Legislature(2009 - 2010)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/10/2010 09:00 AM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Continued at 7:00 pm Today --
+ HJR 35 CONST AM: HEALTH CARE TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ HJR 42 CONST. AM: TRANSPORTATION FUND TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHJR 42(JUD) Out of Committee
+ HB 329 DEDICATED TRANSPORT FUND/PUB TRANSPORT TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held; Assigned to Subcommittee
*+ HB 356 TRANSPORT. INFRASTRUCTURE FUND APPROP. TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 35                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Proposing amendments  to the Constitution of  the State                                                                    
     of Alaska  prohibiting passage  of laws  that interfere                                                                    
     with direct  payments for health care  services and the                                                                    
     right  to   purchase  health  care  insurance   from  a                                                                    
     privately owned  company, and that  compel a  person to                                                                    
     participate in a health care system.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:07:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MIKE KELLY,  SPONSOR, presented  an overview                                                                    
of  the resolution.  He emphasized  the  seriousness of  the                                                                    
legislation, noting  that health care involves  everyone and                                                                    
that 36 states  have the issue under  consideration. He felt                                                                    
health care should  be a state issue and not  a federal one.                                                                    
He  claimed that  85 percent  of Americans  were happy  with                                                                    
their healthcare  system; there were a  number of uninsured,                                                                    
usually illegal  immigrants and the  young. The  real number                                                                    
of uninsured  was close  to 10  million; however,  they were                                                                    
all able to receive treatment paid for by others.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly  asserted  that  many  were  upset  by                                                                    
recent  legislation  passed  by   Congress  that  they  felt                                                                    
represented a  dramatic step  toward turning  the healthcare                                                                    
system over to  the federal government. He  relayed that the                                                                    
proposed  resolution  would  allow  the people  to  vote  on                                                                    
whether or not  to participate, prohibit any  fines or other                                                                    
punitive actions surrounding  the personal decision, protect                                                                    
the right of the individual  to purchase health care and the                                                                    
right of doctors to provide  lawful medical services without                                                                    
government fines or penalties,  and enshrine those rights in                                                                    
the state constitution.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly suggested  that the  legislation would                                                                    
turn  Alaska  against the  federal  government.  He did  not                                                                    
believe   health  care   was  provided   for  in   the  U.S.                                                                    
Constitution.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:12:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTIE HERRERA,  DIRECTOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN  SERVICES TASK                                                                    
FORCE,  AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE  EXCHANGE  COUNCIL (ALEC)  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  noted   that  ALEC  was   a  non-partisan,                                                                    
national  association  of  state  lawmakers.  She  spoke  in                                                                    
support of HJR 35, which  was modeled after ALEC legislation                                                                    
enacted in 41  states, the Freedom of Choice  in Health Care                                                                    
Act. She  pointed out  that the  legislation was  a national                                                                    
effort  endorsed by  the  Wall Street  Journal  and that  59                                                                    
percent  of likely  voters believed  states should  have the                                                                    
right to opt out of federal government programs.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Herrera stated  three reasons  why  ALEC supported  the                                                                    
bill: It  would ensure continued access  to health services;                                                                    
stop mandates  that do not  work, such as  the Massachusetts                                                                    
mandate;  and render  unconstitutional  any  attempt by  the                                                                    
state  to  require  an  individual  to  purchase  healthcare                                                                    
coverage  or state  prohibition against  direct payment  for                                                                    
medical care.  The legislation would also  protect Alaska in                                                                    
a constitutional challenge of  the new federal health reform                                                                    
law.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Herrera  addressed several misconceptions that  she felt                                                                    
had come  up in other  committee hearings about HJR  35. She                                                                    
assured the Finance Committee that  the bill would not block                                                                    
people from taking  advantage of the federal  law, but would                                                                    
give  citizens  a  choice.  She   dispelled  the  idea  that                                                                    
prohibiting  an  individual  mandate  would  exacerbate  the                                                                    
"free rider" problem; she argued  that people would continue                                                                    
to  show up  in emergency  rooms for  free health  care even                                                                    
with  the new  federal  mandate. She  noted  that the  newly                                                                    
