Legislature(1997 - 1998)

02/26/1998 08:08 AM House STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
       HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                  
                 February 26, 1998                                             
                     8:08 a.m.                                                 
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                
Representative Jeannette James, Chair                                          
Representative Ethan Berkowitz                                                 
Representative Fred Dyson                                                      
Representative Kim Elton                                                       
Representative Mark Hodgins                                                    
Representative Al Vezey                                                        
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                 
Representative Ivan Ivan, Vice Chairman                                        
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                             
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 275(STA)                                                
"An Act specifying time periods for making, soliciting, or                     
accepting campaign contributions to candidates for state office;               
and providing for an effective date."                                          
     - MOVED CSSB 275(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 377                                                             
"An Act relating to filling a vacancy in the office of United                  
States senator or in an office in the state legislature."                      
     - MOVED HB 377 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                           
(* First public hearing)                                                       
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                
BILL: SB 275                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: FUND RAISING: GOV; LT. GOV; & CANDIDATES                          
SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) MILLER, Pearce                                          
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                          
02/04/98      2393     (S)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                  
02/04/98      2393     (S)  STATE AFFAIRS                                      
02/10/98               (S)  STA AT  3:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211                     
02/10/98               (S)  MINUTE(STA)                                        
02/17/98               (S)  MINUTE(STA)                                        
02/18/98               (S)  MINUTE(RLS)                                        
02/18/98      2561     (S)  STA RPT  CS  3DP  NEW TITLE                        
02/18/98      2561     (S)  DP: GREEN, MILLER, WARD                            
02/18/98      2561     (S)  ZERO FISCAL NOTE TO SB & CS (ADM)                  
02/19/98      2575     (S)  RULES TO CALENDAR  2/19/98                         
02/19/98      2578     (S)  READ THE SECOND TIME                               
02/19/98      2578     (S)  STA  CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT                       
02/19/98      2579     (S)  ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN                     
02/19/98      2579     (S)  READ THE THIRD TIME  CSSB 275(STA)                 
02/19/98      2579     (S)  PASSED Y18 N- E2                                   
02/19/98      2579     (S)  EFFECTIVE DATE(S) SAME AS PASSAGE                  
02/19/98      2579     (S)  ELLIS  NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION                   
02/20/98      2597     (S)  RECONSIDERATION NOT TAKEN UP                       
02/20/98      2598     (S)  TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                 
02/20/98      2389     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                  
02/20/98      2389     (H)  STATE AFFAIRS                                      
02/24/98               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                        
02/24/98               (H)  MINUTE(STA)                                        
02/26/98               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                        
BILL: HB 377                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: FILLING LEGISLATIVE VACANCIES                                     
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVES(S) HODGINS                                         
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                          
02/04/98      2217     (H)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                  
02/04/98      2218     (H)  STATE AFFAIRS                                      
02/19/98               (H)  STA AT  9:05 AM CAPITOL 102                        
02/19/98               (H)  MINUTE(STA)                                        
02/26/98               (H)  STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                        
WITNESS REGISTER                                                               
SENATOR MIKE MILLER                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                       
Capitol Building, Room 107                                                     
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                           
Telephone:  (907) 465-3733                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of CSSB 275(STA).                                 
PORTIA PARKER, Legislative Assistant                                           
  to Senator Mike Miller                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                       
Capitol Building, Room 107                                                     
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                           
Telephone:  (907) 465-4711                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on CSSB 275(STA).                      
SENATOR DAVE DONLEY                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                       
Capitol Building, Room 508                                                     
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                           
Telephone:  (907) 465-3892                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on CSSB 275(STA).                      
GEORGE MARTIN                                                                  
P.O. Box 2920                                                                  
Soldotna, Alaska 99669                                                         
Telephone:  (907) 262-5731                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against CSSB 275(STA).                          
AL J. TURNINSKY, JR.                                                           
P.O. Box 789                                                                   
Glennallen, Alaska 99588                                                       
Telephone:  (907) 822-5060                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on CSSB 275(STA)                                
SUSIE BARNETT, Professional Assistant                                          
Select Committee on Legislative Ethics                                         
P.O. Box 101468                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska 99510-1468                                                   
Telephone:  (907) 258-8172                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding CSSB 275(STA).               
JAMES BALDWIN, Assistant Attorney General                                      
Civil Division                                                                 
Department of Law                                                              
P.O. Box 110300                                                                
Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300                                                      
Telephone:  (907) 465-3600                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on HB 377.                             
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                               
TAPE 98-26, SIDE A                                                             
Number 0001                                                                    
CHAIR JEANNETTE JAMES called the House State Affairs Standing                  
Committee meeting to order at 8:08 a.m.  Members present at the                
call to order were Representatives James, Dyson, Elton, Hodgins and            
Vezey.  Representative Berkowitz arrived at 8:12.                              
CSSB 275(STA) - FUND RAISING: GOV; LT. GOV; & CANDIDATES                       
Number 0038                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES announced the committee would address CSSB 275(STA),               
"An Act specifying time periods for making, soliciting, or                     
accepting campaign contributions to candidates for state office;               
and providing for an effective date," sponsored by Senator Mike                
SENATOR MIKE MILLER came before the committee.  He noted there was             
a previous hearing on the legislation.  He said he would answer                
questions the committee may have.                                              
Number 0066                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES pointed out at the last meeting on SB 275, there was an            
amendment on the table by Representative Berkowitz.                            
SENATOR MILLER referred to the proposed amendment and said it would            
allow everybody to fund-raise during the legislative session.  He              
said he believes that it flies in the face of the voter initiative             
that would have been on the ballot last year.  He said by adopting             
the amendment it allows the perception of, "Now there goes the                 
legislature again, feathering their own nest, allowing them to                 
raise money during session."  The committee knows that is not the              
case, but that will be the perception.                                         
Number 0174                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY indicated a problem he has is people who               
aren't in a public office are being restricted.  He said if it                 
related to just incumbents, he wouldn't have any problems at all.              
It goes beyond incumbents and addresses challengers.                           
Representative Vezey asked if there isn't some way to leave                    
challengers out.                                                               
SENATOR MILLER replied that there certainly is the ability to do               
that.  He said, "That particular amendment would find some tough               
(indisc.) over on the Senate side and we'd probably end up                     
Number 0391                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KIM ELTON referred to discussion, in the previous               
hearing on CSSB 275(STA), relating to what an unintended                       
consequence is and asked Senator Miller what kind of an amendment              
he thinks is needed.  He said because the legislation changes                  
language says "for election or reelction of state of office," this             
would allow a sitting legislator during the legislative session to             
collect money for a municipal office.  For example, he could have              
held a fund-raiser during the legislative session if he had filed              
a letter of intent to run for mayor of Juneau in the October                   
municipal election.  Representative Elton said he couldn't have                
done it last year, but if CSSB 275(STA) becomes law, he could do it            
next year.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said it seems to him that either that                     
unintended consequence needs to be corrected or correct the title              
of the bill.  The title of the bill speaks only to contributions to            
candidates for state office when, in fact, one of the consequences             
of the bill (indisc.) a municipal office.  He said he would be                 
interested in Senator Miller's view on whether or not he would like            
to allow the prohibition of raising funds, by a sitting legislator,            
who runs for municipal office or whether he would want to open that            
Number 0507                                                                    
SENATOR MILLER said part of the problem is because of the patchwork            
of laws regarding municipal elections around the state.  A good                
example is the Municipality of Anchorage has their election in                 
April.  Not allowing a legislator to raise funds if a legislator               
wants to run for the assembly, is hard to envision.  Under that                
provision, there is no way that they would have the option to even             
raise money to run for that office.  He pointed out that if all the            
city elections were held in November, it might be something to look            
at.  He said, "The way the patchwork of elections around the state             
right now, I think by not allowing a legislator to raise money if              
he wants to run for the mayor of Anchorage, with their election in             
April, you have potentially excluded that person from running for              
the mayor of Anchorage."  Senator Miller said he doesn't think that            
we would necessarily want that as a consequence either.                        
