Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 106

03/24/2009 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 73 HONORARY CONSUL LICENSE PLATES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 73(STA) Out of Committee
*+ HB 123 EXTEND SUICIDE PREVENTION COUNCIL TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ HB 193 LEGISLATIVE ETHICS ACT TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held; Assigned to Subcommittee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HB 193-LEGISLATIVE ETHICS ACT                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:12:17 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  announced that the  last order of business  was 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."                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:12:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RYNNIEVA MOSS,  Staff, Representative John Coghill,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  Introduced  HB  193  on  behalf  of  Representative                                                               
Coghill,  prime sponsor.    She said  the  bill addresses  issues                                                               
within  ethics  law which  the  Select  Committee on  Legislative                                                               
Ethics  thinks  need to  be  refined.    She suggested  giving  a                                                               
sectional analysis for the committee.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:13:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON  moved  to adopt  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute (CS),  Version 26-LS0656\S, Wayne, 3/23/09,  as a work                                                               
draft.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:13:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON objected for discussion purposes.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:14:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS noted  that definitions are found on page  7 of both the                                                               
original  bill and  Version  S.   One  definition  that has  been                                                               
changed is  that of constituent.   The original bill  limited the                                                               
definition  of constituent  as someone  living  in a  candidate's                                                               
election district.   The  definition on page  7, lines  24-25, of                                                               
Version S, read:                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          (17) "constituent" means a natural person to                                                                          
     whom a legislator owes a duty of representation under                                                                      
     the Constitution of the State of Alaska;                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS  explained that the  term constituent is used  in ethics                                                               
laws related  to controlling  campaign.   She said,  "By defining                                                               
constituent  this  broadly in  this  section  of the  law,  we're                                                               
causing other problems."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN asked, "You mean in the original bill?"                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS  answered,  "In  both  bills."   She  stated,  "In  our                                                               
discussions  this  morning, quite  frankly,  I  think what  we're                                                               
looking at is defining the word 'person'."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:15:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOYCE ANDERSON, Ethics Committee Administrator, Select Committee                                                                
on Legislative Ethics ("the Ethics Committee"), cited the                                                                       
definition of "person" in AS 01.10.060, which read as follows:                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 01.10.060.  Definitions.                                                                                              
          (a) In the laws of the state, unless the context                                                                      
     otherwise requires,                                                                                                        
          (8) "person" includes a corporation, company,                                                                         
     partnership, firm,  association, organization, business                                                                    
     trust, or society, as well as a natural person;                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON said the definition of person is "very broad."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:16:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS said [the Ethics Committee] is having problems with AS                                                                 
24.60.030(a)(2), which read as follows:                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
          (2) use public funds, facilities, equipment,                                                                          
     services, or  another government asset or  resource for                                                                    
     a  nonlegislative   purpose,  for  involvement   in  or                                                                    
     support   of  or   opposition  to   partisan  political                                                                    
     activity,  or for  the private  benefit  of either  the                                                                    
     legislator, legislative employee, or another person;                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS said "person" should be defined, not "constituent".                                                                    
She mentioned [AS 24.60.030(a)(2)(J)], which states that                                                                        
paragraph (2) does not prohibit:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          (J) a legislator from sending any communication                                                                       
     in  the  form  of  a  newsletter  to  the  legislator's                                                                    
     constituents,   except    a   communication   expressly                                                                    
     advocating the election  or defeat of a  candidate or a                                                                    
     newsletter or material in a  newsletter that is clearly                                                                    
     only  for the  private  benefit of  a  legislator or  a                                                                    
     legislative employee; or                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS continued:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     So,  if  you  define constituents  broadly,  then  what                                                                    
     you're saying  is a legislator could  send a newsletter                                                                    
     statewide, and it could be  within a window period very                                                                    
     close to an  election.  It could be a  House member who                                                                    
     is running for a Senate  seat that sends his newsletter                                                                    
     to two House districts, which under current law would                                                                      
     be unethical.  So, in using the word constituent, ...                                                                      
     there could be a lot of unintended consequences.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. MOSS  recommended either that  the definition under  (17) [of                                                               
