Legislature(2005 - 2006)BELTZ 211

04/26/2005 03:30 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Recessed to Call of Chair 8 PM 4/27--
Moved SB 182 Out of Committee
Moved SCS CSHB 183(STA) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 210(JUD) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
Moved CSSB 186(STA) Out of Committee
Moved CSSB 187(STA) Out of Committee
Moved SB 127 Out of Committee
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
Moved CSHB 127(FIN) am Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         April 26, 2005                                                                                         
                           3:35 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Gene Therriault, Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Thomas Wagoner, Vice Chair                                                                                              
Senator Charlie Huggins                                                                                                         
Senator Bettye Davis                                                                                                            
Senator Kim Elton                                                                                                               
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 182                                                                                                             
"An  Act authorizing  the Department  of  Military and  Veterans'                                                               
Affairs to  establish and maintain Alaskan  veterans' cemeteries;                                                               
and  establishing  the  Alaska veterans'  cemetery  fund  in  the                                                               
general fund."                                                                                                                  
     MOVED SB 182 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 183(JUD) am                                                                                               
"An Act relating to the  use of campaign contributions for shared                                                               
campaign  activity   expenses  and  to  reimbursement   of  those                                                               
expenses;  and  amending  the  definition  of  'contribution'  in                                                               
regard  to  sharing  fundraising  lists  between  candidates  and                                                               
political parties without compensation."                                                                                        
     MOVED SCS CSHB 183(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                   
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 210(JUD)                                                                                                  
"An Act relating  to blood testing of certain  persons alleged to                                                               
have committed  certain offenses  directed toward  peace officers                                                               
or emergency workers."                                                                                                          
     MOVED CSHB 210(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 215(FIN)                                                                                                  
"An  Act  relating  to the  investment  responsibilities  of  the                                                               
Alaska  Permanent  Fund   Corporation;  relating  to  regulations                                                               
proposed  and adopted  by the  Board  of Trustees  of the  Alaska                                                               
Permanent  Fund  Corporation  and providing  procedures  for  the                                                               
adoption  of  regulations by  the  board;  and providing  for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
SENATE BILL NO. 186                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act."                                                                    
          MOVED CSSB 186(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                  
SENATE BILL NO. 187                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to legislative  ethics open meetings guidelines,                                                               
to  the public  members of  the Select  Committee on  Legislative                                                               
Ethics, to  alternate members  of the  legislative subcommittees,                                                               
to  advisory  opinions,  and   to  confidential  information  and                                                               
proceedings   regarding   legislative   ethics   complaints   and                                                               
     MOVED CSSB 187(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
SENATE BILL NO. 127                                                                                                             
"An Act prohibiting a public  officer from taking official action                                                               
regarding a matter in which  the public officer has a significant                                                               
financial interest;  and defining 'official action'  for purposes                                                               
of  the chapter  generally referred  to as  the Executive  Branch                                                               
Ethics Act."                                                                                                                    
     MOVED SB 127 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 127(FIN) am                                                                                               
"An Act  relating to service  in the  peace corps and  members of                                                               
the United  States Olympic  Team as  allowable absences  from the                                                               
state for  purposes of eligibility  for permanent  fund dividends                                                               
and to the period for filing  an application for a permanent fund                                                               
dividend;  authorizing   the  Department  of  Revenue   to  issue                                                               
administrative    orders   imposing    sanctions   for    certain                                                               
misrepresentations or other actions  concerning eligibility for a                                                               
permanent fund  dividend and providing for  administrative appeal                                                               
of those orders; and providing for an effective date."                                                                          
     MOVED CSHB 127(FIN) am OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SB 182                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: STATE VETERANS' CEMETARY & FUND                                                                                    
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) HUGGINS                                                                                                  
04/19/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/19/05       (S)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
04/26/05       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
BILL: HB 183                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CAMPAIGN FINANCE: SHARED EXPENSES/LISTS                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) HAWKER                                                                                            
02/28/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/28/05       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
03/29/05       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/29/05       (H)       Moved CSHB 183(STA) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/29/05       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/30/05       (H)       STA RPT CS(STA) 2DP 2NR                                                                                
03/30/05       (H)       DP: ELKINS, SEATON;                                                                                    
03/30/05       (H)       NR: GARDNER, RAMRAS                                                                                    
04/06/05       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
04/06/05       (H)       <Bill Hearing Postponed>                                                                               
04/13/05       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
04/13/05       (H)       Moved CSHB 183(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/13/05       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/14/05       (H)       JUD RPT CS(JUD) 6DP 1AM                                                                                
04/14/05       (H)       DP:    GRUENBERG,    KOTT,    DAHLSTROM,                                                               
                         COGHILL, ANDERSON, MCGUIRE;                                                                            
04/14/05       (H)       AM: GARA                                                                                               
04/19/05       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/19/05       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 183(JUD) AM                                                                              
04/20/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/20/05       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
04/26/05       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
BILL: HB 210                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: BLOODBORNE PATHOGEN TESTING                                                                                        
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) MCGUIRE                                                                                           
03/07/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/07/05       (H)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
03/30/05       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/30/05       (H)       Moved CSHB 210(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/30/05       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/01/05       (H)       JUD RPT CS(JUD) 6DP                                                                                    
04/01/05       (H)       DP: KOTT, ANDERSON, DAHLSTROM, GARA,                                                                   
                         GRUENBERG, MCGUIRE                                                                                     
04/12/05       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
04/12/05       (H)       Moved CSHB 210(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/12/05       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
04/13/05       (H)       FIN RPT CS(JUD) 6DP 1NR                                                                                
04/13/05       (H)       DP: KELLY, HOLM, STOLTZE, HAWKER,                                                                      
                         FOSTER, CHENAULT;                                                                                      
04/13/05       (H)       NR: WEYHRAUCH                                                                                          
04/13/05       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/13/05       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 210(JUD)                                                                                 
04/14/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/14/05       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
04/26/05       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
BILL: HB 215                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PERM FUND CORP. INVESTMENTS/REGULATIONS                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) ROKEBERG BY REQUEST                                                                               
03/09/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/09/05       (H)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
04/12/05       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
04/12/05       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
04/12/05       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/13/05       (H)       STA RPT 5DP 1NR                                                                                        
04/13/05       (H)       DP: GARDNER, LYNN, ELKINS, RAMRAS,                                                                     
04/13/05       (H)       NR: GATTO                                                                                              
04/14/05       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
04/14/05       (H)       Moved CSHB 215(FIN) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/14/05       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
04/15/05       (H)       FIN RPT CS(FIN) 4DP 5NR                                                                                
04/15/05       (H)       DP: HAWKER, FOSTER, MEYER, CHENAULT;                                                                   
04/15/05       (H)       NR: CROFT, MOSES, HOLM, STOLTZE, KELLY                                                                 
04/19/05       (H)       BEFORE THE HOUSE                                                                                       
04/19/05       (H)       WEYHRAUCH NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION                                                                    
04/20/05       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/20/05       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 215(FIN)                                                                                 
04/21/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/21/05       (S)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
04/26/05       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
BILL: SB 186                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: EXECUTIVE BRANCH ETHICS                                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) SEEKINS                                                                                                  
04/22/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/22/05       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
04/26/05       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
BILL: SB 187                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: LEGISLATIVE ETHICS/MEETINGS                                                                                        
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) SEEKINS                                                                                                  
04/22/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/22/05       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
04/26/05       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
BILL: SB 127                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: EXEC. BRANCH ETHICS: FINANCIAL INTERESTS                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) FRENCH                                                                                                   
03/03/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/03/05       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
04/26/05       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
BILL: HB 127                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PFD:PEACE CORPS/OLYMPIAN/SANCTIONS                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) MCGUIRE                                                                                           
02/04/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/04/05       (H)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
03/03/05       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/03/05       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/03/05       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/05/05       (H)       STA AT 9:30 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/05/05       (H)       Moved CSHB 127(STA) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/05/05       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/09/05       (H)       STA RPT CS(STA) NT 5DP                                                                                 
03/09/05       (H)       DP: LYNN, GATTO, RAMRAS, GRUENBERG,                                                                    
03/29/05       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
03/29/05       (H)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
03/30/05       (H)       FIN AT 9:00 AM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
03/30/05       (H)       Moved CSHB 127(FIN) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/30/05       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
04/01/05       (H)       FIN RPT CS(FIN) NT 7DP 1NR                                                                             
04/01/05       (H)       DP: HAWKER, STOLTZE, JOULE, CROFT,                                                                     
                         MOSES, FOSTER, MEYER;                                                                                  
04/01/05       (H)       NR: KELLY                                                                                              
04/01/05       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/01/05       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 127(FIN) AM                                                                              
04/04/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/04/05       (S)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
04/21/05       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
04/21/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/21/05       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/26/05       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
SHALON SZYMANSKE,                                                                                                               
Staff to Representative Lesil McGuire                                                                                           
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced CSHB 210                                                                                      
EVERT ROBINS, President                                                                                                         
Anchorage Police Department Employees Association                                                                               
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 210                                                                                         
DEBORAH GRUNDMAN,                                                                                                               
Staff to Senator Charlie Huggins                                                                                                
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced SB 182 for sponsor                                                                            
JOYCE ROKEBERG                                                                                                                  
Fairbanks, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 182                                                                                         
JERRY BEAL, Director                                                                                                            
Department of Military & Veterans                                                                                               
PO Box 5800                                                                                                                     
Ft. Richardson, AK 99505-0800                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 182                                                                                         
JUNE CHANCE,                                                                                                                    
Administrative Services Manager,                                                                                                
Department of Military & Veterans                                                                                               
PO Box 5800                                                                                                                     
Ft. Richardson, AK 99505-0800                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 182                                                                                         
JULIE LUCKY,                                                                                                                    
Staff to Representative Mike Hawker                                                                                             
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 183 for sponsor                                                                            
BROOKE MILES, Executive Director                                                                                                
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC),                                                                                        
2221 E. Northern Lights, Rm 128                                                                                                 
Anchorage, AK 99508-4149                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on HB 183                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG                                                                                                  
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HB 215                                                                                        
MIKE BURNS, Chief Executive Officer                                                                                             
Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation                                                                                               
Department of Revenue                                                                                                           
PO Box 110400                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0400                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on CSHB 215                                                                                    
SENATOR RALPH SEEKINS                                                                                                           
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of SB 186 and SB 187                                                                             
JOYCE ANDERSON, Administrator                                                                                                   
Select Committee on Legislative Ethics                                                                                          
P.O. Box 101468                                                                                                                 
Anchorage, AK 99510-1468                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Discussed suggested changes on SB 187                                                                    
MERLE THOMPSON,                                                                                                                 
Susitna Valley, AK                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Expressed the view that SB 187 addresses                                                                 
the wrong issue                                                                                                                 
SENATOR HOLLIS FRENCH                                                                                                           
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor SB 127                                                                                           
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
CHAIR GENE THERRIAULT called the Senate State Affairs Standing                                                                