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked Senator Miller, if the bill is left as              
it is, is a title amendment needed.                                            
Number 0652                                                                    
SENATOR MILLER indicated he would let Ms. Parker of his staff                  
respond as she has been working with the drafter of the                        
PORTIA PARKER, Legislative Assistant to Senator Mike Miller, Alaska            
State Legislature, came before the committee.  She said that the               
issue hadn't been brought to her attention until the previous day,             
by the drafter, that it may pose a problem.  She indicated the                 
drafter hadn't even thought about it.  The drafter said it may be              
a concern and is looking into the issue further to see if it may               
pose a problem.  She said, "Because it specifies state office,                 
(indisc.) indirectly by changing the language here, it does affect             
the ability to fund-raise for municipal and federal offices."                  
Number 0734                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES she would like the committee to address the amendment              
then the committee could get into the specifics of the bill.                   
Number 0760                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE FRED DYSON asked Representative Berkowitz, author of            
the amendment, what he believes the amendment accomplishes.                    
Number 0778                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ETHAN BERKOWITZ responded that the amendment narrows            
the scope from all state offices to just state legislature.  Those             
who are in the legislature can't raise funds for legislative races             
as opposed to making a ban on the statewide offices.  He referred              
to testimony by Wayne Anthony Ross about the playing field changing            
and said he thinks that pressures are different in a statewide                 
office and you need to raise money differently.  He indicated the              
amendment eliminates a problem he sees with the legislation which              
is it makes running for a statewide office the purview of those who            
have a lot of personal wealth or those who have stockpiled a lot of            
money for a campaign.                                                          
Number 0849                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said it just makes the fund-raising ban for               
legislators only.  He asked if that isn't the current situation.               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ responded that a legislator who is running            
for a statewide office can't raise money.  The amendment would                 
allow Senator Taylor to raise money for his race for governor.                 
Currently, he can't raise money.                                               
Number 0889                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DYSON referred to when the bill was being drafted               
and asked what the thinking was in not including the statewide                 
offices in the ban on fund-raising.                                            
Number 0900                                                                    
SENATOR MILLER noted Senator Donley was in attendance and he did a             
lot of the work relating to that particular issue.  He said he                 
believes that they were trying to deal with the specific issue                 
which was the initiative that would have appeared on the ballot.               
At that time that initiative did not deal with the Administrative              
Number 0941                                                                    
SENATOR DAVE DONLEY came before the committee.  He said Senator                
Miller's comments are correct, but it even goes further than that.             
He said, "As we were working on the legislation, we started with               
the initiative document.  Of course it wasn't written by our                   
drafters, but it didn't have the benefit of the revisor of                     
statutes.  We realized that a lot of those things in the (indisc.)             
initiative conflicted with the existing law and other sections of              
the statute.  A perfect example of that was with the ethics law,               
which allowed legislators to raise money for a congressional or                
non-legislative race during the legislative session. That was the              
existing ethics law.  When the specific proposal came through the              
committee process that was contained in the initiative, some of us             
asked the people who were shepherding the new campaign finance law             
through, 'What about this conflict with the existing law?  It looks            
like it's in conflict.'  And we were told exactly (indisc.) done.              
Mr. Miles (ph), who was the staff in charge of it, was charged with            
going and finding out the answer to that question, came back and               
told us that this wouldn't supersede the existing law to be able to            
continue - the existing scheme would continue, even though this                
said that which seemed problematic to me, but in the rush to get               
that project done, we never went back and changed it.  Basically on            
the (indisc.) of staff that they had checked this out and it                   
wouldn't conflict with the existing status quo.  Subsequently, the             
attorney general issued an opinion, after it was all done, that it             
did conflict with the existing status quo.  And under the theory of            
law that a prior law can be overruled by a subsequent law even                 
though it's specifically in conflict you can follow the most recent            
one - the more restrictive one now was banned.  And that clearly               
was not the intent of the legislature at the time because it was               
going through the committee process.  We asked that question and we            
were given a different (indisc.) answer for (indisc.) finally                  
determined by the attorney general."                                           
Number 1063                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY referred to the campaign finance reform                   
legislation that was passed last year and said everybody just                  
abandoned common sense and their sense of constitutional value and             
enacted a "populous" piece of legislation.  Now they sit in a                  
position of trying to put a fix on an extremely broken piece of                
legislation and there is nothing they can do that is going to make             
it good.  Representative Vezey said as much as he doesn't like this            
legislation, the relative conduct of the Governor's office of                  
raising money during the legislative session is deplorable to him              
and it is extremely sensitive to most Alaskans.  Representative                
Vezey said, "The issue here is very simple.  Do we condone the                 
chief executive, the most powerful office in the United States                 
outside of the presidency, to raise funds when the legislature is              
in session and when other elected official are prohibited from                 
raising funds or not?  Is there another alternative?"                          
Number 1164                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MARK HODGINS stated, "While I may not have a                    
conflict of interest in this Administration, I might have in other             
Administrations.  It's probably wise for all of us to declare a                
conflict of interest on the off chance that some of the money that             
the Governor is raising gets into legislative campaigns at a future            
CHAIR JAMES asked if there was an objection to the amendment.                  
Number 1181                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS objected.  He noted he had at the last                  
hearing on the measure.                                                        
Number 1191                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said, "What we're having here is sort of              
a philosophical objection with political overtones.  And political             
overtones here are -- it seems to me that no one wants the Governor            
to raise money because he's a Democrat which is part of the way the            
game gets played.  But the philosophical problem I have with this              
is what we are doing is we're saying that people who don't have the            
resources to run for state offices personally, they're not going to            
be allowed to raise money.  It becomes part of the question of free            
speech that we're talking about, part of the question of delivering            
a message to the general public.  You know I've disagreed with                 
Wayne Ross many times in the court room politically, but he is                 
dead-on when he says the Governor has bully pulpit.  Robin Taylor              
has a pulpit to (indisc.), John Lindauer has a lot of personal                 
wealth.  Those resources enable him to get out and convey a                    
political message - a political speech that he can't do if he or               
someone like him runs in the future because they don't have the                
access to the money because we're closing that door down.  And to              
me, that's fundamentally unfair.  It's not only unfair to the                  
candidate, but it's unfair to the general electorate because                   
they're only hearing the voices that have public pulpits already or            
else have a lot of personal wealth."                                           
Number 1268                                                                    
SENATOR MILLER said, "Then this is the wrong amendment to deal with            
that issue.  If that's the issue we want to deal with (indisc.) the            
amendment, I would (indisc.) Representative Dyson -- where it opens            
it up to non-incumbents by giving incumbents more power to raise               
money is not the direction to go if you want to solve that problem             
Number 1293                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said that is only part of the objection.              