Version S,  text provided previously]  be eliminated or  that the                                                               
definition   of  "person"   in  [AS   01.10.060,  text   provided                                                               
previously] be reinserted.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:18:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  suggested one way to  address the issue                                                               
would be to  delete the word "natural" from  paragraph (17) [text                                                               
provided previously].   He stated that some  people have concerns                                                               
about  legislators sending  newsletters outside  their districts,                                                               
but  Representative  Gruenberg  said   he  does  not  share  that                                                               
concern.  He  said he thinks a legislator has  a duty to exercise                                                               
free  speech.   He posited  that  people are  interested in  what                                                               
legislators   do,   and   he    thinks   legislators   have   the                                                               
responsibility  to keep  the people  in the  state informed.   He                                                               
clarified  that  legislators  do  not  solely  represent  natural                                                               
people, but also represent groups of people.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS said  24.60.030(a)(2) addresses the use  of public funds                                                               
and  facilities.   The  word  constituent  is  not used  in  that                                                               
subsection, she  said.  The term  used is "another person".   She                                                               
clarified, "So, my concern is,  we're defining "constituent", but                                                               
the problem exists in the word "person".                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:22:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON asked for clarification.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:22:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN referred to the  words "owes a duty of representation"                                                               
-  in  paragraph (17)  -  and  said  he  does not  represent  the                                                               
Shriners or Providence [Hospital], for example.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON  related  that  although she  is  not  the                                                               
Representative for  those living on  Prince of Wales  Island, she                                                               
is  the  Representative  closest  in  proximity;  therefore,  she                                                               
receives  calls from  people who  live  on the  island, at  which                                                               
point she does  not tell them they are not  her constituents, but                                                               
rather  helps  them if  she  can.   She  said  she  thinks it  is                                                               
important to ensure that it is okay for legislators to do that.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS responded as follows:                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     I think she  brings up a good  point, and "constituent"                                                                    
     certainly could be defined as  a person, as it is here.                                                                    
     I just think we need to  clarify that a person, in this                                                                    
     subsection, is defined as it is in Title I.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:24:17 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON   remarked  that  by  defining   the  term                                                               
constituent   broadly,   big   oil   companies   would   be   his                                                               
constituents,  yet under  campaign  law,  contributions from  oil                                                               
companies are  not allowed.   He  said he  wants to  ensure "what                                                               
ramifications this  goes through," and he  recommended looking at                                                               
where  the  term  constituent  is   used  throughout  all  ethics                                                               
legislation and APOC regulations.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:25:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS  responded, "This ...  actually is a definition  in this                                                               
chapter.     That's  how  it   is  read  in   Section  24.60.990,                                                               
definitions (a); in this chapter  these words are defined in this                                                               
manner."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:25:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ANDERSON proffered  that there  are two  sections in  ethics                                                               
statute that use  the word "constituent".  One is  the statute to                                                               
which Ms. Moss referred, 24.60.030(a)(2)(j),  which states that a                                                               
legislator  or legislative  employee may  not "use  public funds,                                                               
facilities, equipment,  services, or another government  asset or                                                               
resource  for a  nonlegislative  purpose, for  involvement in  or                                                               
support of or  opposition to partisan political  activity, or for                                                               
the  private  benefit  of   either  the  legislator,  legislative                                                               
employee, or another person".   Listed under that which paragraph                                                               
(2)  does  not  prohibit  is  subparagraph  (J),  which  read  as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
          (J) a legislator from sending any communication                                                                       
     in  the  form  of  a  newsletter  to  the  legislator's                                                                    
     constituents,   except    a   communication   expressly                                                                    
     advocating the election  or defeat of a  candidate or a                                                                    
     newsletter or material in a  newsletter that is clearly                                                                    
     only  for the  private  benefit of  a  legislator or  a                                                                    
     legislative employee;                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON said the other  instance where "constituent" appears                                                               
in  ethics statute  is in  AS 24.60.030(e),  which states  that a                                                               
legislator "may  not directly, or  by authorizing another  to act                                                               
on the legislator's behalf":                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
          (2) state or imply that the legislator will                                                                           
     perform   or   refrain   from   performing   a   lawful                                                                    
     constituent service as a result  of a person's decision                                                                    
     to  provide or  not provide  a political  contribution,                                                                    
