Legislature(2021 - 2022)GRUENBERG 120

03/11/2021 03:00 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 44 PRACTICE OF ACCOUNTING; LICENSURE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
*+ HB 106 MISSING PERSONS UNDER 21 YEARS OLD TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
+= HB 62 MARRIAGE WITNESSES TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 62 Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         March 11, 2021                                                                                         
                           3:04 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                             DRAFT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Chair                                                                                   
Representative Matt Claman, Vice Chair                                                                                          
Representative Geran Tarr                                                                                                       
Representative Andi Story                                                                                                       
Representative Sarah Vance                                                                                                      
Representative James Kaufman                                                                                                    
Representative David Eastman                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 62                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to solemnization of marriage."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 62 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 44                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to the practice of accounting."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 106                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to missing persons under 21 years of age."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  62                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MARRIAGE WITNESSES                                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) CLAMAN                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
02/18/21       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/15/21                                                                               
02/18/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/18/21       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
02/25/21       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
02/25/21       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
03/04/21       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/04/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/04/21       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/09/21       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/09/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/09/21       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/11/21       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  44                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PRACTICE OF ACCOUNTING; LICENSURE                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) THOMPSON                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
02/18/21       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/8/21                                                                                
02/18/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/18/21       (H)       STA, L&C                                                                                               
03/11/21       (H)       STA AT 3:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
LYNETTE BERGH, Staff                                                                                                            
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Reviewed the changes to HB 44, proposed in                                                               
the CS, Version B, on behalf of Representative Thompson, prime                                                                  
sponsor.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEVE THOMPSON                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented CSHB 44(STA) as the prime                                                                      
sponsor.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
KAREN BREWER-TARVER                                                                                                             
Alaska Society of Certified Public Accountants                                                                                  
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions pertaining to CSHB
44(STA).                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
THOMAS NEILL, Chair                                                                                                             
AICPA Uniform Accountancy Act Committee                                                                                         
Seattle, Washington                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions pertaining to CSHB
44(STA).                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:04:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  JONATHAN KREISS-TOMKINS  called  the  House State  Affairs                                                             
Standing   Committee    meeting   to    order   at    3:04   p.m.                                                               
Representatives  Story,  Claman,  Kaufman, Eastman,  and  Kreiss-                                                               
Tomkins  were present  at  the call  to  order.   Representatives                                                               
Vance and Tarr arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                   HB  62-MARRIAGE WITNESSES                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:05:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS announced that the first order of business                                                                 
would be HOUSE BILL NO. 62, "An Act relating to solemnization of                                                                
marriage."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS noted the outstanding amendments on HB 62.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:05:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN moved to adopt Amendment 2, [labeled 32-                                                                 
LS0272\A.4, Dunmire, 3/8/21], which read:                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, following line 2:                                                                                                  
          Insert new bill sections to read:                                                                                     
         "* Section 1. AS 25.05.261(a) is repealed and                                                                      
     reenacted to read:                                                                                                         
          (a)  Marriages may be solemnized by any person in                                                                     
     the state.                                                                                                                 
      * Sec. 2. AS 25.05.261(c) is repealed and reenacted                                                                     
     to read:                                                                                                                   
          (c)  Nothing in this section creates or implies a                                                                     
     duty or obligation on a person authorized to solemnize                                                                     
     a marriage under (a) of this section to solemnize any                                                                      
     marriage."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 3:                                                                                                            
          Delete "Section 1"                                                                                                  
          Insert "Sec. 3"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 24:                                                                                                           
        Delete "AS 25.05.041(a)(3) and 25.05.041(a)(5)"                                                                         
          Insert    "AS 22.15.100(3);    AS 25.05.041(a)(3),                                                                    
     25.05.041(a)(5),  25.05.081,  25.05.281, and  25.05.371                                                                    