insured  would still  be paid  for with  subsidies; the  new                                                                    
federal law dictates that a  low-income family of four would                                                                    
qualify  for  more  than  $20,000  in  government  subsidies                                                                    
through  the new  exchange. She  encouraged  passage of  the                                                                    
resolution. She listed states  where similar legislation has                                                                    
already   passed,   including  Virginia,   Idaho,   Arizona,                                                                    
Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:17:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara commented  that  he  was skeptical.  He                                                                    
asked whether a  cost analysis had been done  related to how                                                                    
much it cost  those who bought insurance  (or the taxpayers)                                                                    
to  make up  for those  who did  not. Ms.  Herrera responded                                                                    
that free  riders would show  up in the emergency  room even                                                                    
if  there  was  a   requirement  to  buy  individual  health                                                                    
insurance.   She  claimed   an   individual  mandate   would                                                                    
exacerbate the  free-rider problem.  She offered  to provide                                                                    
data  showing that  the primary  free riders  are people  on                                                                    
Medicaid;  doctors have  been refusing  to see  new Medicaid                                                                    
patients because of the low  reimbursement rate. The federal                                                                    
law would  put most of  the newly insured into  the Medicaid                                                                    
program, which she felt delivered poor care.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara asked  whether Ms.  Herrera had  helped                                                                    
write  the  constitutional  amendment. Ms.  Herrera  related                                                                    
that the  resolution was  modeled after  legislation written                                                                    
by  ALEC, an  organization of  state lawmakers  from all  50                                                                    
states.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:20:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVE   ROLAND,   ATTORNEY   and  POLICY   ANALYST,   SHOW-ME                                                                    
INSTITUTE, MISSOURI (via  teleconference), described himself                                                                    
as  an  experienced  constitutional attorney  and  discussed                                                                    
constitutional implications  of the  bill at both  the state                                                                    
and  federal  levels.  He  referred to  a  countdown  to  an                                                                    
"unprecedented  intrusion"   into  individual   liberty.  He                                                                    
asserted  that   the  individual   health-insurance  mandate                                                                    
recently  passed  by  Congress  would  require  citizens  to                                                                    
purchase a  product they may  not want, a step  never before                                                                    
taken.  He maintained  that the  U.S.  Constitution did  not                                                                    
offer  protection of  personal  freedoms; therefore,  states                                                                    
could modify their constitutions  to protect their citizens.                                                                    
He believed HJR 35 would give  Alaskans a chance to speak up                                                                    
for freedom.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Roland  acknowledged  that questions  had  been  raised                                                                    
about  the effectiveness  of the  proposed amendment.  There                                                                    
have  been  very  few direct  conflicts  between  a  state's                                                                    
protection of  individual liberty  and a  federal government                                                                    
demand.  He   highlighted  a  Missouri  case;   the  federal                                                                    
government  had  required  the   use  of  public  funds  for                                                                    
educational  purposes, but  Missouri's constitution  forbids                                                                    
the  use of  public  funds. In  response,  the U.S.  Supreme                                                                    
Court exhibited discomfort with  applying the law because of                                                                    
the Missouri  constitution. The law was  interpreted so that                                                                    
there was no longer a  conflict. He maintained that the same                                                                    
pattern  had held  true  through a  number  of U.S.  Supreme                                                                    
Court cases.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:24:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAT LUBY,  ADVOCACY DIRECTOR, ALASKA ASSOCIATION  OF RETIRED                                                                    
PERSONS  (AARP), ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),  testified                                                                    
in opposition  to the  resolution. He  did not  believe that                                                                    
the state  constitution should be  amended, except  for very                                                                    
serious reasons.  He argued that the  federal government was                                                                    
not taking  over health  care. He noted  that 85  percent of                                                                    
the   population  was   content   with  current   healthcare                                                                    
coverage.  He   spoke  of   new  managed-care   models,  the                                                                    
importance  of  networking,   and  coordinated  delivery  of                                                                    
services.  He added  that in  Alaska,  Medicaid pays  better                                                                    
than  Medicare and  maintained that  providers see  Medicaid                                                                    