     donate  or  not  donate  to  a  cause  favored  by  the                                                                    
     legislator,  or  provide  or not  provide  a  thing  of                                                                    
     value;                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:27:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS moved on to the  next definition on page 7, lines 26-28,                                                               
of Version S, which read as follows:                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
               (18) "constituent service" means assistance,                                                                     
     including     representation    other     than    legal                                                                    
     representation  and  advice  other than  legal  advice,                                                                    
     that  is provided  by a  legislator  or a  legislator's                                                                    
     staff to a constituent;                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS  explained  that  the language  in  the  original  bill                                                               
version stipulated  that the constituent would  be "a constituent                                                               
of the legislator",  but that the words "of  the legislator" were                                                               
deleted in the crafting  of Version S.  She said,  "As long as it                                                               
is   a  legislative   purpose,  it   doesn't  matter   where  the                                                               
constituent lives."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:28:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    SEATON   interpreted    the   definitions    of                                                               
"constituent" and "constituent service"  - especially if the word                                                               
"natural" were to  be removed - to mean that  anybody who wants a                                                               
legislator to work on an issue is that legislator's constituent.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS responded that that is the intent of the bill sponsor.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON questioned if that  would mean any person -                                                               
not limited to those in Alaska.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS answered,  "Yes, as  long as  ... the  benefit to  that                                                               
person or  corporation is no  greater than the benefit  of anyone                                                               
in that same class."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON indicated that  the changes pointed out and                                                               
discussed thus far would make the language very broad.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:32:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG said  he  thinks it  is important  that                                                               
legislators are  allowed to  exercise their  responsibilities, as                                                               
long as it's done honestly.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:33:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS  talked about  legislative purpose and  the role  of the                                                               
Ethics Committee  to determine  whether or  not "you've  gone too                                                               
far."                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:33:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON  said when she  speaks to legislative  offices about                                                               
constituent service, she tells them  that they are the people who                                                               
help constituents through  a process - not to do  the process for                                                               
them.  She  indicated that the language discussed  thus far would                                                               
allow legislators to "work on  some of those other issues," while                                                               
still putting  constraints on legislative office,  based on other                                                               
parts of the ethics code.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:35:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said he  likes the language of paragraph                                                               
(17) on  page 7,  without the  word "natural".   He  talked about                                                               
California  law, the  Constitution of  the United  States, and  a                                                               
term  called  "long-arm statute."    He  said the  aforementioned                                                               
language  would  allow legislators  to  represent  folks "to  the                                                               
extent permitted under  the state constitution."   He opined that                                                               
that  is a  great idea,  because it  preserves the  separation of                                                               
powers and allows legislators to do their work.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS continued to the  next definition, the term "legislative                                                               
purpose", which  appears on  page 7, lines  29-30, in  Version S,                                                               
and read as follows:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
          (19) "legislative purpose" means a goal of a                                                                          
     legislative action or a constituent service;                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS  noted  that  the  original  bill  specifies  that  the                                                               
constituent  service would  be one  "that is  a primary  goal or,                                                               
when measured  against other goals  of the legislative  action or                                                               
constituent service, is  a substantial goal".  She  said the bill                                                               
sponsor feels that the language in Version S is enough.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS  said the  definition  of  "private benefit"  has  been                                                               
changed in Version S to read as follows:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
               (21) "private benefit" means a financial                                                                         
     benefit  to a  person  as a  result  of a  legislative,                                                                    
     administrative, or political  action of which financial                                                                    
     benefit to  that person in particular  is a substantial                                                                    
     goal and that is greater  than the financial benefit of                                                                    
     the  legislative, administrative,  or political  action                                                                    
     to a substantial  class of persons to  which the person                                                                    
     belongs  by  law,   choice,  legal  entitlement,  legal                                                                    
     privilege,   profession,   occupation,   industry,   or                                                                    
     region.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS  explained that this  language follows the  premise that                                                               
the  benefit "does  not exceed  the  same benefit  that would  be                                                               