     are repealed."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN, prime sponsor of HB 62, objected.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:05:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  stated that Amendment 2  would accomplish                                                               
two things:  firstly, it would remove  the form and $25  fee that                                                               
are  required to  sign  a marriage  license;  secondly, it  would                                                               
clarify  that no  person is  obligated to  solemnize a  marriage.                                                               
Based on the  discussion on Amendment 1 to HB  62 [on 3/9/21], he                                                               
withdrew Amendment 2.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:06:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN moved to adopt Amendment 3, [labeled 32-                                                                 
LS0272\A.6, Dunmire, 3/8/21], which read:                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 3, through page 2, line 24:                                                                                   
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
        "* Section 1. AS 25.05.301 is amended to read:                                                                      
          Sec. 25.05.301. Form of solemnization. In the                                                                       
     solemnization  of   marriage  no  particular   form  is                                                                    
     required  except  that  the  parties  shall  assent  or                                                                    
     declare in  the presence of  each other and  the person                                                                    
     solemnizing  the marriage  and  in the  presence of  at                                                                    
     least  two  competent  witnesses that  they  take  each                                                                    
     other to be  husband and wife. A  competent witness for                                                                    
     this  purpose is  a  person of  sound  mind capable  of                                                                    
     understanding the  seriousness of the ceremony.  At the                                                                    
     time  of  the  ceremony,  the  person  solemnizing  the                                                                    
     marriage  shall  complete   the  certification  on  the                                                                    
     original marriage  certificate. The  person solemnizing                                                                    
     the  marriage and  the  two  attending witnesses  shall                                                                    
     sign   the  original   marriage  certificate   and  the                                                                    
     necessary copies.  The person solemnizing  the marriage                                                                
     may not also act as an attending witness."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN objected.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:06:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN explained that Amendment 3 would clarify                                                                 
that the person solemnizing the marriage may not additionally                                                                   
act as the witness.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  expressed his  opposition to  the proposed                                                               
amendment  because the  purpose  of  the bill  is  to remove  the                                                               
witness requirement.   Eliminating the witness  requirement would                                                               
particularly  help with  destination weddings,  for which,  under                                                               
current law, two additional people  must fly to Alaska to fulfill                                                               
that obligation.   He explained  that Amendment 3  would maintain                                                               
the  witness   requirement;  furthermore,   it  would   keep  the                                                               
officiant  from  acting as  a  witness,  which is  allowed  under                                                               
current Alaska law.   Because the proposed amendment  adds to the                                                               
witness requirement  rather than  removing it, he  reiterated his                                                               
opposition to Amendment 3.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN maintained his objection.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:08:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN  acknowledged  that there  are  occasions                                                               
when  the person  presiding over  the wedding  also signs  as the                                                               
witness; however, he  shared his belief that  such occurrences do                                                               
not satisfy the  original intent of the statute.   He pointed out                                                               
that  other  more significant  areas  of  law require  a  witness                                                               
signature,  later adding  that  the decision  to  marry a  person                                                               
[could]  impact family  court,  inheritance,  probate court,  and                                                               
many  other  things.   He  maintained  that it's  appropriate  to                                                               
require  marriage witnesses  because it's  a legally  significant                                                               
decision.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:09:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was  taken.  Representatives Vance, Kaufman, and                                                               
Eastman  voted  in   favor  of  the  adoption   of  Amendment  3.                                                               
Representatives Story,  Claman, and Kreiss-Tomkins  voted against                                                               
it.  Therefore, Amendment 3 failed by a vote of 3-3.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:10:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE moved  to adopt  Amendment 4,  [labeled 32-                                                               
LS0272\A.5, Dunmire, 3/8/21], which read:                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 1, following "Act":                                                                                         
          Insert "relating to the Legislative Ethics Act;                                                                     
     and"                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, following line 2:                                                                                                  
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
        "* Section 1. AS 24.60.030(a) is amended to read:                                                                   
          (a)  A legislator or legislative employee may not                                                                     
               (1)   solicit, agree  to accept, or  accept a                                                                    
     benefit  other  than   official  compensation  for  the                                                                    
     performance of  public duties;  this paragraph  may not                                                                    
     be construed to prohibit                                                                                                   
               (A)   lawful solicitation for  and acceptance                                                                
     of campaign contributions;                                                                                             
               (B)    [,]   solicitation  or  acceptance  of                                                                
     contributions  for  a  charity  event,  as  defined  in                                                                    
     AS 24.60.080(a)(2)(B);                                                                                                 
               (C)   [, OR] the  acceptance of a  gift under                                                                
     AS 24.60.075 or 24.60.080; or                                                                                          