Committee meeting to order at 3:35:06 PM. Present were Senators                                                               
Elton, Wagoner, Davis, Huggins, and Chair Therriault.                                                                           
           CSHB 210(JUD)-BLOODBORNE PATHOGEN TESTING                                                                        
CHAIR   GENE  THERRIAULT   announced  HB   210  to   be  up   for                                                               
3:35:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SHALON   SZYMANSKE,  Staff   to  Representative   Lesil  McGuire,                                                               
explained the  bill expands the  current policies  and procedures                                                               
for testing  for blood borne  pathogen exposure to  include peace                                                               
officers, firefighters, emergency  medical technicians and mobile                                                               
The  bill  sets  out  procedures to  determine  whether  a  first                                                               
responder was exposed to blood  borne pathogens while working. It                                                               
provides  means  to protect  the  identity  of the  person  being                                                               
tested as  well as  procedures for court  ordered testing  in the                                                               
event a person refuses to submit to a test.                                                                                     
3:37:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR THERRIAULT  asked whether the  bill deals with  body fluids                                                               
in addition to blood.                                                                                                           
MS. SZYMANSKE said it does.                                                                                                     
CHAIR THERRIAULT asked about the new Section 5.                                                                                 
MS.   SZYMANSKE   said   that  section   adds   departments   and                                                               
3:38:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  THOMAS WAGONER  asked  whether  contract employees  were                                                               
given any consideration.                                                                                                        
MS. SZYMANSKE replied she didn't  believe the bill addressed that                                                               
SENATOR  WAGONER  pointed  out  that  other  employees  might  be                                                               
exposed so the scope might not be broad enough.                                                                                 
MS. SZYMANSKE  assured him the  sponsor would be willing  to make                                                               
SENATOR WAGONER  said he wasn't  going to offer an  amendment, he                                                               
was simply asking the question.                                                                                                 
CHAIR  THERRIAULT  questioned  whether  the  language  protecting                                                               
contractors  is covered  by the  Section 7  repealer. Referencing                                                               
the word  "employed" on  page 7,  line 7 he  said he  wasn't sure                                                               
whether it would be construed globally.                                                                                         
MS. SZYMANSKE responded she didn't have an answer.                                                                              
3:42:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  THERRIAULT questioned  whether  Section 6  was drafted  to                                                               
cover regular salaried employees and contract employees.                                                                        
SENATOR WAGONER  said prisons  have all types  of people  who are                                                               
exposed to prisoners  and could therefore be exposed  the same as                                                               
the  guards.  He  suggested  that  contract  employees  certainly                                                               
shouldn't be excluded.                                                                                                          
3:43:25 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KIM ELTON  said it  appears as  though a  distinction is                                                               
made for municipalities,  but not necessarily for  the state. The                                                               
way  he reads  it, a  contract employee  may not  be covered.  He                                                               
agreed with  Senator Wagoner that  everyone who  may be put  in a                                                               
situation that  may result in  a health question like  this ought                                                               
to be covered.                                                                                                                  
CHAIR  THERRIAULT mentioned  a number  of contract  employees and                                                               
said he believes they should be covered.                                                                                        
3:45:13 PM                                                                                                                    
EVERT  ROBINS, President,  Anchorage Police  Department Employees                                                               
Association, stated strong support for the bill.                                                                                
3:47:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR THERRIAULT asked  if he had an opinion  on whether contract                                                               
employees should be covered.                                                                                                    
MR.  ROBINS said  it's a  good  idea but  the association  really                                                               
looks at this as a bill for first responders.                                                                                   
SENATOR CHARLIE HUGGINS  asked if he had  any volunteer policemen                                                               
that participate, but aren't employed.                                                                                          
MR.  ROBINS said  there is  a citizen  academy in  Anchorage, but                                                               
they try not to use those people as first responders.                                                                           
SENATOR HUGGINS asked  how he would suggest  those individuals be                                                               
MR. ROBINS replied when they're  riding with him they wouldn't be                                                               
first responders.                                                                                                               
3:49:38 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KIM ELTON  asked  if  it's correct  that  the bill  only                                                               
provides  for  the  process  that  would be  used  for  adult  or                                                               
juvenile  offenders  and not  for  a  victim.  He could  see  the                                                               
benefit for a  first responder in a narrow set  of cases in which                                                               
the first  responder may be  exposed to  someone who is  a victim                                                               
and may become an offender.                                                                                                     
MR.  ROBINS  replied the  bill  is  for defendants.  Victims  are                                                               
typically  compliant   and  volunteer  samples,   but  defendants                                                               
frequently deny testing.                                                                                                        
CHAIR  THERRIAULT stated  that in  the interest  of time  he'd be                                                               
willing to move  the bill on to the Judiciary  Committee with the                                                               
recommendation to amend to include  contract workers. He found no                                                               
3:51:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WAGONER  motioned to report CSHB  210(JUD) from committee                                                               
with attached fiscal notes and individual recommendations.                                                                      
CHAIR  THERRIAULT announced  that  without objection,  it was  so                                                               
             SB 182-STATE VETERANS' CEMETARY & FUND                                                                         
CHAIR   GENE  THERRIAULT   announced  SB   182  to   be  up   for                                                               
3:51:59 PM                                                                                                                    
DEBORAH  GRUNDMAN, Staff  to Senator  Huggins, explained  that SB
182  would put  in  place  the mechanism  for  the Department  of                                                               
Military and  Veterans' Affairs (DMVA) to  establish and maintain                                                               
veterans' cemeteries in the state.                                                                                              
3:53:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR CHARLIE HUGGINS, Sponsor, described  SB 182 as a forward-                                                               
looking approach.  It would create  a framework whereby  DMVA and                                                               
local communities  could work together  and find land  that would                                                               
become  state  land and  a  future  potential  site for  a  state                                                               
veterans'  cemetery. Based  on  demographics,  he suggested  that                                                               
Fairbanks would be a likely starting point.                                                                                     
SENATOR  KIM  ELTON questioned  whether  there  was a  difference                                                               
between SB 182 and the House bill.                                                                                              
SENATOR HUGGINS replied he  thought Representative Guttenberg had                                                               
a bill, but he wasn't sure  whether it was the same or different.                                                               
He advised that he has worked on this issue for several years.                                                                  
SENATOR DAVIS noted she had a copy of the House bill.                                                                           
3:58:02 PM                                                                                                                    
JOYCE ROKEBERG,  Fairbanks, reported  that her late  husband also                                                               
had a  dream for a veterans'  cemetery in the Interior.  She made                                                               
the point  that it is difficult  for family and friends  to visit                                                               
cemeteries that are located a long distance from home.                                                                          
4:00:58 PM                                                                                                                    
JERRY  BEAL,   Director,  Department  of  Military   and  Veteran                                                               
Affairs,  testified   that  SB   182  is  more   substantial  and                                                               
comprehensive than the House bill.  He stated that the department                                                               
certainly  supports  the idea  of  having  an Interior  veterans'                                                               
cemetery.  During  the  recent   American  Legion  Convention  in                                                               
Kodiak, a  resolution was passed supporting  an Interior cemetery                                                               
for state veterans.                                                                                                             
4:02:49 PM                                                                                                                    
JUNE  CHANCE,  Administrative  Services  Manager,  Department  of                                                               
Military & Veterans Affairs, stated support for the bill.                                                                       
There was no further testimony.                                                                                                 
CHAIR  THERRIAULT noted  the indeterminate  fiscal  note and  the                                                               
Finance  Committee  referral.  He  asked  for  the  will  of  the                                                               
SENATOR THOMAS WAGONER  motioned to report SB  182 from committee                                                               
with individual  recommendations and attached fiscal  note. There                                                               
being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                          
4:04:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR THERRIAULT  announced Vice-Chair  Wagoner would step  in as                                                               
chair so that he could attend a different meeting.                                                                              
     CSHB 183(JUD)-CAMPAIGN FINANCE: SHARED EXPENSES/LISTS                                                                  
VICE-CHAIR  THOMAS  WAGONER  announced  CSHB 183  to  be  up  for                                                               
4:05:56 PM                                                                                                                    
JULIE LUCKY, Staff to Representative  Mike Hawker, explained that                                                               
HB  183  makes  several  changes to  the  Alaska  Public  Offices                                                               
Commission  (APOC)  statutes   regarding  campaign  finances.  It                                                               
clarifies  that  reimbursement  for  a shared  expense  isn't  an                                                               
illegal  campaign-to-campaign  contribution.  It  also  clarifies                                                               
that sharing  a fundraising  list by  a party  or candidate  to a                                                               
party   or  candidate   isn't  an   illegal  campaign-to-campaign                                                               
4:07:04 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE-CHAIR WAGONER noted the proposed amendment.                                                                                
SENATOR CHARLIE HUGGINS asked about the catalyst for the bill.                                                                  
MS.   LUCKY  said   there  was   no  particular   incident.  APOC                                                               
regulations are silent  on shared fund raising  and this provides                                                               
4:09:12 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE-CHAIR  WAGONER asked  for  a motion  to  adopt the  proposed                                                               
SENATOR  BETTYE   DAVIS  moved   Amendment  1.  There   being  no                                                               
objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                             
                          AMENDMENT 1                                                                                         
          TO: CSHB 183(JUD) am                                                                                                  
     Page 2, line 20, following "within"                                                                                        
          Delete "five working"                                                                                                 
          Insert "seven"                                                                                                        
4:10:09 PM                                                                                                                    
BROOKE   MILES,  Executive   Director,   Alaska  Public   Offices                                                               
Commission  (APOC), stated  that the  commission understands  why                                                               
this may be  useful to candidates who share  a campaign activity.                                                               
APOC suggested  the amendment  and with its  passage APOC  has no                                                               
further concern with the bill.                                                                                                  
4:11:29 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE-CHAIR  WAGONER closed  public  testimony and  asked for  the                                                               
will of the committee.                                                                                                          
4:11:57 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KIM  ELTON motioned  to  report  SCS CSHB  183(STA)  and                                                               
attached   fiscal   notes    from   committee   with   individual                                                               
recommendations. There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                   
     CSHB 215(FIN)-PERM FUND CORP. INVESTMENTS/REGULATIONS                                                                  
VICE-CHAIR THOMAS  WAGONER announced CSHB  215(FIN) to be  up for                                                               
4:13:18 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  NORMAN  ROKEBERG,   Sponsor,  reported  the  bill                                                               
speaks  to   the  investments  of   the  Alaska   Permanent  Fund                                                               
Corporation that are  guided by a statutory  list, which includes                                                               
restrictions   and   asset   caps   for   particular   investment                                                               
categories.   He  asserted   that   because   of  the   statutory                                                               
restrictions, the  fund may be  taking greater risks  without the                                                               
promise of higher returns.                                                                                                      
Modern  investment theory  focuses  on the  combined  risk of  an                                                               
entire  portfolio  rather  than  the risk  of  each  asset  type.                                                               
Therefore,  he  said, it's  important  to  diversify a  portfolio                                                               
among assets that aren't correlated  in performance. He suggested                                                               
that such diversification is more  likely to result in a positive                                                               
return for the fund while reducing the overall risk.                                                                            
In the past  the legislature has changed the  statutes to address                                                               
circumstances  such as  reaching  investment  caps that  resulted                                                               
from  investment  appreciation.  At  one  point  the  legislature                                                               
introduced a  "basket clause"  to allow  more flexibility  in the                                                               
portfolio,  but it  leaves little  opportunity to  invest in  new                                                               
asset types or for growth in existing assets.                                                                                   
He mentioned a  recent Attorney General opinion  that states that                                                               
the legislature  has the ability  to move the investment  list to                                                               
regulation where the  trustees may make changes in  a more timely                                                               
HB 215 makes  that change and gives the  trustees the flexibility                                                               
and freedom to  establish and administer a  legal investment list                                                               
in regulation while  conforming to the Prudent  Investor Rule. He                                                               
noted that the fund is  exempt from the Administrative Procedures                                                               
4:16:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIM ELTON asked for a  response to the criticism that the                                                               
legislature is abdicating  its role by turning over  its power to                                                               
a  board  of  trustees  that   works  in  the  executive  branch.                                                               
Furthermore, its members  may or may not have  any more expertise                                                               
than some legislators.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG responded  he  didn't  believe that  the                                                               
combined  wisdom of  60  minds  is in  any  way  superior to  the                                                               
professional  advice   and  management  of  the   Permanent  Fund                                                               
Corporation.  Referencing  his  own  broad  knowledge  of  fiscal                                                               
management, he said he wouldn't  want the responsibility. It's in                                                               
the  best interest  of the  state  to allow  the corporation  the                                                               
proposed flexibility, he declared.                                                                                              
4:21:45 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE BURNS, Chief Executive  Officer, Permanent Fund Corporation,                                                               
introduced  himself and  Laura Ashe,  Director of  Communications                                                               
and Research.                                                                                                                   
He reminded members that four  key elements would remain with the                                                               
proposed change:                                                                                                                
