Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 120

04/06/2009 08:00 AM JUDICIARY


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
*+ HB 186 AK FIREARMS EXEMPT FROM FED. REGULATION TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 186(JUD) Out of Committee
*+ HB 36 INITIATIVES: CONTRIBUTIONS/ PROCEDURES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 193 LEGISLATIVE ETHICS ACT TELECONFERENCED
Heard But Not Scheduled
HB 36 - INITIATIVES: CONTRIBUTIONS/PROCEDURES                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:35:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE  FOR HOUSE  BILL NO. 36,  "An Act  relating to                                                               
ballot   initiative   proposal   applications   and   to   ballot                                                               
initiatives."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:36:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KYLE JOHANSEN,  Alaska State Legislature, speaking                                                               
as one  of the joint prime  sponsors of SSHB 36,  and noting that                                                               
the bill is  very similar to legislation passed  out of committee                                                               
last  session,  explained that  in  part  SSHB 36  would  require                                                               
disclosure  of  funding  pertaining to  ballot  initiatives,  and                                                               
would require  that public  hearings be  held on  proposed ballot                                                               
initiatives.  The aforementioned  disclosure of ballot initiative                                                               
funding would  occur as  close as possible  "to the  beginning of                                                               
the  process,"  he  remarked, adding  that  the  required  public                                                               
meetings would  provide a  formal process  by which  voters could                                                               
learn about the impacts of proposed ballot initiatives.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:41:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SONIA  CHRISTENSEN, Staff,  Representative Kyle  Johansen, Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  on behalf of Representative  Johansen, one of                                                               
SSHB 36's  joint prime sponsors,  offered her  understanding that                                                               
[SSHB  36] "pushes  back the  disclosure, the  times when  groups                                                               
have to disclose, from after  language is certified on the ballot                                                               
to  as soon  as  they  file their  language  with the  lieutenant                                                               
governor's office."   In  response to  a question,  she explained                                                               
that  when a  group  files  its language  and  pays  its fee  and                                                               
presents 100 signatures, the lieutenant  governor's office has 60                                                               
days  to  review  that  language and  determine  whether  it  has                                                               
constitutional   issues;  after   that  review,   the  lieutenant                                                               
governor's  office will  either  print the  petition booklets  or                                                               
deny certification of the [initiative proposal application].                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   JOHANSEN  added   his  understanding   that  the                                                               
aforementioned   disclosure  would   happen  "as   far  back   as                                                               
possible."   In response to a  question, he said that  this would                                                               
allow people to  know, "from the onset, when money  goes into the                                                               
system and who's putting the money in the system."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  pointed  out  a  discrepancy  between  the                                                               
language in Section 1 and  the language in the sectional analysis                                                               
as it  pertained to  Section 1,  in that the  bill uses  the term                                                               
"filing"   whereas  the   sectional   analysis   uses  the   term                                                               
"influencing".   He offered his  belief that the language  of the                                                               
bill appears to only apply  to those supporting an initiative but                                                               
not to those opposing it.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN  said his  goal is  to have  every dollar                                                               
given disclosed, regardless of [the contributor's] intent.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  opined that the  bill is very  clear on                                                               
that point  and thus doesn't need  to be changed in  that regard.                                                               
He then asked  the sponsor whether he would  approve of narrowing                                                               
the title, which he characterized as too broad.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN  indicated that  he would be  amenable to                                                               
such a  change as long as  it maintains his intent  to have every                                                               
dollar   disclosed  and   provide   for   the  dissemination   of                                                               
information.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  said he  just doesn't  want SSHB  36 to                                                               
become a vehicle for "all kinds of stuff we haven't looked at."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:46:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHRISTENSEN   offered  her  understanding  that   Section  2                                                               
provides  language conforming  to  Section 1,  and is  "requiring                                                               
bumping  that  disclosure  deadline  back   to  as  soon  as  the                                                               
initiative's  been filed."   She  added, "This  is the  same with                                                               
Section 3."   She  explained that  Section 4  removes initiatives                                                               
from   the   statutory    provision   currently   pertaining   to                                                               
initiatives, referendums, and recalls, so  as to be able to apply                                                               
specific disclosure requirements to initiatives.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN  added that Section 5  provides for those                                                               
specific disclosure requirements for initiatives.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHRISTENSEN offered  her understanding  that Section  5 says                                                               
that if one contributes $500 or  more, or if a group is organized                                                               
and spends $500 or more, then disclosure must occur.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  pointed out  that Section  5's proposed                                                               
AS 15.13.110(g)(2) doesn't make sense grammatically.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS surmised that a drafting error occurred.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN acknowledged that point.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHRISTENSEN  explained  that   Section  6,  in  addition  to                                                               
relocating  some  of  the  words  in  proposed  AS  15.13.400(4),                                                               
