHORT TITLE:  STATE-PAID TRAVEL MILEAGE CREDITS                              
  BILL VERSION:                                                                
  SPONSOR(S):   REPRESENTATIVE(S) MARTIN                                       
  TITLE: "An Act relating to frequent traveler credit for                      
  state-paid travel."                                                          
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  01/12/93        43    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/12/93        43    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, TRANSPORTATION,                   
  03/20/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  03/20/93              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                      
  03/30/93              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
  TAPE 93-36, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN AL VEZEY called the House State Affairs Committee                   
  to order at 8:03 a.m. on March 30, 1993.  Members present                    
  were Representatives Kott, Olberg, G. Davis, B. Davis, Ulmer                 
  and Sanders, representing a quorum.  Also present were                       
  Representatives Mike Navarre, Cliff Davidson and John                        
  HCR 11:  WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH                                               
  Number 021                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY read the title to HCR 11 and asked its                        
  sponsor for her statement.                                                   
  Number 027                                                                   
  explained the intent of the resolution was to recognize the                  
  important contributions Alaska women made in history.  She                   
  stated Congress had passed a similar resolution each year                    
  from 1987 on, and it was time for the Alaska Legislature to                  
  do the same.                                                                 
  Number 062                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE FRAN ULMER MOVED PASSAGE by unanimous consent                 
  of HCR 11; there were no objections, and IT SO MOVED.                        
  SB 49:  YEAR-END CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS                                    
  Number 083                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY read the title of SB 49 and stated a                          
  Committee Substitute (CS) had been prepared.  He stated the                  
  only difference between SB 49 and CSSB 49 was in section                     
  two, where the threshold amount for a 24 hour notice had                     
  been raised from $250 to $500.  He asked members to look at                  
  CSHB 49 before taking action.                                                
  Number 141                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE BETTYE DAVIS MOVED and asked unanimous                        
  consent for the ADOPTION of CSHB 49.  There were no                          
  objections; and IT SO MOVED.                                                 
  Number 147                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS MOVED for PASSAGE of CSSB 49, and                    
  asked for unanimous consent.  There were no objections, and                  
  IT SO MOVED.                                                                 
  HB 37:  OPEN MEETINGS LAW AMENDMENTS                                         
  HB 254:  OPEN MEETING ACT                                                    
  Number 166                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY read the title of HB 37 and invited its                       
  sponsor, Representative John Davies to the table.  He then                   
  noted the introduction of a similar bill, HB 254, which also                 
  deals with the Open Meetings Act, but contains several                       
  differences.  He stated HB 254 was not referred to the House                 
  State Affairs Committee, as had been expected, but it might                  
  be worth the committee's time to look at both bills and                      
  possibly prepare a compromise version.                                       
  Number 184                                                                   
  HB 254 would be considered side by side with HB 37, and                      
  stated it was awkward to not have them in the same                           
  committee.  He stated it might be best to pass HB 37 on to                   
  the House Judiciary Committee where HB 254 was referred, to                  
  allow them to be compared easily.                                            
  Number 196                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER MOVED PASSAGE of HB 37 and asked for                    
  unanimous consent.  There was no objection, and IT SO MOVED.                 
  HB 46:  STATE-PAID TRAVEL MILEAGE CREDITS                                    
  Number 202                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY read the title to HB 46, and informed the                     
  committee a CS had been drawn up but not yet delivered from                  
  Legal Services.  He stated CSHB 46 would simply DELETE line                  
  14 on the second page.                                                       
  Number 220                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER felt it was best to hold off a hearing                  
  on HB 46 until the CS was delivered.                                         
  HB 208:  ELIGIBILITY FOR LONGEVITY BONUS                                     
  Number 226                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY concurred and read the title to HB 208, then                  
  invited its sponsor to deliver his statement.                                
  Number 237                                                                   
  advised the bill was designed to clarify the intent to                       
  prevent non-state funds from keeping seniors from getting a                  
  longevity bonus check.  He stated there was concern non-                     
  state funds, such as Medicare and the veterans' insurance                    
  program, are causing seniors to lose their rightful                          
  longevity bonus checks when they needed them most, possibly                  
  during temporary illnesses.                                                  
  Number 262                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER asked if under the provisions of HB
  208, every person in a nursing home would be allowed to keep                 
  their longevity bonus check.                                                 
  Number 266                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE replied in the negative.  He stated a                 
  person would only get to keep the check if their care was                    
  being paid for by all federal funds, without state monies.                   
  He stated many of those eligible for the longevity bonus are                 
  penalized because of the flaw in the current law.                            
  Number 273                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked why it was wrong to reduce the benefit                  
  from one social service program when the same people might                   
  be getting a larger payment from another social program.                     
  Number 290                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE stated if someone was temporarily                     
  disabled, and placed in a nursing home for a short period,                   
  their care is paid for by Medicare, which does not cover all                 
  costs.  He stated the longevity bonus money could be used to                 
  cover the remainder.  He also said several people trying to                  
  maintain their independence from social programs would be                    
  penalized, and possibly forced into joining such programs.                   