patients.  He believed  cost containment  was necessary  and                                                                    
that  something  needed  to be  done  about  the  uninsured.                                                                    
Currently, 17  percent of  Alaskans between  the ages  of 50                                                                    
and  64 have  no  insurance at  all. They  often  go to  the                                                                    
emergency room;  those with insurance  pick up the  tab. The                                                                    
average cost  of the uninsured  for every Alaska  family was                                                                    
$1,900 annually.  Employers, including the state,  also pick                                                                    
up the cost  of those employers who do  not provide coverage                                                                    
to their  employees. He emphasized  that AARP wants  to make                                                                    
sure  all Alaskans  participate  in  healthcare coverage  in                                                                    
order  to  end  cost-shifting. The  resolution  would  allow                                                                    
people to opt out of coverage.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:27:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly opined that  Mr. Luby did not represent                                                                    
all seniors.  He had heard  from seniors who  disagreed with                                                                    
the sentiments expressed.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough   asked  how  AARP   had  reached                                                                    
consensus on  the issue. Mr.  Luby explained that  the board                                                                    
of  directors  had  taken  a position  on  the  measure.  He                                                                    
maintained that the only way  to bring down healthcare costs                                                                    
was  to end  cost-shifting. If  people were  allowed to  opt                                                                    
out, the rest of the people would have to pay for them.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough   inquired  whether   the  stated                                                                    
position was  an Alaskan or  national one. Mr.  Luby replied                                                                    
that there  was only one  national board of  directors; AARP                                                                    
is  a  national organization  and  the  states do  not  take                                                                    
individual positions.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:29:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARIA RENSEL,  FAIRBANKS (via teleconference),  testified in                                                                    
support  of  the  resolution.  She  reported  that  she  had                                                                    
collected signatures  of others who also  strongly supported                                                                    
the resolution;  the people she  had talked to did  not want                                                                    
to  participate  in  the   federal  healthcare  reform.  She                                                                    
refuted   some  of   Representative  Gara's   comments;  she                                                                    
believed people  should choose  for themselves  whether they                                                                    
want health insurance.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:32:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAM  CARLSON, FAIRBANKS  (via teleconference),  testified in                                                                    
support of the resolution. She  could not believe that a law                                                                    
could be  passed that prohibited  people from  buying health                                                                    
services they  wanted. She thought  it important  to protect                                                                    
the individual's  and the state's rights  against intrusions                                                                    
of the  federal government.  She did  not think  the federal                                                                    
government had  expertise in  health care  and had  not done                                                                    
well  with   Medicare  or   Medicaid.  She   disagreed  with                                                                    
Massachusetts' healthcare plan.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
RANDY GRIFFIN, FAIRBANKS  (via teleconference), testified in                                                                    
support   of   the   resolution  challenging   the   federal                                                                    
government.  He believed  that the  state already  regulated                                                                    
insurance  companies. He  had concerns  about his  insurance                                                                    
rates going  up. He favored  supporting those who  could not                                                                    
afford  health  insurance, although  he  did  not think  the                                                                    
federal  government  should  be involved.  He  distinguished                                                                    
between  rights and  acts of  mercy. He  did not  want young                                                                    
people to develop a welfare mentality.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:38:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PEGGY  ANN MCCONNACHIE,  NATIONAL FEDERATION  OF INDEPENDENT                                                                    
BUSINESSES  (NFIB),   voiced  concerns  about   the  federal                                                                    
healthcare legislation. She spoke in  support of HJR 35. She                                                                    
wanted  the right  to  choose whether  to  participate in  a                                                                    
health-insurance system.  She did not  want to be  forced to                                                                    
pay fees  imposed by the  federal government if she  did not                                                                    
choose to provide health insurance  for her three companies.                                                                    
She  felt the  resolution  would help  protect Alaskans  and                                                                    
Alaskan businesses  and that Alaskans should  have the right                                                                    
to vote on  whether or not they were subject  to the federal                                                                    
government's  imposed  healthcare  restrictions.  She  noted                                                                    
that NFIB has  taken a position against  mandates. She urged                                                                    