changes  the  definition  of   "contribution"  to  include  those                                                               
contributions  made  in  support  of   or  in  opposition  to  an                                                               
initiative  proposal filed  with  the  lieutenant governor;  that                                                               
Section  7 changes  the definition  of  "expenditure" to  include                                                               
expenditures  made  in   support  of  or  in   opposition  to  an                                                               
initiative proposal filed with the  lieutenant governor; and that                                                               
Section  8  precludes  an  initiative  from  being  proposed  if,                                                               
[during  the previous  two years,]  a  substantially similar  one                                                               
failed to be approved by the voters.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS questioned whether Section 8 is constitutional.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHANSEN acknowledged  that that  provision might                                                               
be challenged  on constitutional  grounds; although  other states                                                               
have  such a  provision, their  constitutions are  different from                                                               
Alaska's constitution.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS suggested to the  sponsor that he contemplate either                                                               
amending such provisions so that  they don't raise constitutional                                                               
concerns, or deleting them altogether.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN questioned  whether  legislative bills  that                                                               
don't pass during a given  legislature also ought to be precluded                                                               
from being reintroduced in a  substantially similar form for [two                                                               
sessions].                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN acknowledged that point.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:55:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHRISTENSEN  explained  that  Section  9  requires  petition                                                               
booklets  to  include  a  copy   of  the  entire  proposed  bill;                                                               
currently,  if a  bill contains  500 words  or more,  including a                                                               
summary is sufficient.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHANSEN opined  that potential  petition signers                                                               
should be able to access all of the language in a proposed bill.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHRISTENSEN explained  that Section  10 prohibits  signature                                                               
gatherers from being  paid on a per-signature  basis, but doesn't                                                               
preclude  them  from  being paid  hourly  wages,  [salaries,]  or                                                               
bonuses.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLMES asked  whether paying  signature gatherers                                                               
on a per-signature basis has resulted  in a problem with fraud in                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS shared his belief that it has not.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN offered his  understanding that fraud had                                                               
become  an  issue  in  other  states,  and  so  they'd  therefore                                                               
established other methods of payment;  although the issue has not                                                               
yet arisen in  Alaska, it seems prudent to make  such a change as                                                               
well.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG expressed  interest  in receiving  more                                                               
documentation  regarding  the  problems that  occurred  in  other                                                               
states,   and  regarding   whether  a   change  in   the  payment                                                               
methodology has chilled the initiative process in those states.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:00:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.   CHRISTENSEN  explained   that   members'  packets   include                                                               
information from  the National  Conference of  State Legislatures                                                               
(NCSL)  regarding  fraudulent  signature-gathering  practices;  a                                                               
couple of  such practices  include using carbon  paper in  such a                                                               
way  that  [signatures]  written  on  one  petition  transfer  to                                                               
another  petition,  or  telling  signers  they  have  to  sign  a                                                               
petition in three different places,  for example, when in reality                                                               
they  are  actually  signing  three   different  petitions.    In                                                               
response  to questions,  she offered  her understanding  that the                                                               
rationale  used  in  other  states has  been  that  if  signature                                                               
gatherers aren't being  paid per signature, they  would take more                                                               
time explaining the  issues to potential signers  and wouldn't be                                                               
so  aggressive.   She agreed  to research  whether the  change in                                                               
payment methodology  has chilled the initiative  process in those                                                               
states.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  RAMRAS,  remarking  on  his   past  experiences  with  the                                                               
initiative  process,  said  he's   satisfied  that  no  fraud  is                                                               
occurring in Alaska, and expressed  appreciation for the work the                                                               
Division of Elections does.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS then  relayed that SSHB 36 would be  set aside until                                                               
later in the meeting.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HB 36 - INITIATIVES: CONTRIBUTIONS/PROCEDURES                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:26:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS announced  that as its final order  of business, the                                                               
committee would return  to the hearing on  SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO.  36,  "An  Act  relating  to  ballot  initiative                                                               
proposal applications and to ballot initiatives."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:27:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG,  referring  to  information  from  the                                                               
National  Conference of  State  Legislatures  (NCSL) provided  in                                                               
members' packets,  asked whether either  the bill or  current law                                                               
addresses the  problem of signature gatherers  using carbon paper                                                               
to fraudulently obtain more signatures.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:27:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SONIA  CHRISTENSEN, Staff,  Representative Kyle  Johansen, Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  on behalf of Representative  Johansen, one of                                                               
