Legislature(2017 - 2018)ADAMS ROOM 519

04/03/2018 10:00 AM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHB 197(FIN) Out of Committee
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Public Testimony --
Moved CSHB 41(FIN) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
<Pending Referral>
-- Public Testimony --
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       April 3, 2018                                                                                            
                        10:05 a.m.                                                                                              
10:05:05 AM                                                                                                                   
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Foster called the House Finance Committee meeting                                                                      
to order at 10:05 a.m.                                                                                                          
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Neal Foster, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Paul Seaton, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Les Gara, Vice-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Jason Grenn                                                                                                      
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                   
Representative Dan Ortiz                                                                                                        
Representative Lance Pruitt                                                                                                     
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Cathy Tilton                                                                                                     
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Representative   Jennifer   Johnston,   Sponsor;   Elizabeth                                                                    
Rexford, Staff, Representative Jennifer Johnston.                                                                               
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Rob Carter, Manager, Plant Materials Center, Division of                                                                        
Agriculture, Department of Natural Resources; Doug Gardner,                                                                     
Director, Legislative Legal Services.                                                                                           
HB 41     JOINT PRIME SPONSORSHIP OF BILLS                                                                                      
          CSHB 41(FIN) was REPORTED out of committee with a                                                                     
          "do pass" recommendation and with one new zero                                                                        
          fiscal note from the Legislative Affairs Agency.                                                                      
HB 197    COMMUNITY SEED LIBRARIES                                                                                              
          CSHB 197(FIN)  was REPORTED out of  committee with                                                                    
          a "do  pass" recommendation and with  one new zero                                                                    
          fiscal  note   from  the  Department   of  Natural                                                                    
Co-Chair Foster reviewed the meeting schedule.                                                                                  
HOUSE BILL NO. 197                                                                                                            
     "An Act relating  to the duties of  the commissioner of                                                                    
     natural   resources;  relating   to  agriculture;   and                                                                    
     relating to community seed libraries."                                                                                     
10:06:29 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  JENNIFER  JOHNSTON,   SPONSOR,  thanked  the                                                                    
committee  for  hearing the  bill.  She  referenced the  new                                                                    
committee substitute (CS) [yet to  be adopted version M, see                                                                    
below for  detail]. She  shared that working  on the  CS had                                                                    
been a collaborative process that  had made a good bill even                                                                    
better. She  had heard significant  support for  the passage                                                                    
of the  bill from agricultural local  gardening communities.                                                                    
The bill would help to  legitimize a growing movement in the                                                                    
state   to  further   improve   food   security  and   self-                                                                    
sufficiency. She thanked the committee  for hearing the bill                                                                    
and asked her staff to provide further detail.                                                                                  
ELIZABETH REXFORD, STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE JENNIFER JOHNSTON,                                                                    
read from a prepared statement:                                                                                                 
     The  newest  version of  HB  197  reduces labeling  and                                                                    
     testing regulations  for the exchange of  small batches                                                                    
     of commercial  seeds. The bill will  permit the Alaskan                                                                    
     gardening  and farming  communities the  opportunity to                                                                    
     continue  expanding seed  sharing without  breaking the                                                                    
     law.   We  currently   have   far  onerously   labeling                                                                    
     requirements in Alaska.                                                                                                    
     The  way the  statute  is currently  written, any  seed                                                                    
     that is  used at any  capacity within the state  has to                                                                    
     go through or should  go through the commercial process                                                                    
     of  extensive  testing,  germinating  percentages,  and                                                                    
     labeling. The  new requirements comparatively  would be                                                                    
     limited.  The  new  labeling guidelines  would  require                                                                    
     only a  few sections: the  seed's common name  and name                                                                    
     and  address of  the seed  library. If  treated with  a                                                                    
     toxic   substance  the   labeling  would   require  the                                                                    
     statement "treated  seed, not for consumption."  As for                                                                    
     signage in the library, the  seed library would have to                                                                    
     display  the statement  "not authorized  for commercial                                                                    
     use  and not  classified, graded,  or inspected  by the                                                                    
     State  of  Alaska."  The  new  fewer  requirements  for                                                                    
     labeling   is  far   less  than   the   two  pages   of                                                                    
     requirements we currently do have.                                                                                         
     As stated  previously, Alaska  has been  experiencing a                                                                    
