Legislature(1995 - 1996)

05/03/1996 03:30 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  SENATE BILL NO. 191                                                          
                                                                               
       An  Act   relating  to  election   campaigns,  election                 
       campaign  financing,  the oversight  and  regulation of                 
       election  campaigns   by  the  Alaska   Public  Offices                 
       Commission, the activities of  lobbyists that relate to                 
       election  campaigns, and the definitions of offenses of                 
       campaign  misconduct; and  providing  for an  effective                 
       date."                                                                  
                                                                               
  SENATOR TIM KELLY testified  in support of SB 191.  He noted                 
  that  SB  191  would  replace  the  ballot initiative.    He                 
  acknowledged  that  the  legislation   needs  changes.    He                 
  compared  the  initiative to  SB  191.   He  noted  that the                 
  initiative prohibits  non-resident contributions,  personal,                 
  office or other use of campaign  funds, and carry forward of                 
  campaign funds.  The legislation allows limited non-resident                 
  contributions, some  transfers of  campaign funds  to office                 
  use and limited carry forward.                                               
                                                                               
  Senator  Kelly  reviewed provisions  identical  in both  the                 
  legislation and initiative.   Both  prohibit lobbyists  from                 
  making contributions outside their district.   He noted that                 
  this  section  will be  disputed  in  court.   Candidate  to                 
  candidate campaign fund donations  are prohibited.  Personal                 
  candidate contributions are not prohibited.    Corporations,                 
  partnerships,  unions  and  companies  are  prohibited  from                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  making contributions.   He  noted that  the legislation  was                 
  passed unanimously by the Senate.                                            
                                                                               
  Senator Kelly provided  members with  a number of  technical                 
  amendments (copies on file).                                                 
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVID FINKELSTEIN noted that Amendments 1 - 5                 
  are supported by  the Sponsor,  the imitative committee  and                 
  Representative Finkelstein.                                                  
                                                                               
  Representative Martin MOVED  to adopt  Amendment 1 (copy  on                 
  file).   Representative Finkelstein  noted that  Amendment 1                 
  states  that groups  organized on ballot  propositions would                 
  not  have  to adhere  to the  lower  limits included  in the                 
  imitative.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                     
                                                                               
  Representative Martin MOVED  to adopt  Amendment 2 (copy  on                 
  file).  Representative  Finkelstein explained that Amendment                 
  2  clarifies  that  there  are   no  limits  on  independent                 
  expenditures.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                  
                                                                               
  Representative Finkelstein discussed that  Amendment 3 (copy                 
  on file).  Amendment 3 inserts "or group" on page 5 line 18.                 
  Representative Navarre MOVED  to adopt  Amendment  3.  There                 
  being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                       
                                                                               
  Representative  Grussendorf MOVED to adopt Amendment 4 (copy                 
  on file).  Amendment 4 increases  the office account for the                 
  House amount to $10 thousand dollars.  The legislation would                 
  allow  $10  thousand  dollars  to  be transferred  from  the                 
  campaign   account    to   the    House   office    account.                 
  Representative Grussendorf spoke in support of Amendment  4.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative  Finkelstein  noted  that  the  transfer   is                 
  limited and must be disclosed to the Alaska Public Officials                 
  Commission (APOC). Representative Finkelstein  discussed the                 
  disclosure requirements.                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Brown  OBJECTED to the adoption  of Amendment                 
  4.  A roll call vote was taken on the MOTION.                                
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Grussendorf,  Navarre,  Kelly,   Kohring,  Martin,                 
  Mulder,        Therriault, Foster, Hanley                                    
  OPPOSED:  Brown                                                              
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Foster  and Representative Parnell were  absent for                 
  the vote.                                                                    
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED (8-1).                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Finkelstein  discussed Amendment  5 (copy  on                 
  file).  He noted  that fund raising time frames  vary in the                 
  legislation.   The amendment  clarifies that if  any of  the                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  time restraints are struck down that campaign funds could be                 
  raised 18 months prior to the general election.  There being                 
  NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                             
                                                                               
  Representative Parnell MOVED  to adopt Amendment 6  (copy on                 
  file).   Amendment 6 would delete  "and files a copy  of the                 
  receipt with the  commission" on  page 12, line  28.   There                 
  being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                       
                                                                               