SSHB 36's  joint prime sponsors,  offered her  understanding that                                                               
Section  12 -  which pertains  to the  certification of  petition                                                               
circulators - addresses that point.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG suggested that  more research be done on                                                               
that issue.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CHRISTENSEN  explained  that  Section 11  would  prohibit  a                                                               
signature gatherer  from collecting signatures for  more than one                                                               
petition  at a  time.   In response  to questions,  she indicated                                                               
that  this provision  is intended  to address  the aforementioned                                                               
fraudulent practice by signature  gatherers of telling a petition                                                               
signer he/she  needs to  sign in several  places when  really the                                                               
signature  gatherer  is  getting   the  signer  to  sign  several                                                               
different petitions without him/her knowing it.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   RAMRAS  expressed   dissatisfaction   with  Section   11,                                                               
surmising that professional  signature gatherers typically handle                                                               
more than one petition at a time.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO,   noting  that   sometimes  two   or  more                                                               
signature  gatherers can  be  found in  close  proximity to  each                                                               
other, also expressed dissatisfaction with Section 11.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. CHRISTENSEN,  acknowledging that [the behavior  Section 11 is                                                               
intended to  address] was difficult  to define, relayed  that the                                                               
sponsor's  intent  is to  have  "one  place,  one time,  for  one                                                               
person."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  RAMRAS,  in  response  to  a  comment,  pointed  out  that                                                               
signature  gatherers in  close proximity  to each  other may  not                                                               
relieve  each  other for  even  short  periods of  time,  because                                                               
petition booklets  are signed out  to specific  individuals; such                                                               
behavior would constitute fraud under current law.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG, referring  to  the  fraudulent use  of                                                               
carbon paper  and remarking that  the committee just wants  to be                                                               
sure  that the  signer  knows  what he/she  is  signing, said  he                                                               
doesn't   think  that   the  language   currently  in   the  bill                                                               
constitutes  the best  solution to  that problem.   He  suggested                                                               
that perhaps  language could be  drafted to  specifically address                                                               
fraudulent   signature-gathering   practices    such   as   those                                                               
previously mentioned.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:34:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. CHRISTENSEN went  on to explain that Section  12 requires the                                                               
oath that  signature gatherers  must now sign  to also  include a                                                               
statement that  they haven't solicited  signatures for  more than                                                               
one petition,  but to no  longer contain language  regarding per-                                                               
signature  payment;  the  changes  proposed  by  Section  12  are                                                               
conforming changes.   She relayed  that Section 13  requires that                                                               
public  hearings on  initiatives be  held  in at  least 30  house                                                               
districts,  and  includes  notice and  publication  requirements.                                                               
Section 14 requires that [a  sworn affidavit asserting compliance                                                               
with Section 13  - along with acceptable proof -  be submitted to                                                               
the  lieutenant  governor].     Section  15  contains  conforming                                                               
language  [as it  would pertain  to  a review  of the  petition].                                                               
Section  16 authorizes  the lieutenant  governor to  disqualify a                                                               
petition  if the  initiative sponsors  [fail to  comply with  the                                                               
requirements laid  out in Section 13].   Sections 17 and  18 were                                                               
inserted  at   the  drafter's  request;  these   sections  add  a                                                               
reference to special elections because,  depending on the timing,                                                               
initiatives  can be  on a  special election  ballot.   Section 19                                                               
requires  that a  standing committee  of  the legislature  review                                                               
initiatives  certified  by the  governor,  but  doesn't give  the                                                               
legislature any power  to amend the initiatives;  this step would                                                               
provide  a  venue for  affected  State  agencies to  voice  their                                                               
concerns with initiatives.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked whether a reference  to municipal                                                               
elections could be added to Sections 17 and 18.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. CHRISTENSEN  indicated that the  sponsor would  consider that                                                               
point.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:37:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHIP  THOMA,  after  noting  that   he  has  been  involved  with                                                               
initiatives for the  past 20 years but during the  course of that                                                               
work  has never  raised  money, disbursed  money,  or been  paid,                                                               
relayed  information about  two  past  initiatives wherein  funds                                                               
from outside  sources [far exceeded] that  of local contributors.                                                               
Referring to  Section 13,  he characterized it  as a  poison pill                                                               
and  punitive in  that if  an initiative  sponsor doesn't  comply                                                               
with it in exactly the right  way, the initiative will get thrown                                                               
out.   He suggested  that if public  meetings on  initiatives are                                                               
really desired, then  the Division of Elections or  the Office of                                                               