The other part of the objection is that the non-incumbent who is               
wealthy has an advantage over the non-incumbent who isn't wealthy.             
The whole point of political speech is to get political discourse              
going.  He said, "If we say 'political discourse,' it (indisc.) the            
purview of those who have the resources to buy a television, to buy            
a radio, to do mass mailings out of their own pocket.  What we're              
saying is that people who have less money or who aren't able to use            
those (indisc.) don't have the same access to the political                    
process.  I don't think that's the message you want to convey.  Now            
this amendment is not a perfect thing, this is not a perfect bill.             
You got to die before you find perfection.  We're just trying to               
get some measure of equity here and I think the more equitable                 
solution is to open up the process rather than constricting."                  
Number 1341                                                                    
CHAIRMAN JAMES said it is Representative Dyson's suggestion that               
what we do is only restrict incumbents and not challengers.  She               
said nothing can be done about the fact that people have money.                
Representative James referred to the campaign finance legislation              
passed last year that gave the people with money a much bigger                 
place than they ever had before.  She stated that was because you              
can't stop them from using their own money, and course we all pay              
for the price when the public seems to think that we're not                    
ethical.  She said, "Your argument that you were giving for                    
supporting this bill, you could give the same argument for the                 
other amendment that Representative Dyson would like to see because            
it does the same thing.  The only thing different is that your                 
amendment would let the Governor raise funds and Dyson's would not,            
but it would let Wayne Ross raise money which is what I thought you            
were principally trying to get to with this amendment."                        
Number 1411                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said he understands Representative Dyson's            
amendment to be a ban on the incumbent.  He said, "Assuming that a             
different Administration, which there will be one day - probably               
not as soon as folks on the other side of the of the table would               
like, but there will be.  I think it leaves an incumbent in an                 
unfair position vis- -vis a wealthy opponent.  Because the wealthy             
opponent can (indisc.) all day long and not give the incumbent an              
opportunity to respond.  You know, I don't like the fact that we               
have to raise money to run for office.  We could do some kind of a             
scheme where the state paid for campaigns.  That's not where we                
want to go.  So the only real practical alternative is to open this            
up as much as possible.  And I think, Madam Chair, you have said it            
many times.  The antidote is disclosure.  So by constricting the               
process, I don't see how we're advancing political discourse."                 
Number 1478                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said he will vote for the amendment because it            
makes an incremental improvement.  If there is another amendment               
introduced that make a bigger incremental improvement, he'd                    
probably vote for that also.                                                   
SENATOR MILLER said the bill would have come forward even if there             
was a Republican governor because there is a perception that                   
politics is corrupt and they know it's not.  He said, "We know that            
everybody down here are hardworking individuals that are trying to             
do the best for the state and whatever we could do to correct that             
perception that politics is corrupt, we should do it.  And quite               
frankly, with the current structure that we have out there, this               
should go forward whether we have a Republican governor or a                   
Democrat governor.  Because it's, in my opinion, it gives the - the            
public more confidence than what we can in the structure that we               
have."  Senator Miller said he agrees with Representative Berkowitz            
disclosure being the way to go, he certainly looks forward to the              
introduction of his bill reviewing (indisc.) Alaska Public Offices             
Commission (APOC) and going forward in that direction.                         
Number 1558                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said if Representative Berkowitz introduces               
legislation to repeal the APOC and open up the (indisc.), he would             
co-sponsor it.                                                                 
Number 1573                                                                    
SENATOR DONLEY pointed out that there is more to the bill than just            
the campaign fund-raising aspect, there is the ethics aspect.  He              
said, "It may seem like this might be a balancing under campaign               
fund-raising aspects which I disagree with also, but clearly if you            
go the ethics aspect, the proposal that came from the Senate is the            
right thing to do.  There is no distinction, that I can see                    
logically, between the public policy that's served by not allowing             
people to accept contributions (indisc.), and allowing lobbyists or            
interest groups to come forward and say, 'We're going to give money            
to your opponent next week if you don't vote a certain way on the              
bill.'  It's the same problem - same ethical problem that's going              
to be (indisc.).  And by allowing people outside the legislature to            
fund raise while the legislature is in session, the opponents of               
individual (indisc.) can have that same exact ethical problem                  
occurring as we have tried to prevent with this status quo this                
long.  Frankly, that seems like a very dangerous situation to get              
into also."                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES indicated the committee is ready to vote on the                    
Number 1650                                                                    
A roll call vote was taken.  Representatives Elton and Berkowitz               
voted in favor the amendment.  Representatives Hodgins, Vezey,                 
Dyson and James voted against the amendment.  So the amendment                 
failed to be adopted.                                                          
Number 1654                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES indicated she is still concerned about the title and               
municipal issues.  She said, "I'm concerned about that issue                   
because if we need to do that title change - if we do need to do a             
title change to effect that one issue, what is your understanding              
of that Senator Miller?"                                                       
Number 1696                                                                    
SENATOR MILLER said he isn't sure if it needs a title change or                
not.  He noted he had just found out the previous day about the                
CHAIR JAMES said, "Is there any way that you could call now and                
find out a definitive answer.  Here's my concern is that I'm                   
willing to put this bill out, as it is, if we have the votes.                  
However, my preference would be have it be just the incumbents, but            
I don't want you to have to split it to a conference committee if              
you don't want to do that because this bill, if it passes or not,              
is - the timing is the most important part of the bill.  And so the            
longer we don't do the bill, the more it doesn't have any effect               
for this campaign year.  So if it's going to have to have a title              
change and have to go -- we still have to go to the House floor and            
by that time if a title change is determined to be needed, then                
we're going to have to have a conference anyway.  I believe it's               
the attitude of this committee that they would rather have it only             
effect incumbents."                                                            
Number 1760                                                                    
MS. PARKER indicated the drafter has said there is a potential                 
REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said, "I guess my concern is that if we have              
trouble in this committee on that issue, it still has to go to the             
House floor.  And, you know, I think that if you want the bill that            
we need to make it as palatable as possible in that respect.  And              
we're going to hear testimony on that issue."                                  
