Legislature(1997 - 1998)
04/10/1997 05:14 PM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
MINUTES SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE April 10, 1997 5:14 P.M. TAPES SFC-97, #94 & #95, Sides 1 & 2 (000-590, 590-000) SFC-97, #96, Side 1 (000-138) CALL TO ORDER Senator Bert Sharp, Cochair, Senate Finance Committee, reconvened the meeting at approximately 5:14 P.M. PRESENT In addition to COCHAIR SHARP, SENATORS DONLEY, TORGERSON, PARNELL and ADAMS were present when the meeting was reconvened. COCHAIR PEARCE and SENATOR PHILLIPS arrived as the meeting was in progress. Also Attending: MIKE MCMULLEN, Personnel Manager, Division of Personnel, Department of Administration (DOA); BROOKE MILES, Administrator, Public Offices Commission (APOC), DOA; ART CHANCE, Consultant, House and Senate Finance Committees; JOHN CYR, President, NEA-Alaska; MIKE GREANY, Director, Legislative Finance Division; fiscal analysts and aides to committee members. Also Attending Via Teleconference: SUSIE BARNETT, Professional Assistant, Select Committee on Legislative Ethics, Anchorage; GARY BADER, Chair, State Personnel Board, Anchorage; NEIL SLOTNICK, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law. SUMMARY INFORMATION SB 105 LEGISLATIVE ETHICS CODE REFORM SUSIE BARNETT, GARY BADER, NEIL SLOTNICK, MIKE MCMULLEN and BROOKE MILES testified on the bill. SENATOR PHILLIPS MOVED Amendment #1. COCHAIR PEARCE objected. Amendment #1 FAILED by a 3 to 4 vote. SENATOR DONLEY MOVED Amendment #2. Without objection, Amendment #2 was ADOPTED. SENATOR DONLEY MOVED Amendment #3. SENATOR TORGERSON objected, then withdrew his objection. Amendment #3 was ADOPTED without further objection. SENATOR DONLEY MOVED Amendment #4. Without objection, Amendment #4 was ADOPTED. SENATOR DONLEY MOVED Amendment #5, then withdrew his motion. Amendment #6 was not offered. SENATOR DONLEY MOVED Amendment #7. SENATOR ADAMS objected, then withdrew his objection. Without further objection, Amendment #7 was ADOPTED. SENATOR DONLEY MOVED Amendment #8. There being no objection, Amendment #8 was ADOPTED. COCHAIR PEARCE MOVED Amendment #9. SENATOR PHILLIPS MOVED to divide the amendment. COCHAIR PEARCE withdrew her motion, as did SENATOR PHILLIPS. COCHAIR PEARCE MOVED Amendment #9. SENATOR PHILLIPS objected. Amendment #9 was ADOPTED by a 6 to 1 vote. SENATOR DONLEY MOVED Amendment #10. COCHAIR PEARCE objected. Amendment #10 was ADOPTED by a 5 to 2 vote. COCHAIR PEARCE MOVED Amendment #11. Without objection, Amendment #11 was ADOPTED. SENATOR DONLEY MOVED Amendment #12. SENATOR ADAMS objected. SENATOR DONLEY withdrew his motion. COCHAIR PEARCE MOVED CSSB 105(FIN) from committee with individual recommendations. Without objection, CSSB 105(FIN) was REPORTED OUT with a previous zero fiscal note from Legislative Affairs Agency, a previous fiscal note from the Department of Administration (151.2), a new fiscal note from the Department of Administration (58.9) and new zero fiscal notes from the Department of Labor and the Department of Law. HB 75 APPROPRIATIONS: OPERATING BUDGET HB 76 APPROPRIATION: MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM COCHAIR SHARP MOVED to adopt CSHB 75(FIN) am(brf sup maj pfld) and CSHB 76(FIN) for the purpose of amendments. Without objection, the bills were ADOPTED. Finance Subcommittee close-outs were taken up for the Department of Revenue and the Department of Law. COCHAIR SHARP MOVED for incorporation of the Department of Revenue Subcommittee recommendations into HB 75 and HB 76. SENATOR ADAMS objected, then withdrew his objection. Without further objection, the Department of Revenue Subcommittee recommendations were ADOPTED and incorporated into CSHB 75(FIN) am(brf sup maj pfld) and CSHB 76(FIN). COCHAIR SHARP MOVED for incorporation of the Department of Law Subcommittee recommendations into HB 75 and HB 76. Without objection, the Department of Law Subcommittee recommendations were ADOPTED and incorporated into CSHB 75(FIN) am(brf sup maj pfld) and CSHB 76(FIN). SB 150 PUB. EMPLOYEES: MOVING, COMP TIME & PERS ART CHANCE testified on behalf of the bill. Also testifying were MIKE MCMULLEN and JOHN CYR. COCHAIR PEARCE MOVED Amendment #1. Without objection, Amendment #1 was ADOPTED. COCHAIR PEARCE MOVED Amendment #2. Without objection, Amendment #2 was ADOPTED. COCHAIR PEARCE MOVED Amendment #3. Without objection, Amendment #3 was ADOPTED. COCHAIR PEARCE MOVED CSSB 150(FIN) from committee with individual recommendations. SENATOR ADAMS objected, then withdrew his objection. Without further objection, CSSB 150(FIN) was REPORTED OUT with two previous zero fiscal notes from the Department of Labor, previous