Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 120

04/03/2009 01:00 PM JUDICIARY


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 193 LEGISLATIVE ETHICS ACT TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 193(JUD) Out of Committee
+ HJR 2 CONST AM: GENDER-NEUTRAL REFERENCES TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ HJR 13 CONST AM: SEC. OF STATE REFERENCES TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 108 PROPERTY FORECLOSURES AND EXECUTIONS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 108(JUD) Out of Committee
HB 193 - LEGISLATIVE ETHICS ACT                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:31:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL NO.  193, "An  Act  relating to  representation by  a                                                               
legislator  or  legislative  employee  of another  person  in  an                                                               
administrative  hearing; relating  to  charity  events under  the                                                               
Legislative Ethics Act; requiring  compensation of public members                                                               
of the Select Committee on  Legislative Ethics; exempting certain                                                               
information  from  disclosure  requirements  of  the  Legislative                                                               
Ethics Act;  relating to the  selection of alternate  members and                                                               
the  participation of  members and  alternate  members in  formal                                                               
proceedings  of the  Select Committee  on Legislative  Ethics and                                                               
its  subcommittees;  and   defining  'constituent,'  'constituent                                                               
service,'  'legislative purpose,'  'nonlegislative purpose,'  and                                                               
'private  benefit' for  the purposes  of  the Legislative  Ethics                                                               
Act."  [Before the committee was CSHB 193(STA).]                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:32:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RYNNIEVA MOSS,  Staff, Representative John Coghill,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, on  behalf of  the sponsor,  Representative Coghill,                                                               
explained  that Section  1's proposed  AS  24.60.030(a) uses  the                                                               
term  "gift" instead  of "lawful  gratuity",  thereby making  the                                                               
ethics  provisions  of Title  24  consistent,  and provides  that                                                               
legislators' legislative  mailing lists may be  used for campaign                                                               
purposes.    Section  2's  proposed   AS  24.60.030(i)  adds  new                                                               
language  that   would  protect   legislators  and   staff,  when                                                               
assisting  constituents, from  violating  the Legislative  Ethics                                                               
Act  as  the  result  of   unintentional  encounters  with  those                                                               
involved   in  administrative   hearings;  for   example,  if   a                                                               
constituent  requests  assistance with  a  problem  with a  state                                                               
agency  but doesn't  inform the  legislator or  legislative staff                                                               
that the issue  is already being addressed  at the administrative                                                               
hearing  level, currently,  just  by contacting  the agency,  the                                                               
legislator  or legislative  staff  is  violating the  Legislative                                                               
Ethics Act,  but under proposed  AS 24.60.030(i),  the legislator                                                               
or legislative staff could be cleared of any wrongdoing.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS explained  that Section  3's  proposed AS  24.60.080(a)                                                               
would allow a legislator or  legislative staff to receive [from a                                                               
lobbyist  a gift  worth less  than $250  if the  gift involves  a                                                               
charitable  event;  that  Section 4's  proposed  AS  24.60.080(c)                                                               
allows a legislator  or legislative staff to receive  such a gift                                                               
worth $250  or more as  long as it is  not given by  a lobbyist];                                                               
and  that  Section  5's  proposed   AS  24.60.080(d)  requires  a                                                               
legislator or legislative staff to  report the amount of any such                                                               
gift worth $250  or more.  The aforementioned  monetary limit for                                                               
lobbyists  applies  to  lobbyists, immediate  family  members  of                                                               
lobbyists, and  persons acting on  behalf of lobbyists.   Section                                                               
6's  proposed AS  24.60.105(d)  exempts a  person  from making  a                                                               
required disclosure under AS 24.60  if doing so would violate the                                                               
U.S. Constitution,  the Alaska State  Constitution, or  any other                                                               
state  or  federal  law  [protecting  confidential  information].                                                               
Section 7's  proposed AS 24.60.130(f) would  allow public members                                                               
of  legislative committees  to receive  compensation of  $150 per                                                               
day when attending committee meetings.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS  explained that Section  8's proposed AS  24.60.130(n) -                                                               
in addition to providing for  the appointment of alternate public                                                               
members to  the Select  Committee on  Legislative Ethics  - would                                                               
require    an    alternate     member    participating    in    a                                                               
[meeting/proceeding]  of  the  Select  Committee  on  Legislative                                                               
Ethics due to  a regular member - either legislative  or public -                                                               
being unable to  participate, to participate for  the duration of                                                               
the [meeting/proceeding].   Section 9's proposed  AS 24.60.990(a)                                                               
adds  definitions  [for  the terms,  "constituent",  "constituent                                                               