Number 1797                                                                    
SENATOR MILLER responded, "If you wanted to imply to an incumbent,             
you could probably do a (indisc.).  I think you could probably do              
it without a title change.  And quite frankly, there is no law that            
has ever been thrown out of the state, that I know of, on the                  
challenge of the title of what they said it was in the bill.  And              
actually we had researched that a couple of years ago.  I mean it's            
certainly a policy call of this committee and, you know, it'll be              
a policy call on the floor.  When it gets to the floor the body may            
believe it should apply to everybody."                                         
Number 1822                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES said the way the bill is written, she doesn't believe              
the title is a problem.  If it does have an indirect effect on                 
municipal candidates, then it may.                                             
Number 1837                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON indicated that in the course of discussion                
with the attorney, he did discuss the problem with the title.  He              
said he thinks that the characterization that Ms. Parker made on               
the questions that the committee had is the same characterization              
of the discussion that the attorney had with him.  He stated he                
believes it is an open question.  Representative Elton said his                
preference would be that the committee resolve that question before            
the bill is moved out of committee.                                            
CHAIR JAMES explained her concern is that if there is a potential              
glitch, what will it do to the bill as it moves forward.  She said             
for the purpose of the bill, timing is extremely important.                    
Number 1899                                                                    
SENATOR MILLER said, "Well I think you have brought up two issues.             
I think the one issue if you want to deal with only incumbents, I              
do not believe that you have a title problem.  On the other one,               
the campaign of fund-raising for a municipal election - if you                 
wanted to deal with that, you very well may have a title problem.              
I'm not sure.  But I still think you may have a problem with the               
way the elections are in Anchorage and Anchorage is half the                   
population of the state."  Senator Miller said he would like the               
bill to move, but it is certainly the purview of the committee.                
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said he understands there would be a title                
problem if the language is in the current form.  He said the title             
doesn't reflect the changes to municipal elections that occur under            
the current language.  He stated his understanding from the                    
conversation with the attorney is there would be a title problem if            
the bill passes the way it is currently written.                               
Number 1951                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES indicated it was her understanding that if the                     
committee didn't include "municipal offices," then there would be              
a title problem.  She asked if that is correct.                                
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said that isn't correct.  What the present                
language does is change the rules for municipal elections.  It                 
changes the campaign finance rule for municipal elections.  So that            
change may require a different title.  He said, "If we adopt an                
amendment that would maintain the status quo, prohibiting sitting              
legislators from raising money for municipal office - if we adopted            
an amendment like that then we probably wouldn't have."                        
Number 1986                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES asked where the language is in the bill that affects               
municipal candidates.                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON referred the committee to page 1, line 7, and             
the new language that says, "for election or reelection to state               
Number 1999                                                                    
MS. PARKER said, "I've gone over this several times about trying to            
explain this so I could understand it when he was explaining it to             
me because I didn't get it either because it's an indirect -- it's             
not contained in the content of the bill, but because of the effect            
it has by changing the language that's in current statute.  So the             
only people it effects are sitting legislators who are incumbents              
who, right now, are prohibited from fund-raising for filing for any            
office, whether it's federal, municipal or state - only                        
legislators.  If under this because you say only when you're filing            
for election or reelection to state office, that opens up that you             
can begin raising money for federal or municipal offices.  So it               
effects -- immediately it'll effect someone like Jim Duncan who                
filed for Congress.  That will change so now he could start raising            
money when this became effective because for that indirect change              
in how it effects people who can fund raise is how they think there            
is a potential problem because we only mention state office that               
it's (indisc.) for office, then it would be all inclusive."                    
CHAIR JAMES asked, "Do we care that it does that?"                             
MS. PARKER responded that she doesn't.                                         
Number 2067                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES said because Senator Duncan is running for federal                 
office, he could fund-raise and anyone who is in the legislature               
and runs for the mayor of Anchorage could fund-raise.                          
MS. PARKER responded, "That's correct because they have not filed              
for election or reelection to a state office."                                 
CHAIR JAMES said the decision is do we want that to happen.  She               
said if it is, then the committee shouldn't amend the bill and a               
title change wouldn't be needed.                                               
Number 2076                                                                    
MS. PARKER said the potential that there could be a title problem              
has to do with what is currently contained in the bill.                        
Number 2085                                                                    
SENATOR MILLER said, "It's the word 'state.'  It could be a                    
potential.  However, if it goes forward somebody would have to                 
challenge it and like I stated before, I know of no law in the                 
state of Alaska that has been thrown out because of a title."                  
Number 2097                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES asked what the will of the committee was.                          
Number 2119                                                                    
GEORGE MARTIN testified from Kenai.  He said SB 275, overall, is               
just bad legislation.  It's his right to free speech that will be              
infringed on if the legislation becomes law.  Mr. Martin pointed               
out that United States Supreme Court has held, in several rulings,             
that political donations and free speech are one and the same.  The            
original basis for similar legislation applying to state House and             
Senate seats were (indisc.) on the basis that it was in the                    
public's interest to prevent elected officials from using the power            
of their office to improperly raise money for reelection - to                  
protect the public from weak legislators that might use their                  
position to offer undue influence to raise money.  He said that we             
are moving beyond that to a position to anybody who runs for public            
office during the legislative session.  He said, "You're getting               
into a different ballpark.  I may be choosing to support someone               
who is just 'Joe Blow' out here on the street - helping him to get             
ready to run for a Senate seat or Governor or whatever.  he is                 
being put into a position where he can't raise any money and I'm               
being put into a position where I cannot support him at this point             
in time.  The level playing field scenario is all fine and dandy,              
but I don't think it'll sell in court.  I think you're going to                
wind up with the whole thing thrown out with the - the baby would              
be thrown out with the bath water.  So I would really ask you folks            
to reconsider this bill in its entirety.  I would certainly                    
recommend, at the very least, if you amend it to exclude those                 
folks who are not now holding a public office.  Because if you                 
don't it will get challenged, there will be at the very least a                
temporary injunction placed against this and you're going to be                
right back where you started.  It will not have any effect.  I                 
really would appreciate your consideration on it.  Thank you."                 
Number 2229                                                                    
AL J. TURNINSKY, JR., testified via teleconference from Glennallen.            
He indicated he has submitted his written testimony to the                     
committee and doesn't have anything more to add.                               
Number 2236                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES indicated there were no other witnesses to testify and             
closed the public hearing on CSSB 275(STA).                                    
Number 2241                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said he had an amendment to offer:  on page 3,            
delete line 24.  He said that the playing field is being changed in            
the middle of the game which has a direct effect on Wayne Anthony              
Ross who is running for Governor.  Mr. Ross filed for Governor                 
under the current rules and he is the person who is most at risk               
with the passage of the legislation.  Representative Elton stated              
that it is fine to say that this is a good idea, but he believes it            
is wrong to say that it is a good idea to do it right now.  The rug            
is being pulled out from under somebody who has every right to run             
as (indic.) and campaign for Governor.                                         
Number 2300                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY objected to the amendment.  He stated the                 
person who is most impacted is the incumbent Governor.  Other                  
people are impacted but nobody is impacted as much as the incumbent            
A roll call vote was taken.  Representatives Berkowitz and Elton               
voted in favor of the amendment.  Representative Dyson, Vezey,                 
Hodgins and James voted against the amendment.  So the amendment               
failed to be adopted.                                                          
Number 2347                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES noted that was Amendment 2.                                        
Number 2349                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON indicated he had another amendment on page 1,             
line 7, after the word "for" insert "election to municipal office              
or".  And then on lines 9 through 13, delete the changes and retain            
the original language.  Representative Elton said the amendment                
would have two net effects.  He said, "The first effect is we                  
maintain the prohibition where the sitting legislator cannot,                  
during a legislative session, raise money for municipal office.                