     severe  food security  challenge.  By  passage of  this                                                                    
     bill,  our community  seed libraries  will  be able  to                                                                    
     confidently  exist and  grow  into  the future.  Please                                                                    
     join us  in supporting HB  197. Rob Carter whom  is the                                                                    
     state's plant material center manager  is online as our                                                                    
     expert.  Thank you  for taking  the time  to hear  this                                                                    
     bill again.                                                                                                                
10:09:09 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Foster noted  the  committee  had previously  been                                                                    
joined by Representative Ortiz.                                                                                                 
Representative Wilson  asked for verification  the 100-pound                                                                    
limit in  the bill meant  that a  person [could not  give or                                                                    
exchange seed] exceeding  more than 100 pounds  at one time.                                                                    
She asked for verification that it was not an annual limit.                                                                     
Ms. Rexford  answered that a 12-month  limitation per person                                                                    
included in a previous bill version had been removed.                                                                           
Representative  Wilson asked  if the  limit was  based on  a                                                                    
particular transaction in the current bill.                                                                                     
Ms. Rexford answered in the affirmative.                                                                                        
Co-Chair Seaton  referenced language the summary  of changes                                                                    
from bill versions A to  M, specifying version M had removed                                                                    
the insertion  of "commercial  and noncommercial."  He asked                                                                    
for clarification.                                                                                                              
Ms.  Rexford  answered that  the  specific  language in  the                                                                    
summary of changes had been an error.                                                                                           
Representative  Guttenberg spoke  to the  importance of  the                                                                    
bill  for   encouraging  gardens   and  early   farmers.  He                                                                    
appreciated  the sponsor's  work on  the bill.  He explained                                                                    
there  was  no need  to  regulate  seed libraries  "at  that                                                                    
level" but they were  still subject to regulations regarding                                                                    
noxious  weeds and  other things.  He thought  100-pound per                                                                    
person limit seemed like a  substantial amount. He asked for                                                                    
detail. He asked  if the limit focused on  one specific seed                                                                    
such as grass, alfalfa, hay, or other.                                                                                          
Ms. Rexford answered  that the sponsor had  considered a few                                                                    
levels  and  numbers  in  terms of  grams  and  pounds.  She                                                                    
believed  the figure  had originally  been 100  grams, which                                                                    
was  far  too  small  for  the  department  to  oversee  and                                                                    
regulate. The  level had  been increased  to 1  pound, which                                                                    
was also viewed as too low.  The department had come up with                                                                    
a number to protect  the public and agricultural communities                                                                    
against  invasive  species  and other  noxious  plants.  She                                                                    
discussed how  the 100-pound limit  had been  calculated. It                                                                    
had been  suggested by calculating the  general broadcasting                                                                    
plant recommendation  for the  non-commercial planting  of a                                                                    
cover crop used to improve soil  health or to produce a crop                                                                    
such as oats or barley for 1  acre of feed or forage. In the                                                                    
future  there  may be  several  instances  where the  amount                                                                    
would exceed  the 100-pound limitation,  in which  case, the                                                                    
current testing regulations would be followed.                                                                                  
10:13:19 AM                                                                                                                   
Representative  Guttenberg  opined  that   a  one  acre  lot                                                                    
bordered on  commercial, but  he was  not certain  where the                                                                    
break point occurred.  He asked to hear  from the Department                                                                    
of Natural  Resources (DNR) at  what point a low  level seed                                                                    
library became commercial (due to size).                                                                                        
ROB  CARTER, MANAGER,  PLANT MATERIALS  CENTER, DIVISION  OF                                                                    
AGRICULTURE,   DEPARTMENT   OF    NATURAL   RESOURCES   (via                                                                    
teleconference), asked for a restatement of the question.                                                                       
Representative Guttenberg  complied. He believed  100 pounds                                                                    
exceeded what he  perceived a seed library to  be. He viewed                                                                    
seed libraries as local gardeners  with vegetable and garden                                                                    
patches. He stated that 100 pounds  could be much more if it                                                                    
was for a  family. He asked what a  100-pound limit included                                                                    
that a limit of 25 to 50 pounds could not have done.                                                                            
Mr. Carter answered that 100  pounds was a general broadcast                                                                    
planting  rate for  crops such  as oats,  barley, and  wheat                                                                    
that an individual  may utilize for a forage  crop for their                                                                    
goats,  cows, or  other livestock.  The department  believed                                                                    
limitations were necessary to  provide protection and ensure                                                                    
it  could  control  the  spread  of  invasive  or  nonnative                                                                    
species of plants  in Alaska. The department  wanted to make                                                                    