   · Investments would always be made under the Prudent Investor                                                                
   · The board may leverage assets only if there is no recourse                                                                 
     to the fund.                                                                                                               
   · The board must maintain a diverse mix of assets                                                                            
   · In-state investments must have a risk and return comparable                                                                
     to other investment alternatives.                                                                                          
To illustrate  new ideas in  the investment arena he  pointed out                                                               
that the  corporation recently let  one Small CAP manager  go and                                                               
hired nine at $60 million  apiece. Experience has shown that more                                                               
managers in  that particular  area result in  a better  chance of                                                               
success. That's not necessarily the  case in other asset classes,                                                               
It's important to  note that the corporation  wouldn't have hired                                                               
half of those managers  on their own, but the fit  was right as a                                                               
team approach  and the  asset class  is covered  more completely.                                                               
Stability  is   achieved  when   one  manager's   returns  aren't                                                               
correlated with another manager's returns.                                                                                      
He   offered  two   perspectives  to   the  question   about  the                                                               
independence  of the  trustees. The  first draws  on his  20-year                                                               
banking experience in dealing with the  fund. In that time he has                                                               
always  been impressed  with the  commitment and  independence of                                                               
the  trustees. Second,  the legislation  that was  passed in  the                                                               
last session  further insulated the  trustees from  the political                                                               
process in that trustees can only be removed for cause.                                                                         
MR. BURNS highlighted two points for the record:                                                                                
   · Forty-four of the fifty states manage their pension funds                                                                  
     and endowments according to the Prudent Investor Rule.                                                                     
   · Use of a statutory investment list is waning across the                                                                    
     country and it's time for Alaska to move in that direction.                                                                
4:26:21 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE-CHAIR  WAGONER asked  how  many states  that  are using  the                                                               
Prudent  Investor  Rule have  a  fund  that's equivalent  to  $30                                                               
MR. BURNS responded there are  few endowment funds similar to the                                                               
Alaska Permanent Fund, but more  typically they're managing state                                                               
pension  funds.  Some of  those  are  much  larger and  some  are                                                               
smaller. For  example, the  California Public  Retirement Pension                                                               
Fund  is about  $230 billion  and  Wyoming has  a permanent  fund                                                               
that's considerably smaller than Alaska's.                                                                                      
There were no further questions or testimony.                                                                                   
VICE-CHAIR WAGONER set CSHB 215(FIN) aside.                                                                                     
VICE-CHAIR WAGONER called a recess from 4:28:28 PM to 4:33:44 PM                                                            
                 SB 186-EXECUTIVE BRANCH ETHICS                                                                             
VICE-CHAIR  THOMAS  WAGONER,  announced  SB  186  to  be  up  for                                                               
4:34:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  RALPH  SEEKINS, Sponsor,  said  the  question of  ethics                                                               
legislation  arose  with the  recent  high  profile case  of  the                                                               
former attorney  general (AG). It  was determined that  the state                                                               
law  regarding when  someone  may have  a  potential conflict  of                                                               
interest  that might  relate to  the state  ethics laws  required                                                               
Former  U.S. Attorney  Robert Bunde's  investigation of  the case                                                               
pointed out that  Alaska has no clear bright  line regarding what                                                               
is  a significant  interest in  a  company when  the company  may                                                               
benefit  or be  harmed by  a state  employee. Governor  Murkowski                                                               
agreed and said to find a way to address the concern.                                                                           
As Judiciary Committee  chair, he compared current  Alaska law to                                                               
laws in other states and the  federal government. In an effort to                                                               
find proper  terminology that  could be reduced  to state  law he                                                               
examined   the   ethical   standards  of   various   professional                                                               
associations  and the  generally  accepted accounting  principles                                                               
Review  of broad  and narrow  treatises indicated  that with  too                                                               
much restriction  on allowing government employees  and officials                                                               
to have  investments qualified people are  driven from meaningful                                                               
government  service.  This is  particularly  true  for those  who                                                               
enter government service as a capstone to their career, he said.                                                                
Everyone agrees that  high moral standards in  public offices are                                                               
essential  to assure  the trust,  respect and  confidence of  the                                                               
people.  It's  also  agreed  that  a  fair  and  open  government                                                               
requires that public officers conduct  the public's business in a                                                               
way  that  preserves the  integrity  of  the process  and  avoids                                                               
conflicts of interest.  However, there isn't agreement  on how to                                                               
do that.                                                                                                                        
4:39:39 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SEEKINS said  when he  started with  the recommendations                                                               
that Mr. Bunde made, discussion  immediately ensued regarding the                                                               
meaning of  "value" and "significant"  when applied  to different                                                               
companies and individuals. He tried  to reach a balance point for                                                               
conducting  the business  of government  while protecting  public                                                               
interest and not violating the public trust.                                                                                    
4:41:10 PM                                                                                                                    
When a  person has evidence  of an  ethics violation by  a public                                                               
employee, that person  has a moral responsibility  to report that                                                               
behavior.  No  public  law  should  discourage  that  action.  He                                                               
asserted that  no proposed legislation encroaches  on a citizen's                                                               
constitutional right to speak openly  about what they've heard or                                                               
SB  186 provides  that anyone  bringing  or knowing  of a  formal                                                               
complaint filed  with the personnel  board becomes  a participant                                                               
in the  process and should be  held to the same  high standard of                                                               
confidentiality as  the members  of the personnel  board. Because                                                               
ethics  complaints  must not  be  frivolous  or filed  with  evil                                                               
intent, there  must be a  stiff penalty for anyone  who knowingly                                                               
perverts the  confidentiality process.  This is  common practice,                                                               
he said.                                                                                                                        
Even the proceedings of the  personnel board or the investigatory                                                               
process by the  AG's office prior to a finding  of probable cause                                                               
would  be  held  in  high  confidence. This  is  to  protect  the                                                               
innocent from trial in the media.                                                                                               
When there  is probable  cause the charge  would be  made public,                                                               
but  if  the charge  were  found  to have  no  basis  in fact  an                                                               
individual's reputation would not be besmirched.                                                                                
4:46:29 PM                                                                                                                    
SB  186   is  the   starting  point   for  legislators   to  work                                                               
collectively  to develop  a proposal  that  prosecutes those  who                                                               
have   violated  ethics   laws   and  maintains   confidentiality                                                               
throughout the process until probable cause is determined.                                                                      
4:47:37 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR CHARLIE  HUGGINS asked what  happens when  probable cause                                                               
is determined.                                                                                                                  
SENATOR  SEEKINS  said he  understands  that  when someone  comes                                                               
forward  with an  ethics complaint  an investigation  begins. All                                                               
proceedings  are confidential;  they have  the right  of subpoena                                                               
and the right for discovery. At  some point a decision is made as                                                               
to whether  there is probable  cause. If there is  probable cause                                                               
the  matter becomes  public; if  there isn't  probable cause  the                                                               
matter does not become public.                                                                                                  
4:51:45 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KIM  ELTON  directed  attention   to  Section  1,  which                                                               
provides   for   criminalization    of   releasing   confidential                                                               
information. Using  the example of  telling his wife that  he had                                                               
to hire and  pay for legal services, he demonstrated  how easy it                                                               
would  be  to  innocently violate  the  proposed  confidentiality                                                               
provision. If  the bill were  to become law, that  exchange would                                                               
create a class A misdemeanor.                                                                                                   
4:53:39 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SEEKINS  responded,  "If  you  know  that  there  is  an                                                               
investigation, keep your mouth shut."                                                                                           
SENATOR ELTON questioned not being able to tell his wife.                                                                       
SENATOR SEEKINS  acknowledged he  might not  get away  with that.                                                               
Nevertheless,  the intention  in SB  186  is to  stop the  gossip                                                               
chain to protect the innocent.                                                                                                  
SENATOR ELTON changed  topics and said it's clear  that there are                                                               
multiple   interpretations  for   an   appropriate  bright   line                                                               
regarding equity interest.  With that in mind he  was curious how                                                               
he arrived at the $10,000 figure.                                                                                               
SENATOR SEEKINS answered Mr. Bunde proposed that amount.                                                                        
SENATOR ELTON directed attention to  page 2, lines 7-10. He noted                                                               
that (B) has a  qualifier on the $10,000 and (C)  does not have a                                                               
qualifier. He asked if he was missing something.                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  replied you could  own 100 percent of  an equity                                                               
position as long as it doesn't exceed $10,000.                                                                                  
SENATOR ELTON raised a question about page 6, Sec. 16.                                                                          
SENATOR SEEKINS announced  he would propose an  amendment to that                                                               
section, which  could be considered  in either this  committee or                                                               
in the  Judiciary Committee. The  intention is to  define "family                                                               
member" in  reasonable terms  to include only  those who  live in                                                               
your household  because you  would have  some knowledge  of their                                                               
5:01:33 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR CHARLIE HUGGINS asked what  sorts of things Mr. Bunde was                                                               
trying to clarify.                                                                                                              
SENATOR  SEEKINS responded  he was  trying to  define what  would                                                               
constitute a substantial or significant interest.                                                                               
VICE-CHAIR WAGONER declared there's  a serious problem associated                                                               
with  the attorney  general, who  is appointed  by the  governor,                                                               
investigating an ethics complaint against the governor.                                                                         
SENATOR  SEEKINS said  he shares  that concern  and his  proposed                                                               
amendment  would  address  that  issue to  some  extent.  If  the                                                               
governor suspected that the attorney  general committed an ethics                                                               
violation, the governor  would ask the personnel  board to select                                                               
an  investigator who  would conduct  an  investigation with  full                                                               
subpoena powers  If an ethics  violation did occur,  the governor                                                               
would  file a  complaint with  the personnel  board and  it would                                                               
move forward with the regular process.                                                                                          
He  suggested that  same process  would take  place if  an ethics                                                               
complaint were filed against the governor.                                                                                      
5:08:22 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON used the example  of former Attorney General Renkes                                                               
and the  reports in the  Anchorage Daily  News to point  out what                                                               
would be  an unintended  consequence in Section  1. At  the point                                                               
that  the  investigator  contacted  the  reporter  to  ask  about                                                               
deleted emails and  when it was that Attorney  General Renkes had                                                               
been interviewed,  that reporter  would have been  precluded from                                                               
talking about the investigation let alone reporting on it.                                                                      
SENATOR  SEEKINS  replied  he   didn't  believe  that  successful                                                               
prosecution of  a member of the  press would take place,  but the                                                               
governor could  be prosecuted if  he/she revealed  a confidential                                                               
matter as part of an investigation.                                                                                             
SENATOR  ELTON  referenced  AS   39.52.340(a)  and  said  the  AG                                                               
wouldn't  have  been able  to  talk  to  the governor  about  the                                                               
investigation under the provisions of  Section 1. If he mentioned                                                               
that an investigation  had begun he would have  committed a class                                                               
A misdemeanor.                                                                                                                  
SENATOR  SEEKINS agreed  that once  the accused  was told  by the                                                               
accuser that  there is  an investigation  then the  process would                                                               
have to  go forward  before any  further conversation  could take                                                               
There were no further questions or testimony.                                                                                   
VICE-CHAIR WAGONER announced he would hold SB 186 in committee.                                                                 
He called a brief recess at 5:12:36 PM.                                                                                       
               SB 187-LEGISLATIVE ETHICS/MEETINGS                                                                           
VICE-CHAIR  THOMAS  WAGONER  announced  SB   187  to  be  up  for                                                               
5:13:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  RALPH  SEEKINS,  Sponsor,  related that  when  he  began                                                               
reviewing the Executive Ethics Act  there was indication that the                                                               
Legislative Ethics Act should be reviewed as well.                                                                              
He asserted that the same  level of confidentiality should apply.                                                               
The  intent is  to  hold  someone who  files  a  complaint or  is                                                               
involved in the  process to the same level  of confidentiality as                                                               
the  members and  staff of  the Select  Committee on  Legislative                                                               
Ethics.  The  investigators  would  also be  brought  under  that                                                               
umbrella of confidentiality.                                                                                                    
Current  law  says  if  a  complaint  is  brought  and  then  the                                                               
complainant  goes  public,  then   the  complaint  is  dismissed.                                                               
However, the  committee could go  forward with  an investigation.                                                               
He  submitted  that if  an  ethics  complaint  is filed  and  the                                                               
complainant  immediately  goes  public with  the  allegation  the                                                               
committee would  have no  recourse but  to dismiss  the complaint                                                               
and then go  forward and investigate the  allegations. He charged                                                               
that that's a toothless law.                                                                                                    