  He stated the hardships put upon people trying to maintain                   
  their homes while recovering from a temporary illness would                  
  be unreasonable.                                                             
  Number 342                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated it would be no different from                          
  receiving the care from the state, and it would not cover                    
  mortgage or utility payments.  He stated there was an                        
  iniquity in allowing people to benefit from a federal                        
  program and still receive a bonus check, but not those who                   
  are helped under a state program.                                            
  Number 354                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE gave an example:  If one member of a                  
  married couple broke a hip and was placed in a nursing home                  
  for a temporary period, the $250 dollar check would aid the                  
  other member of the couple in maintaining and keeping their                  
  home while the first person recovered.                                       
  Number 361                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY replied even under that scenario, the state                   
  would be giving those people special treatment.                              
  Number 366                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE replied the state would not be harmed                 
  by allowing the checks to be delivered during a temporary                    
  stay in the hospital or nursing home, and may actually help                  
  keep seniors off public assistance.                                          
  Number 354                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS stated a $250 dollar check would                     
  make a big difference to many people living on fixed incomes                 
  who may be trying to keep a home.                                            
  Number 382                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated the money could be used much more                      
  equitably if the amount was applied to those people who may                  
  not be getting any benefits at all.                                          
  Number 403                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE stated if the bonus was taken away                    
  from the people who might be in the position of losing a                     
  home during a temporary illness, it might backfire on the                    
  state.  He stated there was a possibility seniors might end                  
  up on some type of public assistance which could cost far                    
  more than the bonus itself.                                                  
  Number 442                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY thanked Representative Navarre for his                        
  testimony and called for other witnesses.                                    
  Number 447                                                                   
  DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION, stated there was a need for HB
  208.  He believed most recipients who might benefit from HB
  208 are those affected by a short-term disability as                         
  described previously.  He stated the difference between                      
  Medicaid and Medicare is that Medicare is designed for                       
  temporary use, and contains no state money in the payments.                  
  Medicaid is a combination 50-50 split between the state and                  
  federal government.  He said Medicare patients are the ones                  
  who lose the bonus when they should not under the intent of                  
  the original law.                                                            
  Number 500                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked if there was a danger seniors might get                 
  on a federal program, stay long term, and then transition to                 
  the combination federal/state program, which could cost the                  
  state money.                                                                 
  Number 518                                                                   
  MR. DEWITT stated a number of seniors are economically                       
  vulnerable during illnesses, and taking the bonus away from                  
  them increased the chances they would lose the ability to                    
  pay for a home, and consequently go on public assistance.                    
  Number 528                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked if it was a disservice to allow the                     
  longevity bonus to people who might otherwise get twice as                   
  much on adult public assistance.                                             
  Number 540                                                                   
  MR. DEWITT said in spite of the difference between the                       
  amounts paid, most seniors did not want to go on public                      
  assistance, and the key for most people was trying to remain                 
  financially independent.                                                     
  Number 565                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS MOVED PASSAGE of HB 208 and asked                    
  for unanimous consent; there were no objections, and IT SO                   
  HB 175:  APPROP:  WOMEN IN MILITARY MEMORIAL                                 
  Number 570                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY read the title to HB 175 and invited its                      
  sponsor to the table for his statement.                                      
  Number 575                                                                   
  explained he had five reasons for introducing HB 175, an                     
  appropriation of $15,000 for the national women in the                       
  military memorial.  He felt Alaska was in a unique position                  
  to contribute; that the women in the military deserve                        
  recognition; that Alaska has the highest per capita women                    
  veterans in any state; that the state's proud military                       
  tradition demands such recognition; and, that as the                         
  national budget for the military shrinks, it is important to                 
  show support for that tradition.                                             
  Number 602                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked why $15,000 was chosen as the                           
  appropriation amount.                                                        
  Number 605                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIDSON chose $15,000 after looking at other                 
  states' contributions.                                                       
  Number 608                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY perceived Alaska's portion of the total cost                  
  of the monument might run $280,000, and asked if the state                   
  might be asked to come up with the remainder after this                      
  Number 610                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIDSON stated private funding would pay the                 
  majority of the cost for the memorial.                                       
  Number 620                                                                   
  VICE CHAIRMAN PETE KOTT noted there would be a large public                  
  sector contribution, and it appeared to him Alaska would be                  
  contributing about three dollars per in-state veteran to the                 
  memorial, as opposed to less than a quarter from Florida.                    
  He felt that was the right amount.                                           
  Number 631                                                                   
  JOELLE HALL, AN ARMY VETERAN, felt strongly that Alaska                      
  should contribute to the memorial.  She said after the                       
  recent Gulf War, it was appropriate to recognize women's                     
  contributions to the military.                                               
  Number 644                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS MOVED PASSAGE of HB 175 and asked                    
  for unanimous consent; there were no objections, and IT SO                   
  Number 649                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY noted there were no other items on the agenda                 
  and adjourned the meeting at 8:45 a.m.                                       

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