service",  "legislative purpose",  "nonlegislative purpose",  and                                                               
"private benefit"].                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:37:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOYCE ANDERSON, Ethics  Committee Administrator, Select Committee                                                               
on Legislative Ethics, Alaska  State Legislature, mentioning that                                                               
the Select Committee  on Legislative Ethics is  familiar with the                                                               
[changes  proposed by  CSHB 193(STA)],  explained that  Section 6                                                               
would cover  situations in  which a  person provides  or receives                                                               
medical  services,  for  example,  but can't  make  the  required                                                               
[close   economic   association]    disclosure   regarding   that                                                               
relationship because  doing so would  violate the  federal Health                                                               
Insurance Portability and Accountability  Act (HIPAA); this issue                                                               
was  raised  by someone  seeking  an  advisory opinion  from  the                                                               
Select Committee  on Legislative Ethics.   Characterizing Section                                                               
9's  definition  of  "constituent"   as  very,  very  broad,  she                                                               
indicated  that that  shouldn't  be a  problem because  currently                                                               
there  are  other  sections  of  statute  that  cover  situations                                                               
involving campaigning  and doing something for  a private benefit                                                               
- which is now also being defined  in Section 9 - as was the case                                                               
in  an  incident  wherein the  Select  Committee  on  Legislative                                                               
Ethics issued  a complaint decision  regarding a  legislator whom                                                               
it  found in  violation  for sending  a  newsletter [regarding  a                                                               
campaign  issue]   to  individuals   who  were  not   within  the                                                               
legislator's constituent district.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:39:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLMES asked whether  under the bill, a legislator                                                               
would  continue to  be able  to provide  services to  people even                                                               
though they don't live in the legislator's district.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON said yes.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  asked whether  the alternate  public member                                                               
provided for in  Section 8 would be entitled  to the compensation                                                               
provided for in Section 7.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ANDERSON  said he/she  would  be  but  only if  he/she  were                                                               
participating in the meeting in an official capacity.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  questioned whether  that would  also be                                                               
the case  if an alternate  public member was  asked to come  to a                                                               
meeting just in  case he/she might have to participate  in just a                                                               
portion of the meeting.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ANDERSON  pointed  out  that   the  language  in  Section  8                                                               
stipulates that alternates  who are required to  participate in a                                                               
proceeding are required to participate  in the entire proceeding.                                                               
In response  to further questions, she  offered her understanding                                                               
that alternate members  would only be called to  participate in a                                                               
meeting if a regular member  was unable to participate, and would                                                               
not be called  in to participate in a meeting  just on the chance                                                               
that  a regular  member might  need to  leave the  room for  some                                                               
reason.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
[Chair Ramras turned the gavel over to Vice Chair Dahlstrom.]                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  opined that an alternate  member should                                                               
be able to participate  in just a portion of a  meeting - say for                                                               
one agenda item - and still receive compensation for doing so.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS offered  her  understanding that  if  both the  regular                                                               
member and the  alternate member are at a meeting  in an official                                                               
capacity, then both would receive compensation.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG expressed  interest in possibly amending                                                               
the bill to insure that  an alternate member could participate in                                                               
just a  portion of a  meeting and receive compensation  for doing                                                               
so.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:43:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ANDERSON  said that  another  provision  of statute  already                                                               
addresses  situations  in  which  a regular  member  must  recuse                                                               
himself/herself due to  a conflict of interest.   She offered her                                                               
understanding that  the language  in the  bill isn't  intended to                                                               
allow a regular member  to simply step out of the  room for a few                                                               
minutes and  have the alternate  member take that  person's place                                                               
and vote on an issue.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
[Vice Chair Dahlstrom returned the gavel to Chair Ramras.]                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  explained that  the language of  the bill                                                               
is meant  to address quorum  issues; if  a regular member  has to                                                               
recuse himself/herself,  there would then be  an alternate member                                                               