5:17:32 PM                                                                                                                    
Confidentiality  must  be  maintained  until  probable  cause  is                                                               
reached. At that point the  complaint could become public. If the                                                               
complaint  is  dismissed  as frivolous  or  baseless  it  remains                                                               
confidential. However,  if a  complaint is  filed and  the person                                                               
who is  charged chooses  to publicly defend  him or  herself then                                                               
the entire record becomes public.  That provision applies to both                                                               
this bill and SB 186, he said.                                                                                                  
The bill  also attempts to  clarify that the way  the legislature                                                               
conducts   business    is   the   legislature's    business   and                                                               
responsibility. Any  attempt by a  legislator to break  the rules                                                               
is taken seriously and the  complaint is immediately taken to the                                                               
body to  determine what the  procedure should be.  The proceeding                                                               
is in the full light of day and is discussed openly.                                                                            
SENATOR CHARLIE HUGGINS asked about the alternate member.                                                                       
SENATOR  SEEKINS said  having an  alternate member  increases the                                                               
likelihood  that a  full  committee could  meet  and conduct  the                                                               
committee's business, which includes voting.                                                                                    
5:30:14 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON said  he would not continue to  question the matter                                                               
of  the class  A  misdemeanor,  but it  was  still  a subject  of                                                               
He asked  if it  is correct that  as a consequence  of SB  187 he                                                               
would  never hear  about a  justified ethics  complaint that  was                                                               
filed  against   his  staff  member   provided  the   staff  took                                                               
corrective action as ordered by the ethics committee.                                                                           
SENATOR SEEKINS  said that isn't  the intent. The intent  is that                                                               
once there is probable cause and  some action has been taken then                                                               
the matter  could become a  public record.  Confidentiality would                                                               
be protected  until probable  cause is  established. If  the bill                                                               
doesn't read  that way now it  will before it gets  to the floor,                                                               
he assured.                                                                                                                     
SENATOR  ELTON expressed  concern  about the  proposed change  to                                                               
allow an  alternate member  to vote  without having  attended all                                                               
the hearings on  the issue. He compared the  situation to someone                                                               
who didn't attend  an entire trial, but was allowed  to vote as a                                                               
part of  the jury. He asked  if the sponsor had  considered other                                                               
ways such as requiring that  the alternate hear all the arguments                                                               
before voting.                                                                                                                  
SENATOR SEEKINS pointed out that  there is no such restriction on                                                               
the regular members.                                                                                                            
SENATOR ELTON replied perhaps that needs corrective action.                                                                     
SENATOR SEEKINS said he had no  problem looking at the issue, but                                                               
he wouldn't  saddle an alternate  with a higher  requirement than                                                               
is imposed on the regular members.                                                                                              
5:34:21 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS asked  whether page 2, line 13-15  is to increase                                                               
diversity in the ethics committee.                                                                                              
SENATOR SEEKINS said yes.                                                                                                       
SENATOR HUGGINS  offered the view  that it's a good  idea because                                                               
others have recognized that it's  a rather select group of people                                                               
with a narrow band of interest.                                                                                                 
SENATOR SEEKINS submitted that occurred  with no evil intent. The                                                               
nominees come  from the  chief justice so  it's no  surprise that                                                               
three are attorneys and one is the wife of a noted justice.                                                                     
SENATOR  ELTON  remarked it  is  understandable,  but it  doesn't                                                               
speak  to   the  qualifications   of  those  who   are  selected.                                                               
Referencing  the prohibitions  relating to  employment, he  asked                                                               
whether people who might have a  contract with the state would be                                                               
prohibited  from  being on  the  ethics  committee. For  instance                                                               
would a substitute teacher be excluded?                                                                                         
SENATOR SEEKINS  replied a substitute teacher  would qualify, but                                                               
not someone with a contract.                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON  remarked it  seems constraining  to draw  a bright                                                               
line. It may be preferable to  have the chief justice forward the                                                               
names  without   restriction  and  then  the   legislature  could                                                               
exercise its judgment based on the individual's background.                                                                     
SENATOR SEEKINS said there are  already restrictions. It's common                                                               
sense  to  say you  have  to  look  at  diversity. Of  the  three                                                               
attorneys  that   are  currently  on  the   committee,  two  have                                                               
contracts  with the  state for  Office of  Public Advocacy.  He'd                                                               
like to  see geographic  and employment diversity  and he  has no                                                               
problem  reserving a  slot,  but he's  nervous  when you  suggest                                                               
SENATOR  HUGGINS  referenced  a  previous  discussion  about  his                                                               
potato farmer from  Palmer having little opportunity  to serve on                                                               
the ethics  committee unless he  knew the chief justice.  If this                                                               
gives him a  better opportunity then I'm all for  it, he said. He                                                               
asked whether it does that.                                                                                                     
SENATOR  SEEKINS said  that's the  intent  and the  farmer has  a                                                               
better chance under this structure than the current structure.                                                                  
SENATOR  ELTON  said he'd  challenge  the  notion that  the  only                                                               
people who get  appointed know the chief justice,  but that aside                                                               
this doesn't get  to that issue. This would just  narrow the band                                                               
of friends from which the chief justice could appoint.                                                                          
5:43:30 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Therriault rejoined the meeting.                                                                                        
SENATOR SEEKINS  asserted that  this is  intended to  broaden the                                                               
5:45:02 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE-CHAIR WAGONER  gave Chair Therriault an  update and returned                                                               
the gavel.                                                                                                                      
CHAIR THERRIAUT asked Ms. Anderson to come forward.                                                                             
JOYCE  ANDERSON, Administrator,  Select Committee  on Legislative                                                               
Ethics,  stated that  the  committee had  not  reviewed the  bill                                                               
since it was just introduced.  She could state support for issues                                                               
that the  committee had addressed  in the past and  she'd comment                                                               
on those sections first.                                                                                                        
The committee supports  having an alternate member sit  in when a                                                               
regular member  is unable to  attend a complaint  hearing because                                                               
it  would  speed the  process.  If  the alternate  legislator  or                                                               
public member sits in, it would  be beneficial for them to sit in                                                               
throughout the complaint process.                                                                                               
The  committee has  also previously  discussed and  would support                                                               
the  provision  for the  people  who  are interviewed  during  an                                                               
ethics complaint  to fall under the  confidentiality provision of                                                               
the statute. The committee has always felt that is important.                                                                   
She referenced advisory opinions addressed  in Section 6 and said                                                               
more discussions  would ensue. Currently the  person who requests                                                               
an  advisory opinion  has the  option to  have the  discussion in                                                               
either  an  open  or executive  session.  If  confidentiality  is                                                               
waived,  the  discussion takes  place  in  an open  session.  She                                                               
supported  the point  that  everyone named  would  have to  waive                                                               
confidentiality to have the discussion occur in an open session.                                                                
She  disagreed  with  Senator   Seekins  proposal  that  advisory                                                               
opinions  remain confidential.  All advisory  opinions should  be                                                               
public, she said; that's what they're there for.                                                                                
5:50:07 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  ELTON  said  he  thought names  were  scrubbed  when  an                                                               
advisory opinion is released.                                                                                                   
MS. ANDERSON said that is correct.                                                                                              
SENATOR ELTON  asked for verification  that if this were  to pass                                                               
and a  person who is  not named refuses to  waive confidentiality                                                               
then that advisory opinion wouldn't be made public.                                                                             
MS. ANDERSON replied that's the way she interprets the bill.                                                                    
MS. ANDERSON  directed attention to  Section 1, which makes  it a                                                               
class A  misdemeanor to  discuss an  ethics complaint  or release                                                               
information  about an  ethics complaint.  She  reported that  the                                                               
commission chair  feels that  could make  the public  hesitant to                                                               
file  a complaint.  Therefore, she  issued a  word of  caution in                                                               
adopting that provision.                                                                                                        
Section  1 of  the bill  says a  person shall  be charged  with a                                                               
class A  misdemeanor, but it  doesn't say the complaint  would be                                                               
dismissed. Under  SB 187 the  complaint would go forward  and the                                                               
commission supports that as an option for the committee.                                                                        
5:53:39 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  THERRIAULT  said under  the  current  language if  someone                                                               
makes an allegation and delivers  the information to the press at                                                               
essentially the  same time then  the complaint is  dismissed. The                                                               
result is that the battle is fought in the press.                                                                               
The sponsor could  say whether he crafted the bill  so that there                                                               
is  a  penalty for  hunting  the  headline. Certainly  legitimate                                                               
allegations should  come in and  proceed through the  system, but                                                               
the way the system is now it lends itself to abuse.                                                                             
MS.  ANDERSON agreed  with  the analysis  but  continued to  urge                                                               
caution.  Senator Elton's  example  of discussing  an issue  with                                                               
your spouse is a good case in point, she said.                                                                                  
SENATOR ELTON stated  that he would be the last  to argue that no                                                               
previous ethics complaints were spurious  and it wouldn't be hard                                                               
to say that some of  those complaints were politically motivated.                                                               
However, the new  provision in Section 1 doesn't get  to the root                                                               
of that issue,  he said. Someone could go to  the press regarding                                                               
an alleged  ethics violation and  not actually file  a complaint.                                                               
They  wouldn't be  subject  to the  class  A misdemeanor  penalty                                                               
unless they filed the complaint.                                                                                                
CHAIR THERRIAULT  responded the  press isn't interested  in being                                                               
used  as a  political  tool. An  alleged  ethics violation  would                                                               
probably be treated differently than a pending ethics complaint.                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON  said  information   is  transmitted  in  lots  of                                                               
different  ways.  Although  he'd  like  to  say  that  blogs  and                                                               
organization newsletters and such are  just as responsible as the                                                               
commercial press, he isn't sure that's the case.                                                                                
CHAIR  THERRIAULT stated  that no  one should  be precluded  from                                                               
making  his  or  her  views  known,  but  he  believes  that  the                                                               
professional press would verify information.                                                                                    
MS.  ANDERSON   said  information  about  whether   there  was  a                                                               
complaint or not is not released.                                                                                               
CHAIR THERRIAULT asked if there were further comments.                                                                          
MS.  ANDERSON said  she had  comments on  Sections 7  through 14,                                                               
which relate to the actual complaint process.                                                                                   
She interprets the  bill to mean that not all  decisions from the                                                               
ethics committee  would be considered public.  The only decisions                                                               
that would  be public would  be those that  went to a  hearing or                                                               
the ones  that were forwarded to  either the Senate or  the House                                                               
after probable cause  was found. The noted that  the sponsor said                                                               
that isn't his intent and that he would make some changes.                                                                      
It's  been agreed  that  dismissal orders  should  not be  public                                                               
because  that means  that there  wasn't probable  cause. However,                                                               
she  said, the  public should  be  aware when  there is  probable                                                               
cause because  it's an accountability  issue. She noted  that the                                                               
sponsor talked about changing that part of the bill as well.                                                                    
The way the  bill is now, the hearing would  be confidential, but                                                               
as she  discussed with the  sponsor, the hearing  should continue                                                               
to be public because probable  cause would have been established.                                                               
It's like a grand jury that has  found merit and is moving to the                                                               
next  stage. The  noted that  the sponsor  agreed to  change that                                                               
part of the bill.                                                                                                               
She reiterated  the sponsor's assertion  that the section  on the                                                               
open meeting statute was an error and would be deleted.                                                                         
The final section  that was repealed related  to public hearings.                                                               
She  didn't discuss  that with  the  sponsor in  detail, but  she                                                               
assumed that he would add it  back because it deals with the fact                                                               
that the hearing is public.                                                                                                     
There were no questions.                                                                                                        
6:01:22 PM                                                                                                                    
MERLE THOMPSON, Susitna Valley resident,  aired the view that the                                                               
Ethics Committee  does a fine  job, but  there is a  problem with                                                               
the public  trust. He suggested  there is reason that  the public                                                               
feels the way it does.                                                                                                          
He announced that  he doesn't care for the  secrecy provisions in                                                               
the bill,  but the  real ethics problems  center on  conflicts of                                                               
interest and  how the legislature  deals with them.  That's where                                                               
the bright lines are needed and  they aren't there. When you have                                                               
a  conflict of  interest  it'd  be a  simple  matter of  recusing                                                               
yourself, but  it's not  happening. That's  why there's  a public                                                               
trust problem, he declared.                                                                                                     
The right  things aren't being  addressed here, he said.  It kind                                                               