               (D)   a legislator  from accepting  a benefit                                                                
     in   exchange   for   solemnizing  a   marriage   under                                                                
     AS 25.05.261(a)(4);                                                                                                    
               (2)      use    public   funds,   facilities,                                                                    
     equipment,  services, or  another  government asset  or                                                                    
     resource for a  nonlegislative purpose, for involvement                                                                    
     in or  support of  or opposition to  partisan political                                                                    
     activity,   or  for   the   private   benefit  of   the                                                                    
     legislator,  legislative employee,  or another  person;                                                                    
     this paragraph does not prohibit                                                                                           
               (A)    limited  use  of  state  property  and                                                                    
     resources  for personal  purposes if  the use  does not                                                                    
     interfere  with the  performance of  public duties  and                                                                    
     either the cost or value  related to the use is nominal                                                                    
     or  the legislator  or legislative  employee reimburses                                                                    
     the state for the cost of the use;                                                                                         
               (B)    the  use of  mailing  lists,  computer                                                                    
     data,  or other  information lawfully  obtained from  a                                                                    
     government agency  and available to the  general public                                                                    
     for nonlegislative purposes;                                                                                               
               (C)          the     legislative     council,                                                                    
     notwithstanding   AS 24.05.190,   from  designating   a                                                                    
     public facility for use  by legislators and legislative                                                                    
     employees  for health  or  fitness  purposes; when  the                                                                    
     council   designates  a   facility   to   be  used   by                                                                    
     legislators  and legislative  employees  for health  or                                                                    
     fitness purposes,  it shall adopt  guidelines governing                                                                    
     access to and  use of the facility;  the guidelines may                                                                    
     establish  times  in  which  use  of  the  facility  is                                                                    
     limited to specific groups;                                                                                                
               (D)      a    legislator   from   using   the                                                                    
     legislator's private office in  the capital city during                                                                    
     a legislative session, and for  the 10 days immediately                                                                    
     before and the 10  days immediately after a legislative                                                                    
     session, for  nonlegislative purposes  if the  use does                                                                    
     not  interfere with  the performance  of public  duties                                                                    
     and if  there is no  cost to the  state for the  use of                                                                    
     the space  and equipment, other than  utility costs and                                                                    
     minimal  wear  and  tear, or  the  legislator  promptly                                                                    
     reimburses  the  state  for  the  cost;  an  office  is                                                                    
     considered  a legislator's  private  office under  this                                                                    
     subparagraph if it is the  primary space in the capital                                                                    
     city  reserved for  use by  the legislator,  whether or                                                                    
     not it is shared with others;                                                                                              
               (E)   a  legislator from  use of  legislative                                                                    
     employees  to prepare  and send  out seasonal  greeting                                                                    
     cards;                                                                                                                     
               (F)  a legislator  from using state resources                                                                    
     to transport computers or  other office equipment owned                                                                    
     by  the  legislator  but primarily  used  for  a  state                                                                    
     function;                                                                                                                  
               (G)   use by a  legislator of  photographs of                                                                    
     that legislator;                                                                                                           
               (H)   reasonable  use of  the  Internet by  a                                                                    
     legislator or a legislative  employee except if the use                                                                    
     is for election campaign purposes;                                                                                         
               (I)   a  legislator  or legislative  employee                                                                    
     from  soliciting, accepting,  or  receiving  a gift  on                                                                    
     behalf   of  a   recognized,  nonpolitical   charitable                                                                    
     organization in a state facility;                                                                                          
               (J)      a   legislator  from   sending   any                                                                    
     communication  in  the  form of  a  newsletter  to  the                                                                    
     legislator's   constituents,  except   a  communication                                                                    
     expressly  advocating  the  election  or  defeat  of  a                                                                    
     candidate or  a newsletter or material  in a newsletter                                                                    
     that  is clearly  only  for the  private  benefit of  a                                                                    
     legislator or a legislative employee; or                                                                                   
               (K)   full participation  in a  charity event                                                                    
     approved in advance by the Alaska Legislative Council;                                                                     
               (3)   knowingly seek, accept,  use, allocate,                                                                    
     grant, or award  public funds for a  purpose other than                                                                    
     that  approved by  law, or  make a  false statement  in                                                                    