sure  the  limitations  were  high  enough  for  individuals                                                                    
living a subsistence lifestyle who  may be raising livestock                                                                    
or  producing a  forage or  feed  or improve  their soil  in                                                                    
remote regions of one acre  or more. The department believed                                                                    
100 pounds met  the need and still fell  below the threshold                                                                    
required for commercial planters or producers.                                                                                  
10:16:08 AM                                                                                                                   
Representative   Guttenberg   thought    the   answer   made                                                                    
significant  sense. He  had not  previously thought  about a                                                                    
local gardener  or seed library  trying to support  goats or                                                                    
dairy. He asked for the coverage  of 100 pounds of barley or                                                                    
grass seed.  He asked for  verification the bill  applied to                                                                    
noncommercial farmers only and  would not include commercial                                                                    
seed producers.                                                                                                                 
Mr.  Carter replied  in the  affirmative.  For example,  the                                                                    
bill would apply to an  individual living in Bethel or north                                                                    
of  the range  along the  Yukon  River who  was required  to                                                                    
purchase some  seed. He continued  that to save  on shipping                                                                    
the individual had  brought in a couple  hundred pounds. The                                                                    
individual  had  carryover from  the  previous  year from  a                                                                    
barley   crop  they   had  used   to  raise   livestock  for                                                                    
subsistence. The  bill would give  the individual  the right                                                                    
to  share  the noncommercial  seed  with  the community  and                                                                    
nonprofits in order to reap the  benefits of a cover crop or                                                                    
the forage produced off a reasonable one acre.                                                                                  
Co-Chair  Seaton referenced  the summary  of changes,  which                                                                    
addressed  the  limitation  of   100  pounds  for  a  single                                                                    
transfer. He pointed  to labeling requirements on  page 4 of                                                                    
the  bill  pertaining to  each  person  receiving seeds.  He                                                                    
wondered if a person could  buy four 100-pound sacks on four                                                                    
different   days   to   avoid  the   100-pound   limitation.                                                                    
Alternatively, he wondered  if a person would  be limited to                                                                    
buying 100 pounds per year.                                                                                                     
Ms. Rexford  answered that as  the bill currently  read, the                                                                    
limit was per transaction.                                                                                                      
Co-Chair Seaton asked  for the location of  the provision in                                                                    
the bill.  He looked  at the  requirement on  page 4  of the                                                                    
bill that read "a person may  not give seed or exchange seed                                                                    
with another person  under AS 03.20.110 and  03.20.120 in an                                                                    
amount that, for each person  who receives the seed, exceeds                                                                    
100 pounds."  He asked if  the limit was per  transaction or                                                                    
per person.                                                                                                                     
10:19:50 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr.  Carter  viewed the  limit  as  applying to  the  person                                                                    
receiving the  seed. For example,  it was more  efficient to                                                                    
buy  cereal  grain  in  bulk.  He  provided  a  hypothetical                                                                    
example  of an  individual  on the  peninsula  who chose  to                                                                    
purchase a super sack (1,800 to  2,000 pounds of seed) to be                                                                    
used as  forage on  their property. If  a person  used 1,000                                                                    
pounds  of  the seed  and  wanted  to donate  the  remainder                                                                    
across the community, to a  seed library, or to a nonprofit,                                                                    
they would be  limited to giving out 100 pounds  of the seed                                                                    
per person.                                                                                                                     
Co-Chair  Seaton  asked if  the  sponsor  saw a  transaction                                                                    
limitation any differently.                                                                                                     
Representative  Johnston  answered   they  had  contemplated                                                                    
various limits.  She believed the  current language  was the                                                                    
best  it   could  be  without   limiting  too   much,  while                                                                    
maintaining some kind of protection.                                                                                            
Co-Chair Seaton clarified for the  record that the limit was                                                                    
per person.                                                                                                                     
Co-Chair  Foster  noted the  committee  had  been joined  by                                                                    
Representative Grenn earlier.                                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Seaton  MOVED  to  ADOPT  the  proposed  committee                                                                    
substitute  for   CSHB  197(FIN),  Work   Draft  30-LS0493\M                                                                    
(Wayne, 3/7/18).                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Gara  reviewed the  zero  fiscal  note from  the                                                                    
Department of Natural Resources.                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton  MOVED  to  REPORT  CSHB  197(FIN)  out  of                                                                    
committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal  note. There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                                                                    
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
CSHB  197(FIN) was  REPORTED  out of  committee  with a  "do                                                                    