zero fiscal notes from the Department of Administration and the Senate State Affairs Committee, and a new zero fiscal note from the Department of Public Safety. SB 151 PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT LABOR RELATIONS SB 151 was not heard. It was HELD for future consideration. SENATE BILL NO. 105 "An Act relating to legislative ethics; relating to the filing of disclosures by certain legislative employees and officials; and providing for an effective date." COCHAIR SHARP pointed out that the bill was introduced by the Rules Committee on behalf of the Select Committee on Legislative Ethics and had been considerably revised in the State Affairs Committee. He invited teleconferenced testimony from Ms. Barnett. SUSIE BARNETT, Professional Assistant, Select Committee on Legislative Ethics, Anchorage, noted the bill was 52 pages long. Basically, the first half related to legislative branch ethics while the second half related to executive branch ethics, although some sections were intermixed. Much of the bill was considered housekeeping, such as subpoena powers, fund raising during session, gifts, earned income, et cetera. There were no major changes to that clarifying language. SENATOR PHILLIPS inquired if legislators could fund raise for non-profit organizations. MS. BARNETT said that was under Section 18 in which new language was added to allow solicitation of gifts on behalf of a charitable organization. MS. BARNETT continued her overview of the bill. She directed attention to Section 8. Their recommendation was that the legislature disclose conflict of interest publicly and the language spells out how the disclosure requirement should be handled. Section 12, the contracts and leases section, was difficult to work with. The legislation eases the prohibition on participation in certain state contracts and leases and sets a new requirement for full disclosure of participation. Section 17 concerned spousal and spousal equivalent lobbyists. The committee had not taken a position as to whether that should be allowed, but if allowed, they recommended increased disclosure requirements for those in the legislative branch. The language also appeared in changes to the executive branch. The committee recommended increasing the annual gift limit from $100 to $250 in Section 18. Section 36 was in response to concerns of the House Rules Committee regarding the complainant. Language clarifies that the complainant must sign a statement that they have reason to believe there had been a violation and clarifies that they may have to testify before the committee. Sections 39 and 40 deal with corrective action. It empowered the committee to go back and file formal charges if corrective action was not completed by a legislator or legislative employee found in violation. Sections 43 and 44 set out timetables for sanctions while Section 47 sets out recommended sanctions. Sections 45 and 46 set out who the appointing authority for a legislative employee would be. Sections 48-51 and 55 dealt with requiring legislative employees, Range 19 and above, and the ethics committee members to file the annual financial disclosure with the APOC. Section 41 proposes language which clarifies discovery procedures. The committee did not include an amendment to tie discovery to restrictions on the complainant because the complainant was not usually under the committee's jurisdiction. There was brief discussion about information being released before the person being complained about even knows about the complaint. MS. BARNETT concluded her overview by stating that other sections not highlighted had either non-substantive changes or were not controversial. COCHAIR SHARP noted the disclosure date change from April 15 to February 15. MS. BARNETT said the Ethics Committee had recommended April 15, but the State Affairs Committee changed it to February 15 to allow the information to be in front of the legislature during session. Further clarification was provided by MS. BARNETT. In response to a question from SENATOR PHILLIPS, MS. BARNETT commented that the committee addressed the issue of lobbyist spouses of legislators and chose not to take a position, but recommended tightened disclosure requirements as set out in the bill. There was brief discussion on this topic. GARY BADER, Chair, State Personnel Board, testified next via teleconference from Anchorage. The board had several concerns with the legislation. Several significant changes would directly impact the work of the personnel board. It removed from the attorney general's office the ethics oversight responsibility for state officials and public employees