of  reminds me  of Solzhenitsyn's  Gulag Archipelago  ["The Gulag                                                               
Archipelago  1918-1956"] and  his beet  top soup.  "We're getting                                                               
this weak  ethical soup. A beet  top soup for the  people and the                                                               
chunks of beets for the legislators  and it doesn't seem right to                                                               
6:06:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR THERRIAULT said it would seem  that he would have a problem                                                               
with the grand jury system  because there's nothing about it that                                                               
is public.                                                                                                                      
MR. THOMPSON replied  that isn't a direct  parallel. As Aristotle                                                               
said, "The office will show the  man." He suggested that it would                                                               
benefit  legislators to  feel that  the  public holds  them to  a                                                               
higher standard.                                                                                                                
CHAIR THERRIAULT said  the ethics committee is acting  as a grand                                                               
jury and the fact that  there is confidentiality until a decision                                                               
is made isn't a problem with the general public.                                                                                
MR. THOMPSON  said he would  beg to differ. Calling  the previous                                                               
ethics rule change a strike  against open government, he asserted                                                               
that the proposed bill takes it a step further.                                                                                 
6:09:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WAGONER  remarked he had  four or five  ethics complaints                                                               
filed against him two years ago  and every one was false. He took                                                               
issue with  the idea  that unfounded  ethics complaints  that are                                                               
filed for political gain should become public.                                                                                  
MR.  THOMPSON responded  he  must  not have  been  harmed by  the                                                               
process because  he reads newspapers  quite often he  didn't hear                                                               
anything about any of the ethics complaints.                                                                                    
SENATOR WAGONER  said they weren't  founded so they  weren't made                                                               
public. Had  there been  any substantial  truth the  public would                                                               
have probably  been informed. He reiterated  Senator Therriault's                                                               
argument that  the ethics  committee operates the  same way  as a                                                               
grand jury. Unsubstantiated claims  aren't made public because to                                                               
do so would besmirch the individual's reputation.                                                                               
MR. THOMPSON  pressed the  view that  his reputation  hadn't been                                                               
CHAIR  THERRIAULT made  the point  that the  reason that  Senator                                                               
Wagoner  wasn't  damaged is  because  the  unfounded claims  were                                                               
dealt  with  in   a  confidential  manner.  He   said  he  didn't                                                               
understand what the argument would be to change that system.                                                                    
MR. THOMPSON  reported he  didn't have any  problem with  how the                                                               
system was  working two years ago,  but it was changed  last year                                                               
and this bill proposes to change  it again. "We've had a plethora                                                               
of ethical  lapses from different  branches of government  in the                                                               
last  two years  and I  think that's  what people  are responding                                                               
to." The changes  that are being made aren't  addressing the real                                                               
problems, he declared.                                                                                                          
6:12:45 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS commented there should  be a disincentive to file                                                               
complaints with no basis.                                                                                                       
MR. THOMPSON  said he didn't  need to reiterate that  he believes                                                               
that there are  ethical lapses that aren't being dealt  with in a                                                               
particularly good  way. We seem  to be  taking it the  other way,                                                               
which  is  to  put  the  accuser under  more  question  than  the                                                               
SENATOR  ELTON  directed attention  to  the  last section,  which                                                               
repeals open meetings  and AS 24.60.170(m). He  asked the sponsor                                                               
to clarify whether  the suggestion is to take  both repealers out                                                               
or just the one.                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  replied one  would be taken  out because  it was                                                               
put in  by mistake.  The other  would be put  back in  after some                                                               
SENATOR ELTON asked for verification  that AS 24.60.037(c), which                                                               
addresses the  caucus and political  strategy would be  taken out                                                               
and AS 24.60.170(m) would be tweaked.                                                                                           
SENATOR SEEKINS  replied the whole  section on caucus  would stay                                                               
in the  bill. It would  be addressed  in a manner  that clarifies                                                               
the  areas   of  responsibility  for  the   legislature  and  the                                                               
6:16:10 PM                                                                                                                    
There were no further questions or testimony.                                                                                   
CHAIR THERRIAULT held SB 187 in committee.                                                                                      
        SB 127-EXEC. BRANCH ETHICS: FINANCIAL INTERESTS                                                                     
CHAIR   GENE  THERRIAULT   announced  SB   127  to   be  up   for                                                               
6:16:38 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR   HOLLIS  FRENCH,   Sponsor,  described   SB  127   as  a                                                               
straightforward   attempt  to   clearly   define  a   significant                                                               
financial interest.  When Mr. Bunde investigated  former Attorney                                                               
General Renkes  in the KFx  matter, he found there  was ambiguity                                                               
associated  with   determining  significant   financial  interest                                                               
because  Alaska law  doesn't provide  a  hard or  fast number  or                                                               
percentage for that.                                                                                                            
The  bill  defines financial  interest  on  page 2.  A  financial                                                               
holding  is significant  if it  amounts to  $5,000 or  1% of  the                                                               
total value of the company stock, whichever is less.                                                                            
He  reviewed Section  1 and  read the  statutory definitions  for                                                               
personal  and financial  interests.  That  section contained  the                                                               
word "or"  too many times, which  made it too broad.  He narrowed                                                               
it  to just  the instances  where your  action has  a conjectural                                                               
Proposed  Section   1(b)(2)  is  new  and   relates  to  personal                                                               
interest. No  money is involved;  there are only  those interests                                                               
that are held without any potential for profit.                                                                                 
6:20:44 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR THERRIAULT said  assuming he works gas  pipeline issues and                                                               
that the pipeline goes through, would  he have to disclose if his                                                               
Fairbanks property  value skyrockets  in proportion to  all other                                                               
Fairbanks property.                                                                                                             
SENATOR  FRENCH  replied that  wouldn't  be  a personal  interest                                                               
because  property  is  a  financial  interest.  Nevertheless,  he                                                               
opined  that  he would  be  absolved  because  the action  has  a                                                               
conjectural  effect.  "You  can  posit  a boom  off  of  the  gas                                                               
pipeline, but it's not necessarily going to be true."                                                                           
Section 1(b)(3)  focuses on financial interest  and subparagraphs                                                               
(A)(B) and (C) lay out the  following three criteria that must be                                                               
met to for an insignificant financial interest to occur:                                                                        
   A. You or an immediate family member must hold the interest.                                                                 
     The current ethics statutes already adequately addresses                                                                   
     how you are charged with knowledge of what your relatives                                                                  
     may own in their stock portfolio.                                                                                          
   B. It has to involve an ownership that is source of income or                                                                
     from which a person receives or expects to receive a                                                                       
     financial benefit. That's some sort of concrete financial                                                                  
     relationship that will bring you money.                                                                                    
   C. The value is reset to less than $5,000 or 1% of the total                                                                 
     value of  the business,  whichever is less.  Determining the                                                               
     amount is  a balance,  but it  should be  at an  amount that                                                               
     would give  the public  confidence that decisions  are being                                                               
     made with them in mind and not the public officer.                                                                         
Finally,  the bill  broadens the  definition  of official  action                                                               
because  current  statute  is ambiguous.  As  proposed,  official                                                               
action  would include  just about  anything that  is done  in the                                                               
course of a workday as a state employee.                                                                                        
6:24:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR THERRIAULT asked how the $5,000 compares to other states.                                                                 
SENATOR FRENCH replied  Idaho, Kentucky and three  or four others                                                               
have a limit similar to $5,000.                                                                                                 
SENATOR WAGONER asked if the  public office disclosure statements                                                               
don't require  about the  same information  as (3)(A)(B)  and (C)                                                               
and would therefore already be available to the public.                                                                         
SENATOR FRENCH  responded there  are two  things going  on there.                                                               
The object  of disclosure is to  let folks know what  you own. It                                                               
doesn't get you  out of an ethical conflict if  you have money on                                                               
the line. The other thing is  that you as a public official don't                                                               
make a decision that affects your investments.                                                                                  
CHAIR   THERRIAULT  posed   the  hypothetical   situation  of   a                                                               
Department  of  Law  employee whose  family  owned  a  particular                                                               
business  and  asked  if  that   employee  would  have  to  avoid                                                               
involvement with anything dealing with that type of business.                                                                   
SENATOR FRENCH replied if the action  that is taken would be more                                                               
than conjectural then  the answer would be yes.  Assume that your                                                               
family  owns  fishing  permits  in Kachemak  Bay  and  you're  an                                                               
attorney for the Department of  Natural Resources. If a regulator                                                               
asks for  a written  opinion on fishing  permits in  Kachemak Bay                                                               
you should send the work to the next attorney.                                                                                  
6:27:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR THERRIAULT noted there were  no further questions. He asked                                                               
Senator Seekins if he  had SB 186, SB 187, and  SB 127 noticed in                                                               
the Judiciary Committee.                                                                                                        
SENATOR SEEKINS said he thought so.                                                                                             
CHAIR THERRIAULT  asked the committee  members if  they preferred                                                               
to amend Senator Seekins bills in  this committee or move them to                                                               
Judiciary to make the changes.                                                                                                  
SENATOR  ELTON said  his preference  would always  be to  see the                                                               
changes. He  pointed out  that he doesn't  sit on  Judiciary. The                                                               
sponsor has  said he  would change  some sections  in one  of the                                                               
bills but the committee doesn't know what those changes are.                                                                    
CHAIR THERRIAULT asked Senator Seekins  if he was close to having                                                               
a committee substitute.                                                                                                         
SENATOR  SEEKINS said  one difficulty  is that  the drafters  are                                                               
very busy. He  said that Senator Elton or any  other member would                                                               
be  welcome  to   join  the  Judiciary  Committee   and  ask  any                                                               
questions, he said.                                                                                                             
SENATOR ELTON expressed  appreciation for the offer  and said the                                                               
unspoken  point  is that  he  wouldn't  have  a vote.  These  are                                                               
substantive issues on bills that  were introduced just a few days                                                               
ago, he said.                                                                                                                   
SENATOR HUGGINS  remarked he is  on Judiciary, but  the challenge                                                               
is getting the fix.                                                                                                             
SENATOR   DAVIS  suggested   talking  about   moving  the   bills                                                               
individually. SB 186 needs more change than the others.                                                                         
SENATOR SEEKINS stated  that the same concepts  would be embodied                                                               
in  the final  bill;  it's  just getting  the  right language  to                                                               
accommodate those concepts.                                                                                                     
CHAIR  THERRIAULT called  a  brief  at ease  from  6:32:53 PM  to                                                             
6:36:14 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR THERRIAULT announced he would  like to move the three bills                                                               
as a  package. He recessed the  meeting to the call  of the chair                                                               
at 6:37:59 PM.                                                                                                                
CHAIR GENE THERRIAULT reconvened the  April 26, 2005 Senate State                                                             
Affairs  Standing Committee  meeting  at 8:11:49  PM   April  27,                                                             
2005. Present  were Senators Elton,  Wagoner, Huggins,  and Chair                                                               
      CSHB 127(FIN) AM-PFD:PEACE CORPS/OLYMPIAN/SANCTIONS                                                                   
CHAIR   GENE  THERRIAULT   announced  HB   127  to   be  up   for                                                               
He stated  that he discussed  the legislation with  the committee                                                               
members and  he made  it clear  to the sponsor  that he  does not                                                               
support the bill. Nonetheless, she asked  that it be moved to the                                                               
next  committee  and he  was  willing  to  consider that  if  the                                                               
members were agreeable. There was no objection or debate.                                                                       
8:12:47 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR THOMAS  WAGONER motioned to  report CSHB 127(FIN)  AM and                                                               
attached   fiscal    note   from   committee    with   individual                                                               
CHAIR THERRIAULT announced that  without objection the bill would                                                               
move to the next committee of referral.                                                                                         
        SB 127-EXEC. BRANCH ETHICS: FINANCIAL INTERESTS                                                                     
8:13:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   GENE  THERRIAULT   announced  SB   127  to   be  up   for                                                               
He asked  the sponsor to  provide explanation for why  he settled                                                               
on the particular dollar amount.                                                                                                
8:14:04 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HOLLIS FRENCH, Sponsor, explained  that the basic idea is                                                               
to  promote the  public trust.  First, the  lower the  number the                                                               
more  likely it  is that  the  public will  view public  official                                                               
decisions as  being in  the public's interest  rather than  as an                                                               
investment interest.  Second, $5,000  was selected because  it is                                                               
similar to  what is  used in  other states.  The third  reason is                                                               
that  the median  income for  Alaskans  is about  $35,000 and  so                                                               
$5,000  represents over  10%  of that  annual  earning. From  the                                                               
public's perspective, that's a lot of money.                                                                                    
CHAIR  THERRIAULT  restated his  interest  in  passing the  three                                                               
ethics bills as a package and asked for a motion.                                                                               
SENATOR WAGONER  motioned to  report SB  127 and  attached fiscal                                                               
notes from committee with individual recommendations.                                                                           
CHAIR THERRIAULT announced that  without objection the bill would                                                               