the committee to pass the bill.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:41:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Fairclough asked  whether NFIB's position was                                                                    
Alaskan  or  national.  Ms.   McConnachie  stated  that  the                                                                    
position was an  Alaskan one. She described NFIB  as a group                                                                    
of  small  Alaskan  businesses  ranging  in  size  from  one                                                                    
individual  to  over  one  hundred.  The  businesses  banded                                                                    
together  because   they  employed  many  people   and  were                                                                    
concerned  about federal  mandates.  Co-Chair Stoltze  noted                                                                    
that he  has met many members  and had become more  aware of                                                                    
the many businesses in the state.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:43:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK  REGAN,   FAIRBANKS  (via  teleconference),   spoke  to                                                                    
concerns about  HJR 35.  He reported that  he had  worked on                                                                    
many lawsuits brought by  Medicaid beneficiaries against the                                                                    
government during the past 20  years. He maintained that the                                                                    
language of the resolution would  have an effect on existing                                                                    
as  well   as  future   state  laws   and  on   the  federal                                                                    
government's authority to impose an individual mandate.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Regan  discussed  how the  resolution  might  influence                                                                    
state law and court rules  related to medical child support.                                                                    
A person with  children who is divorced is  supposed to have                                                                    
a  divorce   decree  stating  who  should   purchase  health                                                                    
insurance  for   the  children.   He  maintained   that  the                                                                    
resolution would jeopardize  the state medical child-support                                                                    
system that ensures insurance by court order.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Regan called  attention to HB 423, which  was amended in                                                                    
the Health  and Social Services Committee  to stipulate that                                                                    
the freedom  of choice policy  was not to  undercut anything                                                                    
that was  required or  provided by  the state  (including by                                                                    
state  court  order);  the  committee   was  headed  in  the                                                                    
direction  of  allowing  the  systems  to  continue  and  be                                                                    
modified. He felt that HJR  35 would jeopardize the right of                                                                    
a state  court to mandate  health coverage for  children. He                                                                    
thought the language used might confuse voters.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Regan  addressed   the  relationship  between  national                                                                    
health reform  and the individual  mandate. The text  of the                                                                    
measure says that no law should  be passed which is aimed at                                                                    
the  Alaska legislature  and Alaska  state law,  and has  no                                                                    
necessary  effect on  anything that  happens at  the federal                                                                    
level. He  believed that the  federal mandate was  likely to                                                                    
take  effect   without  being  challenged  by   HJR  35.  He                                                                    
speculated  that  the  resolution was  designed  before  the                                                                    
federal  law  passed to  prevent  the  state from  requiring                                                                    
people to purchase insurance  the way Massachusetts requires                                                                    
people to  purchase insurance, to prevent  a single-payer or                                                                    
other mandatory  contribution system at the  state level. He                                                                    
did  not think  the text  was aimed  (in spite  of what  the                                                                    
sponsors intended)  at federal healthcare  reform individual                                                                    
mandates, but at the state  legislature and the state courts                                                                    
to prevent a state law.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Regan spoke to what HJR  35 would do: Because of the way                                                                    
federal  way is  structured, the  resolution would  take the                                                                    
state out of  a role of protecting Alaska  citizens in terms                                                                    
of  the  health-insurance  exchanges  through  which  people                                                                    
might   get  subsidized   health   insurance  from   private                                                                    
companies.  He explained  that  the  federal law  stipulated                                                                    
that starting  in 2014  the health-insurance  exchanges were                                                                    
to be regulated  by the states if the states  signed on, and                                                                    
regulated  by the  federal government  directly  or by  some                                                                    
non-profit if  the states did  not sign on.  Each individual                                                                    
state was given a choice.  He suspected that if the language                                                                    
was passed  and enacted  by the voters,  the main  effect it                                                                    
would have  on federal healthcare  reform would be  that the                                                                    
state could not operate the  exchanges. The state would then                                                                    
no longer  be engaged in healthcare  regulation; the federal                                                                    