pass" recommendation and with one  new zero fiscal note from                                                                    
the Department of Natural Resources.                                                                                            
10:23:57 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
10:25:25 AM                                                                                                                   
HOUSE BILL NO. 41                                                                                                             
     "An Act relating to joint prime sponsorship of bills."                                                                     
10:25:36 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   LES    GARA,   SPONSOR,    introduced   the                                                                    
legislation.   He  explained   that  over   the  years   the                                                                    
legislature had  allowed legislators  to become  joint prime                                                                    
sponsors  of   legislation.  The   old  rule   only  allowed                                                                    
legislators  to become  joint prime  sponsors  in the  first                                                                    
five days  of session.  He discussed that  some of  the best                                                                    
relationships  he  had  built  in  the  building  were  with                                                                    
members  across  the  aisle working  as  joint  sponsors  on                                                                    
legislation.  The bill  would  reinstitute  the practice  of                                                                    
allowing joint  sponsors on legislation  and would  allow it                                                                    
to  happen any  time during  the year.  He believed  working                                                                    
across party  lines was  good -  it built  relationships and                                                                    
trust.  He  thought it  was  what  the public  expected.  He                                                                    
believed it  was better  for a  group of  people, especially                                                                    
people across  party lines, to  stand together on  an issue.                                                                    
He  recalled  working as  a  joint  prime sponsor  with  the                                                                    
former  mayor of  Fairbanks [Representative  Steve Thompson]                                                                    
and the former House  Finance Committee co-chair from Haines                                                                    
[Representative  Bill   Thomas]  and   a  number   of  other                                                                    
Vice-Chair Gara  elaborated that based on  his experience as                                                                    
a former  Minority member, Minority  bills move  through the                                                                    
legislative process more  slowly. He believed co-sponsorship                                                                    
across party lines  helped solve the problem.  He stated the                                                                    
bill  was  simple  and   followed  the  current  legislative                                                                    
Uniform Rules. He explained that  changing the Uniform Rules                                                                    
required a two-thirds vote, which he  did not want to do. He                                                                    
explained that the  bill would allow a  group of legislators                                                                    
to agree to  be joint prime sponsors. There would  be one or                                                                    
two  lead legislators  sponsoring  the  bill. He  elaborated                                                                    
that  a legislator  could always  remove their  name from  a                                                                    
bill at  any time it was  in the house they  belonged to. He                                                                    
had  asked  Doug  Gardner,  director  of  Legislative  Legal                                                                    
Services  if he  could  remember a  case  where someone  had                                                                    
objected to  another legislator removing their  own name off                                                                    
a bill.  As far as  Mr. Gardner  could recall, it  had never                                                                    
happened.  He  acknowledged  it  was  a  possibility  and  a                                                                    
legislator  would know  that when  they signed  on. In  that                                                                    
circumstance, he reasoned he would  tell his constituents he                                                                    
no longer  supported a  piece legislation  and would  try to                                                                    
take his name off as soon as possible.                                                                                          
Vice-Chair Gara  summarized that  the bill would  get people                                                                    
to work  together and  especially encouraged  newer, younger                                                                    
legislators to build relationships.  He thought the bill was                                                                    
a  small  thing  that  was beneficial  for  the  legislative                                                                    
10:29:53 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Seaton asked if one  of six or so co-prime sponsors                                                                    
would  be allowed  to offer  an amendment  in committee.  He                                                                    
asked if  all co-prime  sponsors would have  equal ownership                                                                    
of  the   legislation.  He   noted  that   co-sponsors  were                                                                    
different than the owner of the bill.                                                                                           
Vice-Chair Gara  believed the  co-prime sponsors  would have                                                                    
to come  up with  an agreement  at the start  of a  piece of                                                                    
legislation.  In the  past, when  he had  been the  lead co-                                                                    
prime sponsor, people  had given him the  discretion to make                                                                    
those  calls and  he had  brought issues  back to  the other                                                                    
sponsors for  them to decide  whether they were  amenable to                                                                    
the change. A group of  sponsors could also agree in advance                                                                    
whether  to  accept any  amendments  or  a co-prime  sponsor                                                                    
would have to say in front  of a committee they did not know                                                                    
whether the other co-prime  sponsors accepted the amendment.                                                                    
He  reasoned that  when considering  legislation,  it was  a                                                                    
committee's  purview to  decide whether  or not  to amend  a                                                                    
bill.  He  noted  he  had  never had  the  problem.  In  his                                                                    
experience, they  had always trusted the  lead prime sponsor                                                                    
to report  back to other  sponsors to determine  whether the                                                                    
change was acceptable  or if they should try  to reverse it.                                                                    