move to the next committee of referral.                                                                                         
                 SB 186-EXECUTIVE BRANCH ETHICS                                                                             
8:16:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   GENE  THERRIAULT   announced  SB   186  to   be  up   for                                                               
He moved the \F version  committee substitute (CS) as the working                                                               
document. There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                          
8:16:53 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS reported the following:                                                                                         
Sections 1 and 2 had no changes.                                                                                                
Section  3  (f)  talks  about   "immediate  family"  rather  than                                                               
"family" because is not with the extended family.                                                                               
CHAIR THERRIAULT  noted that  the word  "entity" was  struck from                                                               
Section 2  in several  instances. He asked  if the  drafters made                                                               
the suggestion.                                                                                                                 
SENATOR SEEKINS  said that's correct.  Business is defined  as an                                                               
entity so the term is redundant.                                                                                                
In Section  3 "business  associate" is used  instead of  any term                                                               
that is closely  related to person. The definition  is located in                                                               
Section 19.                                                                                                                     
In  Section  4  the  terms,  "or position"  and  "or  a  business                                                               
associate"  and "or  by reason  of the  officer's position"  were                                                               
added to  clarify that  due to their  position, someone  may have                                                               
access to information that should be confidential.                                                                              
In  Sections 5,  6  and 7  the words  "or  a business  associate"                                                               
replaces "closely associated person."  That change in combination                                                               
with the  definition of  "immediate family"  should take  care of                                                               
the universe of people we're interested in, he said.                                                                            
8:20:11 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KIM  ELTON  questioned whether  a  "business  associate"                                                               
would  encompass a  smaller group  because "a  closely associated                                                               
person"  might  include  something  in  addition  to  a  business                                                               
SENATOR SEEKINS replied  the idea is that  the next-door neighbor                                                               
or   your  fishing   friend  would   not  be   included.  Family,                                                               
professional  associations,  and  business associations  are  all                                                               
In Section 8(b)(2)(A) the words  " personal or" were deleted. The                                                               
discussion  is  about  financial  interests only.  In  that  same                                                               
subparagraph  "interest  that  gives"  replaces  "interests  that                                                               
8:22:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  CHARLIE HUGGINS  asked  for an  example  of personal  or                                                               
financial interests that might be a potential violation.                                                                        
SENATOR SEEKINS  answered you  could tell  someone to  sell their                                                               
stock  or   withdraw  from  a   partnership  or  sell   a  lodge.                                                               
Divestiture  is  basically  saying  get rid  of  the  conflicting                                                               
Section  8(b)(2)(B) deals  with  putting  the financial  interest                                                               
that may be a conflict into a blind trust.                                                                                      
CHAIR THERRIAULT  noted that  with the removal  of the  words "no                                                               
direct" there would be no control at all.                                                                                       
SENATOR SEEKINS  responded there  would be no  management control                                                               
over that financial interest.                                                                                                   
8:24:29 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  ELTON observed  that the  proposed  language would  have                                                               
allowed former Attorney General Renkes  to place his KFx stock in                                                               
a blind trust  or other financial structure over which  he had no                                                               
management authority.  That would  have satisfied the  ethics law                                                               
even  though he  didn't  get  rid of  his  conflict of  interest.                                                               
However, at  some point he  would have accrued benefit  from that                                                               
stock ownership.                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  drew attention to  page 3, lines 24-31  where it                                                               
says  there is  a written  determination regarding  whether there                                                               
was a  violation. If the  supervisor determines that  a violation                                                               
exists  or will  occur  he  or she  would  have  two options  The                                                               
supervisor  could reassign  the employee's  duties or  direct the                                                               
employee to place  the investment in a blind trust  over which he                                                               
or she had no control.                                                                                                          
CHAIR THERRIAULT  added that there  were two issues. One  was the                                                               
stock ownership and the other  was the allegation that the former                                                               
attorney general  bought and sold  the stock. Clearly  buying and                                                               
selling would no longer be an issue under the proposed language.                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON  expressed  concern  that  that  subparagraph  (B)                                                               
causes something to  happen but it doesn't  remove the perception                                                               
that the  public officer  could benefit. Putting  the stock  in a                                                               
blind trust  places the  public official one  step away  from the                                                               
investment,  but it  doesn't remove  the  potential incentive  to                                                               
benefit the company in question.                                                                                                
8:28:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS restated his belief  that leaving the decision to                                                               
a supervisor is a legitimate option.                                                                                            
SENATOR  ELTON questioned  whether  there wouldn't  have been  an                                                               
unintended consequence  of no public record  whatsoever if former                                                               
Attorney General  Renkes had  moved his  investment into  a blind                                                               
trust. In that instance there was  at least a public file showing                                                               
his holdings in KFx, he said.                                                                                                   
SENATOR  SEEKINS pointed  to  the three  options  available to  a                                                               
supervisor  in   a  similar  circumstance:  don't   work  on  the                                                               
particular  project;  sell  the  stock;  put  the  stock  into  a                                                               
management system over which the  public employee has no control.                                                               
He  stressed   that  the  supervisor  would   provide  a  written                                                               
determination  that would  go in  the  file and  to the  attorney                                                               
SENATOR ELTON  said his  understanding is  that a  personnel file                                                               
isn't open  to the public so  under this proposal he  wasn't sure                                                               
that there  would be a  document that  could be disclosed  to the                                                               
SENATOR SEEKINS  clarified that the  proposed language  calls for                                                               
the  file to  be  released  to the  public  employee  and to  the                                                               
attorney general.                                                                                                               
CHAIR THERRIAULT asked the sponsor to continue.                                                                                 
SENATOR  SEEKINS   directed  attention  to  Section   9.  It  was                                                               
discussed conceptually  during the  previous hearing  and relates                                                               
to  an allegation  of  a violation  by  the governor,  lieutenant                                                               
governor, or  attorney general.  In the  event of  an allegation,                                                               
the  personnel board  would appoint  an independent  counsel with                                                               
full  power  to issue  and  enforce  subpoenas. The  investigator                                                               
would prepare a written report  outlining the findings and giving                                                               
a conclusion.                                                                                                                   
If  an  allegation   were  made  against  the   governor  or  the                                                               
lieutenant governor,  then the attorney general  would review the                                                               
conclusion and  make the  final determination  as to  whether the                                                               
complaint would  go forward. Similarly,  the governor  would make                                                               
the  final  determination  for an  allegation  made  against  the                                                               
attorney  general.  For  the  first   time  in  our  statutes,  a                                                               
procedure  is set  forth  to  address a  complaint  at that  high                                                               
level, he said.                                                                                                                 
SENATOR ELTON  asked for verification  that nothing in  Section 9                                                               
precludes anyone else from filing a complaint.                                                                                  
8:36:57 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SEEKINS said  no; this  isn't the  process for  filing a                                                               
complaint it's the  process for determining whether  or not there                                                               
was a violation that provided basis for a complaint.                                                                            
8:37:42 PM                                                                                                                    
Section 10  would amend AS  39.52.240(a). It states  that Section                                                               
10 doesn't apply to allegations  investigated in proposed Section                                                               
Section   11  would   amend  AS   39.52.310(a)   to  include   AS                                                               
Section  12 would  amend AS  39.52.335(a).  In the  event that  a                                                               
complaint  was  dismissed, the  subject  of  the complaint  would                                                               
receive a  copy of the  summary of the  matter. He noted  that at                                                               
any time the parties could stipulate that a complaint is public.                                                                
Section 13 would  amend AS 39.52.335(f). The  personnel board may                                                               
issue a  confidential report on  the complaint to the  subject of                                                               
the complaint, the complainant and the attorney general.                                                                        
SENATOR ELTON  asked why  the language  about the  superior court                                                               
was stricken from Section 12.                                                                                                   
SENATOR SEEKINS answered the matter  would no longer go there; he                                                               
thought it applied to the appeal process.                                                                                       
CHAIR THERRIAULT announced an at-ease  from 8:40:23 PM to 8:42:29                                                           
PM to review the statute.                                                                                                     
SENATOR ELTON stated  that the superior court  would be precluded                                                               
from making the matter public.                                                                                                  
SENATOR  SEEKINS disagreed.  Subsection (h)  says that  the court                                                               
can order the matter be  made public. Deleting paragraph (2) just                                                               
precludes it at this particular section, he said.                                                                               
8:43:46 PM                                                                                                                    
Section 13 amends AS 39.52.335(f).  It says that the confidential                                                               
report may be issued to the  attorney general, the subject of the                                                               
complaint, and  the complainant. The report  remains confidential                                                               
if it is dismissed.                                                                                                             
Section   14  amends   AS   39.52.340(a).   The  information   an                                                               
independent counsel might discover  would be confidential and the                                                               
information  about a  filing  or intention  to  file a  complaint                                                               
could not  be disclosed. He  clarified that documents  from state                                                               
agencies don't become secret just  because they were requested in                                                               
an investigation.                                                                                                               
Section  15 amends  AS 39.52.380(a)  to  include four  additional                                                               
statutory  references.  It expands  on  the  power given  to  the                                                               
independent counsel.                                                                                                            
Section 16  amends AS 39.52.410(a)  and relates to the  length of                                                               
time investments  would remain  in a blind  trust. He  noted that                                                               
some  language was  inadvertently omitted.  He suggested  that it                                                               
could be reinserted in the next committee of referral.                                                                          
Section 17 amends AS 39.52.960(9)  by adding "an interest held by                                                               
a public  employee with a  business associate" to  the definition                                                               
of "financial interest."                                                                                                        
Section 18 amends AS 39.52.960(11)  to further clarify and narrow                                                               
who is included as an immediate family member.                                                                                  
8:48:51 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON suggested that removing  grandparent, aunt or uncle                                                               
might be going too far.                                                                                                         
SENATOR SEEKINS  argued that given  all the step  permutations of                                                               
the current American family the net would be cast too far.                                                                      
SENATOR ELTON said  he wasn't suggesting expanding  the number of                                                               
people that  are covered,  but some  previous legislature  made a                                                               
decision  that it  is appropriate  to include  grandparent, aunt,                                                               
and uncle  in the  definition. Unless  the existing  language has                                                               
caused  a  problem,  he  didn't   believe  the  scope  should  be                                                               
narrowed. Also,  there's the  provision in  law that  says you're                                                               
not complicit in a conflict of  interest if you didn't know about                                                               
the financial arrangement.                                                                                                      
SENATOR  SEEKINS  responded you  would  have  to prove  that  you                                                               
didn't know.                                                                                                                    
8:53:00 PM                                                                                                                    
Section 19 amends AS 39.52.960  by adding new paragraphs defining                                                               
"business associate" and "household."                                                                                           
Section 20 repeals AS 39.52.335(g) and AS 39.52.335(h).                                                                         
SENATOR  ELTON directed  attention  to Section  12  and said  the                                                               
previous discussion  included the assurance that  AS 30.52.335(h)                                                               
was deleted  at that point  because it was covered  elsewhere. He                                                               
noted that Section 20 repeals AS  30.52.335(h) so the net is that                                                               
there would be no appeal to  the superior court to make something                                                               
SENATOR SEEKINS  said he didn't notice  that but it does  take it                                                               
out. It says that if the  complaint is dismissed or resolved then                                                               
it's the end of the line.                                                                                                       
CHAIR  THERRIAULT  asked if  there  was  a particular  reason  to                                                               
strike  that subsection.  Because  (h) was  permissive, a  person                                                               
could go to the court and ask for release of the information.                                                                   
SENATOR SEEKINS answered he didn't believe  so. He said he had no                                                               
problem  if  someone  wanted  to  go to  the  court  to  get  the                                                               
information as long as it was  clear that there was a substantial                                                               
concern to the public interest.                                                                                                 
SENATOR ELTON  observed that those protections  would be supplied                                                               
by the superior court just as they are now.                                                                                     
SENATOR SEEKINS agreed to review  the matter. The instructions to                                                               
the drafter were  that once the personnel board  finds that there                                                               
was no violation then the matter is closed.                                                                                     
CHAIR THERRIAULT brought up the  comparison between the personnel                                                               
board and a grand jury proceeding.                                                                                              
SENATOR SEEKINS  interjected there  is neither an  appeal process                                                               
for nor a  public disclosure of a grand jury  finding of no basis                                                               
