Legislature(2015 - 2016)HOUSE FINANCE 519

03/18/2015 01:30 PM FINANCE

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HOUSE BILL NO. 68                                                                                                             
     "An Act relating to the preparation, electronic                                                                            
     distribution, and posting of reports by state                                                                              
2:02:08 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE     JONATHAN     KREISS-TOMKINS,     SPONSOR,                                                                    
communicated  that  the  bill   sought  to  digitize  annual                                                                    
reports and other printed public  records. He felt that this                                                                    
could save  the state $.5  million per year in  printing and                                                                    
production costs.  He relayed that  the bill had  a negative                                                                    
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Thompson  appreciated  the negative  fiscal  note,                                                                    
which  reflected a  savings to  the  state of  approximately                                                                    
$400,000 per year.                                                                                                              
Representative Kreiss-Tomkins  said that  additional figures                                                                    
from  the  Department  of Transportation  and  Public  Works                                                                    
reflected a possible savings of $580,000 per year.                                                                              
Co-Chair Thompson  understood there  were some  reports that                                                                    
were required to be printed.                                                                                                    
Representative  Kreiss-Tomkins replied  in the  affirmative.                                                                    
He elaborated  that the printing  of the reports was  at the                                                                    
discretion of  commissioners. He anticipated  that documents                                                                    
with wide  public circulation would  need to be  printed. He                                                                    
shared that publishing  of certain reports could  cost up to                                                                    
$20 per copy.                                                                                                                   
2:06:48 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara relayed  that one  of the  money savers                                                                    
related  to  contracting out  for  graphic  design. He  gave                                                                    
former Representative  Kyle Johannsen  credit for work  on a                                                                    
similar bill in the past.                                                                                                       
Co-Chair  Thompson  noted  that  there were  people  in  the                                                                    
audience available for invited testimony.                                                                                       
Representative Edgmon  spoke in support of  the legislation.                                                                    
He believed the  bill reflected that the  state was becoming                                                                    
more connected by broadband. He  wondered if the sponsor had                                                                    
received any pushback due to  a lack of broadband capability                                                                    
in areas of the state.                                                                                                          
Representative  Kreiss-Tomkins replied  in the  negative. He                                                                    
shared that  he had  consulted with libraries  statewide and                                                                    
learned  that  libraries  would  sent  physical  reports  to                                                                    
residents statewide.                                                                                                            
2:10:38 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Saddler felt  that  the bill  presumed that  the                                                                    
public  interest  in  state government  could  be  satisfied                                                                    
online.  He wondered  whether the  benefit of  the estimated                                                                    
savings would  outweigh the benefit of  offering the fullest                                                                    
possible access to public information.                                                                                          
Representative  Kreiss-Tomkins  did  not believe  that  bill                                                                    
would  jeopardize the  public's  access  to information.  He                                                                    
countered that a  large number of the reports  that would be                                                                    
affected  by the  legislation were  not  in circulation,  in                                                                    
hard copy, for the general public.                                                                                              
Vice-Chair Saddler  asked about  confidence in  the $530,000                                                                    
savings to the state.                                                                                                           
Representative    Kreiss-Tomkins    believed    there    was                                                                    
variability around the number.  He believed that there would                                                                    
be  a  savings to  the  state,  but  that  it could  not  be                                                                    
precisely projected how much.                                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Thompson remarked  that glossy  cardstock used  in                                                                    
printing increased the cost.                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Saddler thought  that  any savings  could go  to                                                                    
expanded broadband in the state.                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki   queried  the  types   of  reports                                                                    
covered in the bill.                                                                                                            
Representative Kreiss-Tomkins  answered that the  bill would                                                                    
apply to all  state publications. He stated  that there were                                                                    
publications that the departments  would choose to print. He                                                                    
said that many  of the documents that had  inspired the bill                                                                    
were the ones read by legislators and their staff.                                                                              
Representative  Kawasaki wondered  if the  legislature would                                                                    
have  less  access  to  publications.  He  referred  several                                                                    
reports that he would have missed in an email link.                                                                             
Representative   Kreiss-Tomkins  replied   that  legislators                                                                    
might need to scrutinize their  email more closely or search                                                                    
for reports  online. He thought  that the  legislation would                                                                    
require  legislators to  be more  proactive  in seeking  out                                                                    
2:19:22 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Kawasaki  wondered whether there would  be an                                                                    
opt-out element to the program.                                                                                                 
Representative  Munoz  spoke in  support  of  the bill.  She                                                                    
wondered  about  agencies  that provided  publications  that                                                                    
were key  to their  mission. She  provided examples  such as                                                                    
the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) and tourism.                                                                            
Representative Kreiss-Tomkins answered  that language in the                                                                    
bill that would  preempt the problem was located  on page 3,                                                                    
lines  14-15; exceptions  would be  allowed for  agencies to                                                                    