And I think that resolves the title problem that we were discussing            
earlier.  The second effect of this is that it maintains the                   
prohibition on fund-raising during any special session.  I mean the            
change in the language from line 8 through line 13 essentially                 
opens the door a little bit on fund-raising during a special                   
session because any special session that isn't held between the end            
of the session and mid-May and the last week or two of May, the                
prohibition would still be there.  Right now we have a prohibition             
on any special session.  This would allow fund-raising as long as              
the election is 90 days out even if there is a special session. So             
assuming that the primary is at the end of August, you would be                
able raise, during a special session, 90 days up in front of the               
primary and the general election.  Then in early November you'd be             
able to raise - fund-raise (indisc.)."                                         
Number 2448                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY objected to Representative Elton's amendment.             
He said, "I have never been able to conscience the concept that we             
allow the governor of the state of Alaska to determine whether or              
not candidates for legislative office can raise political                      
contributions.  I think that prohibition is totally unconscionable             
and I have...."                                                                
TAPE 98-26, SIDE B                                                             
Number 0001                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY continued, "...that grant of power to the                 
Governor by this body is absolutely unconscionable and this bill               
seeks to revoke that so I think...."                                           
Number 0022                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated he understands Representative Vezey's              
objection.  He said he would point out that every four years, the              
Governor would also (indisc.) his ability to raise money under that            
provision also because this bill widens it to cover gubernatorial              
races.  A special session would also prohibit his or her ability to            
raise money during a special session also.  He noted that would be             
if the special session is during a gubernatorial election year.                
Number 0041                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY indicated he doesn't accept Representative                
Elton's statement.                                                             
Number 0057                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DYSON referred to page 3, line 24, Section 3, and               
asked if it would be legal to amend it to say, "This Act takes                 
effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c), and May 15, 1998, for                
non-incumbents of state office."  He asked if there could be a                 
staggered enactment.                                                           
Number 0089                                                                    
SENATOR DONLEY responded, "My guess is (indisc.) well (indisc.)                
that you can't have a split effective date and discriminate between            
office holders and non-office holders, then how can you have a                 
limitation to discriminate between office holders and non-office               
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said he agrees it is a problem because you            
wind up with some kind of disparity.                                           
Number 0118                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said he would like to point out that he thinks            
that it gets back to a problem that Senator Donley discussed                   
earlier that there is a flip side to this.  If there is a                      
perception problem, you're not just prohibiting the ability of                 
somebody to give you money.  He said, "You're also giving a                    
potential contributor the right to go to someone and say, 'I'm                 
going to give money to somebody else.'  And so I think the problem             
may not just be a legal problem if we want to open that door."                 
Number 0139                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES said, "Representative Elton, I don't think that we have            
any control at all over what somebody comes in and tells us they're            
going to do if we don't vote for something.  The issue is do we                
listen to them.  That's the issue.  It is not the threat.  Anybody             
can threaten use for what they want to do.  The only thing that's              
unethical is if we yield to it and it benefits us in some way.  So             
I don't think that is the problem."                                            
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said he is reiterating somebody else's problem            
and is not stating his problem, but he believes there is a                     
perception problem.                                                            
Number 0176                                                                    
SENATOR DONLEY said he thinks that existing law that says some                 
people can raise money and other people can't raise money is                   
constitutionally suspect.  He stated he doesn't know the answer,               
but he thinks that under existing law where you have a difference              
between two citizens - one can run for office and raise money, and             
one running for office who can't, is very suspect under the First              
Number 0197                                                                    
MS. PARKER referred to representative Elton's amendment and said               
there would be several other problems.  The first is the change on             
line 7.  The bill allows sitting incumbents to fund-raise for                  
federal offices.  It doesn't address fund-raising during session.              
It addresses part of it, but it doesn't address federal.  Ms.                  
Parker referred to the potential abuse of the Governor to call a               
special session three weeks before an election is certainly a big              
concern.  Ms. Parker referred to a third problem  of when there may            
be a special election.  She pointed out the last time there was a              
special election, it was held in April for a legislative office.               
She said they wouldn't be allowed to fund-raise at all because they            
both would be candidates for a state office.                                   
Number 0243                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said, "The allegation is that somebody can not            
raise money for federal office right now.  My understanding is                 
MS. PARKER stated, "According to APOC, yesterday they told me they             
cannot if they are a sitting legislator."                                      
Number 0259                                                                    
SENATOR DONLEY said, "Because of the difference between the                    
campaign finance law and the ethics law that's why -- you've got               
two parallel laws going on which could be creating a dichotomy                 
which is one of the advantages of the Senate version 275.  It makes            
it uniform law - the difference between ethics and campaign.                   
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS questioned why the committee is talking                 
about federal office.  He asked if it is in the bill.                          
Number 0275                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES indicated it is not in the bill, but it is implied.                
She said she would rule that the discussion of federal office is               
certainly applicable, particularly since there is a Senator running            
for federal office.                                                            
Number 0287                                                                    
SUSIE BARNETT, Professional Assistant, Select Committee on                     
Legislative Ethics, testified via teleconference from Anchorage.               
She informed the committee federal law supersedes the ethics law in            
this case.  She noted she has researched it.  There is case law                
from Georgia that allows those running for federal office to fund-             
raise during session.                                                          
Number 0307                                                                    
MS. PARKER stated that according to APOC, they still have to file              
for office under 15.13.100.                                                    
CHAIR JAMES said the committee is getting away from discussion on              
the amendment.  She suggested the committee deal with the                      
amendment.  Chair James said there was an objection to the                     
amendment and asked for a roll call vote.                                      
REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked what the amendment is.                              
CHAIR JAMES stated the amendment is on page 1, line 7, after "for"             
and before "election" insert "to municipal office or".  She also               
said between lines 9 and 13, exclude all of the changed language               
and go back to the original wording.                                           
A roll call vote was taken.  Representatives Elton and Berkowitz               
voted in favor of adopting the amendment.  Representatives Hodgins,            
Vezey, Dyson and James voted against the amendment.  The amendment             
failed to be adopted.                                                          
CHAIR JAMES informed the committee that she would like a motion to             
move the bill out of committee.  She said she still has some                   
concerns the bill might have to go to a conference committee.  It              
would be her preference that the bill only affected incumbents, but            
she will leave that up to Senator Miller.                                      
Number 0386                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said he thinks the committee is trying to fix             
bad legislation that the courts are going to overturn.  He said,               
"If you all -- I could be off the horns of the dilemma if you would            
allow an amendment which says - at the end of Section 3 it says                
'for incumbent and May 15, 1998, for non-incumbents of state                   
office.'  I could move the thing out today and I'm hoping that my              
thoughts on this will get clearer as we get further down the road.             