government would run the exchanges.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr.   Regan  compared   the  situation   with  the   federal                                                                    
government's  relationship  to subsistence  regulation.  The                                                                    
state  is  able  to  regulate   under  the  Alaska  National                                                                    
Interest  Lands Conservation  Act  (ANILCA) if  it has  laws                                                                    
that do a  certain set of things, but if  the state does not                                                                    
have those laws or if  the laws are unconstitutional, as the                                                                    
Alaska  Supreme Court  has  found them  to  be, the  federal                                                                    
government does  the regulating on federal  land. He claimed                                                                    
that  the proposed  constitutional amendment  would put  the                                                                    
state  in  the same  position.  The  state would  be  taking                                                                    
itself out  of the health-insurance business,  and the state                                                                    
would  not be  able to  protect Alaskans  through regulating                                                                    
the exchanges.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Regan   argued  that  if  there   is  a  constitutional                                                                    
challenge to  the individual mandate  and to  the exchanges,                                                                    
it  would not  be assisted  or  undercut by  passage of  the                                                                    
constitutional amendment.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:52:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Fairclough asked  whether the amendment would                                                                    
prohibit  a parent  mandated  by the  court  to provide  for                                                                    
health insurance  for a  child in  a custody  situation. She                                                                    
also wanted a response regarding  the issue of taking Alaska                                                                    
out of the role of making regulatory decisions.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
DENNIS   BAILEY,   ATTORNEY,    LEGISLATIVE   AFFAIRS   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  agreed that  the  first issue  could be  a                                                                    
potential  interpretation of  the language  in Section  2 of                                                                    
the bill. He was not  certain, but believed the second issue                                                                    
also appeared to be correct:  the federal government or non-                                                                    
profits could run the programs if  the state did not run the                                                                    
exchange programs; then they could  be run by non-profits or                                                                    
by the federal government.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair    Stoltze    queried   the    phrase    "potential                                                                    
interpretation." Mr.  Baily replied  that the  language said                                                                    
that it  would prohibit the  state from penalizing  a person                                                                    
for making  a particular healthcare choice.  For example, if                                                                    
the state requires a parent  to provide health insurance for                                                                    
a  child   under  a   divorce  decree,   the  constitutional                                                                    
amendment could be interpreted to  prohibit a penalty on the                                                                    
choice of the  individual not to do what the  court says. He                                                                    
opined that a conflict would be presented.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:56:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Austerman  requested that  Mr. Regan  put his                                                                    
testimony in writing. Mr. Regan agreed to do so.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly commented that  the same questions were                                                                    
being addressed in 36 states  and suggested that there would                                                                    
be many questions like the ones posed by Mr. Regan.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Fairclough stated that  she was supportive of                                                                    
the  legislation,  but  wanted  to  examine  its  unintended                                                                    
consequences. She  wanted to build  a record for  the courts                                                                    
to  look at.  The  intent  of the  resolution  was that  the                                                                    
national  government  should  not  tell states  what  to  do                                                                    
regarding healthcare coverage in the state.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  also  wanted  to  look  at  all  possible                                                                    
consequences of the federal mandate.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly agreed  with the  statements. He  said                                                                    
the  bill process  was just  beginning  and the  committee's                                                                    
comments would be on the record.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough  explained   that  she  commented                                                                    
about  the  intent on  the  record  because the  court  uses                                                                    
meeting minutes to consider legislative intent.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:00:44 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
BOB HOWARD, FAIRBANKS (via  teleconference) urged support of                                                                    
a  constitutional amendment  to  protect  Alaskans from  the                                                                    
federal  government's  overreaching legislation.  He  stated                                                                    
that whether  the amendment passed  or not, the  federal law                                                                    
already  existed.  He  requested strong  language  on  other                                                                    
possible federal mandates besides  health care. He hoped for                                                                    
a broader statement through  a constitutional amendment that                                                                    