print necessary reports for the public.                                                                                         
2:22:04 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Guttenberg asserted  that the assumption that                                                                    
residents statewide  had internet access was  inaccurate. He                                                                    
strongly  advocated  for   broadband  expansion  across  the                                                                    
state. He  spoke to Section 3  of the bill. He  worried that                                                                    
the  documents  would  difficult   to  locate,  and  queried                                                                    
whether the  documents would be  easily found in  a specific                                                                    
place  online. He  wondered if  libraries  would be  charged                                                                    
with the responsibility of tracking the documents.                                                                              
Representative Kreiss-Tomkins  spoke to the  universality of                                                                    
internet access in  Alaska. He opined that  there were areas                                                                    
his district  that had  poor internet  access. He  felt that                                                                    
public access  to information was  relative; the  bill would                                                                    
not  manifestly  impair  access to  public  information.  He                                                                    
offered  that operations  like  the  Alaska Housing  Finance                                                                    
Corporation, for instance, did not  currently send a copy of                                                                    
their  annual  report  to  every   resident  of  Alaska.  He                                                                    
explained that the Alaska Online  Public Notice System would                                                                    
be the repository for documents  and the State Library would                                                                    
keep  5 hard  copies  on file  in  perpetuity; the  archival                                                                    
would be  dual, digital  and analog.  He suggested  that the                                                                    
public  notice system  would need  to be  assessed for  user                                                                    
2:28:08 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Guttenberg reiterated his concerns.                                                                              
Vice-Chair Saddler  cautioned that  savings due to  the bill                                                                    
in  paper  and  trees  would  not be  reflected  in  all  of                                                                    
Alaska's  natural  resources.  He expounded  that  graphite,                                                                    
petroleum,  gold  and  other resources  would  be  used.  He                                                                    
warned  that radical  technological  changes had  unforeseen                                                                    
consequences.   He  worried   that   the   files  might   be                                                                    
inaccessible in 15  - 100 years. He  encouraged libraries to                                                                    
employ  archival  storage   techniques  when  handling  hard                                                                    
copies.  He  wondered  if  the  sponsor  would  consider  an                                                                    
amendment to  allow for a  transition period from  analog to                                                                    
digital and that there be  public notice when a document was                                                                    
no longer going to be physically available.                                                                                     
Representative  Kreiss-Tomkins replied  that  the spirit  of                                                                    
the amendment  was well  received. He  wondered that  if the                                                                    
transition could  be eased by  agencies opting to  alert the                                                                    
public in advance of expiring documents.                                                                                        
Representative  Gara directed  the committee's  attention to                                                                    
Page 3, line 20:                                                                                                                
     Sec. 44.99.260. Print copy requests.                                                                                     
     A person  may obtain,  at no charge,  up to  five print                                                                    
     copies of  reports from the state  library distribution                                                                    
     and data access  center under AS 14.56.170  each day. A                                                                    
     person may  obtain additional  print copies  of reports                                                                    
     from  the state  library distribution  and data  access                                                                    
     center for a reasonable fee under AS 14.56.170.                                                                            
He highlighted Page 2, line 3:                                                                                                  
     Except   as  provided   in  AS   44.99.260,  reasonable                                                                
     [REASONABLE]  fees for  reproduction or  printing costs                                                                    
     and for  mailing and distribution  of materials  may be                                                                    
     charged by the center.                                                                                                     
He wondered about the difference between the two passages.                                                                      
Representative   Kreiss-Tomkins  replied   that  the   state                                                                    
library fee  referenced in the  bill was $0.10 per  copy. He                                                                    
said  that the  first 5  copies would  be free,  beyond that                                                                    
there would be a minimal user fee.                                                                                              
Representative Gara concluded that  physical copies would be                                                                    
available to  the public. He  thought that the  public could                                                                    
be easily  alerted to hard  copies expiring with a  one page                                                                    
document.  He  said  that  the   public  would  always  want                                                                    
Department  of Fish  and Game  documents available  in print                                                                    
and  the  bill would  make  that  possible. He  referred  to                                                                    
publications from the executive  branch and wondered how the                                                                    
sending of documents would be approved by that branch.                                                                          
Representative  Gattis remarked  that the  documents in  the                                                                    
Capitol  Building alone  required a  large amount  of paper.                                                                    
She spoke  in support of  the legislation. She  believed the                                                                    
issue was timely.                                                                                                               
2:36:56 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Kawasaki  wondered whether the  bill included                                                                    
the legislative  and judicial branches under  the "agencies"                                                                    
Representative   Kreiss-Tomkins   replied  that   he   would                                                                    
investigate the issue further.                                                                                                  
HB  68  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
Co-Chair Thompson discussed housekeeping.                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB88 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 3/18/2015 1:30:00 PM
HB 88
HB 68 Sectional Analysis.pdf HFIN 3/18/2015 1:30:00 PM
HB 68
HB 68 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 3/18/2015 1:30:00 PM
HB 68
HB 68 Supporting Documents - ASCC Letter.pdf HFIN 3/18/2015 1:30:00 PM
HB 68
HB 68 Supporting Documents - Leg Research Report.pdf HFIN 3/18/2015 1:30:00 PM
HB 68
HB 68 Supporting Documents - OMB Report.pdf HFIN 3/18/2015 1:30:00 PM
HB 68
HB68 Summary of Changes ver A to ver H.pdf HFIN 3/18/2015 1:30:00 PM
HB 68
HB 88 NEW FN DOR.pdf HFIN 3/18/2015 1:30:00 PM
HB 88
HB 88 DOR Tire Fee Form.pdf HFIN 3/18/2015 1:30:00 PM
HB 88
HB 68 Response to HFIN Qustions.pdf HFIN 3/18/2015 1:30:00 PM
HB 68
HB 88 DOR Tire Fee Form.pdf HFIN 3/18/2015 1:30:00 PM
HB 88