     connection with  a claim,  request, or  application for                                                                    
     compensation, reimbursement, or  travel allowances from                                                                    
     public funds;                                                                                                              
               (4)    require   a  legislative  employee  to                                                                    
     perform  services  for  the   private  benefit  of  the                                                                    
     legislator  or  employee  at  any   time,  or  allow  a                                                                    
     legislative  employee  to   perform  services  for  the                                                                    
     private  benefit   of  a  legislator  or   employee  on                                                                    
     government  time;  it  is  not   a  violation  of  this                                                                    
     paragraph if the services were  performed in an unusual                                                                    
     or infrequent situation and  the person's services were                                                                    
     reasonably  necessary  to   permit  the  legislator  or                                                                    
     legislative employee to perform official duties;                                                                           
               (5)  use or authorize the use of state                                                                           
     funds,  facilities,  equipment,  services,  or  another                                                                    
     government  asset  or  resource   for  the  purpose  of                                                                    
     political fund  raising or campaigning;  this paragraph                                                                    
     does not prohibit                                                                                                          
               (A)  limited use of state property and                                                                           
     resources  for personal  purposes if  the use  does not                                                                    
     interfere  with the  performance of  public duties  and                                                                    
     either the cost or value  related to the use is nominal                                                                    
     or  the legislator  or legislative  employee reimburses                                                                    
     the state for the cost of the use;                                                                                         
               (B)  the use of mailing lists, computer                                                                          
     data,  or other  information lawfully  obtained from  a                                                                    
     government agency  and available to the  general public                                                                    
     for nonlegislative purposes;                                                                                               
               (C)  storing or maintaining, consistent with                                                                     
     (b)  of this  section, election  campaign records  in a                                                                    
     legislator's office;                                                                                                       
               (D)      a    legislator   from   using   the                                                                    
     legislator's private office in  the capital city during                                                                    
     a legislative session, and for  the 10 days immediately                                                                    
     before and the 10  days immediately after a legislative                                                                    
     session, for  nonlegislative purposes  if the  use does                                                                    
     not  interfere with  the performance  of public  duties                                                                    
     and if  there is no  cost to the  state for the  use of                                                                    
     the space  and equipment, other than  utility costs and                                                                    
     minimal  wear  and  tear, or  the  legislator  promptly                                                                    
     reimburses  the  state  for  the  cost;  an  office  is                                                                    
     considered  a legislator's  private  office under  this                                                                    
     subparagraph if it is the  primary space in the capital                                                                    
     city  reserved for  use by  the legislator,  whether or                                                                    
     not it is shared with others; or                                                                                           
               (E)  use by a legislator of photographs of                                                                       
     that legislator."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 3:                                                                                                            
          Delete "Section 1"                                                                                                  
          Insert "Sec. 2"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN objected.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:10:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE  explained that  Amendment  4  would add  a                                                               
subparagraph (D) to Section 1,  which would allow a legislator to                                                               
accept a benefit in exchange  for solemnizing a marriage under AS                                                               
25.05.261(a)(4).  She  said in discussion with  the bill sponsor,                                                               
they  agreed that  an acceptable  form of  benefit would  include                                                               
transportation  to the  wedding and/or  dinner at  the reception;                                                               
however, they  also considered extreme examples  of benefits that                                                               
would  appear  questionable  to  the  public.    She  welcomed  a                                                               
committee discussion regarding appropriate  benefits for a public                                                               
official who solemnizes a marriage.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  reviewed examples of benefits  that he and                                                               
Representative Vance  had identified  as reasonable for  a public                                                               
official to accept: a helicopter  ride to perform the ceremony at                                                               
a remote location; a meal after  the wedding; a boat ride, during                                                               
which the  ceremony takes place.   He explained that  because the                                                               
definition of benefit is broad,  it raised further questions.  He                                                               
said he  liked the  notion that a  public official  solemnizing a                                                               
wedding  should  not have  to  pay  to participate;  however,  he                                                               
questioned where the line would be  drawn.  He reiterated that he                                                               
liked  the  concept  but  expressed  concern  that  the  proposed                                                               
amendment could make  it too easy for someone to  accept a three-                                                               
day cruise.   He suggested  addressing that concern in  the House                                                               
Judiciary Committee  to allow for reasonable  benefits, which are                                                               