and assigned it to the personnel board. It created a two-tiered system of ethics, one for all public employees including state officials, the other for state officials only, which would be confusing to administer. It assigned responsibilities to a citizen volunteer board instead of trained supervisors and the AG's office. The primary responsibility for policing ethics regulations should continue with the personnel board and the AG's office. The system has worked well and he questioned why fix what isn't broken. MR. BADER next addressed the Department of Administration fiscal note, which he believed was understated. He elaborated, adding that without adequate funding and staff, the administration of ethics regulations would crush under its own weight with doubled workload. MR. BADER concluded by suggesting an amendment to AS 39.52.350(c) to allow the personnel board the discretion to either hear the complaint itself or to appoint a hearing officer. COCHAIR PEARCE commented that there had been egregious violations of ethical standards by administrative officers in the previous administration. She knew the charges never got to the personnel board because they were buried by the AG's office and administrative staff. Currently there was no public notice or oversight when a complaint was filed and handled internally, as opposed to the legislative ethics system. She also pointed out there were two standards for legislators and employees which was not that confusing. She hoped that all state employees would try to meet the higher standard. NEIL SLOTNICK, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law, testified next via teleconference from Anchorage. He described his background information, noting that he supervised all ethics action taken by the AG's office and to his knowledge, none of the complaints had been buried. He welcomed an inquiry into actions over the last three years and described how complaints had been processed. He had concerns with changing a system that worked well. He called attention to a draft analysis (in committee packets and on file) which raised problems with the legislation. His comments were limited to changes to the executive branch ethics. The net effect would lower the standards for the higher tier of state officials and came from a misguided intent to import some of the legislative ethics into the executive branch. There was a fundamental difference in the two branches in that the legislative branch had to answer to public opinion, whereas the executive branch did not. He urged that the existing high standards in the executive branch ethics act be kept, pointing out that the legislation would quietly repeal the high standards for 300-400 state officials, board and commission members, yet leave in the more rigorous standard for public employees. He supported one unified standard for the executive branch. Two standards created additional legal difficulties in interpretation and administration. MR. SLOTNICK elaborated on this point. COCHAIR SHARP inquired how many of the charges against public employees had been made public and how the perception of irregular actions came to the public. MR. BADER explained the process of the confidential reports. Resolution of violations involve the employee's supervisor and those that should be made public are included as a condition of settlement. COCHAIR PEARCE stated that her previous comments had not been directed toward Mr. Slotnick, noting that most complaints do not rise to the AG's office because they were handled at the departmental level. COCHAIR SHARP invited testimony from those present in Juneau. MIKE MCMULLEN, Personnel Manager, Division of Personnel, DOA, testified first. He addressed the question of confidentiality, citing AS 39.52.340(a). End SFC-97 #94, Side 1, Begin Side 2 MR. MCMULLEN continued with discussion about confidentiality. He then brought up Mr. Bader's proposed amendment to allow the personnel board the option of hearing a case or engaging a hearing officer, noting that was in Section 58 of the State Affairs CS. MR. MCMULLEN next addressed the fiscal note from his department, which would require an additional four staff. He gave additional information about how the process would work. SENATOR ADAMS clarified that the fiscal note related to the State Affairs CS and inquired what it would be if they went back to the original version. MR. MCMULLEN said it would be zero because the executive branch act was not moved in the original bill. COCHAIR SHARP questioned the fiscal note regarding impacts to the Department of Law considering the shift of responsibility. BROOKE MILES, Administrator, Public