applied  to  any  other  person  in  that  class."    Constituent                                                               
services, she said,  usually take place when  something wrong has                                                               
happened within an  agency that has cost the  constituent a right                                                               
or entitlement,  and it  is the legislator's  duty to  attempt to                                                               
correct that  wrong.  She  offered examples.  Ms.  Moss mentioned                                                               
House  Bill 53  - the  Family  Rights Act  - which  she said  was                                                               
brought  about  as a  result  of  issues brought  to  legislators                                                               
regarding Child  In Need  of Aid  laws that  needed to  be fixed.                                                               
She concluded, "If  we're taking what goes  wrong with government                                                               
and making  it right through  legislation, then what  we're doing                                                               
with that constituent definitely has a legislative purpose."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:39:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON expressed concern about  the word "financial" in the                                                               
definition of  "private benefit".   She  explained that  there is                                                               
already  a single  definition for  the following:   "anything  of                                                               
value";  "benefit";  and "thing  of  value".   She  continued  as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     That talks  about whether it's tangible  or intangible,                                                                    
     and it  also says "that could  reasonably be considered                                                                    
     to be a  material advantage or material  worth, use, or                                                                    
     service to  the person to  whom it is conferred."   And                                                                    
     the terms  are intended  to be interpreted  broadly and                                                                    
     encompass  all matters  that the  recipient might  find                                                                    
     sufficiently  desirable  to  do something  in  exchange                                                                    
     for.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON  clarified that  she is concerned  there could  be a                                                               
conflict  between  the  definition  that is  being  proposed  for                                                               
"private  benefit" and  the definition  that  already exists  for                                                               
"benefit".   She suggested that  the word "financial"  be removed                                                               
[from  page 2,  lines 2,  3, and  4], because  then the  language                                                               
"private benefit" would  be a further qualification  based on the                                                               
established meaning of "benefit."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS  said the  sponsor  would  have  no problem  with  that                                                               
recommendation.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:41:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  interpreted the combined language  of (18)                                                               
and (19) to  mean "the goal of a constituent  or corporation that                                                               
has any interest in  the state of Alaska."  He  added, "I mean we                                                               
might as  well throw  the whole thing  out, because  we're saying                                                               
that  you can  basically do  anything for  anybody, and  not only                                                               
what you do, but as long as it accomplishes their goal."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:43:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS responded  that that  is not  the intent  at all.   She                                                               
reiterated that the  benefit for one cannot be more  than for any                                                               
person  in that  class.   She  said  this does  not  mean that  a                                                               
legislator can  solicit a contract  for a person  or corporation;                                                               
it  means if  something  goes array  with  state government  that                                                               
results in personal loss - that is a legislative purpose.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON said he understands  the intent but is just                                                               
looking  at  the wording.    He  clarified  that:   the  proposed                                                               
language under  paragraph (19)  defines "legislative  purpose" as                                                               
the  goal of  constituent  service; the  proposed language  under                                                               
paragraph  (18)   defines  "constituent  service"   as  including                                                               
representation provided  by the legislature or  legislative staff                                                               
to a  constituent; and "constituent"  has been defined  as anyone                                                               
who has any interest in anything  to do with the state of Alaska.                                                               
He  added,  "And  it's  their  goal  -  not  the  actual  service                                                               
provided."   He said he interprets  that to mean the  goal of any                                                               
constituent.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:44:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS replied that the goal  of any one constituent is not the                                                               
goal  of  a   class  of  people.    She  said   she  thinks  what                                                               
Representative Seaton is  describing is an independent  goal of a                                                               
person  versus the  goal  that  could be  shared  by  a class  of                                                               
people.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:45:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON  concurred with Representative Seaton's  remark that                                                               
"it's a  goal of  constituent service."   She suggested  that the                                                               
proposed  language could  be changed  to:   "legislative  purpose                                                               
means  a  goal of  legislative  action  or providing  constituent                                                               
service," because constituent  service is not really  a goal, but                                                               
something to be provided.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:45:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON said  he thinks  the wording  needs to  be                                                               
clarified.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON concurred.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:46:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS cited  the definition of legislative  action, which read                                                               
as follows:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     a  conduct   related  to  the   development,  drafting,                                                                    
