Legislature(1995 - 1996)
02/21/1995 03:37 PM Senate STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE February 21, 1995 3:37 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Bert Sharp, Chairman Senator Randy Phillips, Vice-Chairman Senator Loren Leman Senator Jim Duncan Senator Dave Donley COMMITTEE CALENDAR SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 14 Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to certain public corporations. SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 4 Relating to an amendment to the Constitution of the United States setting out the authority of the United States Congress and of state legislatures to enact laws relating to limits on election campaign expenditures. SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 4 "An Act allowing a person under age 21 to be arrested by a peace officer without a warrant for illegal possession, consumption, or control of alcohol; classifying certain offenses related to driving while intoxicated or failure to submit to a chemical test as felonies; and providing for an effective date." SSTA - 2/21/95 SB 54 (ELECTRIC UTIL & SOLID WASTE REMOVAL) was scheduled but not taken up at this date. PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION SJR 14 - No previous senate committee action. SJR 4 - No previous senate committee action. SB 4 - See State Affairs minutes dated 2/9/95. WITNESS REGISTER Senator Rick Halford State Capitol, Juneau, Alaska, 99801-1182¶465-4958 POSITION STATEMENT: prime sponsor of SJR 14 Senator Dave Donley State Capitol, Juneau, Alaska, 99801-1182¶465-3892 POSITION STATEMENT: prime sponsor of SJR 4 Ron Otte, Commissioner Department of Public Safety P.O. Box 111200, Juneau, AK 99811-1200¶465-4322 POSITION STATEMENT: testified on SB 4 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 95-6, SIDE A Number 001 CHAIRMAN SHARP calls the Senate State Affairs Committee to order at 3:37 p.m. and brings up SJR 14 as the first order of business before the committee. The chairman calls the first witness. SSTA - 2/21/95 SJR 14 CONFIRMATION OF MEMBERS OF PUBLIC CORP Number 015 SENATOR HALFORD, prime sponsor of SJR 14, states the topic of the resolution has been considered numerous times by the legislature. It has been considered in relation to the Alaska Railroad corporation, the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, and Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, among others. Senator Halford thinks if the framers of the constitution had envisioned that these public corporations would be in charge of the resources and assets of the State of Alaska, they would have made legislative confirmation part of the confirmation process of the boards of these corporations. SENATOR HALFORD states that during the Hammond administration an attorney general's opinion was issued which essentially said, without a constitutional amendment the legislature cannot require confirmation of members of public corporations. He thinks any commission or entity which manages any state assets should have members confirmed by the legislature. There is a $2,200 fiscal note, which is the cost of putting the question on the ballot. Number 060 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS supports SJR 14, but asks why the resolution did not receive a referral to the Senate Judiciary Committee. SENATOR HALFORD does not know why the resolution did not receive a referral to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Number 070 SENATOR LEMAN asks Mr. Halford if he could get a copy of the list of public corporations which would be affected by SJR 14. SENATOR HALFORD responds he will get Senator Leman a copy of the list. Number 095 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS makes a motion to discharge SJR 14 from the Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations. CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, orders SJR 14 released from committee with individual recommendations. SSTA - 2/21/95 SJR 4 FED CONST AM RE: CAMPAIGN EXPENDITURES Number 100 SENATOR SHARP brings up SJR 4 as the next order of business before the Senate State Affairs Committee and calls the first witness. Number 105 SENATOR DONLEY, prime sponsor of SJR 4, relays information contained in his sponsor statement. Senator Donley states there is a proposed committee substitute to SJR 4 which contains one new section that would provide empowerment to local governments in setting reasonable campaign expenditure limits. The proposed committee substitute is identical to the legislation before the U.S. Congress. Number 170 SENATOR DONLEY states one suggested solution to campaign financing problems is public financing of campaigns. However, he does not think the public supports public financing of campaigns. He thinks a constitutional amendment would be the best way to limit campaign spending. Number 190 SENATOR LEMAN asks Senator Donley what he thinks would be a reasonable spending limit for campaigns for Alaska State Legislative