  Representative Mulder maintained  that complaints should  be                 
  held confidential while under investigation.  Representative                 
  Finkelstein   questioned   the    penalty   for    releasing                 
  confidential information.   Representative  Mulder asked  if                 
  complaints are  prohibited within  60 days  of an  election.                 
  Representative  Finkelstein   noted  that  the   concern  is                 
  legitimate  but emphasized the  difficulty of  legislating a                 
  solution.                                                                    
                                                                               
  In  response   to  a  question  by   Representative  Martin,                 
  Representative  Finkelstein  discussed section  2  (3).   He                 
  stated that proceeds of charitable gaming activities, except                 
  the proceeds  of a  raffle or  lottery, cannot  be used  for                 
  campaigning.  He further explained  that no municipality can                 
  use  funds  to  support  or  oppose  a  candidate.    Ballot                 
  propositions can only be supported or opposed by ordinance.                  
                                                                               
  In response  to a  question  by Representative  Grussendorf,                 
  Representative Finkelstein noted that campaign  funds can be                 
  given to a  party, non-profit, be returned  to contributors,                 
  set aside for future campaigns or up to $10 thousand dollars                 
  can be transferred to an office account.                                     
                                                                               
  Senator Kelly noted that there is  a one time carry over for                 
  1998.                                                                        
                                                                               
  Representative Brown referred  to page 17, lines 15  and 16.                 
  Representative  Finkelstein  clarified that  a  House member                 
  could transfer $10 thousand dollars to an office account and                 
  $5  thousand  dollars  to  a  future  campaign.   Any  funds                 
  remaining after  the allowed distribution would  be returned                 
  to the General  Fund.  She  noted that some candidates  have                 
  large balances.                                                              
                                                                               
  Representative   Finkelstein  spoke   in   support  of   the                 
  legislation.    He noted  that  there are  earlier effective                 
  dates in the legislation than in the initiative.                             
                                                                               
  Representative Therriault provided  members with Amendment 7                 
  (copy on file).   Representative Finkelstein noted that  the                 
  legislation was  amended by Representative Bunde to prohibit                 
  personal use of campaign funds  after July 1, 1996.  He  did                 
  not think the amendment was needed.                                          
                                                                               
  JACK  CHENOWETH, LEGAL  COUNSEL, LEGISLATIVE  AFFAIRS AGENCY                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  explained that the  amendment would cut off  the opportunity                 
  to  take campaign  account  money as  personal  income.   He                 
  explained  that  section  20  would  supercede  section  19.                 
  Representative Finkelstein spoke against the amendment.                      
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 96-162, Side 1).                                           
                                                                               
  Representative  Mulder spoke  against  the  amendment.    He                 
  thought  that  adoption  would  "unravel"  support  for  the                 
  initiative.                                                                  
                                                                               
  Representative  Therriault MOVED  TO WITHDRAW  Amendment #7.                 
  There being NO OBJECTION, it was withdrawn.                                  
                                                                               
  Senator  Kelly advised  that next  year on  January 1st,  if                 
  campaign finance reform and if the ethics bill passes, there                 
  will  be changes  in  the way  the  political system  works.                 
  Whether or not the  bill passes, an initiative will  pass in                 
  the fall.   He recommended that legislators should take more                 
  time to fully understand the  repercussions of choices made.                 
  Senator  Kelly  preferred   passage  of   a  bill  over   an                 
  initiative.                                                                  
                                                                               
  Representative  Therriault asked  the effective  date on  HB
  307.  Co-Chair Hanley replied it would take effect after the                 
  election.    Representative  Finkelstein added,  legislators                 
  will not be able  to access those funds until  after January                 
  1st.  Representative Martin pointed out that HB 307 provided                 
  an earlier implementation date and  that it would not impact                 
  this year.                                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Mulder  MOVED to report  HCS CS SB  191 (FIN)                 
  with  individual recommendations  and with  the accompanying                 
  fiscal notes.   Representative  Navarre asked  if there  had                 
  been testimony regarding the office account.  Representative                 
  Finkelstein replied that a municipal office account had been                 
  added,  although  there  had been  no  input  regarding that                 
  concern.  There being  NO OBJECTION to moving the  bill from                 
  Committee, it was so ordered.                                                
                                                                               
  HCS CS  SB 191 (FIN) was reported  out of Committee with "no                 
  recommendation" and with fiscal notes  by the (2) Department                 
  of Administration dated 4/9/96, the  Department of Law dated                 
  3/25/96, (2) zero fiscal notes by the Office of the Governor                 
  dated 3/20/96 and Legislative Affairs Agency dated 3/25/96.                  

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