would  prohibit  passage of  any  law  that would  compel  a                                                                    
person or  an employer to  purchase any good or  service, or                                                                    
that levied  any penalty, tax,  or surcharge on a  person or                                                                    
employer for failing to purchase any good or service.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:03:15 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Doogan asked  who  Mr.  Howard was  speaking                                                                    
for.  Mr. Howard  replied that  he was  speaking on  his own                                                                    
behalf.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HUGH  BROWNE, ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference), opposed  the                                                                    
bill  because   he  thought   spending  time   fighting  the                                                                    
President or  the federal legislation  was a waste  of time.                                                                    
He agreed  with statements made  by Mr. Regan and  the state                                                                    
lawyer  about  possible   unintended  consequences.  He  was                                                                    
against spending resources  to fight a federal  law that had                                                                    
already been  passed; the resolution would  affect the state                                                                    
and not the federal government.  He maintained that the bill                                                                    
could  take  liberties from  Alaskans  and  that there  were                                                                    
beneficial  things in  the federal  healthcare bill.  He was                                                                    
concerned that  the bill would cause  a constitutional fight                                                                    
over   health  care.   He  thought   the  result   would  be                                                                    
ineffectual since  the language in the  resolution says that                                                                    
no law shall  be passed; he emphasized that  the federal law                                                                    
had already been passed.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:09:16 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly  acknowledged that  the passage  of the                                                                    
federal  healthcare  bill  had  stirred  up  discussion.  He                                                                    
reiterated  that 36  other states  had taken  stands against                                                                    
the federal  bill. He noted  that Alaska had  been counseled                                                                    
to  proceed  carefully  and thoughtfully.  The  process  was                                                                    
underway  in  Alaska  with the  governor  and  the  attorney                                                                    
general looking at it. He  pointed to additional legislation                                                                    
related to the  issue: HR 14 and HB 423.  He maintained that                                                                    
the issue would  not go away. He stated that  "America is on                                                                    
the  march" and  maintained  that the  legislature must  pay                                                                    
attention.  He  urged  considering unintended  and  intended                                                                    
consequences. He  concluded that the legislature  should not                                                                    
give up.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:11:53 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  offered to  help make the  resolution a                                                                    
better piece of legislation.  He believed that people should                                                                    
get  the  medical  care  they needed,  but  he  thought  the                                                                    
provision would  work against people  getting it.  His major                                                                    
concern  was  that he  did  not  believe in  creating  false                                                                    
expectations  among the  people who  elected him.  He stated                                                                    
that the resolution was unenforceable and unconstitutional.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  pointed out that there  were people who                                                                    
disliked other federal programs,  such as the space program,                                                                    
environmental regulations,  and the federal tax  system, but                                                                    
in the end, Americans "get  what they get" from Congress and                                                                    
the President;  if they  don't like it,  they can  elect new                                                                    
Congress  people  and a  new  president.  He disagreed  with                                                                    
Alaskan   legislators  pretending   to  be   Congressmen  on                                                                    
television and trying  to change a congressional  law with a                                                                    
piece of  state legislation, which he  thought created false                                                                    
expectations among the public.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  maintained that  he  did  not want  to                                                                    
write  something blatantly  unconstitutional into  the state                                                                    
constitution. He  likened it to  trying to change  the First                                                                    
Amendment  through language  in the  state constitution,  or                                                                    
putting language  into the  state constitution  removing the                                                                    
right to  freedom of religion.  He argued that  America does                                                                    
not  work that  way.  He  did not  want  to  pretend to  the                                                                    
Alaskan  public that  a  measure like  HJR  35 could  change                                                                    
something.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Doogan  voiced   his   opposition  to   the                                                                    
resolution. He related that his  father had helped write the                                                                    
Alaska Constitution.  Like any living document,  it has been                                                                    
