Legislature(1993 - 1994)
02/15/1994 09:20 AM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
MINUTES SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE February 15, 1994 9:20 a.m. TAPES SFC-94, #25, Side 1 (000-end) CALL TO ORDER Senator Drue Pearce, Co-chair, convened the meeting at approximately 9:20 a.m. PRESENT In addition to Co-chairs Pearce and Frank, Senators Kelly, and Rieger were present. Senators Sharp and Jacko joined the meeting after it was in progress. Senator Kerttula was absent. ALSO ATTENDING: Josh Fink, aide to Senator Kelly; Portia Babcock, aide to Senator Leman and Senate State Affairs Committee, sponsor of SJR 39; Dean J. Guaneli, Chief, Legal Services Section, Criminal Division, Department of Law; Dugan Petty, Director, Division of General Services, Department of Administration; Clyde Stoltzfus, Special Assistant, Commissioner's Office, Department of Transportation & Public Facilities; Jerry Gallagher, Legislative Liaison, Department of Natural Resources; and Mike Greany, Director, Legislative Finance Division; aides to committee members and other members of the legislature. SUMMARY INFORMATION CSSB 212(L&C): An Act relating to the giving of procurement notices; changing the content of the required procurement reports to the legislature by the commissioner of administration; relating to publications produced by state agencies; establishing an innovative construction procurement methods pilot program; and establishing legislative findings, a legislative purpose, and legislative intent for state procurement; and providing for an effective date. Josh Fink, aide to Senator Kelly and the Labor & Commerce Committee, sponsor of SB 212, testified in support of the bill. Amendment 1 by Co-chair Pearce was ADOPTED with no objections. CSSB 212(FIN) was REPORTED OUT of committee with a "do pass," a zero fiscal notes for the Department of Administration, a fiscal note for the Department of Administration-Statewide for $256.1, and a fiscal note for the Department of Transportation & Public Facilities in the amount of $5.0. SJR 39: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska to guarantee, in addition to the right of the people to keep and bear arms as approved by the voters at the time of ratification of the state Constitution, that the individual right to keep and bear arms shall not be denied or infringed by the state or a political subdivision of the state. Portia Babcock, aide to Senator Leman, sponsor of SJR 39, testified in support of the resolution. Dean Guaneli, Chief, Department of Law, testified to his concerns for existing laws if the Constitution was amended. He stated that SJR 1 was preferred by the Department of Law and the administration in general. SJR 39 was REPORTED OUT of committee with a "do pass" and a zero fiscal note from the Department of Public Safety, and a fiscal note in the amount of $2.2 from the Office of the Governor, Division of Elections. CSSB 210(RES): An Act relating to disposals of state land within five miles of the right-of-way of the Dalton Highway to a licensed public utility or a licensed common carrier; relating to disposals of state land for nonresidential development in nodes of development along the Dalton Highway; and allowing state leases and materials sales for construction or maintenance of airports along the Dalton Highway. Senator Sharp, sponsor of SB 210, testified in support of the bill. Amendment 1 by Senator Sharp was ADOPTED with no objections. CSSB 210(FIN) was REPORTED OUT of committee with a "do pass" and zero fiscal notes for the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Transportation & Public Facilities. CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 212(L&C): An Act relating to the giving of procurement notices; changing the content of the required procurement reports to the legislature by the commissioner of administration; relating to publications produced by state agencies; establishing an innovative construction procurement methods pilot program; and establishing legislative findings, a legislative purpose, and legislative intent for state procurement; and providing for an effective date. CO-CHAIR PEARCE announced that CSSB 212(L&C) was before the committee. She invited Josh Fink, aide to Senator Kelly and the Labor & Commerce Committee, sponsor of SB 212, to come before the committee. JOSH FINK said that SB 212, termed the "buy Alaskan" legislation, had several components. The idea behind the bill was that the state is one of the largest purchasers of goods and services in the state purchasing everything from road design and construction services to copy machines and paper and pencils. This bill aimed to strengthen Alaska's economy by increasing the share of State government contracts going to Alaskan businesses. This bill would establish an Innovative Construction Procurement Methods pilot program within Dept. of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) for a period of two years to implement an Alaska Bonus Program to replace the current preferences. He went on to say that current incentives include the Alaskan Bidders Preference, Alaska Subcontracting, Disadvantage Business Enterprises/Equal Employment Opportunity programs, Alaska Products Preference, and the Alaska Hire Program. The latter two were largely unworkable, under-utilized, or not utilized at all. Allowing DOT/PF to test, on a trial basis, a bonus system which provided