And literally, no one has talked to me about this until yesterday."            
Number 0450                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES said there is the perception that incumbents have more             
of an advantage and it is a reality.  There is no way that you can             
deny it.  The interest of the public seems to be trying to make a              
level playing field.  Chair James said if she recalls correctly, it            
was intended to let a challenger raise funds during the legislative            
SENATOR MILLER said it is within the prerogative of the committee              
to make the amendment.                                                         
Number 0523                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES said, "I don't think that in getting to that a                     
suggestion of an amendment that Representative Dyson has the right             
amendment, but I will entertain an amendment that would -- if                  
somebody could tell me exactly where the language needs to be                  
changed that this prohibition for funding is purely and simply for             
incumbents and not challengers."                                               
Number 0549                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said he appreciates what Representative Dyson             
is trying to accomplish, but the situation is that we're trying to             
take what he would call very unconstitutional law and try to make              
it a little more constitutional.  He said he doesn't think the                 
committee is helping that process by throwing in additional serious            
constitutional questions.                                                      
CHAIR JAMES stated she isn't convinced that making the effective               
date different is the way to fix the bill.                                     
Number 0590                                                                    
SENATOR MILLER said another way to approach the problem is to go               
ahead and move the bill out of committee.                                      
CHAIR JAMES indicated it could be addressed in the Rules Committee.            
SENATOR MILLER said it could be changed in Rules or on the floor               
where there would be a committee of the whole.  He noted it would              
probably be a couple of days before the bill went to the floor.                
Number 0610                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said he certainly has no guarantees that                  
anyone would ever propose such a thing in the Rules Committee.                 
CHAIR JAMES said Representative Dyson could take it to Rules                   
himself or it could be done on the floor.                                      
Number 0627                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS made a motion to move the bill out of                   
Number 0585                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said he believes Representative Dyson's               
concerns were legitimate.  The question is a legal question                    
(indisc.) about his amendment are also significant.  He stated he              
believes it is the responsibility of the committee to answer                   
questions before the bill is moved.                                            
Number 0647                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said, "Madam Chair, I think that the                      
suggestion to move this bill to the next committee - that would                
allow us two things.  It would allow us to get an answer to the                
title question so that we avoid potential problems in the future               
and it would allow Representative Dyson to do the legal research               
necessary to find out whether (indisc.)."                                      
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS said, "There must be a fund-raiser coming up            
for the Governor between now and the next meeting."                            
Number 0668                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS made a motion to move CSSB 275, Version L,              
out of the House State Affairs Committee with individual                       
recommendations and the attached fiscal notes.                                 
CHAIR JAMES said, "I'll tell you one reason why we're not going to             
hear this on Saturday.  We've been here an hour and ten minutes, we            
have accomplished very, very little."                                          
Number 0685                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ objected to moving the bill.  He said,                
"Maybe it's the fact that I've losing in too many 28 to 12 votes,              
but there is a certain amount of cynicism increase (indisc.) after             
that.  And comments such as the one that Representative Hodgins                
just made merely exacerbates that cynicism about this bill.  And I             
want to commend Representative Vezey for being candid enough to                
point out that the one who's truly impacted - one of the people                
truly impacted by this bill is the Governor.  I mean if this is                
truly a legitimate concern, and I understand there is legitimate               
philosophical concerns here -- political policy questions, then                
don't make an immediate effective date, but that's not what we're              
doing.  We are -- in attempting to address all the concerns of the             
public, we  are merely giving them reason to have suspicions about             
what we do just by the real process as to how this bill is moving              
and the effective date."                                                       
Number 0730                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said he also objected to the legislation                  
moving.  He said, "My objection is to the comments on how much time            
we've spent on this and I think one of the reasons we spent an hour            
and ten minutes on this bill is because there have been questions              
asked that can't be answered.  And I think this is bad form to move            
a bill when there is a significant legal question out there.  I                
think it's bad (indisc.) to move the bill.  A member of the                    
committee has a legal question that may, or may not, effect the                
amendment that they want to make.  A delay of two days, I doubt                
very much it's going to allow any fund-raisers to be held."                    
Number 0760                                                                    
SENATOR MILLER said, "I understand that Representative Berkowitz               
maybe being a little upset, but at the same time, I believe in the             
statement he's (indisc.) my motives for introducing the bill.  And             
I'm a little bit offended by that.  I've been around in this system            
long enough to know (indisc.) government.  I've sat under a lot of             
different administrations here, both Republican and - actually no              
Republicans to AIP (Alaskan Independence Party) anyway and a                   
Democratic.  As I stated earlier, this is good public policy no                
matter who is in the Governor's chair.  I'm a little bit offended              
that he (indisc.) my motives for the introduction of this bill to              
begin with, but I'm sure that was just (indisc.).                              
CHAIR JAMES told Representative Dyson if he wishes to make an                  
amendment, she would allow him to.                                             
Number 0807                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said he would offer an amendment that on page             
3, line 24, Section 3, to remove the "." and add the words, "for               
incumbent and May 15, 1998, for non-incumbent of state offices."               
He noted he doesn't know whether it should be "in state offices" or            
"of state offices".  He suggested, "state office incumbents."                  
CHAIR JAMES suggested using "for state office who holds a state                
office."  Chair James said it will be called a conceptual                      
CHAIR JAMES reiterated the conceptual amendment.  After "." in                 
Section 3, line 24, page 3, it should say, "effective immediately              
for incumbents", and "effective on May 15, 1998, for candidates for            
state office who..."                                                           
Number 0888                                                                    
MS. PARKER said if the effect of the amendment to have it immediate            
for incumbents, the language should be, "This Act takes effect                 
immediately under AS 01.10.070(c) for candidates for re-election --            
for elections of state office who are currently serving elective               
state office."                                                                 
Number 0909                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES stated, "My understanding is that the public want to               
have non-incumbents have an up on incumbents and that it would be              
my belief that the public would prefer -- they don't want people               
running that are -- current candidates to be running.  Quite                   
frankly, those people who are contributing to the Governor's                   
campaign I think are probably pretty happy about it.  Those who                
would prefer not to contribute are not happy.  It is a problem out             
there.  I will agree to that, but I think what this does is it only            
fixes it for this year and then we're right back to the same thing             
where incumbents can't raise during the legislative session.  So               
for that, that doesn't satisfy my need -- Representative Vezey."               
Number 0948                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said, "The redeeming characteristic of what               
we're trying to do here is that we treat everyone equally -- that              
we are not creating two classes of citizenship because I don't                 
think any court in the country, state or federal level, would                  
uphold.  And I'd adhere to that principle.  I don't think we have              
two classes of citizens here.  If we try to set up a bi-class                  
procedure as who can run for office on what ground, I think at the             
very best all we can hope to do is trip and fall into a bottomless             
cavern.  I just don't know any alternatives we have other than                 
trying to keep a very level playing field with one class of                    
Number 0998                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said Representative Vezey's point is well                 
taken.  He said what he hopes the amendment will do is eliminate               
the problem he has regarding the timing.  He referred to Wayne Ross            
and said he hopes the amendment eliminates the problem of changing             
the rules for him.  He said, "It does accomplish -- you know, keeps            
the incumbents being subject to using their office for raising                 
money or being pressured - appear to be pressured to do it.  So the            
fact that it leaves that two stage thing in place after the                    
fifteenth of May is a problem.  I believe it's going to be                     
overturned, maybe even before the end of this session by the ACLU              
(American Civil Liberties Union) suit which has lots of merit.                 
REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated he objects to the amendment.                       
Number 1061                                                                    
A roll call vote was taken.  Representatives Elton, Dyson and                  
Hodgins voted in favor of adopting the amendment.  Representatives             
Vezey, James and Berkowitz voted against adopting the amendment.               
So the conceptual amendment failed to be adopted.                              
Number 1102                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS made a motion to move CSSB 275, Version L,              
out of the House State Affairs Committee with individual                       
recommendations and with the attached fiscal notes.  He said, "I               
would certainly accept and agree with Representative Dyson that if             
there is some mechanism for doing this in Rules and on the floor,              
I would certainly support him in trying to do what he just did with            
this amendment."                                                               
CHAIR JAMES asked if there is an objection to moving the                       
Number 1130                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ objected.  He said, "As President Miller              
indicated that I didn't change his motives.  I also said that I                
thought there was legitimate policy questions to this bill and I               
appreciated him coming forward.  As was said that the perception               
with the immediate effective date is that we're playing politics               
and I'm going to stand by that statement."                                     
A roll call vote was taken.  Representatives Hodgins, Vezey and                
James voted in favor of moving the bill out of committee.                      
Representatives Elton, Berkowitz and Dyson voted against moving the            
bill out of committee.  So CSSB 275(STA) failed to move out of the             
House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                        
HB 377 - FILLING LEGISLATIVE VACANCIES                                         
Number 1185                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES announced the committee would hear HB 377, "An Act                 
relating to filling a vacancy in the office of United States                   
senator or in an office in the state legislature," sponsored by                
Representative Hodgins.                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS read the following statement into the                   
"Basically in the past, vacancies which occurred between normal                
election cycles, the political party representing the predecessor              
made 'recommendations' for appointment to that seat and the                    
Governor usually made the appointments from that list of                       
"House Bill 377 states that the Governor shall make the appointment            
from a list of at least three qualified nominees submitted by the              
state organization that represents the political party of the                  
"House Bill 377 ensures that in the event a vacancy occurs in the              
United States Senate or in the state legislature, the citizens of              
Alaska who elected the predecessor to office, will continue to have            
their political philosophy represented by someone of their                     
Number 1243                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated, "This would prohibit, for example,                
what happened when Governor Hickel appointed Ted Stevens to the                
U.S. Senate in the late 1960s."                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS indicated that is correct.                              
Number 1278                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said the legislation would allow the state            
organization to submit nominees.  He asked, "Do we give the state              
organizations any official recognition anywhere in the law?"                   
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS said he believes there is a definition of               
the political organizations.  He noted he doesn't know if it is in             
this law or not.                                                               
Number 1330                                                                    
JAMES BALDWIN, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division,                     
Department of Law, came forward to respond.  [Note:  Due to a                  
recording malfunction, some of Mr. Baldwin's response could not be             
heard on the tape.]  Mr. Baldwin said he believes that this is very            
similar to the approach that was taken for a vacancy that occurred             
through the primary and the general.  He said, "I think it's                   
attempted to make this -- that scheme - that appointment scheme                
applicable to vacancies that occur after the general as well.                  
That's the way I read it.  It would also do away with the                      
requirement to elect a senatorial vacancy if there is more than two            
years remaining on the term.  I didn't pick that up from the bill              
directly, but I think that's the effect of it -- that requires no              
appointment at all."                                                           
Number 1431                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said he is curious what Representative Hodgins            
is trying to accomplish.  He stated, "And I too have vivid memories            
of when Senator Bennett died and have visions of when Senator                  
Fahrenkamp died in Fairbanks.  It was a (indisc.) left without                 
representation in the legislature for a period of time -- or in the            
Senate (indisc.) case.  I'm curious as to what we're trying to                 
accomplish here."                                                              
Number 1473                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS responded, "Basically what we're trying to              
accomplish is that if a person is in a certain political party and             
is replaced, it must be by that same political party or that same              
political -- they must be members of the same political party.  In             
laymen's terms, it would not allow the Governor to appoint a                   
Democrat if the seat was held by a Republican in that office for               
Senate or U.S. Senate."                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said he was referring to Section 1 where words            
are being added to existing statute.                                           
Number 1525                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS responded, "The wording that would be added             
there would identify that person as somebody from the same                     
political party."  He read from Section 1, "under (b) of this                  
section, an individual," and said under "(b)" of this section, it              
would become the same political party.                                         
REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY questioned what the significance is of the                
words, "after the vacancy occurs,".                                            
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS responded that within 30 days after the                 
vacancy occurs, that is to shorten up the time limit.  He said, "If            
you have felt, in the past, that the appointment has not been made             
in a timely manner unless people..."                                           
Number 1574                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES interjected, "It does say in here - it does already                
without the change in the law that within 30 days -- when a vacancy            
occurs within 30 days, the Governor within 30 days shall appoint.              
Now this just says 30 days after the vacancy occurs.  Is that just             
to make it more clear?  It already says when a vacancy occurs."                
Number 1596                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS pointed out that the bill was drafted by                
Legislative Legal and if it is confusing, he wouldn't have a                   
problem with removing the language.                                            
REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY responded that it is confusing, but there is              
usually a reason for words and he fails the see the reasoning.                 
Number 1649                                                                    
MR. BALDWIN said he would like to point at what he believes is a               
legal issue.  He stated, "This is merely a process that is in                  
existing law for appointments that (indisc.) occur between the                 
primary and the general.  A vacancy that occurs after the general              
are a little bit different situation, although I think a legal                 
problem is shared in these sections.  And probably what you                    
remember about the Don Bennett vacancy - Senator Bennett's vacancy             
was that for awhile there, there was a lawsuit pending in Fairbanks            
where there was a disagreement between the Governor and the                    
District Committee.  Under existing law, there is no role for the              
District Committee.  It's silent as to how he appoints, but the                
practice has always been -- the custom has always been that the                
governor goes to the District Committee and solicits from them                 
suggested persons to appoint.  At times, there have been                       
disagreements between the Governor and the committee.  I mean I                
don't think that there has been a disagreement, that I know of,                
about the party that should be appointed -- whether the person is              
from the party or not, but there have been disagreements as to the             
individuals that's being put forth by the District Committees.  We             
have got to litigation at one point and it was over the provision              
in the law that required confirmation by less than the full house              
of the legislature, which is a very odd provision.  And the                    
language that's being borrowed on here, which is between the                   
primary and the general election vacancy situation occurred when               
you're talking about a vacancy -- an election that provides for the            
party nomination where the role of the district is probably more               
relevant to being involved in the appointment process.  What the               
constitution says is that appointments to fill vacancies should be             
provided by law, and if nothing is provided in law, then the                   
Governor shall appoint.  So the constitution gives the legislature             
an expressed grant of power in this area.  But since the time that             
the constitution was written and the time that the provision was               
approved, which deals with between primary situations, we've had a             
case in the state Alive Voluntary which dealt with how the                     
legislature must process its business.  I'm sure you've probably               
had Alive Voluntary (indisc.) before.  What it says is that the                
legislature can't give in to a smaller group of itself lawmaking               
powers.  And if this confirmation is a lawmaking type power, the               
argument goes you can't convey it on a caucus of the legislature.              