     consideration,   sponsorship,   enactment  or   defeat,                                                                    
     support  or  opposition  to or  of  a  law,  amendment,                                                                    
     resolution,   report,  nomination,   or  other   matter                                                                    
     affected by legislative action or inaction.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:47:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  asked for clarification of  Ms. Anderson's                                                               
latest recommendation.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ANDERSON  said  she  recommends  changing  the  language  in                                                               
paragraph   (19),  on   page  7,   lines  29-30   [text  provided                                                               
previously], to read as follows:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          (19) "legislative purpose" means a goal of a                                                                          
     legislative action or providing constituent service;                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ANDERSON said  she agrees  with  Representative Seaton  that                                                               
instead of saying legislative purpose  is a goal of a constituent                                                               
service, the language should convey  that legislative action is a                                                               
goal of  legislative action or  constituent service,  which would                                                               
clarify  that legislative  purpose includes  constituent service,                                                               
which has not occurred in statute before.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS said that makes sense.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 9:48:13 AM to 9:50:19 AM.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:50:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  recommended  that  a  subcommittee  be                                                               
formed to address HB 193.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN concurred.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:51:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   LYNN   appointed   Vice  Chair   Seaton,   Representative                                                               
Gruenberg, and Representative Johnson to a subcommittee.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:52:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS returned  to the  sectional analysis  of HB  193.   She                                                               
directed attention to Section 1  of Version S, [which would amend                                                               
AS 24.60.030(i)].  Ms. Moss  reviewed that once a constituent has                                                               
filed  an official  appeal and  has asked  for an  administrative                                                               
hearing, the legislator and legislative  staff back away from the                                                               
issue.   The proposed change  to that  rule would be  "unless the                                                               
legislator  or  legislative   employee  is  representing  another                                                           
person  in   the  case  for   compensation  and  subject   to  AS                                                           
24.60.100".                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:53:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  remarked  that  it  is  possible  that                                                               
somebody could  be providing representation, for  example, for an                                                               
accountant.  He told Ms. Moss he thinks the language is great.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:54:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS moved  on to Section 2 of Version  S, [which would amend                                                               
AS  24.60.080(a)].   Ms.  Moss  noted  that Section  2  addresses                                                               
gifts.   She  said  the proposed  change would  be  in regard  to                                                               
charitable events  and tickets.   She indicated that  [the Ethics                                                               
Committee]  would like  to  allow  the gift  of  a  ticket for  a                                                               
charitable event, but with a limit on that gift of $250.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS addressed Section 3 of  Version S, [which would amend AS                                                               
24.60.080(c)].   She  said  the  proposed change  is  on page  5,                                                               
[lines  3-5],  and  would  allow   a  legislator  or  legislative                                                               
employee to  accept a ticket to  a charity event worth  over $250                                                               
from a person  who is not a lobbyist, an  immediate family member                                                               
of a lobbyist,  or acting on behalf of lobbyist.   Section 4, she                                                               
explained   would  [amend   AS  24.60.080(d)]   to  require   the                                                               
legislator  or legislative  employee who  receives the  ticket to                                                               
the  charity event  worth over  $250 to  disclose the  receipt of                                                               
that gift.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS said  Section 5  would [amend  AS 24.60.105]  by adding                                                               
language that would  clarify that if a disclosure  is against any                                                               
law - federal  or state - then that disclosure  would not have to                                                               
happen.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON offered an example.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:55:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG  said   he   strongly  supports   that                                                               
language,  because it  would  protect the  right  to privacy  for                                                               
people involved in family law.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:56:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS,  in response to  a question from  Representative Wilson                                                               
regarding the  proposed change in  Section 3, clarified  that any                                                               
ticket received  to a  charity event that  was valued  under $250                                                               
would not have to be reported.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS continued  to Section 6, which she said  would [amend AS                                                               
24.60.130(f)  by  implementing  a  $150 a  day  compensation  for                                                               
public  members of  the Select  Committee  on Legislative  Ethics                                                               
while they are in meetings.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ANDERSON,  in response  to  a  question from  Representative                                                               
Seaton, regarding  Section 5, explained that  a person refraining                                                               
from  making a  disclosure  because doing  so  would violate  the                                                               
United  State  Constitution, the  Constitution  of  the State  of                                                               
Alaska,  or other  state or  federal law,  would give  the Ethics                                                               