incidental to performing the service, to be accepted.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:14:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN   considered  a   scenario  in   which  a                                                               
legislator received a one-thousand-dollar honorarium or three-                                                                  
day cruise.   He  asked if  the legislator  would be  required to                                                               
disclose that income in the public record.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  was unsure of the  answer.  He said  if he                                                               
were offered a  three-day cruise that cost $1,000,  he would call                                                               
Jerry Anderson,  Select Committee on Legislative  Ethics, and ask                                                               
how to proceed.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  noted that  he had called  Jerry Anderson                                                               
to   discuss  this   particular   amendment.     He  shared   his                                                               
understanding  that  a  benefit  of  $1,000  should  be  declared                                                               
publicly.    He  stated  his  belief  that  if  legislators  were                                                               
expected  to declare  honorariums,  the  transparency would  help                                                               
them make good decisions on whether to accept such benefits.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:17:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAUFMAN sought to  clarify how the committee would                                                               
forward on Amendment 4.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN noted  that  he  and Representative  Vance                                                               
both serve  on the House  Judiciary Committee.  He  relayed their                                                               
plan to move  HB 62 out of the House  State Affairs Committee and                                                               
consider this discussion  in Judiciary.  He  restated his support                                                               
for the concept; however, he  emphasized that the concept must be                                                               
right.   He said the process  of getting the concept  right would                                                               
involve discussions with  Jerry Anderson and further  work on the                                                               
intent language to  allow someone to accept  a reasonable benefit                                                               
but not a cash payment.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:18:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  expressed her  interest in  considering how                                                               
the public would view legislators'  activity.  She said she would                                                               
like to  avoid "[setting] public  officials in a place  above the                                                               
average person  in Alaska  who is going  to perform  a ceremony."                                                               
She pointed out  that legislators are held to  higher scrutiny in                                                               
the   public   eye  and   expressed   her   desire  to   maintain                                                               
accountability and  transparency.  She withdrew  Amendment 4 with                                                               
the intent to reconsider it in the next committee of referral.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:19:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that HB  62 would be held  to the                                                               
end of the meeting.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
            HB  44-PRACTICE OF ACCOUNTING; LICENSURE                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:19:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that  the next order  of business                                                               
would be HOUSE  BILL NO. 44, "An Act relating  to the practice of                                                               
accounting."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:20:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS  moved  to  adopt  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute (CS)  for HB 44, labeled  32-LS0302\B, Fisher, 3/8/21,                                                               
as the working document.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:21:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LYNETTE  BERGH, Staff,  Representative  Steve Thompson,  reviewed                                                               
the changes  to HB 44, proposed  in the CS, Version  B, on behalf                                                               
of Representative  Thompson, prime  sponsor.  She  explained that                                                               
Version B removes  the language "or compilation" on  page 8, line                                                               
4; removes the language "the  board" and inserts "the department"                                                               
on  page 8,  line 28;  and removes  the language  "or compilation                                                               
reports" on  page 20, line 5.   She said these  changes were made                                                               
at  the  request  of  the  Alaska  Society  of  Certified  Public                                                               
Accountants.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:23:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN withdrew his objection.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  hearing no further objection  to the motion                                                               
to  adopt  the proposed  committee  substitute  (CS) for  HB  44,                                                               
labeled  32-LS0302\B, Fisher,  3/8/21, as  the working  document,                                                               
announced that Version B was before the committee.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:23:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STEVE THOMPSON,  Alaska State  Legislature, prime                                                               
sponsor,  introduced  CSHB 44(STA).    He  stated that  the  bill                                                               
originated  after   members  of   the  Alaska  Board   of  Public                                                               
Accountancy  contacted his  office to  share that  they had  been                                                               
asked to update  Alaska statutes to meet  the Uniform Accountancy                                                               
Act and/or AICPA's  Code of Professional Conduct  by the National                                                               
Association of  the State Boards  of Accountancy (NASBA)  and the                                                               
American Institute of Certified  Public Accountants (AICPA).  The                                                               
national organizations  provided the Board of  Public Accountancy                                                               
with a summary  of areas where Alaska's statutes do  not meet the                                                               
national standards.   The board reviewed those  statutes over the                                                               
past several  years and developed a  rough draft for the  bill to                                                               
address the issues.   He conveyed that  CSHB 44(STA) incorporates                                                               
these changes  and would update  the public  accountancy statutes                                                               
to  bring  Alaska more  in  line  with national  standards  while                                                               
continuing to protect  the public interest by  ensuring that only                                                               
qualified persons  are licensed,  and that  appropriate standards                                                               
of  competency and  practice are  established and  enforced.   He                                                               
deferred  to Ms.  Bergh to  provide a  sectional analysis  of the                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:26:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BERGH  noted the length  of the sectional  analysis [included                                                               