Offices Commission, DOA, testified that the commission took no position regarding the new additional filers under either the legislative ethics section or the public employee ethic section, but they did attach a fiscal note representing the additional work caused by new filers. There were three proposed amendments with technical comments that had been provided for members, a copy of which is on file. The first dealt with spousal lobbyist and the additional option to provide disclosure. The lobbying law could be amended to require a lobbyist when registering to identify a spousal relationship on the registration form, which would provide public information early in the process. The second comment had to do with gifts to legislators and legislative employees. MS. MILES stated that "legislative employees" should be added to page 12, line 27. The final comment related to Section 72 (pages 41-42) relating to close economic association disclosures by executive branch officials. She stated that since they work differently than legislative officials, it seemed it would be easier for them to disclose on their financial statements April 15 and update within sixty days. COCHAIR PEARCE supported MS. MILES' suggestions, noting she would be offering them as amendments. SENATOR DONLEY inquired about a situation in which a filer does not have all the information required at the time of filing an APOC report, but notes it on the report, and subsequently acquires and files the information. The commission typically sends a notice that the filer failed to disclose, making it look as though it was intentional. He believed there should be a graduated policy and wanted specific language to address that type of situation. COCHAIR SHARP invited the committee to bring up amendments. SENATOR PHILLIPS MOVED Amendment #1. COCHAIR PEARCE objected. SENATOR PHILLIPS explained the amendment regarding spousal lobbyists. SENATOR DONLEY spoke against the amendment. SENATOR ADAMS suggested taking the executive branch portion out of the bill. There was additional discussion. A roll call vote was taken on the MOTION to adopt Amendment IN FAVOR: Torgerson, Adams, Phillips OPPOSED: Donley, Parnell, Pearce, Sharp Amendment #1 FAILED by a 3 to 4 vote. SENATOR DONLEY explained Amendment #2. It would allow draws from a political campaign fund to an office expense account to continue over a series of years to avoid an individual tax liability problem. SENATOR DONLEY MOVED Amendment #2. Without objection, Amendment #2 was ADOPTED. SENATOR DONLEY explained Amendment #3 regarding fund raising by legislators during election years. SENATOR DONLEY MOVED Amendment #3. SENATOR TORGERSON objected for the purpose of a question, there was lengthy discussion and he then withdrew his objection. Amendment #3 was ADOPTED without further objection. SENATOR DONLEY explained his next amendment and then MOVED Amendment #4. Without objection, Amendment #4 was ADOPTED. SENATOR DONLEY MOVED Amendment #5, then gave an explanation regarding how public opinion polls should be counted as a contribution to a campaign. He felt it was a serious problem and would like to clear it up, but it may be too complicated at this time. There was considerable discussion about this topic and SENATOR DONLEY withdrew his motion. SENATOR DONLEY spoke briefly about Amendment #6 but did not offer it. SENATOR DONLEY offered a conceptual amendment regarding reimbursement on page 4, line 12 and page 5, line 1, after "nominal" that would read: "or the legislator or legislative employee reimburses the state for the cost." SENATOR DONLEY MOVED Amendment #7. SENATOR ADAMS objected, then withdrew his objection. Without further objection, Amendment #7 was ADOPTED. SENATOR DONLEY MOVED Amendment #8: page 4, line 16 and page 5, line 5, inserting "or facsimile" after "telephone". End SFC-97 #94, Side 2 Begin SFC-97 #95, Side 1 After brief discussion and there being no objection, Amendment #8 was ADOPTED. COCHAIR PEARCE MOVED Amendment summarized the effect of the three portions of the amendment, which MS. MILES had previously commented on. SENATOR PHILLIPS MOVED to divide the amendment. COCHAIR PEARCE withdrew her motion, as did SENATOR PHILLIPS. COCHAIR PEARCE restated and MOVED Amendment #9, which would be only section 1 of APOC's Proposed Amendments related to spousal lobbyists. SENATOR PHILLIPS objected and spoke to his objection. There was additional discussion. A roll call vote was taken on the MOTION to adopt Amendment IN FAVOR: Parnell, Torgerson, Adams, Donley, Pearce, Sharp OPPOSED: Phillips Amendment #9 was ADOPTED by a 6 to 1 vote. SENATOR DONLEY MOVED Amendment #10 to page 23, line 