amended several times. He believed  that the resolution went                                                                    
beyond  being   a  sensible  amendment  and   was  purely  a                                                                    
political statement. He was  opposed to enshrining political                                                                    
statements  in the  state constitution,  the basic  document                                                                    
governing  who Alaskans  are and  what they  do. He  did not                                                                    
know  enough   about  law  to  know   what  consequence  the                                                                    
resolution could  have in the  end, but  he did not  want to                                                                    
put   a   "passing   political   fancy"   into   the   state                                                                    
constitution.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:16:40 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Austerman  inquired  whether the  chair  was                                                                    
planning to  move the bill. Co-Chair  Stoltze responded that                                                                    
he preferred  to have  all 11  members present  before doing                                                                    
so.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly  appreciated the  committee's comments.                                                                    
He  believed that  70 percent  of Americans  were upset  and                                                                    
seeking  ways to  "unscrew  the  screwing." He  acknowledged                                                                    
that the  process was  fraught with  difficulty, but  he did                                                                    
not  believe   people  would  back   off.  He   thought  the                                                                    
resolution  was  one  method that  Americans  could  use  to                                                                    
change  the  situation  or  at  least  send  a  message.  He                                                                    
predicted change  in the  upcoming elections.  He maintained                                                                    
that  he was  not  acting  in order  to  be re-elected,  but                                                                    
because he  believed in  what he was  doing. He  believed he                                                                    
was not alone and that the people were not done.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HJR 35 was set aside until later in the meeting.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:19:54 AM         AT EASE                                                                                                   
10:39:56 AM         RECONVENED                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 35                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Proposing amendments  to the Constitution of  the State                                                                    
     of Alaska  prohibiting passage  of laws  that interfere                                                                    
     with direct  payments for health care  services and the                                                                    
     right  to   purchase  health  care  insurance   from  a                                                                    
     privately owned  company, and that  compel a  person to                                                                    
     participate in a health care system.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
7:01:14 PM     AT EASE                                                                                                        
7:02:05 PM     RECONVENED                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly   MOVED  to  report  HJR   35  out  of                                                                    
committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Doogan  OBJECTED.  He  stated  that  he  was                                                                    
against the resolution. He WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
7:03:00 PM     AT EASE                                                                                                        
7:03:25 PM     RECONVENED                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being NO further OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HJR 35 was REPORTED out  of committee with no recommendation                                                                    
and with previously published fiscal note: FN 1 (GOV).                                                                          
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HJR42 SWAMC Letter.docx HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HJR 42
HB 329 Const_testimony.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 329
2 HJR 35 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
3 HJR 35 Sectional.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
5 Feb 9th Hearing HESS Questions.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HJR 35
6 NFIB Ltr.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HJR 35
7 Goldwater Institute Q-A.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HJR 35
8 ALEC's Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HJR 35
8 ALEC's Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HJR 35
20100409133225145.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HCR 35
9 Health Care Reform Letter Jan13-2010.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HJR 35
HJR42 -Sponsor Stmt VerP.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HJR 42 Resolution ATIF[1].pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HJR 42
ATIF values w-out taxes.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
CSHB329-DOT-CO-3-14-10 NEW.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 329
fund values with taxes.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 329 AK Trans Finance Study.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 329
HB 329 Sponsor Stmt.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 329
HB 329 SWAMC Resolution.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 329
HB 329 TRA Major Changes.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 329
FY04-FY10 summary Capital Approp (2).pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB356 Approp from ATIF.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 356
HB 356 Sponsor.docx HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 356
TRANSPORTATION_Fiscal_Plan_FY2011.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB329 Letters of Support.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 329
HB 329 -ATIF major changes VerO.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 329
HJR 42 Exec Summary AK Trans Finance Study.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HJR 42
Illinois Research.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 329
Persily Rpt Financing Transportation.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HJR 42
HJR 42 Use of gas tax revenue by state.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HJR 42
House Finance Letter HB 329 04 06 10.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 329
HJR 35 Letter.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HJR 35
CSHB329-FIN-DOA-DMV-04-09-10NEW.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 329
HJR 42 Amendment #1 Kelly.pdf HFIN 4/10/2010 9:00:00 AM