in the  committee packet], which  covered 44 sections.   She said                                                               
many  of the  items  in  the sectional  are  redundant as  common                                                               
language was added or removed.   She offered to provide a summary                                                               
of the sectional analysis, which  would highlight the changes and                                                               
be less time intensive.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS welcomed the sectional summary.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. BERGH presented  a summarized sectional analysis  of the bill                                                               
[included  in  the  committee  packet],  which  read  as  follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The  changes  in  HB44 are  intended  to  better  align                                                                    
     Alaska  accountancy statutes  with national  standards,                                                                    
     using the  Uniform Accountancy Act  (UAA) as  a guiding                                                                    
     document.  These changes  will  help  ensure a  uniform                                                                    
     approach to regulation of  the accounting profession in                                                                    
     Alaska.  Throughout the  current accountancy  statutes,                                                                    
     there are antiquated industry terms and definitions.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     HB 44 updates the following terms:                                                                                         
     ?  "out-of-state  exemption"  is  removed  entirely  to                                                                    
     allow for firm mobility                                                                                                    
     ?    "Partnership,     limited    liability    company,                                                                    
     corporation, or  other legal entity" are  replaced with                                                                    
     the term  "firm"; the updated  definition of  firm will                                                                    
     now include sole proprietors                                                                                               
     ? "quality review" is replaced with "peer review"                                                                          
     ? Sections  37-43 updates/adds new definitions  for the                                                                    
     following accountancy terms:                                                                                               
          o "attest function"                                                                                                   
          o "compilation service"                                                                                               
          o "permit"                                                                                                            
          o "practice of public accounting"                                                                                     
          o "report"                                                                                                            
          o "state"                                                                                                             
          o "preparation of financial statements"                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:28:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE referred  to language in Section  3, page 2,                                                               
line  11, which  states  that  the board  "may"  renew a  license                                                               
granted  under  Section  3  if  the  licensee  meets  the  listed                                                               
criteria.    She then  directed  attention  to Section  5,  which                                                               
states that the board "shall" grant  a permit on page 2, line 18.                                                               
Referring back to page 2, line  11, she asked what discretion the                                                               
board  would have  to  renew a  license under  Section  3 if  the                                                               
licensee met the statutory criteria.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BERGH deferred  to Karen  Brewer-Tarver or  Thomas Neill  to                                                               
speak to the technicalities of the bill.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:30:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KAREN   BREWER-TARVER,  Alaska   Society   of  Certified   Public                                                               
Accountants, said the board would renew  a license as long as the                                                               
firm met  all of  the criteria.   She clarified  that if  all the                                                               
conditions  are  met, the  board  does  not have  discretion  [on                                                               
whether to renew a license].                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:31:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VANCE asked  if the  word "shall"  would be  more                                                               
appropriate  since  the board  does  not  utilize discretion,  to                                                               
protect against potential litigation.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. BREWER-TARVER  said she would  have to think more  about that                                                               
question.   She offered her  understanding that "shall"  could be                                                               
used but  "may" would allow  for more discretion.   She explained                                                               
that the Uniform  Accountancy Act is a template  act, which NASBA                                                               
and  AICPA  creates  for  state   boards  to  look  to  for  best                                                               
practices.     She   deferred  to   Thomas   Neill  for   further                                                               
information.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:33:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
THOMAS  NEILL, Chair,  AICPA Uniform  Accountancy Act  Committee,                                                               
informed the committee that the  UAA [Uniform Accountancy Act] is                                                               
a template  for all 55  licensing jurisdictions to align  with to                                                               
allow for CPAs and CPA firms  around the country to act with some                                                               
uniformity.  Regarding  the question of "may"  versus "shall," he                                                               
recalled  seeing  some  jurisdictions  go both  directions.    He                                                               
offered  to look  more  specifically at  the  entirety of  Alaska                                                               
statutes to  consider the cross-references  and follow up  with a                                                               
more definitive answer at the next  hearing for CSHB 44(STA).  He                                                               
noted that  the Uniform Accountancy  Act doesn't delve  into this                                                               
level of  specificity, further  noting it is  left to  each state                                                               
jurisdiction   to    enact   mobility   as   best    fits   their                                                               
statutes/rules.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:35:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN referred to paragraph  (3) on page 2, line                                                               
16, which states that the board  may renew a license issued under                                                               
Section  4 if  the licensee  "complies with  the requirements  of                                                               