bonuses at project completion and encouraged the same policy goals would be more economically beneficial for vendors, reduce administrative costs and bid protests, and could likely be used in joint federal/state projects where state preferences were currently not allowed. The commissioner would establish this program through regulation and report to the legislature on the program's progress 15 to 27 months after implementation. If successful, the legislature could expand and extend the program indefinitely, replacing current preferences. Lastly, this bill incorporates a number of provisions from the "Make-It-Alaskan" legislation from the 17th Legislature, HB 245, which would also increase the amount of state work going to Alaskans. This bill would: 1) encourage procurement officers to restrict notice of contract solicitation to Alaskan suppliers and providers of services desiring to compete for state contract work (this practice is already standard in DOT/PF); 2) require the commissioner to include in his report to the legislature on state procurements, the number of bidders located in-state and out-of-state that bid or made proposals on procurements; and, 3) replace the statutory requirement that state publications be produced at state-operated facilities with a requirement that state publications be produced at a private sector facility located in the state when practicable. In addition, standards for the production of publications would be established by the Dept. of Administration, and a cost box would be required for all publication's exceeding $1,500. With that, he concluded his testimony. In answer to Co-chair Frank, Mr. Fink said that page 4, line 29, is where the section relating to printing of publications began. Co-chair Pearce believed this was the same language used in Co-chair Frank's bill that was in the house. Co-chair Pearce stated that amendment #1 was before the committee. She said it strengthened the cost box portion of SB 212. She said that it was not aimed at the Division of Tourism's planner because it was not required by statute. This was aimed at annual reports required by law from state agencies. SENATOR KELLY MOVED for adoption of amendment #1. Hearing no objection, it was ADOPTED. Senator Kelly MOVED for passage of CSSB 212(FIN) from committee with individual recommendations. No objection having been raised, CSSB 212(FIN) was REPORTED OUT of committee with a "do pass" recommendation, a zero fiscal note for the Department of Administration, a fiscal note for the Department of Administration-Statewide for $256.1, and a fiscal note for the Department of Transportation & Public Facilities in the amount of $5.0. Co-chairs Pearce and Frank, Senators Kelly, Sharp and Jacko voted "do pass." Senator Rieger voted "no recommendation." SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 39: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska to guarantee, in addition to the right of the people to keep and bear arms as approved by the voters at the time of ratification of the state Constitution, that the individual right to keep and bear arms shall not be denied or infringed by the state or a political subdivision of the state. Co-chair Pearce announced that SJR 39 was before the committee. She invited Portia Babcock, aide to Senator Leman and Senate State Affairs Committee, sponsor of SJR 39, to come before committee. PORTIA BABCOCK said that SJR 39 was introduced by the Senate State Affairs Committee to better guarantee the individual right to keep and bear arms in the future for the state of Alaska. In the past ten years this issue had come up and in polls taken it was estimated that 78-90 percent of Alaskans supported this resolution and supported the ability to vote on changing the Constitution to better guarantee the individual right to keep and bear arms. There was currently no Alaska Supreme Court interpretation of the language in Article I, Section 19. It was commonly and generally understood that it did protect the individual right to keep and bear arms. Hearings had been held during the interim in the Senate State Affairs Committee where 750 people testified and 1500 letters, poms and testimony were received in support of this resolution. The municipality of Anchorage and Fairbanks Northstar Borough passed resolutions in support of the amendment for the individual right to keep and bear arms. There were currently resolutions pending in the Mat-su Borough as well as the Kenai Peninsula Borough. SENATOR RIEGER asked if this amendment was to pass, how would it effect the concealed weapons law that the state had on the books at present. Ms. Babcock said it should not effect that law, however, it had not been challenged under the Alaska Supreme Court so there have no idea how the current language would be interpreted. Senator Rieger asked if it had been discussed in the Senate State Affairs Committee whether the addition of this language would prohibit the state from exercising any kind of statutory restrictions on carrying a concealed weapon. Ms. Babcock said it had been discussed but the impact was unknown since the court had not interpreted the language. She said no one knew the answer. Senator Rieger asked the intent of the resolution. Ms. Babcock said she thought the intent was to keep very unreasonable restrictions on regulations that were needed for the public to insure it as a constitutional protection, a stronger and