He  believed  it  was necessary  to  have  an  understanding                                                                    
between  prime  sponsors   at  the  start  of   a  piece  of                                                                    
Co-Chair  Seaton  thought  it  was  beneficial  to  put  any                                                                    
potential   pitfalls   on   the  record   during   committee                                                                    
discussion. He  noted that it  was easy for a  legislator to                                                                    
take their name off a  piece of legislation as a co-sponsor,                                                                    
which  included  submitting  a green  slip  or  telling  the                                                                    
clerks. He asked if the process  would be the same for prime                                                                    
sponsors.  Alternatively, he  asked if  a legislator  had to                                                                    
stand on  the [House or  Senate] floor to make  the request,                                                                    
which was  typically the process  when requesting  to change                                                                    
the sponsor.                                                                                                                    
10:33:08 AM                                                                                                                   
Vice-Chair  Gara   replied  it  was  a   good  question.  He                                                                    
referenced  the  late  date  and  explained  that  he  would                                                                    
support changing the  Uniform Rules if he  believed it could                                                                    
be  done.  The  bill  followed  the  current  Uniform  Rules                                                                    
requirement  for a  person  to  stand up  [on  the House  or                                                                    
Senate floor]  to request unanimous consent  for the removal                                                                    
of their  name from  the bill.  No one  could recall  that a                                                                    
person  had ever  objected  to  the removal  of  a name.  He                                                                    
reiterated his  earlier testimony that a  person would enter                                                                    
into a co-prime  sponsorship with the knowledge  that it was                                                                    
a remote possibility.                                                                                                           
Representative Thompson recalled when  he had first become a                                                                    
legislator there had been a  yellow sheet that members could                                                                    
fill out to  become a co-prime sponsor, but  the first prime                                                                    
sponsor  had  to agree  to  add  any co-prime  sponsors.  He                                                                    
thought there  had been  a deadline one  to two  weeks after                                                                    
the start of  session to sign on as a  co-prime sponsor on a                                                                    
bill. He asked if that was the case under the bill as well.                                                                     
Vice-Chair  Gara  replied that  all  prime  sponsors had  to                                                                    
agree to  the other prime  sponsors, which had never  been a                                                                    
problem. In the  past, it had only been possible  to sign on                                                                    
as  a co-prime  sponsor within  the first  five days  of the                                                                    
first  year of  a two-year  legislative session.  He thought                                                                    
the  option  should  be  available  all  year.  He  believed                                                                    
working together  should occur  all year  and should  not be                                                                    
limited to the first five days of session.                                                                                      
Representative Thompson agreed.                                                                                                 
Representative Guttenberg would much  prefer to have someone                                                                    
help him  with a  bill whether they  were prime  or co-prime                                                                    
sponsors, instead of a person  merely adding their name as a                                                                    
co-sponsor. He did  not object to the bill. He  spoke to the                                                                    
preference  for  having  legislators sign  on  who  actively                                                                    
advocate  for  the  legislation.   He  did  not  necessarily                                                                    
believe a person had to be  on the co-prime or prime sponsor                                                                    
list  to take  that  action.  He noted  that  he had  worked                                                                    
significantly with the sponsor of  the previous bill and had                                                                    
become  a co-sponsor  earlier in  the day.  He spoke  to the                                                                    
importance  of  getting things  done  as  opposed to  merely                                                                    
putting  someone's name  on  a bill.  He  understood it  was                                                                    
important for some  people and the dynamics  for everyone in                                                                    
the building were  different. He thought it  was possible to                                                                    
bring a  group of people  together who  did not feel  it was                                                                    
important  to  have  their  name   on  the  legislation.  He                                                                    
observed the  dynamics differed by person,  bill, and party.                                                                    
He noted  that some issues  had no party or  regional lines,                                                                    
which   worked  very   well.   He   imagined  the   co-prime                                                                    
sponsorship  option  was  the   best  thing.  He  added  the                                                                    
dynamics in the building took wild swings.                                                                                      
10:38:14 AM                                                                                                                   
Representative Tilton asked  how far along in  the process a                                                                    
co-prime sponsor could be added.                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Gara  answered upon introduction of  the bill. He                                                                    
elaborated   there  would   be   agreement   prior  to   the                                                                    
introduction  of   a  bill.  He   understood  Representative                                                                    
Guttenberg's point and explained  his preference to have co-                                                                    
prime  sponsors  who  would contribute  work  to  the  bill.                                                                    
Additionally, if someone  who wanted to co-prime  had a good                                                                    
relationship with  a legislator  the prime sponsor  did not,                                                                    
the  co-prime  sponsor could  inform  the  person about  the                                                                    