5. It dealt with confidentiality and privacy of persons who file complaints, holding them to the same restrictions as the subject of the complaint. COCHAIR PEARCE objected and gave an example that addressed her objection. There was further discussion on the matter. A roll call vote was taken on the MOTION to adopt Amendment IN FAVOR: Phillips, Donley, Parnell, Torgerson, Sharp OPPOSED: Adams, Pearce Amendment #10 was ADOPTED by a 5 to 2 vote. COCHAIR PEARCE MOVED Amendment #11, comprised of sections 2 and 3 of APOC's Proposed Amendments, previously discussed by MS. MILES. Without objection, Amendment #11 was ADOPTED. SENATOR DONLEY discussed a proposal related to an oversight with the last campaign finance reform law with respect to applicability to the governor and lieutenant governor. SENATOR DONLEY moved the proposal as conceptual Amendment put in writing. SENATOR DONLEY withdrew his motion. COCHAIR SHARP asked if there was no further discussion, what the pleasure of the committee was. COCHAIR PEARCE MOVED CSSB 105(FIN) from committee with individual recommendations. Without objection, CSSB 105(FIN) was REPORTED OUT with a previous zero fiscal note from Legislative Affairs Agency, a previous fiscal note from the Department of Administration (151.2), a new fiscal note from the Department of Administration (58.9) and new zero fiscal notes from the Department of Labor and the Department of Law. Recess 7:14 P.M. Reconvene 7:35 P.M. After recess, COCHAIR PEARCE chaired the portion of the meeting relating to the operating budget. Because of technical problems, the first part of the meeting did not record. The following was taken from log notes. CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 75(FIN) am(brf sup maj pfld) "An Act making appropriations for the operating and loan program expenses of state government, for certain programs, and to capitalize funds; making an appropriation under art. IX, sec. 17(c), Constitution of the State of Alaska, from the constitutional budget reserve fund; and providing for an effective date." CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 76(FIN) "An Act making appropriations for the operating and capital expenses of the state's integrated comprehensive mental health program; and providing for an effective date." COCHAIR SHARP MOVED to adopt CSHB 75(FIN) am(brf sup maj pfld) and CSHB 76(FIN) for the purpose of amendments. Without objection, the bills were ADOPTED. Finance Subcommittee close-outs were taken up for the Department of Revenue and the Department of Law. COCHAIR SHARP discussed the Department of Revenue subcommittee recommendations and referred to his April 9 memo which outlined them, a copy of which is on file. There were two structural changes to the department's budget. One was to the Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) to encourage more cost-effective ways of performing services by using about 25 percent of CSED funds for a six-month private sector contract to provide full service child support enforcement services for performance comparison. The subcommittee also adopted intent language related to those contractual services. The other change eliminated the Gaming Division component and returned charitable gaming responsibility to the Income and Excise Audit Division. He summarized by noting the total general fund reduction from FY 97 authorized was $433.3 thousand. COCHAIR SHARP MOVED for incorporation of the Department of Revenue Subcommittee recommendations into HB 75 and HB 76. SENATOR ADAMS objected for the purpose of discussion. End of log notes; the tape (SFC-97, # 95, Side 1) continues at this point. There was lengthy discussion between SENATOR PHILLIPS and COCHAIR SHARP about privatization of CSED and the timing. SENATOR PHILLIPS urged caution regarding privatization. COCHAIR SHARP addressed some of the concerns, noting there were ongoing discussions with the commissioner. SENATOR ADAMS withdrew his objection. There being no further objection, the Department of Revenue Subcommittee recommendations were ADOPTED and incorporated into CSHB 75(FIN) am(brf sup maj pfld) and CSHB 76(FIN). COCHAIR SHARP brought up the Department of Law budget subcommittee close-outs next. He referred to his April 8 memo of recommendations, a copy of which was before the committee and is on file. There were several structural changes to the department's budget to allow identification of where the state was directing its legal efforts and to align the budget more closely with the department's organizational structure. The changes included: 1) returning the Criminal Division to its FY96 component structure; 2) moving to the