Committee,  in  writing, the  reason  he/she  will not  make  the                                                               
disclosure.  The committee would  "look for the law" to determine                                                               
that the issue is confidential by some other statute.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON asked  Ms. Anderson  to provide  the House                                                               
State   Affairs   Standing   Committee   with   list   of   known                                                               
confidentialities, such  as real estate disclosures,  so that the                                                               
committee knows the parameters.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:58:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON   offered  his  understanding   that  the                                                               
Constitution  of  the State  of  Alaska  guarantees everyone  the                                                               
right  to privacy;  therefore,  he  asked if  that  would mean  a                                                               
person could choose to hold private anything he/she wished.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS  said she  would  have  to  ask Legislative  Legal  and                                                               
Research Services for  the answer to that question,  but said her                                                               
intuition is  that the answer is  no.  She said  information that                                                               
is by law confidential would remain confidential.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  said  a  person's  salary  is  not  made                                                               
confidential  by  law, but  rather  is  confidential through  the                                                               
policy of  a company.  However,  he said he thinks  that would be                                                               
covered  under the  Constitution  of  the State  of  Alaska as  a                                                               
privacy issue.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG proffered  that there  are a  series of                                                               
cases on  that issue, and  the supreme  court, in at  least three                                                               
cases,  has  "delineated  the contours  of  disclosure  in  these                                                               
circumstances."     He  added,  "It's  not   just  your  salary's                                                               
confidential; they haven't gone that far."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:59:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS concluded the sectional  analysis, by discussing Section                                                               
7, [which would  amend AS 24.60.130(n)].  She  noted that Section                                                               
7  proposes that  an alternate  public member  be allowed  on the                                                               
Ethics  Committee.   Furthermore,  it would  provide  that if  an                                                               
alternate were  to start  a proceeding,  he/she would  finish the                                                               
proceeding.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:00:26 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LYNN  appointed  Representative  Seaton as  chair  of  the                                                               
subcommittee.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:01:06 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
TERRY  L.  THURBON, Chief  Administrative  Law  Judge, Office  of                                                               
Administrative  Hearings,  Department of  Administration,  stated                                                               
that  her comments  are entirely  confined  to Section  1 of  the                                                               
bill.  She said the goal of the  bill, to make a brighter line to                                                               
limit inappropriate contacts, is laudable.   However, the way the                                                               
bill and  committee substitute were  originally drafted  does not                                                               
preserve two important things:   one, the ability of a legislator                                                               
or  legislative  employee  to participate  in  an  administrative                                                               
adjudication as  a party  or a witness  without running  afoul of                                                               
the ethics laws;  and, two, the solution to  inadvertent ex parte                                                               
contacts,  which   is  in  the   subparagraph  to   the  original                                                               
provision, which  was put into  law initially when the  Office of                                                               
Administrative Hearing was created in 2004.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JUDGE   THURBON   said   she    has   discussed   concerns   with                                                               
Representative Seaton  and Ms. Moss  at much greater  length than                                                               
with Ms. Anderson,  and she offered her  understanding that there                                                               
may  be  an  amendment  forthcoming, perhaps  during  the  bill's                                                               
hearing before the House Judiciary  Standing Committee or perhaps                                                               
as a result of the meeting of the newly appointed subcommittee.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN  suggested the issues  brought forth by  Judge Thurbon                                                               
could be addressed in the subcommittee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
[REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG] acknowledged yes.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JUDGE THURBON  stated, "With that in  mind, I don't think  I need                                                               
to add anything else."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
[HB  193  was held  over,  with  the  objection to  the  proposed                                                               
committee substitute  (CS), Version 26-LS0656\S,  Wayne, 3/23/09,                                                               
left pending.]                                                                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01 3-12-09 Blank CS for HB 73 Version E.pdf HSTA 3/24/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 73
01 HB0123A.pdf HSTA 3/24/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 123
02 3-20-09 CS HB 73 Sponsor Statement Version E Fire.doc HSTA 3/24/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 73
03 Fiscal for Firefighter CSHB073-DOA-DMV-03-16-09.pdf HSTA 3/24/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 73
04 HB 73 Firefighter EMS Support Letter-emails.pdf HSTA 3/24/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 73
02 HB 123 Sponsor Statement.pdf HSTA 3/24/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 123
03 HB123-DHSS-BHA-03-23-09.pdf HSTA 3/24/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 123
04 HB123-DHSS-SSPC-03-23-09.pdf HSTA 3/24/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 123
05 HB 123 Statewide Suicide Prevention Council.pdf HSTA 3/24/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 123
01 HB0193A.pdf HSTA 3/24/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 193
02 HB 193 Bill Packet.pdf HSTA 3/24/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 193
03 HB93-LEG-ETH-03-23-09.pdf HSTA 3/24/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 93
05 Add'l support HB 73.pdf HSTA 3/24/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 73
06 Support Letter AARP HB 123.pdf HSTA 3/24/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 123
06 Add'l support HB 73.pdf HSTA 3/24/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 73
CS for HB 73 STA Version S.pdf HSTA 3/24/2009 8:00:00 AM
HB 73