merits   of  the   bill.  He   agreed  with   Representative                                                                    
Guttenberg about  his preference  to have  co-prime sponsors                                                                    
who would  work on the bill  and help it along.  He surmised                                                                    
that  four people  could do  more work  than one  person. He                                                                    
believed it  was nice to  have ownership over a  passed bill                                                                    
after two years of hard work.                                                                                                   
Representative Pruitt  referenced language  in Section  3 of                                                                    
the  bill specifying  that a  bill could  only be  withdrawn                                                                    
with the  agreement of all  joint prime sponsors and  in the                                                                    
manner prescribed  in the  Uniform Rules.  He asked  how the                                                                    
process would  work. He  wondered if  a prime  sponsor would                                                                    
make the motion to withdraw the  bill on the floor or if co-                                                                    
prime sponsor signatures would need  to be gathered prior to                                                                    
moving to withdraw the bill.                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Gara  answered that  a person  would stand  up on                                                                    
the  floor and  ask for  unanimous consent  to withdraw  the                                                                    
bill;  if there  were  no objections,  a co-prime  sponsor's                                                                    
name would be  removed. He referenced the  last provision in                                                                    
the  bill   [Section  3  cited  by   Representative  Pruitt]                                                                    
regarding  an  agreement of  all  joint  prime sponsors  and                                                                    
deferred to  Legislative Legal Services. He  was amenable to                                                                    
removing  the  sentence  requiring agreement  of  all  joint                                                                    
prime sponsors to withdraw the bill  if it did not require a                                                                    
Uniform  Rules change.  He did  not want  a bill  that would                                                                    
require a two-thirds vote in both bodies.                                                                                       
DOUG  GARDNER,  DIRECTOR,  LEGISLATIVE LEGAL  SERVICES  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  referenced  the   conversation  about  the                                                                    
prior prime  sponsorship for pre-filed  bills that  ended in                                                                    
the 29th  Legislature. One of  the concerns at the  time had                                                                    
been  about who  had the  authority to  withdraw a  bill. In                                                                    
response to  the concern, the  dilemma had been  resolved in                                                                    
the current  bill by requiring  all joint prime  sponsors to                                                                    
agree  to the  bill's withdrawal.  In other  words, everyone                                                                    
sponsoring the  bill would be  treated the  same. Currently,                                                                    
only the sponsor  of a bill had the authority  to withdraw a                                                                    
bill. He believed  the provision was a  logical extension of                                                                    
the rule.                                                                                                                       
10:43:57 AM                                                                                                                   
Vice-Chair Gara  had misread the last  sentence and believed                                                                    
the  sentence made  sense.  He explained  that  if a  person                                                                    
wanted to remove their name from  a bill they could stand on                                                                    
the  floor and  make  the request.  Historically, there  had                                                                    
been  no  objections.  The  second   part  of  the  sentence                                                                    
pertained  to withdrawing  a bill.  He  provided a  scenario                                                                    
where a  bill had four  prime sponsors who supported  it and                                                                    
one  who  no longer  supported  it.  He explained  that  the                                                                    
person could decide to take their  name off the bill. He did                                                                    
not want  to prevent the  remaining sponsors from  trying to                                                                    
move the bill forward.                                                                                                          
Representative Pruitt  believed there needed to  be approval                                                                    
of all  the joint sponsors.  He was trying to  determine the                                                                    
logistics of  the process. He  used a scenario with  two co-                                                                    
prime  sponsors  who had  a  disagreement  on the  bill.  He                                                                    
elaborated  that one  sponsor wanted  to withdraw  the bill,                                                                    
but  the other  did  not. He  contemplated  what would  take                                                                    
place  if  the  member  who supported  the  legislation  was                                                                    
absent and  the other member  made a motion to  withdraw the                                                                    
bill. He asked how there  would be confirmation of agreement                                                                    
between all  co-prime sponsors. He  recalled there  had been                                                                    
problems with the  issue in the past, which  had resulted in                                                                    
the elimination of the process.                                                                                                 
Mr.   Gardner  mentioned   statute,   floor  practice,   and                                                                    
precedent developed by the bodies.  He likened the situation                                                                    
to a scenario  where a bill was being  waived from committee                                                                    
with  the agreement  of all  committee members.  He believed                                                                    
legislators   were  honorable   on   the   floor  and   that                                                                    
individuals would communicate whether  an agreement had been                                                                    
made. He referenced the  scenario provided by Representative                                                                    
Pruitt where there were two  co-prime sponsors of a bill. He                                                                    
believed one  of the  sponsors could stand  up on  the floor                                                                    
and  relay that  they had  spoken to  the other  sponsor and                                                                    