That is the argument that then Governor Cowper made in Fairbanks               
concerning the appointment process and the role that was attempting            
to be made by -- what would happen there is the Governor didn't                
like the name.  The legislature took up the name and proceeded to              
confirm them or indicated intentions to and we were blocking it.               
As these things typically do, there was an accommodation and the               
Governor got the name that he wanted and the District Committee was            
satisfied with the compromise and the lawsuit didn't mature."                  
Number 1901                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES said she remembers that situation well.  The political             
party was supposed to put up three names and they put one name up              
three times.                                                                   
MR. BALDWIN stated he just wanted to point out that he thinks that             
legal issue still exists with this language and it exists in                   
existing law for a little bit different situation.                             
Number 1930                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said he remembers that situation very                     
differently.  He explained existing law is very clear that the                 
party will nominate and the Governor will appoint.                             
MR. BALDWIN said the existing law is silent on that point.  He                 
said, "I think that's what this bill is attempting to do is to make            
it (indisc.).  That's where the confusion has been, Representative             
Vezey.  People have confused the post general vacancy situation                
with the vacancy that occurs between the primary and the general.              
The law for a vacancy that occurs between the primary and the                  
general very clearly provides that the District Committees have a              
role in the appointment process.  But existing law, they've been               
getting it confused, but the practice has been that when there is              
a post general vacancy in an office that can be filled by                      
appointment, that there has been the complications, but at times               
there has been difficulties because there has been different                   
philosophies involved."                                                        
Number 2080                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES said she didn't remember the lawsuit specifically                  
having anything to do with the legislature's power to do this or               
giving themselves the power to do this.  She said what she recalls             
is if three names are supposed to be put up, there has to be three             
separate names as opposed to one name three times.  When the                   
Governor refused to take the one name three times and refused to               
put that name forward to the legislature, then the net result was              
they put up another name.                                                      
MR. BALDWIN said, "We also raised the other confirmation issue."               
CHAIR JAMES questioned what the result of that was.                            
MR. BALDWIN responded, "Everybody walked away from it."                        
CHAIR JAMES said that is still unchallenged and there is no closure            
on that.                                                                       
MR. BALDWIN stated that there is no closure on that issue.  He                 
said, "There could be a problem even with this plan because I've               
seen situations where even though you present three names, the                 
Governor -- what happens if he doesn't like those names?  What                 
happens if he doesn't appoint?"                                                
CHAIR JAMES said she doesn't know whether the Governor has the                 
ultimate power and she doesn't know what the constitution says on              
MR. BALDWIN said, "The framework of how you want to go about doing             
it I think is the policy question for this committee and the                   
legislature.  I would point out the legal problem which is I think             
the confirmation aspect of this which would have a minority caucus             
or a majority caucus having a share in the appointment power.  And             
I think that the Alive Voluntary case of this is you can't hand                
that kind of power to less than a full group of the legislature."              
Number 2158                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY explained that he had stepped out of the room             
for a moment.  He asked Mr. Baldwin to comment on the law that                 
allows a portion of the legislature to confirm an appointment.                 
MR. BALDWIN stated, "I obtain my reasoning from the State v. Alive             
Voluntary case."                                                               
CHAIR JAMES said, "It is a separation of powers issue where they               
threw out the ability of the legislature to annul a regulation by              
a simple resolution because there was no ability for the Governor              
to override -- to do that."                                                    
MR. BALDWIN said, "Also involved in that case was the power of the             
Regulation Review Committee to vote to -- had been given some                  
power.  So what that case held, Representative Vezey, was that the             
legislature can't bootstrap power - can't transfer its power to                
less than a full body.  That's how I read that case and it's not on            
point with this situation, but I think it provides guidance."                  
Number 2270                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said he doesn't see the comparison as we're               
talking separation of powers.  He explained he sees very clear                 
differences in the approval process for appointment and the                    
lawmaking process.                                                             
MR. BALDWIN said, "We have another case in Alaska, Granyard v.                 
Hammond which said that -- that dealt with the confirmation with               
the legislature by statute attempted deputy directors subject to               
confirmation, and the court issued a decision saying that only in              
those places where it is specifically authorized in the legislature            
to participate in the appointment power.  Now I will give you that             
the constitution says that the legislature may prescribe, by law,              
the appointment process.  The constitution says that.  So that's               
pretty heavy weight authority there that would have to be resolved             
(indisc.).  But the question is, 'Does this constitutional                     
provision give the legislature, by law, the power to give itself a             
share in the appointment followed by confirmation?'  I think that,             
as you slightly identified, a question of proposition and one that             
may be prone to litigation.  And my role here I think it's to tell             
you that there are issues like that that are present in this bill."            
TAPE 98-27, SIDE A                                                             
Number 0049                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked how strongly the sponsor of bill feels              
about the language.                                                            
Number 0081                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES called for a brief at ease.  She called the meeting                
back to order and asked if there were any further comments.                    
Number 0088                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS said, "This bill would just simply fill a --            
change a precedence into a law.  We've always had the assumption               
that the Governor is going to appoint and would appoint somebody               
from the same political party and this would, indeed, put it into              
law that you would actually have to."                                          
Number 0128                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY made a motion to move HB 377 out of committee             
with individual recommendations and with the attached zero fiscal              
notes.  There being no objection, HB 377 moved out of the House                
State Affairs Standing Committee.                                              
CSSB 275(STA) - FUND RAISING: GOV; LT. GOV; & CANDIDATES                       
REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said, "I would like to move to reconsider my              
vote on CSSB 275(STA)."                                                        
Number 0155                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES stated there is a motion to reconsider the vote on CSSB
275(STA).  She asked if there is an objection to the motion.  There            
being no objection, the bill was before the committee again.                   
Number 0210                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said, "Representatives Elton and Berkowitz, I             
have asked the Chair to move to reconsider the vote on SB 275 and              
there wasn't an objection to that."                                            
CHAIR JAMES stated, "And so now the bill is on the table before us             
to be moved."  She asked if there was an objection.                            
Number 0234                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ELTON objected.                                                 
A roll call vote was taken.  Representatives Hodgins, Vezey, Dyson             
and James voted in favor of moving the bill.  Representatives Elton            
and Berkowitz voted against moving the bill.  So CSSB 275(STA)                 
moved out of the House State Affairs Standing Committee.                       
Number 0359                                                                    
CHAIR JAMES adjourned the House State Affairs Standing Committee at            
9:46 a.m.                                                                      

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