for an indictment.                                                                                                              
CHAIR  THERRIAULT  asked Senator  Elton  what  might trigger  the                                                               
court to release the information if  the matter had been found to                                                               
have no basis.                                                                                                                  
SENATOR ELTON  responded that would presume  fact situations that                                                               
have  not yet  occurred, but  it appears  as though  the proposal                                                               
changes parts  of law in  a way that  may not be  necessary. It's                                                               
perfectly appropriate  for any  Alaskan to  be curious  about the                                                               
conduct  of a  public officer  and it  might be  in the  public's                                                               
interest for a dismissal to be part of the public record.                                                                       
Given the nature of the repealer,  he asked what the provision is                                                               
in subsection (g).                                                                                                              
CHAIR THERRIAULT read the statute.                                                                                              
Fire alarm at 9:00:27 PM                                                                                                      
9:09:38 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS read subsection (h)  and stated that the proposed                                                               
change  would keep  a matter  confidential when  a complaint  has                                                               
been  dismissed. He  argued that,  "We're just  getting rid  of a                                                               
paragraph  that  says that  if  it  wasn't  made public  but  the                                                               
personnel board  thought it  should, then  somebody could  sue to                                                               
make it public. "                                                                                                               
SENATOR WAGONER drew a parallel  between a baseless complaint and                                                               
a mistake on a credit report.                                                                                                   
SENATOR SEEKINS  commented once  information is  on the  Web it's                                                               
there forever.                                                                                                                  
SENATOR ELTON  motioned to  strike Section  20. He  explained his                                                               
reasoning is  that under  subsection (g)  the personnel  board is                                                               
given the opportunity to use  discretion in issuing a report that                                                               
is  scrubbed  of  identifying information.  Repealing  those  two                                                               
subsections is  taking away opportunities that  could benefit the                                                               
subject of the  complaint and other state employees  who may want                                                               
to know what decisions the board has made.                                                                                      
SENATOR  SEEKINS  said he  didn't  object  to striking  (g)  from                                                               
proposed Section 20, but (h) has  no reason for remaining in law.                                                               
Once a  person is found  innocent of  the charges, the  matter is                                                               
dismissed   and  the   facts  of   the  matter   would  be   kept                                                               
CHAIR  THERRIAULT   announced  he  would  divide   the  question.                                                               
Amendment 1a would  ask whether AS 39.52.335(g)  should be struck                                                               
from Section 20.  Amendment 1b would ask  whether AS 39.52.335(h)                                                               
should be struck from Section 20.                                                                                               
SENATOR ELTON moved Amendment 1a.                                                                                               
CHAIR THERRIAULT  found there was  no objection and  Amendment 1a                                                               
SENATOR ELTON moved Amendment 1b.                                                                                               
He  stated that  the discussion  has centered  on the  assumption                                                               
that the  only disposition of a  complaint is a dismissal  and he                                                               
couldn't  see  that. Subsection  (h)  would  allow the  personnel                                                               
board to  recommend that the matter  be made public for  a number                                                               
of reasons.  If a person  is found  innocent it might  be helpful                                                               
for the  public to know  that. Since it hasn't  been demonstrated                                                               
that the  existing statutes  are creating a  problem, he  said he                                                               
wasn't comfortable making further change.                                                                                       
SENATOR  SEEKINS emphasized  that  if probable  cause were  found                                                               
then it would become a public matter.                                                                                           
SENATOR  ELTON  directed  attention  to (h)(1).  It  talks  about                                                               
dismissal  or  resolution of  the  complaint,  but not  dismissal                                                               
SENATOR  SEEKINS  responded  if   there  was  evidence  that  the                                                               
dismissal  was  clearly  contrary  to the  requirements  of  this                                                               
chapter  then a  person would  have a  right to  bring an  action                                                               
under the common law to retry  the issue. But not for disclosure,                                                               
he said                                                                                                                         
CHAIR THERRIAULT found  there was no further  debate on Amendment                                                               
1b and asked for a roll call vote.                                                                                              
Amendment 1(b)  failed 1 to 3  with Senator Elton voting  yea and                                                               
Senators Wagoner, Huggins and Therriault voting nay.                                                                            
CHAIR  THERRIAULT  found  there  were  no  further  questions  or                                                               
amendments on SB 186. He asked for the will of the committee.                                                                   
SENATOR WAGONER motioned  to report CSSB 186 (STA),  version F as                                                               
amended,   and  attached   fiscal  notes   from  committee   with                                                               
individual recommendations.                                                                                                     
SENATOR ELTON objected. He stated  that at the beginning the task                                                               
was simply  to establish  a bright line  to define  a substantial                                                               
interest. SB 186  goes far beyond that point.  It repeals certain                                                               
provisions and makes some information  less public. He said he is                                                               
more comfortable with a bill that  sets a dollar amount to define                                                               
substantial  interest. He's  uncomfortable  going  further if  it                                                               
hasn't been demonstrated that the  existing statutes are creating                                                               
a problem.                                                                                                                      
9:19:37 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR THERRIAULT called for a roll call vote.                                                                                   
The  motion passed  3 to  1  with Senators  Huggins, Wagoner  and                                                               
Chair Therriault  voting yea and  Senator Elton voting  nay. CSSB
186(STA) moved to the next committee of referral.                                                                               
               SB 187-LEGISLATIVE ETHICS/MEETINGS                                                                           
CHAIR   GENE  THERRIAULT   announced  SB   187  to   be  up   for                                                               
9:19:53 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR RALPH SEEKINS, sponsor, reviewed the proposed changes.                                                                  
Section 2  is the  same as  the original  version and  restates a                                                               
truism that exists.                                                                                                             
Section 3 specifically names the open meetings guidelines.                                                                      
Section 4  follows the commonsense  guideline of not  loading the                                                               
Select  Committee  on  Legislative  Ethics with  people  who  are                                                               
involved in government.                                                                                                         
Section 5 is unchanged from the original version.                                                                               
CHAIR THERRIAULT moved  version F as the  working document. There                                                               
was no objection.                                                                                                               
SENATOR THOMAS WAGONER  read Section 4(c) and  asked about people                                                               
who are members of no political party.                                                                                          
SENATOR  SEEKINS questioned  whether  non-party isn't  in fact  a                                                               
political party.  That point might  need to be addressed  at some                                                               
point, he said.                                                                                                                 
SENATOR WAGONER said  he didn't believe that  NP [nonpartisan] is                                                               
recognized as  a political party  in Alaska  yet a lot  of people                                                               
are registered that way.                                                                                                        
SENATOR  SEEKINS opined  that as  currently written  all of  them                                                               
could technically be nonparty.                                                                                                  
SENATOR WAGONER suggested that it be addressed.                                                                                 
SENATOR  SEEKINS clarified  that the  change in  Section 5  is to                                                               
allow   an  alternate   member  to   attend  all   committee  and                                                               
subcommittee meetings and hearings rather than just hearings.                                                                   
SENATOR  ELTON raised  the  point  that there  is  a bright  line                                                               
prohibiting  Senate  members  from going  to  House  subcommittee                                                               
meetings and vice versa. If  Section 5 were interpreted strictly,                                                               
an alternate legislator could go to either.                                                                                     
CHAIR THERRIAULT  pointed out  the next  line says  the alternate                                                               
may attend to the same extent as the regular member.                                                                            
SENATOR  SEEKINS said  it was  deliberately crafted  so that  the                                                               
alternate gets no more than the regular legislative member.                                                                     
SENATOR ELTON agreed.                                                                                                           
SENATOR SEEKINS said Section 6  relates to requesting an opinion.                                                               
It clarifies  that everyone has  the same opportunity  to protect                                                               
his or her reputation.                                                                                                          
SENATOR ELTON  informed the  committee that  when the  review was                                                               
complete he  would motion to  strike the new language  in Section                                                               
6. He  noted that advisory  opinions are scrubbed  of identifying                                                             
characteristics  and  they  provide  information  that  might  be                                                               
helpful  in  guiding  behavior.  The  addition  of  the  proposed                                                               
language would constrain access to advisory opinions.                                                                           
9:26:23 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS disagreed.                                                                                                      
SENATOR ELTON read the proposed  language and made the point that                                                               
the requester could say they  didn't want the advisory opinion to                                                               
be released.                                                                                                                    
CHAIR THERRIAULT asked Ms. Anderson to come forward.                                                                            
9:27:10 PM                                                                                                                    
JOYCE  ANDERSON, Administrator,  Select Committee  on Legislative                                                               
Ethics, read AS 24.60.150(a)(2).                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS asserted that the  proposed language in Section 6                                                               
doesn't disallow sanitized versions.                                                                                            
CHAIR THERRIAULT reread  the provision and said  it's a statutory                                                               
duty to the committee.                                                                                                          
MS. ANDERSON offered the opinion  that the proposed language is a                                                               
bit confusing if you don't  read the other section. She suggested                                                               
changing the language  so it doesn't look as  though the advisory                                                               
opinion remains confidential and isn't published.                                                                               
CHAIR THERRIAULT asked if making  reference to AS 24.60.150(a)(2)                                                               
would suffice.                                                                                                                  
SENATOR  SEEKINS argued  that there's  a  difference between  the                                                               
sections. The  proposed language  says the information  about the                                                               
opinion  is  confidential while  the  other  section talks  about                                                               
publishing  semi-annual  summaries   of  decisions  and  advisory                                                               
opinions with  sufficient deletions  in the summaries  to prevent                                                               
disclosure of a person's identity.                                                                                              
CHAIR  THERRIAULT asked  Senator Elton  if his  concern would  be                                                               
alleviated if it was made  clear that AS 24.60.150(a)(2) remained                                                               
operative and that the sanitized versions are still published.                                                                  
SENATOR ELTON  replied the language  in the other  section speaks                                                               
only  to summaries  and not  to  opinions. It's  always been  the                                                               
committee's  practice  to  release  a  sanitized  opinion  not  a                                                               
summary of the opinion. The documents aren't one and the same.                                                                  
MS.  ANDERSON agreed  with Senator  Elton; public  decisions that                                                               
are issued  are not summarized.  He's also correct  that advisory                                                               
opinions  are sanitized  of information  when drafted.  Summaries                                                               
have never been published; it's  the public decision and advisory                                                               
opinion itself that is published.                                                                                               
SENATOR  SEEKINS  maintained  that   an  opinion  that  has  been                                                               
sanitized is  a summary of  the opinion. Nonetheless, he  said he                                                               
was willing  to look at the  issue to make sure  that a sanitized                                                               
version of an opinion isn't precluded.                                                                                          
Sections  7 through  14  are to  ensure  that confidentiality  is                                                               
maintained  until a  finding of  probable cause.  A finding  that                                                               
only recommends corrective action shouldn't be made public.                                                                     
MS.  ANDERSON  explained  that since  the  ethics  committee  was                                                               
established  in 1992,  57 complaints  have  been filed.  Probable                                                               
cause  was  found in  10  cases;  a  mix  of probable  cause  and                                                               
dismissed allegations  was found  in 6 cases;  and 41  cases were                                                               
dismissed entirely.                                                                                                             
When  probable  cause  was  established,  corrective  action  was                                                               
recommended. That  included: writing a  letter of apology  to the                                                               
House or Senate, developing office  policy regarding use of staff                                                               
time,  attending  training  sessions, removing  private  business                                                               
from legislative setting.                                                                                                       
Since 1992  there have  been three public  hearings and  just one                                                               
complaint has resulted  in the imposition of  sanctions. She said                                                               
that under the  proposed policy only 4 decisions  would have been                                                               
issued from 1992  to the present. All others would  not have been                                                               
SENATOR SEEKINS asked if that was out of 10.                                                                                    
MS.  ANDERSON  clarified that  there  were  16 decisions  issued.                                                               
Decisions were  also issued for  those that didn't  have probable                                                               
cause because  current statute says  the cases are public  if the                                                               
complaint goes to  an investigative stage. If  not, the complaint                                                               
is completely dismissed.                                                                                                        
MS  ANDERSON  said  she  would   comment  further  following  the                                                               
9:37:17 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS read  AS 24.60.150(a)(2) and said  that's how the                                                               
information comes down.                                                                                                         
He asked  for an amendment to  delete lines 20-25 on  page 7. His                                                               
intention is to  pursue every complaint, but  to hold responsible                                                               
those people who break confidentiality.                                                                                         
CHAIR   THERRIAULT  recapped   previous  discussion   about  what                                                               
currently happens  when someone  brings an  action to  generate a                                                               
headline. If  the person discloses  the action, the  complaint is                                                               
SENATOR   SEEKINS  argued   that  the   complaint  isn't   really                                                               
9:40:09 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR THERRIAULT asked  for verification that if  the language is                                                               