this chapter".   He asked to  what degree the board  is competent                                                               
to make that determination.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:36:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. NEILL remarked:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     As  I've  seen  through  most  state  legislative  acts                                                                    
     relative to  how a CPA  gets the license,  they usually                                                                    
     have  a cross-reference  like this  to  make sure  that                                                                    
     they are complying with the  entirety of what's drafted                                                                    
     in that section of that state's Uniform Accountancy                                                                        
     Act.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. NEILL said  with regard to complying, when a  CPA applies for                                                               
a license in  Washington there is a set of  criteria to consider,                                                               
which  looks  at whether  the  licensee  has met  the  continuing                                                               
education requirements;  whether the licensee has  other licenses                                                               
in or  outside the state; whether  the licensee has met  the peer                                                               
review  requirements.    He shared  his  understanding  that  the                                                               
language  in question  is part  of a  methodology or  criteria to                                                               
make sure that the licensee is eligible for licensure.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:37:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN noted that "may"  and "shall" are both used                                                               
throughout  Alaska  statutes.   He  suggested  that it  would  be                                                               
helpful to  hear perspective from Legislative  Legal Services, in                                                               
addition to  [Mr. Neill's] perspective,  on this discussion.   He                                                               
opined   that  changing   the  language   to  "shall"   could  be                                                               
problematic  if  it  were inconsistent  with  the  practices  and                                                               
statutes of other  professions throughout the state.   He posited                                                               
the  courts  would  conclude that  the  legislature  changed  the                                                               
language for some specific reason.   He emphasized the importance                                                               
of consistency across professions.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  THOMPSON  offered  to  follow  up  with  a  legal                                                               
opinion.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:38:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS announced that HB 44 was held over.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:39:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS moved that  the House State Affairs Standing                                                               
Committee  delegate   the  duty   of  drafting   and  introducing                                                               
committee sponsored  legislation to  the committee chair  for the                                                               
duration of the Thirty-Second Alaska State Legislature.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN objected.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:40:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  explained that he  had no real  interest in                                                               
introducing  legislation that's  overly divisive.   Additionally,                                                               
he  expressed his  desire  to consult  with  every member  before                                                               
introducing a  committee sponsored bill  to avoid surprises.   He                                                               
further noted that he had  no immediate anticipation to introduce                                                               
any  committee  sponsored  legislation,   as  it  had  been  used                                                               
sparingly in past years.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:40:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN  shared  his   belief  that  the  current                                                               
expectation  that  the  [committee]   majority  would  make  that                                                               
decision is  conducive to  discussion and  would ensure  that the                                                               
majority of  the committee  membership supported  [the committee-                                                               
sponsored legislation].                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:42:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAUFMAN expressed  his  appreciation and  respect                                                               
for   Chair    Kreiss-Tomkins   for   proposing    this   motion.                                                               
Nonetheless, he  said he would find  it difficult to vote  [for a                                                               
motion that would] "hand away authority."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
[REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN maintained his objection.]                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:42:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A  roll  call  vote  was taken.    Representatives  Tarr,  Story,                                                               
Claman,  and  Kreiss-Tomkins voted  in  favor  of the  motion  to                                                               
delegate  the   duty  of   drafting  and   introducing  committee                                                               
sponsored legislation  to the  chair of  the House  State Affairs                                                               
Standing Committee.  Representatives  Eastman, Vance, and Kaufman                                                               
voted against it.  Therefore, the  motion was passed by a vote of                                                               
4-3.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                   HB  62-MARRIAGE WITNESSES                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:43:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that  the committee  would resume                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO.  62,  "An   Act  relating  to  solemnization  of                                                               
marriage."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KREISS-TOMKINS advised  the committee  to provide  closing                                                               
remarks on the bill.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:44:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN  stated  that  the bill  is  centered  on                                                               
whether  it's  beneficial  to require  marriage  witnesses.    He                                                               
maintained that  if there were no  witnesses to the signing  of a                                                               
marriage license,  it would provide  the opportunity  to question                                                               
what took place and the  surrounding circumstances.  He expounded                                                               
on the  value of preserving  marriage witnesses,  suggesting that                                                               
they could aide in future  litigation.  He conveyed the "profound                                                               
impact"  that marriage  has on  individuals'  legal standing  and                                                               
financial  future and  expressed his  opposition to  removing the                                                               
witness requirement.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:45:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE remarked:                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     ...marriage  is seen  as an  institution  and I'm  very                                                                    