they both agreed  the bill should be  withdrawn. He believed                                                                    
it was  probably the same type  of practice. If there  was a                                                                    
dispute,  the member  who wanted  the  bill withdrawn  could                                                                    
chose to remove their name from the legislation.                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt   asked  if   waiving  a   bill  from                                                                    
committee was practice or fell under Uniform Rules.                                                                             
Mr. Gardner answered under Uniform  Rules, the House Speaker                                                                    
or  Senate  President  had  to   provide  one  committee  of                                                                    
referral.  The practice  of waiving  from committee  allowed                                                                    
the speaker  and president to  satisfy that  requirement. He                                                                    
believed it  was a practice  issue, where for  efficiency, a                                                                    
bill could  be waived at the  end of session if  a companion                                                                    
bill had  been heard or if  people wanted to move  it to the                                                                    
floor. He concluded waiving a  bill from committee was rule-                                                                    
based  but was  mostly a  practice that  had evolved  in the                                                                    
legislature to move bills.                                                                                                      
10:48:19 AM                                                                                                                   
Representative  Wilson  MOVED   conceptual  Amendment  1  to                                                                    
delete Section 1, lines 3 through 5:                                                                                            
     Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska                                                                       
     is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                                                
     SHORT TITLE. This Act may be known as the Bipartisan                                                                       
     Cooperation Act.                                                                                                           
Representative  Wilson wanted  to  ensure independents  were                                                                    
counted. She  believed including the word  "bipartisan" made                                                                    
the legislation more partisan.                                                                                                  
Representative  Thompson  asked   Representative  Wilson  to                                                                    
repeat the amendment.                                                                                                           
Representative Wilson complied.                                                                                                 
There  being  NO  OBJECTION,   conceptual  Amendment  1  was                                                                    
Representative Wilson MOVED to  ADOPT conceptual Amendment 2                                                                    
on page 1, lines  13 and 14 to delete the  words "up to four                                                                    
joint   prime  sponsors."   She  believed   the  number   of                                                                    
individuals allowed  to sign  on to  a piece  of legislation                                                                    
should not be limited to four.                                                                                                  
Vice-Chair  Gara   was  agreeable   to  the   amendment  and                                                                    
understood  Representative   Wilson's  point.  He   posed  a                                                                    
question about  whether eight [joint prime  sponsors] became                                                                    
unwieldly.  He  reasoned  the  group  of  individuals  could                                                                    
decide how big or small they wanted to be.                                                                                      
There  being  NO  OBJECTION,   conceptual  Amendment  2  was                                                                    
10:50:12 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Seaton  pointed to the  following language  on line                                                                    
15,  page  1  through  line  1, page  2:  "All  joint  prime                                                                    
sponsors  must   agree  to  allow  additional   joint  prime                                                                    
sponsors." He  referenced an earlier statement  that members                                                                    
could  only  sign   on  as  joint  prime   sponsors  at  the                                                                    
introduction  of a  bill. He  thought  the language  allowed                                                                    
joint prime  sponsors to be  added to a bill  throughout the                                                                    
process. He asked Mr. Gardner for clarification.                                                                                
Mr. Gardner believed the sponsor  [of HB 41] should be asked                                                                    
about his  intent. He added  that AS 24.08.060,  which would                                                                    
be amended by the addition  of subsection (c) applied to the                                                                    
introduction of  bills. In the  past, prime  sponsorship had                                                                    
been done  in the pre-file  process. Once the bill  had been                                                                    
introduced people could become  co-sponsors. He believed the                                                                    
subsection was  about the introduction  of bills,  not about                                                                    
later on in  the process. He reiterated his  belief that the                                                                    
sponsor should put his intent on the record.                                                                                    
Co-Chair Seaton wanted to receive  something in writing from                                                                    
Legislative  Legal Services  about  their interpretation  of                                                                    
the provision. He also wanted to hear from the sponsor.                                                                         
Vice-Chair  Gara replied  that  the issue  had been  closely                                                                    
considered to  ensure joint prime  sponsors could  only sign                                                                    
onto  legislation upon  introduction.  He  noted there  were                                                                    
only two remaining  sections in the bill.  The first section                                                                    
specified  a  group  of  members may  introduce  a  bill  or                                                                    
resolution  (for the  introduction). For  clarity, the  same                                                                    
language  had been  added in  Section 3,  which specified  a                                                                    
bill may be  introduced by a group of  members. He explained                                                                    
the  bill  clearly  applied  only  to  the  introduction  of                                                                    
10:54:22 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Seaton wanted to ensure  it was clear on the record                                                                    
