Legislature(1995 - 1996)
01/22/1996 11:22 AM RLS
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= 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 service." -- PROFESSIONAL SERVICES CONTRACT AMENDMENT - CHARLES P. MEACHAM -- PROFESSIONAL SERVICES CONTRACT - KATHLEEN (MIKE) DALTON 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.