to take the regular member's place.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  opined that an alternate  public member                                                               
ought  to  be  able  to  fill in  for  one  regular  member  when                                                               
addressing  a  particular topic  and  then  fill in  for  another                                                               
regular member when  the committee moves onto  another topic, and                                                               
that an alternate public member  should receive compensation even                                                               
if he/she sits  through the meeting just in case  he/she might be                                                               
called upon to fill in but then ultimately doesn't have to.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS  offered her  belief  that  that  is what  would  occur                                                               
because the  alternate would  be there  in an  official capacity.                                                               
In response to a question, she  posited that the bill is clear on                                                               
that issue.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   asked  whether  anything   in  either                                                               
current law or  the bill would prohibit an  alternate member from                                                               
participating in just one agenda item during a meeting.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON indicated that there is not.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:47:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  pointed out  that according to  language in                                                               
Section  8, if  an alternate  public member  has to  participate,                                                               
he/she must  participate for  the duration of  that meeting.   He                                                               
questioned whether  this means  that if  a regular  public member                                                               
were unable  to address  one agenda item  because of  a conflict,                                                               
then he/she  would be unable  to participate  in the rest  of the                                                               
meeting as well, because the  alternate member would have started                                                               
participating.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ANDERSON indicated  that Section  8  is meant  to address  a                                                               
concern  that   public  members   of  the  Select   Committee  on                                                               
Legislative Ethics don't  have an alternate member to  sit in for                                                               
them;  the  intent  is  to  have  an  alternative  public  member                                                               
available  if, for  any reason,  a regular  public member  cannot                                                               
attend a  meeting.   She clarified that  Section 8  is addressing                                                               
both meetings and  proceedings, and that a  proceeding would have                                                               
to  do  with  a  particular complaint  and  could,  for  example,                                                               
require  attention during  three separate  meetings.   In such  a                                                               
situation,  an  alternate  member  taking the  place  of  regular                                                               
member due to  a conflict of interest specific  to that complaint                                                               
would have to attend all three of those meetings.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  asked whether  a legislative member  who is                                                               
late for a meeting must then  sit out the meeting because his/her                                                               
alternate had to take his place.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON said  that's how she would read it.   In response to                                                               
another  question, she  offered her  belief that  the requirement                                                               
that an  alternate participate for  the entirety of  a proceeding                                                               
applies  only to  complaint proceedings,  not  "a full  committee                                                               
meeting."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  asked whether,  in a  situation in  which a                                                               
regular  member knows  he/she  has a  conflict  of interest  with                                                               
regard  to  a  particular  agenda   item  and  therefore  recuses                                                               
himself/herself  from  participating  in that  agenda  item,  the                                                               
alternate member would  be required to take  the regular member's                                                               
place during the entire meeting.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON offered her understanding  that in such a situation,                                                               
the  alternate member  would  only have  to  participate in  that                                                               
specific   agenda  item,   but   would  still   be  entitled   to                                                               
compensation.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG noted that  that's been the practice for                                                               
legislative  members  of  the  Select  Committee  on  Legislative                                                               
Ethics, and so he therefore assumes  that that is the intent [for                                                               
public members as well].                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON concurred.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:54:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS, in response to  a question, repeated her explanation of                                                               
Section 6.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM  surmised that Section 6  would apply in                                                               
situations involving [someone in the medical field].                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON concurred, repeated  her previous comments regarding                                                               
Section 6, and explained that  under that provision, a legislator                                                               
or legislative  staff could  write an  explanation to  the Select                                                               
Committee  on  Legislative Ethics  regarding  why  he/she is  not                                                               
making a  particular disclosure,  and if the  committee considers                                                               
the explanation  to be  sufficient, then there  would be  no need                                                               