stricken  then any  complaint, whether  it is  disclosed or  not,                                                               
goes forward and the discloser is punished.                                                                                     
SENATOR   SEEKINS  said   yes;  the   penalty  is   for  breaking                                                               
CHAIR THERRIAULT  asked about the  change in Section 15,  page 8,                                                               
line 27. The words "or obtained" were added.                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS  explained that  the addition  is to  broaden the                                                               
SENATOR ELTON  asked if there  is a difference  between documents                                                               
filed with the committee and documents filed by the committee.                                                                  
SENATOR  SEEKINS  said  the  intent  is  to  include  information                                                               
obtained rather than just disclosed.                                                                                            
SENATOR ELTON added, "Or filed."                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  responded filed  doesn't cover it  because there                                                               
are  disclosure  processes. It's  a  term  of  art in  the  legal                                                               
profession, he said.                                                                                                            
CHAIR THERRIAULT  provided an example and  suggested the addition                                                               
is more inclusive.                                                                                                              
SENATOR  SEEKINS remarked  it's better  to be  redundant than  to                                                               
have a loophole.                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON noted that subsection (s)  in Section 15 is new and                                                               
asked if  a person  who said  they intended  to file  a complaint                                                               
would be subject to the penalty.                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS replied  as long  as  a person  didn't file  the                                                               
complaint they wouldn't be subject to the penalty.                                                                              
SENATOR ELTON pointed out that it  says filing of or intention to                                                               
file. If a person disclosed an  intention to file a complaint and                                                               
hasn't  filed, he  asked if  that person  would be  subject to  a                                                               
class A misdemeanor.                                                                                                            
SENATOR SEEKINS  said he didn't  believe it would  be interpreted                                                               
that  way.  The  intention  is  if  someone  intends  to  file  a                                                               
complaint  and subsequently  files  it. He  had  no problem  with                                                               
adding language about subsequently filing the complaint.                                                                        
9:44:24 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON said  that would clarify and narrow  the ability to                                                               
charge someone with  a class A misdemeanor.  I'm comfortable with                                                               
the  addition,  he said.  I'm  not  saying I'm  comfortable  with                                                               
Section 15.                                                                                                                     
He   suggested  the   committee  consider   inserting  "that   is                                                               
subsequently filed" after the word "complaint" on line 17.                                                                      
SENATOR SEEKINS said he had no objection.                                                                                       
SENATOR ELTON moved the amendment.                                                                                              
CHAIR THERRIAULT suggested  it be a conceptual  amendment to give                                                               
the drafter some latitude.                                                                                                      
CHAIR THERRIAULT found no objection to conceptual Amendment 1.                                                                  
He  noted  that the  repealers  were  dropped from  the  original                                                               
SENATOR SEEKINS agreed saying they shouldn't have been there.                                                                   
9:46:02 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON directed  attention to Section 10 and  asked if his                                                               
interpretation  was correct  that under  this provision  he would                                                               
never know  that his staff  member committed an  ethics violation                                                               
if  he or  she completed  the recommended  corrective action.  An                                                               
ethics violation  is something  that is  fairly important  for an                                                               
employer to know, he asserted.                                                                                                  
SENATOR  SEEKINS said  it's correct  that  the employer  wouldn't                                                               
know unless the employee chose to disclose the violation.                                                                       
SENATOR ELTON argued  that the employing entity should  know if a                                                               
violation occurred and was confirmed by the ethics committee.                                                                   
SENATOR  SEEKINS suggested  that any  of the  legislators present                                                               
would know  about a staff  member's ethics violation  long before                                                               
the matter was resolved.                                                                                                        
SENATOR ELTON responded  if that's true then  someone committed a                                                               
class A misdemeanor by leaking the information.                                                                                 
SENATOR SEEKINS  pointed out that  the person who is  charged has                                                               
the right  to disclose the information  at any time to  anyone so                                                               
he didn't see how that could happen.                                                                                            
SENATOR  ELTON replied  he could  see  how it  could happen  very                                                               
easily. The  person who was  charged might not want  the employer                                                               
to  know about  the violation,  but someone  who was  interviewed                                                               
SENATOR  SEEKINS  said  the  employer   would  have  a  difficult                                                               
decision  if  someone  other  than  the  violator  disclosed  the                                                               
CHAIR THERRIAULT made the point  that under the grand jury system                                                               
an employer doesn't  have a right to know about  any charges that                                                               
were dismissed. As  a legislator, should I have a  higher duty of                                                               
a  right to  know about  an  allegation brought  against a  staff                                                               
member than a private business employer, he asked.                                                                              
SENATOR ELTON  said, absolutely, it's different.  The Legislative                                                               
Ethics Law governs the behavior  of legislators and staff and I'd                                                               
want  to know  if a  staff member  of mine  violated the  law and                                                               
agreed to  the corrective  action. That  violation occurred  in a                                                               
public trust  that we  both swore  to uphold.  Legislators cannot                                                               
divorce  themselves  from what  their  staff  members do  in  the                                                               
office. Their actions  reflect back on the  legislators who hired                                                               
Using the  example of a criminal  complaint that went to  a grand                                                               
jury and  was dismissed isn't  the same  issue, he said.  In this                                                               
instance the person  could be guilty and you  still wouldn't know                                                               
unless  the employee  tells  you about  it. "We  have  a duty  as                                                               
legislators to make sure our staff follows the law," he said.                                                                   
CHAIR  THERRIAULT raised  a question  about a  private employer's                                                               
right to know an employee's business.                                                                                           
SENATOR SEEKINS  announced that he  wanted to correct  the record                                                               
because his employees haven't taken an oath of office.                                                                          
It's  a  delicate  balance,  he said.  If  the  ethics  committee                                                               
requires a corrective  action, should that be a  matter of public                                                               
record or should there be  a level of confidentiality? That's the                                                               
decision  that  has  to  be   made,  but  employees  working  for                                                               
legislators don't  have a greater  responsibility than  any other                                                               
employee  working  anywhere  else  in the  state  of  Alaska,  he                                                               
SENATOR HUGGINS asked Ms. Anderson to comment on her experience.                                                                
MS. ANDERSON said a point she'd  like to make is that even though                                                               
there was corrective  action, the person was  found with probable                                                               
cause. That's similar  to a guilty verdict even  though there was                                                               
corrective action. Looking back to  1992 she didn't see any cases                                                               
that didn't  have corrective action  because what the  person was                                                               
doing  was violating  the ethics  code.  There was  a finding  of                                                               
probable cause in all instances.                                                                                                
9:56:35 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON said  if a court orders corrective  action there is                                                               
a  public record  and  that's the  way it  should  be near.  It's                                                               
ironic that  the proposal is  to go  beyond that. Not  only would                                                               
the matter be  private, the employer wouldn't  have any knowledge                                                               
of an  ethics violation.  As an  employer I'd want  to know  so I                                                               
could make  a judgment on whether  or not that's behavior  that I                                                               
want  to tolerate  or make  a corrective  action beyond  what the                                                               
ethics committee suggested, he said.                                                                                            
SENATOR  SEEKINS disputed  the statement  that his  employees are                                                               
reflective of  him. "Their  actions may reflect  on me.  They may                                                               
affect my reputation by their  actions, but they certainly aren't                                                               
reflective of me," he said.                                                                                                     
CHAIR THERRIAULT asked if that's the only impact of Section 10.                                                                 
SENATOR  SEEKINS interjected  if the  legislature wanted  a minor                                                               
infraction that  has a  minor correction  to be  public knowledge                                                               
then he would go along. He said  he was just trying to err on the                                                               
side of privacy and not to make people criminals.                                                                               
9:59:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR THERRIAULT asked Ms. Anderson  to comment on his comparison                                                               
to  the grand  jury and  that if  charges were  brought then  the                                                               
matter would be public.                                                                                                         
SENATOR  SEEKINS interjected  to say  that  he would  agree to  a                                                               
conceptual amendment  that says that the  line of confidentiality                                                               
ends at  probable cause  rather than at  the point  of corrective                                                               
9:59:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR THERRIAULT asked if that  would be accomplished by deleting                                                               
Section 10.                                                                                                                     
SENATOR ELTON noted the new language on lines 22 through 26.                                                                    
MS. ANDERSON  read subsection (m)  and said that  perhaps Senator                                                               
Seekins didn't realize that was reinserted.                                                                                     
SENATOR SEEKINS said  it was put back in because  it needed to be                                                               
modified  rather  than   deleted.  He  had  no   problem  with  a                                                               
conceptual amendment  so that once probable  cause is established                                                               
the matter would become public.                                                                                                 
MS.   ANDERSON   stated  that   by   reinserting   (m)  that   is                                                               
10:01:31 PM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR THERRIAULT  noted that  Senator Seekins  suggested deleting                                                               
the language on page 7, lines 20-25.                                                                                            
SENATOR SEEKINS agreed and said  his intent is to prosecute every                                                               
allegation of  a violation of  the ethics act to  a determination                                                               
of whether or not there was probable cause.                                                                                     
CHAIR THERRIAULT  moved to  strike language on  page 7,  lines 20                                                               
through 25 as Amendment 2.                                                                                                      
SENATOR  ELTON  questioned  whether  the net  effect  is  that  a                                                               
complaint  doesn't need  to be  dismissed  if confidentiality  is                                                               
SENATOR SEEKINS said yes.                                                                                                       
SENATOR ELTON  removed his  objection if it  was implied  that he                                                               
had one.                                                                                                                        
CHAIR THERRIAULT found there was no objection to Amendment 2.                                                                   
Finding  no further  questions or  suggested amendments  he asked                                                               
for the will of the committee.                                                                                                  
SENATOR  WAGONER motioned  to report  CSSB 187(STA)  and attached                                                               
fiscal notes from committee with individual recommendations.                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON objected  and stated that his  objection centers on                                                             
the class A misdemeanor penalty  for any sort of disclosure. That                                                               
sets  up a  situation  in which  I  couldn't tell  my  wife if  a                                                               
complaint is filed against me, he said.                                                                                         
CHAIR THERRIAULT asked if his  concern relates to the severity of                                                               
the sanction or the fact that there's a sanction at all.                                                                        
SENATOR ELTON  replied a sanction  was adopted just last  year to                                                               
address  this issue;  the sanction  was  dismissal. Although  the                                                               
complaint is  dismissed, the ethics  committee had the  option of                                                               
re-filing  the complaint.  Certainly if  the allegation  is of  a                                                               
serious  nature an  investigation should  go forward  because the                                                               
bad act of a complainant shouldn't allow somebody to skate.                                                                     
Having served  on the ethics  committee he said he  believes that                                                               
some complaints have  been filed by bad  actors. However, because                                                               
the  press and  the committee  acted in  a responsible  manner in                                                               
those  cases,  neither  political careers  nor  reputations  were                                                               
Although  it's hard  to quantify  or prove,  the bill  provides a                                                               
disincentive to  filing a  complaint. For  instance a  person who                                                               
discusses  an  issue  with  someone   and  subsequently  files  a                                                               
complaint would find that they had broken the law.                                                                              
SENATOR SEEKINS  responded, "This  same statute,  basically, came                                                               
from Oklahoma." This is a serious  matter and we need to do this,                                                               
he said.                                                                                                                        
10:07:40 PM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR ELTON  said a  person wouldn't know  that they  broke the                                                               
law  until they  file the  complaint  and are  told. Further,  he                                                               
said, it's not  fair to keep using the grand  jury example. There                                                               
are all sorts  of reasons that someone might end  up in court and                                                               
the  grand  jury  example  covers  just a  portion  of  the  fact                                                               
situations that someone with a legitimate complaint might face.                                                                 
CHAIR  THERRIAULT pointed  out that  all other  matters would  be                                                               
SENATOR ELTON responded  they're civil matters that  could cost a                                                               
lot more than $10,000.                                                                                                          
CHAIR THERRIAULT  said if the  state is bringing the  charge then                                                               
it's through the grand jury process.                                                                                            
SENATOR  ELTON replied  it might  not be  the state  bringing the                                                               
charge.  It could  be you  or me  or anybody.  It's not  just the                                                               
state that files complaints with the ethics committee.                                                                          
SENATOR  SEEKINS  drew on  his  experience  from serving  on  the                                                               
Judiciary  Committee  and said  that  mensrea  is inferred  in  a                                                               
criminal complaint. A person has to have knowingly disclosed.                                                                   
CHAIR THERRIAULT  called for a  roll call  vote on the  motion to                                                               
move  the bill  from committee.  The motion  passed 3  to 1  with                                                               
Senators Wagoner, Huggins, and Therriault  voting yea and Senator                                                               
Elton voting nay.                                                                                                               
CSSB 187(STA) moved to the next committee of referral.                                                                          
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Therriault adjourned the meeting at 10:10:05 PM.                                                                        

Document Name Date/Time Subjects