the Lieutenant Governor  should pay for them.   He predicted that                                                               
what will be  found is that the cost of  holding such meetings is                                                               
quite prohibitive,  and opined  that such  a burden  shouldn't be                                                               
placed  on initiative  sponsors, particularly  given how  low all                                                               
the other costs associated with  the initiative process generally                                                               
are.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:39:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WAYNE STEVENS,  President/CEO, Alaska  State Chamber  of Commerce                                                               
(ASCC), stated:                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska's initiative process  is increasingly being used                                                                    
     to drive up  the costs of doing business  in the state,                                                                    
     and, in some cases, to  attempt to stop industries from                                                                    
     operating  at  all.    While  a  functional  initiative                                                                    
     process  is  important in  order  to  give citizens  an                                                                    
     opportunity  to  directly  petition  their  government,                                                                    
     Alaska's   current   system   is   [opaque]   ...   and                                                                    
     susceptible  to abuse.   For  example, individuals  and                                                                    
     groups  involved  in  campaigning  for  or  against  an                                                                    
     initiative  are  not   required  to  provide  financial                                                                    
     disclosure  online;  the  public  may  be  deprived  of                                                                    
     critical  information on  election  day,  as hard  copy                                                                    
     reporting of  last minute donation and  expenditures is                                                                    
     typically not available until after the election.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     This lack  of transparency makes it  impossible for the                                                                    
     public  to  accurately  analyze  the  interests  making                                                                    
     arguments  for or  against  any particular  initiative.                                                                    
     In  recent  years, Alaska's  resource-based  industries                                                                    
     have   been  targets   of  numerous,   punitive  ballot                                                                    
     initiatives.    The  oil  and  gas  industry  faced  an                                                                    
     onerous  and  counterproductive  natural  gas  reserves                                                                    
     tax.    The cruise  ship  industry  was struck  with  a                                                                    
     passenger head  tax and  new regulatory  standards that                                                                    
     are  not applied  to any  other  discharger in  Alaska.                                                                    
     And  most  recently,  the mining  industry  battled  an                                                                    
     ambiguous  initiative financed  by undisclosed  sources                                                                    
     which many  thought was designed to  shut down industry                                                                    
     in Alaska.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     A  more  transparent  and  public  process  would  help                                                                    
     ensure the public was well-informed  prior to voting on                                                                    
     a  ballot  initiative,  thereby lowering  the  risk  of                                                                    
     unintended  consequences when  poorly-understood ballot                                                                    
     initiatives are passed.  The  [ASCC] ... encourages the                                                                    
     Alaska  legislature  to  pass  legislation  that  at  a                                                                    
     minimum establishes a  streamlined financial disclosure                                                                    
     system, including disclosure of  the first dollar spent                                                                    
     or  collected prior  to  an  initiative being  formally                                                                    
     certified for  the ballot, and online  filing so [that]                                                                    
     Alaskans can  follow the money  from the  beginning and                                                                    
     access important information prior to the election.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Secondly,   an   opportunity  for   meaningful   public                                                                    
     involvement  and  vetting  of proposed  initiatives  to                                                                    
     increase  awareness  and  ensure  the  public  is  well                                                                    
     informed prior  to voting -  e.g., the  required public                                                                    
     hearings in  a majority of election  districts prior to                                                                    
     petition  certification.     The  cost   of  initiative                                                                    
     drafting,  certifying,  and  campaigning  would  likely                                                                    
     increase if the recommended action  is [taken].  Such a                                                                    
     scenario may  be a double-edged sword  for the business                                                                    
     community  depending on  whether  the  business was  an                                                                    
     initiative  sponsor  or   opponent;  however,  a  well-                                                                    
     informed public  is less likely to  pass poorly-drafted                                                                    
     initiatives,   less-likely    to   produce   unintended                                                                    
     consequences  which could  mean significant  savings to                                                                    
     business in the long run.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. STEVENS, in conclusion, said:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     [The ASCC} ... urges the  legislature to pass ... [SSHB                                                                    
     36]  that  makes  drafting,  signature  gathering,  and                                                                    
     financing  of ballot  initiatives more  transparent for                                                                    
     all Alaskans.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:42:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  asked whether  amending the bill  such that                                                               
it   only  addressed   financial  disclosure   issues  would   be                                                               
sufficient.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  STEVENS characterized  that as  being  a first  step in  the                                                               
right direction.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLMES questioned  whether requiring  meetings in                                                               