clearer standard for the right to keep and bear arms. The court would have to balance the state's police power with the individual's constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Senator Rieger felt that it seemed that the intent was that the courts not take the resolution literally and he was not comfortable with that. DEAN J. GUANELI, Chief, Legal Services Section, Criminal Division, Department of Law, came before committee and said that the Department of Law, Department of Public Safety, and the Alaska Police Chief's Association opposed this resolution in its present form. The legislature over the years had provided Alaska citizens with the most liberal firearms' laws in the country. Firearms could be carried openly anywhere in the state with the exception of bars and schools. Firearms could be carried concealed while hunting, fishing, while in your home, and on property adjacent to your home. He felt there really was no need to amend the Constitution. Mr. Guaneli heard people testify in the last hearing that this resolution was a preventive measure. The question to ask was what a citizen would receive with this amendment. Was it only preventive maintenance and an attempt to fix a problem that did not exist? He felt that was not much. The question he would like to answer was what is the risk. He submitted that several of Alaska's weapons laws would be thrown into doubt and may be held unconstitutional. One law prohibited the possession of switchblades and would be in doubt if the amendment passed. The Oregon Supreme court struck down a similar law based on their Constitutional right to bear arms. There were laws that prohibit felons from possessing firearms. Even if you were a non-violent felon, you were prohibited from touching a handgun for ten years or living in a household where a handgun was being kept. The state of Colorado struck down portions of their laws. The statutes prohibiting carrying concealed weapons would be in doubt if this amendment should pass. Some speakers have said that this amendment would allow people to carry assault weapons or military-type weapons. He felt that an amendment should not be passed if the interpretation was not clear. In referring to Senator Leman's wish for simple and direct language, Mr. Guaneli felt this resolution did not give the court enough to go on for intent. In 1972, voters passed the right to privacy. Three years later that law said that the right to privacy meant the state could not enforce its marijuana laws in someone's home. That kind of interpretation could happen with this amendment. This right to privacy had effected the search and seizure procedures. He felt the voters had not intended to hamper police investigations. He said that he had been called a Nazi and ultra-liberal. He felt he was giving a middle-of-the-road view of the potential problems at risk with this amendment. He submitted SJR 1 was a better approach if the legislature deemed it necessary to amend the Constitution. SJR 1 included a second section to the Constitution that gave the court a little guidance in how it was to interpret this provision. It said it did not change any law that was in effect nor the judicial standard that had been applied to firearms laws. SENATOR SHARP asked if federal law would prevail over state laws. Mr. Guaneli agreed but said that the feds had, as a practical matter, very little presence in Alaska. The U.S. Attorney's Office was small and simply not enforcing federal laws such as the marijuana laws. Senator Sharp said Representative Foster might disagree with that statement. He asked if this would allow municipalities the ability to pass more restrictive laws. Mr. Guaneli agreed that municipalities could pass firearms laws which were broader than the state laws but it was unclear if the amendment would prohibit that ability. Some supporters of this amendment have said that they want precisely that to happen, that municipalities would be unable to enact firearm laws. He pointed out that problems in downtown Anchorage might be drastically different than in a rural area, and the local municipality should be given the opportunity to address those local problems. Co-chair Pearce asked if the Municipal League was in support of SJR 39. Ms. Babcock said she did not know. Co-chair Pearce asked Mr. Guaneli for the official position of the administration. He said that the administration agreed with the Department of Law and the Department of Public Safety in that there were problems with SJR 39 and preferred SJR 1. This position had been consistent throughout this administration and past ones for the last ten years. CO-CHAIR FRANK voiced his opinion that the collective "individual" was represented by the National Guard and that the key word in this amendment was "individual." He personally felt that it was important for individuals to have the right to keep and bear arms. He did not see any heightened protection in this amendment but a clarification that it was an individual rather than a collective right. He agreed that it was unknown what the courts would do. He voiced his opinion that as we move into an area of increased government activity regarding attempts to control crime, it was important to keep "individual" rights. Mr. Guaneli said that was a good point. He said that in past years there had been suggestions for amendments. He listed some of the proposed language. The word "reasonable" was