races. Number 195 SENATOR DONLEY suggests basing a figure on the average cost of previous races. The figure might be affected by geographical considerations. For instance, candidates in rural areas have high travel expenses, while candidates in urban areas have high media expenses. He cannot give an exact figure, but of course the beauty of a limit is that all candidates would have to adhere to it. There would be no spiraling of expenditures. Number 230 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS states he supports SJR 4. Senator Phillips asks Senator Donley what he thinks about putting a limit on state- wide proposition ballot measures. Number 233 SENATOR DONLEY states there was a distinction drawn in some of the case law between limiting spending on campaigns, versus limiting spending on propositions. Ballot propositions were seen to be more closely related to the free speech issue than were candidates. Number 265 SENATOR DONLEY urges the committee to stay with the proposal before the senate at this time. He thinks it would be much more difficult to get states to ratify a proposal other than the one contained in SJR 4. SENATOR DONLEY makes a motion to adopt the State Affairs committee substitute for SJR 4. CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objections, states the committee substitute has been adopted. Number 275 SENATOR LEMAN asks Senator Donley if SJR 4 would distinguish between a campaign cost and a donated cost. SENATOR DONLEY responds there is an accurate body of law making the distinction about when something is an in-kind contribution and when something is not. When services are contributed which a person normally does for pay, that is considered a contribution. Number 315 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS makes a motion to discharge SJR 4 from the Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations. CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, orders SJR 4 released from committee with individual recommendations. SB 4 DWI LAWS SENATOR SHARP brings up SB 4 as the next order of business before the Senate State Affairs Committee and calls the first witness. Number 340 RON OTTE, Commissioner, Department of Public Safety, states that though the administration has not yet identified a position on SB 4, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) supports SB 4. Commissioner Otte thinks most law enforcement agencies in Alaska are supportive of any legislation or approach which would target chronic impaired drivers. People who reach the category of driver outlined in SB 4 are a serious threat. There are about 400 persons per year who would fall into this category. Commissioner Otte states again that the administration has not come forward yet with a position on SB 4, he believes because of the fiscal implications, but that it would be very hard for DPS not to speak in support of the bill. Number 356 SENATOR LEMAN asks, since he thinks of Commissioner Otte as "the administration", to whom he is referring when he says "the administration"? COMMISSIONER OTTE responds the governor has not yet come forward with a position on SB 4. SENATOR LEMAN asks Commissioner Otte if he will be advising the governor on SB 4. COMMISSIONER OTTE replies he has shared his opinion with the governor's staff on SB 4. However, he cannot speak for the Department of Corrections or the Department of Law. Number 375 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asks Commissioner Otte what the process is for determining position on issues. It is Senator Phillips impression that Commissioner Otte is "out of the loop". COMMISSIONER OTTE responds that the process is for all departments affected to present a bill analysis to the governor. The OMB director, the chief of staff, the legislative liaison, and the governor take those into consideration when determining positions. Regardless of the position taken by the governor in terms of the fiscal implications of SB 4, the Department of Public Safety likes increasing penalties for third-time offenders. SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asks if the governor's office has timelines for determining positions. COMMISSIONER OTTE is not aware of whether or not the governor's office has timelines. SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS thinks the governor's office should pick up the pace on issuing formal positions. He asks Commissioner Otte what his personal feeling is on SB 4. CHAIRMAN SHARP commented Commissioner Otte has already given his personal opinion. COMMISSIONER OTTE states if he did not have a personal opinion, he would not be at the hearing. Number 400 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS makes a motion to discharge SB 4 from the Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations. Number 405 CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, orders SB 4 released from committee with individual recommendations. CHAIRMAN SHARP adjourns the Senate State Affairs Committee hearing at 4:12 p.m.