30 house districts  - for example, having 2  separate meetings in                                                               
Juneau  and   25-30  separate  meetings  in   Anchorage  and  the                                                               
Matanuska-Susitna  (Mat-Su)  area  -  would  be  duplicative  and                                                               
overly expensive  compared to just  having a single  meeting each                                                               
in Juneau, Anchorage, and the Mat-Su, for example.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  STEVENS offered  his belief  that if  the meetings  are held                                                               
close  to where  people  reside, more  people  will attend  them.                                                               
Regardless that having  more meetings might result  in extra work                                                               
and extra  expense, the  intent, he surmised,  is to  ensure that                                                               
people have  the opportunity to  discuss the possible  impacts of                                                               
ballot initiatives with the sponsors.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN  asked  Mr.  Stevens  whether  he  would  be                                                               
opposed to  having the bill  amended such that it  would prohibit                                                               
foreign contributions for initiatives.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. STEVENS declined to answer.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked Mr.  Stevens whether he  would be                                                               
amenable to having  [Section 17] amended such that  it would also                                                               
apply to municipal  elections.  In this way,  voters in municipal                                                               
elections would  also receive  election pamphlets  informing them                                                               
of municipal ballot initiatives.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. STEVENS  offered his understanding  that in  Kodiak, election                                                               
pamphlets   for  local   elections  are   provided  and   include                                                               
information  about proposed  measures.   In  response to  another                                                               
question,  he  said he  assumes  that  Kodiak voters  appreciated                                                               
receiving those pamphlets.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:49:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK GNADT  relayed that he  has collected many  signatures, from                                                               
Sitka to  Barrow, often for  initiatives that he's had  some hand                                                               
in.    The  initiative  process  is  very  valuable,  he  opined,                                                               
offering  his belief  that generally  initiatives  in Alaska  are                                                               
pretty widely  debated once  they are  approved for  placement on                                                               
the  ballot.    However,  to  try to  enforce  election  laws  on                                                               
something that's not even on the  ballot yet is troubling to him,                                                               
he  remarked;  once  an  initiative has  been  certified  by  the                                                               
lieutenant   governor  for   placement  on   the  ballot,   those                                                               
sponsoring or  opposing it should  have to comply  with statutory                                                               
disclosure requirements,  but not before, because  at that point,                                                               
an initiative is just  an idea.  To blur that  line could lead to                                                               
governmental  interference with  other rights  held by  citizens,                                                               
and raises  the questions,  "What are they  afraid of?"  and "Why                                                               
are we trying to make this more difficult?"                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. GNADT  opined that instead,  the goal  should be to  make the                                                               
initiative  process   easier  for  the  public;   even  just  the                                                               
signature-gathering phase  of the  initiative process  is already                                                               
very  hard  even without  having  to  then also  organize  public                                                               
meetings.   If  the  intent is  to get  more  information to  the                                                               
public, then  it should be  the State's  duty make that  happen -                                                               
the State  should take on that  cost and burden, rather  than the                                                               
citizens  who are  attempting to  enact a  law that  for whatever                                                               
reason the legislature didn't.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GNADT,  in  response  to questions,  indicated  that  he  is                                                               
familiar  with one  instance wherein  a signature  gatherer might                                                               
have  created  fraud -  that  person  was thereafter  essentially                                                               
blackballed as  a signature  gatherer; that  he's worked  on four                                                               
major initiatives;  that he votes;  that half of  the initiatives                                                               
he's worked  on were  approved by the  voters; that  instances of                                                               
fraud are unlikely to occur  in Alaska because potential petition                                                               
signers  are  vigilant  in  asking  questions  and  perusing  the                                                               
petition booklets;  that although not required,  when he gathered                                                               
signatures,  he  provided  the  full  language  of  the  proposed                                                               
initiatives; that  he supports that  provision of the  bill; that                                                               
potential petition signers generally  are not satisfied with just                                                               
a  summary;  and  that  he's   found  the  per-signature  payment                                                               
methodology to be a great motivator, much like commission sales.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG asked  Mr. Gnadt  to review  Section 10                                                               
further.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. GNADT agreed to do so.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS  relayed that SSHB 36  would be held over  until the                                                               
committee's next meeting, scheduled for later in the day.                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01 HB186 Sponsor Statement.pdf HJUD 4/6/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 186
02 CSHB186 version E.pdf HJUD 4/6/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 186
HB36.pdf HFIN 3/15/2010 1:30:00 PM
HFIN 3/16/2010 9:00:00 AM
HJUD 4/6/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 36
HB36 OOG FN.pdf HFIN 3/16/2010 9:00:00 AM
HJUD 4/6/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 36
03 HB186 LAW FN.pdf HJUD 4/6/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 186
03 Sectional for CSHB186 version E.pdf HJUD 4/6/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 186
04 HB186 version R.pdf HJUD 4/6/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 186
05 HB186 Backup.pdf HJUD 4/6/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 186