unacceptable to people. The courts look largely at language used in voter pamphlets and the history behind the legislation. He said that he fears for the few laws aforementioned or any new laws that might be enacted. Discussion followed between Co-chair Frank and Mr. Guaneli regarding court opinions, possible intent and how it would effect existing laws. Mr. Guaneli said when the Constitution was changed, the courts said that had to mean something. It meant that the way the Constitution was interpreted would change, so instead of a reasonable basis test, the legislature wanted to apply some higher standard of scrutiny. In other words, take a harder look at these laws. By simply inserting the word "individual", the court may say it elevated this right. If it did not elevate it what was the purpose of amending the Constitution. The Court would look at this question. If it was merely a matter of philosophy, then he recommended passing SJR 1. Senator Sharp MOVED for passage of SJR 39 out of committee with individual recommendations. No objection having been raised, SJR 39 was REPORTED OUT of committee with a "do pass" recommendation, a zero fiscal note for the Department of Public Safety, and a fiscal note for the Office of the Governor/Division of Elections for $2.2. Co-chairs Pearce and Frank, Senators Kelly, Sharp and Jacko voted "do pass." Senator Rieger voted "no recommendation." CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 210(RES): An Act relating to disposals of state land within five miles of the right-of-way of the Dalton Highway to a licensed public utility or a licensed common carrier; relating to disposals of state land for nonresidential development in nodes of development along the Dalton Highway; and allowing state leases and materials sales for construction or maintenance of airports along the Dalton Highway. Co-chair Pearce invited Senator Sharp to speak to SB 210. Senator Sharp stated that under current statute the state was prohibited from disposing of or leasing state land within 5 miles of the right-of-way of the Dalton Highway. The state owned many acres that could not be leased or sold. These acres had recently been transferred from the federal to the state under the state selection process. He explained that the extreme limitations on state land did not recognize or allow for public need on the newly acquired state land. He went on to explain problems with both existing and new leases to utilities. He said this bill would enable telephone service, other utilities and airport and highway and other public service needs to be addressed. He urged favorable consideration of SB 210. Senator Sharp explained that his proposed amendment 1 would tighten the title enough to allow for reconstruction and maintenance of state highways and on page 2 would delete the words "the highway north of 68 degrees north latitude" and adds the words "or construction or maintenance of airports." End SFC-94 #25, Side 1 Begin SFC-94 #25, Side 2 Senator Rieger asked for a definition of a development node. Co-chair Frank believed that the BLM had been designated for service development. CLYDE STOLTZFUS, Special Assistant, Commissioner's Office, Department of Transportation & Public Facilities came before the committee to answer Senator Rieger's question. He said that BLM, in setting up a management scheme for the corridor, established eight development nodes. A node was a land area set aside to be managed for development. Co-chair Frank felt that the regulation would prevent the private sector from building restaurants or gas stations just anywhere. Mr. Stoltzfus said he did not know the size of a node but BLM managed them and it was constricted to a certain size. JERRY GALLAGHER, Legislative Liaison, Department of Natural Resources, said that there were maps available that showed the development nodes. The bill identified specific development nodes by name and were shown on this map. Distinct areas comprised several sections. These sections of state owned land were available along the corridor, comprised of several thousand acres, and generally south of the Brooks Range. Co-chair Pearce said the nodes were not necessarily by pump stations. They represented currently developed activities along the corridor for either road and airport maintenance, or road service facilities, such as, fish & game camps, gravel sites, etc. Senator Rieger asked the pattern going up the Dalton Highway. Mr. Gallagher confirmed that it was state-owned land that was being permitted for development. BLM land was not. He said it was especially true south of the divide on the Brooks Range. Yukon Crossing and Coldfoot were essentially the only state-owned land. Senator Rieger said he felt that BLM had drawn a line around the outside state-owned and said, this was the development node. Mr. Gallagher felt it was a fair assessment. Senator Sharp MOVED for adoption of amendment 1. No objections being heard, amendment 1 was ADOPTED. CO-CHAIR FRANK MOVED for passage of CSSB 210(FIN). No objections being heard, CSSB 210(FIN) was REPORTED OUT of committee with a "do pass", and zero fiscal notes for the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Transportation & Public Facilities. Co-chairs Pearce and Frank, Senators Jacko and Sharp signed a "do pass." Senators Kelly and Rieger signed "no recommendation." ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned at approximately 11:00 a.m.