Criminal Division two criminal investigation and prosecution units currently included in the Civil Division budget; 3) creating new components in the Civil Division; 4) creating a separate Administration and Support BRU for the AG's office and the Administrative Support Division; and 5) retaining the Statehood Defense budget in a distinct BRU. The subcommittee also adopted legislative intent related to allocations made in the Civil Division. End SFC-97 # 95, Side 1, Begin Side 2 COCHAIR SHARP further explained the intent language. He summarized by listing their budget targets for a total general fund reduction from FY97 authorized of $3.7 million. He read the intent language. COCHAIR SHARP MOVED for incorporation of the Department of Law Subcommittee recommendations into HB 75 and HB 76. Without objection, the Department of Law Subcommittee recommendations were ADOPTED and incorporated into CSHB 75(FIN) am(brf sup maj pfld) and CSHB 76(FIN). COCHAIR PEARCE announced the conclusion of budget close-outs for the evening in addition to an agenda for the morning meeting on close-outs. Recess 8:06 P.M. Reconvene 8:20 P.M. COCHAIR SHARP chaired the remainder of the meeting. COCHAIR PEARCE discussed her plan for operating budget amendments, noting a deadline of 3:00 P.M. tomorrow. COCHAIR SHARP brought up SB 150 next. SENATE BILL NO. 150 "An Act relating to moving expenses of state employees, to compensatory time for state employees, and to calculation of compensation for the public employees' retirement system." ART CHANCE, Consultant, House and Senate Finance Committees, informed the committee that the bill was directed at some specific cost items in state employment. Section 1 removed the particular items from the scope of bargaining under the Public Employment Relations Act (PERA). Section 2 required that any state employee who voluntarily transfers to another location commit to five years at that location or repay all state incurred moving costs with interest. A change to AS 39.24.060 was intended to eliminate informal compensatory time arrangements between employee and supervisors. The Federal Labor Standards Act (FSLA) and all the state collective bargaining agreements require that compensatory time arrangements be formal, written agreements. Private arrangements were common in state service. It would require that the employee be paid rather than receive the time off. The purpose was to remove large time-off liabilities and to force accountability on the part of supervisors who enter into informal arrangements. Section 3 removed overtime compensation from the definition of compensation for the purpose of calculating Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) benefits as a cost-saving measure. SENATOR ADAMS inquired if there were any other state employees similar to public safety officers that would be relocated in the same manner. MR. CHANCE responded that the provision only applied to an employee who voluntarily transfers so that a state relocation wouldn't subject one to repayment of moving costs. SENATOR ADAMS then inquired about restrictions on overtime compensation with respect to safety workers such as fire fighters. MR. CHANCE said there were many ways to pay fire fighters and other emergency service employees under the FLSA. It was easy to design a compensation arrangement for fire fighters other than a low wage and a short work week with a lot of overtime. SENATOR ADAMS reiterated his concern with that class of workers. In response to a question from SENATOR ADAMS, MR. CHANCE stated that he worked on contract to the House and Senate Finance Committees for $10 thousand. MIKE MCMULLEN, Personnel Manager, Division of Personnel, DOA, addressed the committee again. He called attention to Section 3 which created a fourth tier in the PERS. The legislation was intended to address specific problems, such as a belief that some employees in the final few years of their employment would move to an area of high geographic differential and schedule themselves for an extraordinary amount of overtime and thus boost their retirement from those activities. He pointed out that Tiers 2 and 3 addressed some of this and a solution could be to address such situations through collective bargaining rather than create a fourth tier retirement for the entire PERS. He noted there were several situations in the state where overtime was built into the employment process such as fire fighters and to hire more fire fighters to eliminate the overtime was not applicable in a fire emergency. He listed other types of employees such as snow-removal and international airport workers. He explained the differences