that  the   bill  only  applied   to  the   introduction  of                                                                    
legislation.  He reasoned  that  when a  bill  had not  been                                                                    
introduced  there  would be  no  co-prime  sponsors at  that                                                                    
time.  He referred  to the  bill's language  that all  joint                                                                    
prime sponsors  must agree to  allow additional  joint prime                                                                    
sponsors,  which  he  believed  indicated  additional  joint                                                                    
prime  sponsors could  be added.  He wanted  it to  be clear                                                                    
that  additional  prime  sponsors  could not  be  added.  He                                                                    
believed no  one was a  co-prime sponsor until after  a bill                                                                    
was introduced. He  explained a bill did not  exist until it                                                                    
had been introduced. He asked  if a change to the formatting                                                                    
was needed.                                                                                                                     
Mr. Gardner replied that the  bill addressed introduction of                                                                    
bills only and addressed a  group of people working together                                                                    
on  a bill.  He did  not  believe the  bill language  needed                                                                    
further clarification. He stated that  if a person wanted to                                                                    
be added after the introductory  period, they would be added                                                                    
as  co-sponsors, not  prime sponsors.  Prime sponsors  could                                                                    
not be  added under  the specific statute  after a  bill had                                                                    
been introduced.  One of the  issues the bill  resolved, was                                                                    
how Legislative  Legal Services dealt with  additional names                                                                    
being added  to the bill.  The statute specified that  if an                                                                    
individual wanted to be a  co-prime sponsor that other prime                                                                    
sponsors  all   had  to  agree.  He   explained  it  removed                                                                    
Legislative  Legal Services  from  getting  involved in  the                                                                    
process. The  issue would  be up to  prime sponsors  to sort                                                                    
out.   He  underscored   that  the   bill   applied  to   an                                                                    
introduction statute, not an  add-on-later statute. Based on                                                                    
the way the statute  was drafted, Legislative Legal Services                                                                    
would not  add co-primes after  the introduction of  a bill.                                                                    
He believed the statute was fairly clear.                                                                                       
Co-Chair  Seaton wanted  to make  sure it  was clear  on the                                                                    
record. He appreciated the explanation.                                                                                         
10:58:17 AM                                                                                                                   
Representative  Wilson  asked   for  verification  that  the                                                                    
provision  requiring all  joint prime  sponsors to  agree to                                                                    
allow additional joint prime sponsors  only pertained to the                                                                    
introduction portion  of a bill. She  surmised someone could                                                                    
not be added as a joint prime sponsor later on.                                                                                 
Mr. Gardner agreed. He detailed  HB 41 pertained only to the                                                                    
introduction process,  and not to  the period after  a piece                                                                    
of legislation  had been introduced. After  the introduction                                                                    
period  any  individuals  added  to  a  bill  would  be  co-                                                                    
Co-Chair Foster OPENED and CLOSED public testimony.                                                                             
Co-Chair  Seaton  MOVED  to  REPORT   CSHB  41(FIN)  out  of                                                                    
committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                                       
CSHB 41(FIN) was REPORTED out  of committee with a "do pass"                                                                    
recommendation and  with one new  zero fiscal note  from the                                                                    
Legislative Affairs Agency.                                                                                                     
Co-Chair  Foster reviewed  the  schedule  for the  following                                                                    
11:01:16 AM                                                                                                                   
The meeting was adjourned at 11:01 a.m.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB277 Sponsor Statement 3.12.18.pdf HFIN 4/3/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 277
HB277 Sectional Analysis 3.12.18.pdf HFIN 4/3/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 277
HB277 Supporting Document-Fast Facts for Conservatives on Net Neutrality 3.12.18.pdf HFIN 4/3/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 277
HB277 Supporting Document-Fraudulent Comments from Alaska 3.12.18.pdf HFIN 4/3/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 277
HB277 Supporting Document-Governor's Letter 3.12.18.pdf HFIN 4/3/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 277
HB277 Supporting Document-Letter to Governor Encouraging Executive Order 3.12.18.pdf HFIN 4/3/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 277
HB277 Supporting Document-Letters of Support 3.12.18.pdf HFIN 4/3/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 277
HB277 Supporting Document-Pew Study 3.12.18.pdf HFIN 4/3/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 277
HB277 Supporting Document-Portugal Payment Package Example 3.12.18.pdf HFIN 4/3/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 277
HB277 Supporting Document-Rep. Kawasaki Letter to Governor 3.12.18.pdf HFIN 4/3/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 277
HB 41 Sponsor Statement 3.30.18.pdf HFIN 4/3/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 41
HB 41 Sectional Analysis Ver A 3.30.18.pdf HFIN 4/3/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 41
HB299 Supporting Documents - AK Air Letter to ABC Board 2.16.18.pdf HFIN 4/3/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 299
HB299 Supporting Documents - ABC Board Letter to AK Air 2.26.18.pdf HFIN 4/3/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 299
HB299 Supporting Documents - ABC Board Letter to AK Air 2.26.18.pdf HFIN 4/3/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 299
HB 41 Supporting Document-Pages 38-39 Uniform Rules Alaska State Legislature 4.2.18.pdf HFIN 4/3/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 41
HB 197 CS WORKDRAFT vM.pdf HFIN 4/3/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 197
HB197 Sectional Analysis ver M 4.2.2018.pdf HFIN 4/3/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 197
HB197 Summary of Changes 4.2.2018.pdf HFIN 4/3/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 197
HB197 Letter of Support.pdf HFIN 4/3/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 197
HB 197 Supporting Document Carter DNR.pdf HFIN 4/3/2018 10:00:00 AM
HB 197