Legislature(1995 - 1996)

01/22/1996 11:22 AM RLS

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                     SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                                    
                        January 22, 1996                                       
                           11:22 a.m.                                          
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
 Senator Mike Miller, Chair                                                    
 Senator Drue Pearce, Vice Chair                                               
 Senator Bert Sharp                                                            
 Senator Jim Duncan                                                            
 Senator Judy Salo                                                             
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
 All members present                                                           
  ALSO PRESENT                                                                 
 Pam Varni, Executive Director                                                 
 Legislative Affairs Agency                                                    
 130 Seward St., Suite 313                                                     
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
 SENATE BILL NO. 54                                                            
 "An Act relating to exclusive service areas for utilities                     
 certificated to provide electric utility service and to the                   
 definition of 'general public' for utilities furnishing electric              
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
 SB 54 - See State Affairs minutes dated 2/14/95 & 3/9/95 and                  
         Labor and Commerce minutes dated 3/21/95.                             
     Finance report 4/18/95.                                                   
     Rules minutes dated 4/30/95.                                              
    ACTION NARRATIVE                                                           
 TAPE 96-1, SIDE A                                                             
  CHAIRMAN MILLER  called the Senate Rules Committee meeting to order          
 at 11:22 a.m.  He brought  SB 54  (ELECTRIC UTIL SERVICE) before the          
 committee and directed attention to a proposed Rules CS.                      
 SENATOR SHARP, addressing the differences between the Rules CS and            
 the Finance CS, explained that in Section 4, subsection (g), the              
 wording has been changed to make it very clear that the exclusive             
 certified service area will only be for electric service to retail            
 sales and will not impede the transfer of wholesale power through             
 other utilities.  This was to address a concern that APUC had with            
 the language in the Finance CS, which they felt was ambiguous.  The           
 other change was the deletion of Section 5 of the Finance CS.                 
 SENATOR SHARP moved that CSSB 54(RLS) be adopted.  Hearing no                 
 objection, the motion carried.                                                
 SENATOR SHARP moved and asked unanimous consent that SB 54 be                 
 approved for calendaring.  Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.           
 The next item on the agenda was an amendment to the professional              
 services contract for Charles P. Meacham.  Responding to inquiries            
 from Senator Duncan, CHAIRMAN MILLER explained that the original              
 contract will expire January 31, 1996 and the amendment will extend           
 that date to July 31, 1996.  It also amends the original contract             
 figure of $25,000 to $50,000.                                                 
 SENATOR DUNCAN registered his objection to the two contracts before           
 the committee and voiced his concern that cut-backs have been made            
 to the Legislative Research Agency, which can provide research to             
 all legislators, and the legislature has moved towards having                 
 directed research that answers only to the project director in the            
 majority and certain legislators.  He believes this is bringing               
 some inequity into the ability for individual members to have                 
 adequate research on various issues.  He prefers going back to the            
 old system of where the Legislative Research Agency is adequately             
 funded so that it is available to all legislators instead of doing            
 directed research through contracts.                                          
 SENATOR SHARP moved that the contract extension for Charles P.                
 Meacham be approved.  SENATORS DUNCAN and SALO objected.  The roll            
 was taken with the following result:  Senators Pearce, Sharp and              
 Miller voted "Yea" and Senators Duncan and Salo voted "Nay."  The             
 Chairman stated the motion carried.                                           
 The final item on the agenda was consideration of a professional              
 services contract for Kathleen (Mike) Dalton, in the amount of                
 $9,500, beginning January 2, 1996 and terminating May 15, 1996.               
 CHAIRMAN MILLER explained that Ms. Dalton will be working on a                
 number of areas with special emphasis on RS 2477, on which she has            
 accumulated a considerable background in the last two years.                  
 SENATOR PEARCE moved that the professional services contract for              
 Kathleen (Mike) Dalton be approved.  SENATORS SALO and DUNCAN                 
 objected.  The roll was taken with the following result:  Senators            
 Sharp, Pearce and Miller voted "Yea" and Senators Salo and Duncan             
 voted "Nay."  The Chairman stated the motion carried.                         
 SENATOR DUNCAN requested that the Legislative Affairs Agency                  
 provide a breakdown on the amount of savings that was in the budget           
 because of the reduction to the Legislative Research Agency, as               
 well a listing and the total dollar amount of outside contracts               
 that have been let by both the House Majority and the Senate                  
 Majority for research projects.  SENATOR PEARCE suggested that                
 this should include a running total of personal services contracts            
 from previous years beside this year's personal services contract             
 because this is far from the first time that there have been                  
 personal services contracts for research, even when there was a               
 Legislative Research Agency.  CHAIRMAN MILLER asked that Executive            
 Director Varni provide the requested information to the committee.            
 There being no further business to come before the committee, the             
 meeting was adjourned at 11:32 a.m.                                           

Document Name Date/Time Subjects