for  the  person to  make  the  disclosure.    In response  to  a                                                               
question, she  explained that Section  6 pertains  to disclosures                                                               
of  close   economic  associations,  not   financial  disclosures                                                               
required by the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC).                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL relayed  that the  language in  Section 6                                                               
was chosen  instead of trying  to establish a  particular dollar-                                                               
amount threshold.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS,  in response  to  a  question,  pointed out  that  the                                                               
written explanation is  only required if requested  by the Select                                                               
Committee  on  Legislative  Ethics  or a  person  acting  on  its                                                               
behalf.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS  questioned how the Select  Committee on Legislative                                                               
Ethics  or a  person  acting on  its behalf  would  even know  to                                                               
request a written explanation.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON suggested that perhaps  the language in Section 6 on                                                               
page 9, lines 2-3, that says,  "a person who refrains from making                                                               
a disclosure  under this  subsection shall"  could be  changed to                                                               
instead  say, "a  person who  is  required to  make a  disclosure                                                               
under  this subsection  shall".   In response  to a  request, she                                                               
described  what constitutes  a  close  economic relationship  for                                                               
purposes of  being required  to disclose  such, and  offered some                                                               
examples.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS  suggested that the  language of Section 6  ought to                                                               
also specify that  the person who chooses to  refrain from making                                                               
a  disclosure shall  notify the  Select Committee  on Legislative                                                               
Ethics that  he/she wouldn't  be making  the disclosure;  in this                                                               
way, the Select  Committee on Legislative Ethics  would know that                                                               
it might need to request a written explanation.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLMES agreed.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  opined  that  Section  6  should  also                                                               
specify that the Select Committee  on Legislative Ethics' request                                                               
for a written explanation be kept confidential.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL suggested  that the  language on  page 8,                                                               
line 30,  be changed  to say  in part, "A  person may  request to                                                               
refrain from".                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  suggested that that request  to refrain                                                               
should also be in writing.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS concurred.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:10:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG made  a motion to adopt  Amendment 1, to                                                               
add the words  "submit a written request to" on  page 8, line 30,                                                               
after the word "may".  There  being no objection, Amendment 1 was                                                               
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:11:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  made  a  motion  to  adopt  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 2, to  add language to Section 6  specifying that "this                                                               
correspondence  shall   not  be  considered  a   public  document                                                               
disclosable  unless the  ... committee  or  the staff  determines                                                               
that it  is disclosable  except to  the extent  that they  say it                                                               
must be disclosed, that there's no right of privacy."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS objected.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  asked  whether  the  correspondence  now                                                               
referred  to  in  Section  6,   as  amended,  would  need  to  be                                                               
identified as confidential.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ANDERSON explained  that doing  so would  not be  necessary,                                                               
because  correspondence  received  by  the  Select  Committee  on                                                               
Legislative Ethics is confidential.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG withdrew Conceptual Amendment 2.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON,  in response  to a  question, explained  that under                                                               
statute,  complaint  proceedings  of   the  Select  Committee  on                                                               
Legislative  Ethics are  confidential, but  committee members  do                                                               
not have to sign confidentiality  agreements, though she did have                                                               
her  temporary  staff  person  do  so  upon  being  hired.    She                                                               
acknowledged  that  perhaps committee  members  should  do so  as                                                               
well.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   RAMRAS    then   turned   members'   attention    to   AS                                                               
24.45.051(b)(1) which read:                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          (b) A lobbyist required to report to the                                                                              
     commission under  (a) of this section,  who provides or                                                                    
     pays for food or  beverage for immediate consumption by                                                                    
     a  legislator or  legislative employee  or a  spouse or                                                                    
     domestic  partner   of  a  legislator   or  legislative                                                                    
     employee  shall report  the date  the food  or beverage                                                                    
