Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/06/2004 09:08 AM House STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 544-PERM FUND BOARD PUBLIC MEMBER REMOVAL                                                                                  
Number 1450                                                                                                                     
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  announced that  the next  order of  business was                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 544, "An Act  providing that public members of the                                                               
Board of  Trustees of the  Alaska Permanent Fund  Corporation may                                                               
be removed only for cause; and providing for an effective date."                                                                
Number 1465                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON moved  to adopt  the committee  substitute                                                               
(CS) for  HB 544,  Version 23-GH2142\H, Cook,  5/4/04, as  a work                                                               
draft.   [No objection was  stated and  Version H was  treated as                                                               
before the committee.]                                                                                                          
Number 1483                                                                                                                     
MICHAEL  BARNHILL,  Assistant Attorney  General,  Commercial/Fair                                                               
Business  Section, Civil  Division (Juneau),  Department of  Law,                                                               
said HB 544  would limit removal of permanent  fund trustees only                                                               
for cause.  He noted that  the last committee substitute (CS) for                                                               
HB  544 that  was adopted  before the  committee was  Version 23-                                                               
GH2142\D, Cook,  5/4/04, and it  included language  regarding the                                                               
types  of cause,  a  provision for  a hearing,  and  filing of  a                                                               
decision with the  lieutenant governor.  He  recollected that, at                                                               
the last hearing of the  bill, Representatives Seaton, Gruenberg,                                                               
and Holm expressed concerns about  "all the bells and whistles in                                                               
the  bill."   Subsequently, the  bill  was trimmed  down so  that                                                               
public members of  the permanent fund board of  trustees could be                                                               
removed only for cause.  He continued as follows:                                                                               
     We took  that version  to the Senate  side.   It passed                                                                    
     out  of [the  Senate  Finance Committee],  went to  the                                                                    
     floor yesterday,  [and] passed out of  the Senate floor                                                                    
     20-0.  In  the mean time, a request for  a House CS was                                                                    
     sent over to [Legislative  Legal and Research Services]                                                                    
     and they prepared  Version H, which is  before you now,                                                                    
     and that  added this first  sentence to clarify  that a                                                                    
     governor may remove a nonpublic  member from the board.                                                                    
     That sentence is not in  the Senate version that passed                                                                    
     out yesterday,  and it's my  view that that  concept is                                                                    
     absolutely understood in the  Senate version and is not                                                                    
     necessary.  It  can be in there; it doesn't  have to be                                                                    
     in there.  But certainly  we've all along intended that                                                                    
     the  governor  may  remove  nonpublic  members  -  [for                                                                    
     example] the commissioner of  the Department of Revenue                                                                    
     and the  other cabinet member  - from the board  at any                                                                    
Number 1578                                                                                                                     
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  offered his understanding  that the  synonym for                                                               
nonpublic is private.                                                                                                           
MR. BARNHILL responded, "I suppose that's one interpretation."                                                                  
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH concluded that the  governor may remove a private                                                               
member from the board.                                                                                                          
MR.  BARNHILL  replied  that  that's not  what  was  intended  by                                                               
Legislative  Legal  and  Research   Services.    He  said,  "They                                                               
intended that to  refer to the commissioner of  the Department of                                                               
Revenue and the other cabinet members.                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG, in  response to  a comment  from Chair                                                               
Weyhrauch, said he  thinks the term "public" in "this  area" is a                                                               
term of art  which means, "the people who are  appointed not from                                                               
the administration."                                                                                                            
Number 1612                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said he doesn't think  that the additional                                                               
wording that  was added is really  necessary.  He said  he thinks                                                               
when it says  the governor may remove a public  member that it is                                                               
fully known what that means.                                                                                                    
Number 1637                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  said  he   thinks  the  governor  has  a                                                               
constitutional right  to move  his commissions,  at will,  and he                                                               
doesn't know that  language needs to be added  to reinforce that.                                                               
He  suggested,  "Putting   it  in  here  might   create  a  chain                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG suggested  deleting  the sentence  that                                                               
read:   "The  governor may  remove  a nonpublic  member from  the                                                           
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH   clarified  that  Version  H   was  before  the                                                               
Number 1703                                                                                                                     
CHAIR   WEYHRAUCH  clarified   that  Representative   Gruenberg's                                                               
[Amendment 1]  would delete the  previously stated  sentence from                                                               
page  1, line  6,  of Version  H.    He asked  if  there was  any                                                               
objection  to  [Amendment  1].    There being  none,  it  was  so                                                               
Number 1725                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  moved to  report  CSHB  544, Version  23-                                                               
GH2142\H,  Cook,  5/4/04,  as  amended,  out  of  committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There being no  objection, CSHB 544(STA) was reported  out of the                                                               
House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                         

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