     traditional   when   it   comes   to   protecting   the                                                                    
     institution,  but  the  Libertarian  in  me  says  that                                                                    
     should  be   between  that  couple  and   god  and  the                                                                    
     government should stay out of  it.  However, a marriage                                                                    
     license  is required  by the  state  because there  are                                                                    
     legal benefits  to being married.   ... And  the reason                                                                    
     that I  can't support this  is because there  are legal                                                                    
     benefits to  marriage that involve insurance  and money                                                                    
     and  things like  that.    My question  is  why are  we                                                                    
     lowering the  threshold to provide proof  of this union                                                                    
     that contains great benefit?                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE went  on to share that  her preference would                                                               
be  to  increase [the  "threshold"]  to  provide proof  that  the                                                               
individuals [getting  married] are  who they say  they are.   For                                                               
those reasons, she said she would not be supporting the bill.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:47:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAUFMAN   expressed  his  appreciation   for  the                                                               
reduction  in government  that  is  present in  the  bill.   With                                                               
respect to  the documentation  of marriage,  he opined  that now,                                                               
[people] are  documented more  than ever.   He noted  his support                                                               
for ensuring the  identity of the couple  and suggested including                                                               
that in a  future amendment.  Nonetheless, he shared  his plan to                                                               
support the bill with the notion  that it would be amended in the                                                               
House Judiciary Committee.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:48:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  informed the  committee  that  HB 62  was                                                               
created because Alaskan businesses  had expressed that government                                                               
regulations  made it  difficult  to engage  in  the business  [of                                                               
marriage].   He  conveyed that  people  want to  get married  and                                                               
celebrate their union in the  beauty that Alaska offers; however,                                                               
the two-witness  requirement creates  a burden  on business.   He                                                               
noted  that the  bill does  not remove  the requirement  that the                                                               
wedding  officiant  must  sign the  marriage  certificate,  which                                                               
satisfies the  purpose of  a witness.   He  pointed out  that the                                                               
witness   requirement  does   not   increase   or  decrease   the                                                               
seriousness of the  vows that people enter into  when they choose                                                               
to get  married.  He  further highlighted the common  practice of                                                               
documenting marriage  with pictures and videos,  which remove any                                                               
potential  risk of  uncertainty regarding  who got  married.   He                                                               
reiterated  that HB  62 is  attempting to  bring Alaska  into the                                                               
twenty-first century  and would  allow businesses to  continue to                                                               
provide  valuable services  and  increase tourism  in the  state.                                                               
For all those reasons, he urged support for the bill.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:51:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN moved  to report  HB 62  out of  committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  [zero]                                                               
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE objected.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:52:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A  roll call  vote  was taken.    Representatives Kaufman,  Tarr,                                                               
Story, Claman, and Kreiss-Tomkins voted  in favor of reporting HB
62 out  of committee.   Representatives  Eastman and  Vance voted                                                               
against  it.   Therefore, HB  62 was  reported out  of the  House                                                               
State Affairs Standing Committee by a vote of 5-2.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:52:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS provided closing comments on "housekeeping"                                                                
items.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:53:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
State Affairs Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 3:53                                                                  
p.m.                                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 44 Bill Hearing Request 2.23.21.pdf HSTA 3/11/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 44
HB44 Sponsor Statement version A.pdf HSTA 3/11/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 44
HB 44 Sponsor Statement version B.pdf HSTA 3/11/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 44
HB 44 Bill version A.PDF HL&C 5/3/2021 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/11/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 44
HB 44 Bill version B - Blank CS for HB 44.pdf HSTA 3/11/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 44
HB 44 Sectional Analysis version A.pdf HSTA 3/11/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 44
HB 44 Sectional Analysis version B.pdf HSTA 3/11/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 44
HB44 Additional Information - AKCPA Amendment Memo 3.4.21 .pdf HL&C 5/3/2021 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/11/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 44
HB 44 Testimony - Received as of 2.23.21.pdf HL&C 5/3/2021 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/11/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 44
HB 106 Hearing Request 3.1.21.pdf HHSS 5/13/2021 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 3/11/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 106
HB 106 Sponsor Statement 2.18.21.pdf HHSS 5/13/2021 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 3/11/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 106
HB 106 version A.PDF HHSS 5/13/2021 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 3/11/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 106
HB 106 Sectional Analysis version A.pdf HHSS 5/13/2021 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 3/11/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 106
HB 106 Fiscal Note DPS CJISP.PDF HHSS 5/13/2021 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 3/11/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 106
HB 106 Fiscal Note HSS PS.PDF HHSS 5/13/2021 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 3/11/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 106
HB 106 DPS Prensentation 3.11.21 Distributed.pdf HHSS 5/13/2021 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 3/11/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 106
HB 44 version B- Summary of Sectional Analysis.pdf HSTA 3/11/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 44
HB 44 Explanation of changes version A to B.pdf HSTA 3/11/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 44