     was provided or  paid for and the  recipient's name and                                                                    
     relationship   to   the   legislator   or   legislative                                                                    
     employee, unless the food and beverage                                                                                     
          (1) cost $15 or less; or                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:17:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS  made a  motion to  adopt Amendment  3, to  alter AS                                                               
24.45.051(b)(1) such that "$15" would be changed to "$35".                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  indicated that  he was amenable  to the                                                               
amount being changed to "$50" instead.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO indicated that he was not.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL noted  that the  amount listed  is merely                                                               
the  threshold  that  triggers   the  reporting  requirement  for                                                               
lobbyists,  and surmised  that  a  threshold of  $35  would be  a                                                               
reasonable  amount, and  that a  threshold  of $50  would not  be                                                               
exorbitant.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  mentioned that  when lobbyists  treat a                                                               
legislator or  legislative staff to  a meal, it is  often dinner,                                                               
rather than lunch, and includes spouses.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO asked whether  the threshold amount includes                                                               
tips.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON  said it does not,  and that this was  a policy call                                                               
made by the APOC.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM made a motion  to amend Amendment 3 such                                                               
that  the new  proposed threshold  amount  would be  $50.   There                                                               
being no objection, Amendment 3 was amended.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  removed his objection to  Amendment 3, as                                                               
amended.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS stated that Amendment 3, as amended, was adopted.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS, in response to  questions and comments, pointed out                                                               
that  the reporting  requirement outlined  in AS  24.45.051(b)(1)                                                               
pertains  only to  food and  beverage for  immediate consumption,                                                               
not the room rental where a meal might take place.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:30:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS  turned members'  attention  to  AS 47.14.235  -  which                                                               
pertains to  the confidentiality  of the  Citizen Review  Panel -                                                               
and suggested that the committee might  wish to amend HB 193 such                                                               
that  similar  language would  apply  to  members of  the  Select                                                               
Committee on Legislative Ethics.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON concurred.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS  suggested  that  Conceptual   Amendment  4  could  add                                                               
language that read:  "A person  attending a meeting of the Select                                                               
Committee  on Legislative  Ethics or  a  member or  staff of  the                                                               
committee  may not  make any  disclosures related  to information                                                               
obtained during a review by the committee."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS made a motion to adopt Conceptual Amendment 4.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLMES objected.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS  acknowledged that  it  might  be  better for  the  new                                                               
language  to refer  to a  proceeding of  the Select  Committee on                                                               
Legislative Ethics.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLMES pointed out that  currently only parts of a                                                               
meeting of  the Select Committee  on Legislative Ethics  might be                                                               
confidential,  and said  she doesn't  want to  make the  whole of                                                               
such meetings confidential.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON explained that the  term "proceeding" as used in the                                                               
Legislative Ethics Act refers  specifically to ethics complaints.                                                               
She  surmised, therefore,  that Conceptual  Amendment 4  could be                                                               
amended such that confidentiality  would apply to proceedings and                                                               
advisory opinions.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:34:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLMES   made  a   motion  to   amend  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 4.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON,  in response  to a  request, offered  the following                                                               
language as  constituting the  amendment to  Conceptual Amendment                                                               
4:   "A person  attending a  meeting of  the Select  Committee on                                                               
Legislative Ethics,  or a member  or staff of the  committee, may                                                               
not  make  any  disclosure  related  to  a  proceeding  under  AS                                                               
24.60.170 or an advisory opinion request under AS 24.60.160".                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS,  in response  to a question,  explained that  under the                                                               
amendment to Conceptual Amendment  4, the aforementioned language                                                               
would be added to Title 24 via a new subsection.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO pointed out  that some information disclosed                                                               
in  a  proceeding  under  AS 24.60.170  or  an  advisory  opinion                                                               
request under AS  24.60.160 may start out  being confidential but                                                               
will then end up becoming  public, and expressed concern that the                                                               
language of the amendment to  Conceptual Amendment 4 could become                                                               