in the PERS that would be established with a Tier 4, noting that it would be more difficult than the Tier 2 and 3 changes, and the monetary effect on the retirement system would be zero. It would take thirty years for Tier 4 to have a full effect, which would be almost invisible. In response to a question from SENATOR PARNELL, MR. MCMULLEN said overtime for the state was in the realm of two to three percent of total payroll. He explained that the calculations worked out to a net effect of 3/4 of one percent over a thirty year period. SENATOR TORGERSON asked what section of the bill affected PERS and municipalities. MR. MCMULLEN replied that Section 3 affected all PERS employers and employees. COCHAIR PEARCE explained that the original concern that led to Section 3 was the Anchorage Police Department and acknowledgment that there were a number of long-term employees of the department who signed up for maximum overtime in an effort to increase their retirement benefits. There was some question as to whether that was a safe situation. It was found that the system could not be changed for the present employees but could be changed for future employees so that overtime could not be used to bump up retirement. JOHN CYR, President, NEA-Alaska, testified that the first two sections of the bill had no impact on employees represented by NEA. Section 3 impacted classified school district employees such as maintenance and custodial workers. He noted in the last few years they had seen their employment status go from year-round to seasonal because of funding cutbacks. SB 150 would deny these low-wage people, who do not schedule their own overtime, to use their overtime for retirement. It impacted a class of people that he didn't believe the bill was intended for. In response to a question from COCHAIR PEARCE, MR. CYR explained that those workers were now seasonal or part-time employees and did not qualify for unemployment compensation. Additional discussion about school district employees led to conversation about how to exempt them from the legislation. COCHAIR PEARCE indicated she would be willing to work with Mr. Cyr on language to remedy the situation because the legislation was not intended for those types of employees. COCHAIR PEARCE informed the committee that she had three amendments to offer. The first was at the request of the Department of Public Safety regarding waiving a moving expense repayment if a written finding was made that the voluntary relocation was made in the best interest of the state. COCHAIR PEARCE MOVED Amendment #1. Without objection, Amendment #1 was ADOPTED. COCHAIR PEARCE MOVED Amendment #2 which would rewrite language on page 2, lines 19-21. Without objection, Amendment #2 was ADOPTED. COCHAIR PEARCE MOVED Amendment #3 that added language to page 2, line 17, regarding an employee moving or leaving state service within five years. There were some questions about the definition of "leaving state service" which was explained by MR. CHANCE. End SFC-97 # 95, Side 2 Begin SFC-97 # 96, Side 1 COCHAIR SHARP asked if there was objection to the amendment. There being none, Amendment #3 was ADOPTED. COCHAIR SHARP brought up page 2, line 21, after the word "transfers" and inquired how it would apply if "terminates" were included in the language. MR. CHANCE believed dismissal would be considered an involuntary action and come under the same provisions as an involuntary transfer. There was general discussion and explanation about various topics related to the bill including collective bargaining agreements. COCHAIR PEARCE, stating her intent to work with Mr. Cyr on an amendment regarding concerns about school employees, MOVED CSSB 150(FIN) from committee with individual recommendations. SENATOR ADAMS objected, then withdrew his objection. Without further objection, CSSB 150(FIN) was REPORTED OUT with two previous zero fiscal notes from the Department of Labor, previous zero fiscal notes from the Department of Administration and the Senate State Affairs Committee, and a new zero fiscal note from the Department of Public Safety. SENATE BILL NO. 151 "An Act relating to public employment labor relations; relating to the protection of the rights of public employees under the Public Employment Relations Act; establishing ethical standards for union representatives of public employees; and establishing disclosure requirements for public employee labor organizations." SENATOR ADAMS commented that he had six amendments to offer on the bill. COCHAIR SHARP announced that SB 151 would be held tentatively to the April 14 meeting. ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:15 P.M.