a problem.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON  said she does not  envision that it would  become a                                                               
problem  because  existing  statute already  provides  that  such                                                               
information  shall  become  public   after  certain  details  are                                                               
redacted.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  RAMRAS,  offering his  understanding  that  there were  no                                                               
objections to the amendment to  Conceptual Amendment 4, announced                                                               
that Conceptual Amendment 4 was amended.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLMES   removed  her  objection   to  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 4, as amended.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS  announced that Conceptual Amendment  4, as amended,                                                               
was adopted.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:36:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG made  a  motion to  adopt Amendment  5,                                                               
labeled 26-LS0656\T.2, Wayne, 4/3/09, which read:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Page 10, line 30, through page 11, line 4:                                                                                 
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
               "(21)  "private benefit" means a benefit                                                                         
     that is conferred, on a person, with a purpose that is                                                                     
     mainly a non-legislative purpose."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  explained   that  the  bill's  current                                                               
definition of  the term, "private  benefit" was  mis-drafted, and                                                               
that Amendment 5 provides for a new, cleaner definition.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL removed  his  objection.   [Although  not                                                               
formally  announced,  Amendment  5  was treated  as  having  been                                                               
adopted.]                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:37:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG made  a  motion to  adopt Amendment  6,                                                               
labeled26-LS0656\T.1, Wayne, 4/3/09, which read:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 26:                                                                                                           
          Delete "A [EXCEPT"                                                                                                
          Insert "Except when representing another person                                                                   
       for compensation subject to AS 24.60.100 and as a                                                                    
     professional who is licensed in the state, ["                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 31:                                                                                                           
          Delete "A]"                                                                                                           
          Insert "] a"                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  explained that Amendment 6  would allow                                                               
a  licensed   professional  to   represent  another   person  for                                                               
compensation in  a hearing.   He  offered his  understanding that                                                               
this language  is similar  to that which  was suggested  by Chief                                                               
Administrative  Law Judge  Terry Thurbon,  and that  the language                                                               
was  removed in  the  prior  committee.   He  opined  that it  is                                                               
extremely  important  that  people  be able  to  obtain  counsel,                                                               
adding that  anyone providing  such counsel  would be  subject to                                                               
the  rules of  professional  conduct and  thus risk  disciplinary                                                               
action for violating those rules.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL agreed.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS explained that Ms.  Thurbon was neutral "on this issue,"                                                               
and that  the concern expressed  in the prior committee  was that                                                               
any  legislator who  represented  a person  in an  administrative                                                               
hearing would have  a certain amount of influence  just by virtue                                                               
of being a legislator.  However,  as some have pointed out, there                                                               
are   legislators  who   represent  people   as  part   of  their                                                               
profession, and  so could be  hired to represent a  client before                                                               
an administrative hearing officer.   Amendment 6 would allow such                                                               
to occur.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  surmised that  the policy  question being                                                               
raised is,  are legislators citizens first  and then legislators,                                                               
or  are they  legislators and  can therefore  never be  citizens.                                                               
His  view,   he  relayed,  is  that   although  legislators  have                                                               
reporting responsibilities,  they are  citizens first  and should                                                               
therefore be able to pursue their professions.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL then withdrew his objection.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS announced that Amendment 6 was adopted.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:41:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM  moved  to  report  CSHB  193(STA),  as                                                               
amended,  out of  committee with  individual recommendations  and                                                               
the accompanying  fiscal notes.   There being no  objection, CSHB
193(JUD)  was   reported  from   the  House   Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CSHB108 version P.pdf HJUD 4/3/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 108
HB108 Amendment P.2.pdf HJUD 4/3/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 108
HJR13.pdf HJUD 4/3/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB193.pdf HJUD 4/3/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 193
HJR2CommitteePacket.pdf HJUD 4/3/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB193Amendments.pdf HJUD 4/3/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 193