Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 106

03/18/2010 08:00 AM House STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHB 394(STA) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
        HB  53-CANDIDATES INELIGIBLE FOR BDS/COMMISSIONS                                                                    
9:10:30 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN  announced that the  last order of business  was HOUSE                                                               
BILL NO.  53, "An Act  relating to eligibility for  membership on                                                               
state boards, commissions, and authorities."                                                                                    
9:10:44 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG moved to  adopt the committee substitute                                                               
(CS) for  HB 53, Version  26-LS0296\R, Bullard, 2/10/10,  as work                                                               
CHAIR LYNN objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                    
9:11:13 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MIKE DOOGAN, Alaska  State Legislature, as sponsor                                                               
of HB  53, reviewed that  the proposed legislation  would require                                                               
members of boards and commissions  to resign their positions when                                                               
applying  for political  office.   He said  there are  people who                                                               
serve  on  boards  and  commissions  who are  in  a  position  to                                                               
materially  affect  the  lives   of  citizens  by  advancing  the                                                               
interests  of   candidates,  financially  and  otherwise.     For                                                               
example,  he said  there is  a man  serving on  the Human  Rights                                                               
Commission who has  filed for the Alaska State Legislature.    He                                                               
stated,  "He ...,  in fact,  would be  able to  materially affect                                                               
something that  somebody wants and be  in a position to  ask that                                                               
same  person for  ... campaign  money.   And because  of that,  I                                                               
think that one or the other of those things has to go."                                                                         
9:15:20 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN asked if it would be  possible to create a rule that a                                                               
candidate who is serving on a  board or commission may not accept                                                               
a contribution from anyone on that board or commission.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  DOOGAN said  that  would be  a  difficult law  to                                                               
CHAIR  LYNN noted  that  legislators are  not  allowed to  accept                                                               
contributions during a legislative session.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE DOOGAN said members  of boards and commissions are                                                               
appointed  for a  certain  number of  years,  and their  schedule                                                               
follows that  of the board or  commission.  He said  he could not                                                               
figure out  a way "to  go at it in  that direction, to  ... limit                                                               
your  ability  to  raise  funds if  you're  running  for  office,                                                               
outside of the limitations we already have."                                                                                    
9:17:05 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  asked for confirmation that  the proposed                                                               
legislation pertains only to legislative or executive offices.                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE DOOGAN confirmed that is correct.                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN specified  that would mean the  offices of legislator,                                                               
governor, and lieutenant governor.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON mentioned  an "advisory commission," which                                                               
is set up  through the Alaska Department of Fish  & Game (ADF&G).                                                               
He  asked, "How  far down  does this  go when  you say  boards or                                                               
9:18:22 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DOOGAN  related that  there are  approximately 120                                                               
boards and  commissions.   He said,  "They don't  go down  to the                                                               
level that  you're talking  about."  He  indicated that  the bill                                                               
pertains to boards and commissions that  are set up in statute to                                                               
be  able  to  take  "some  sort  of  action."    He  offered  his                                                               
understanding  that that  does not  include advisory  boards, for                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON noted that the  committee has a list of 98                                                               
boards with  influence over constituent  groups [included  in the                                                               
committee packet].  He said he  wants the legislation to be clear                                                               
whether or not it includes  advisory boards that are appointed or                                                               
have their own elections, or community councils, for example.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE DOOGAN  responded that  he is  "not trying  to get                                                               
down to that level at all."                                                                                                     
9:20:39 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN asked if a clear line has been drawn.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DOOGAN characterized the  bill as "a rough attempt                                                               
to  limit the  members of  boards  and commissions  that in  most                                                               
cases have  got some ability  to effect  what the state  does for                                                               
... [and] to citizens."                                                                                                         
9:21:20 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LYNN expressed  concern that  under  HB 53,  a person  who                                                               
gives up  his/her seat on a  board or commission in  order to run                                                               
for  political office  but  does  not get  elected,  will end  up                                                               
without his/her seat  on the board or commission.   He said it is                                                               
difficult to find people to serve on boards and commissions.                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DOOGAN responded  that  what Chair  Lynn said  is                                                               
true; however,  he pointed out  that the person would  be allowed                                                               
to serve  on that board or  commission after a waiting  period of                                                               
one year.                                                                                                                       
CHAIR LYNN  remarked that getting  back on a board  or commission                                                               
requires an opening.   He asked the reason for  the proposed year                                                               
waiting period.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  DOOGAN explained  that without  the year  waiting                                                               
period, the person  running for office could  still make promises                                                               
to  do  things  on  the   board  or  commission  for  the  person                                                               
supporting his/her campaign.                                                                                                    
9:24:09 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DOOGAN,  in  response  to  Representative  Gatto,                                                               
confirmed that currently an elected  official is allowed to serve                                                               
on  a board.   He  pointed out  that some  boards require  that a                                                               
legislator fill a seat.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  related  that  he  serves  on  the  Alaska                                                               
Commission on Post  Secondary Education, although he  is not sure                                                               
he  fills a  seat because  of being  a legislator.   He  asked if                                                               
there  could  be a  grandfather  clause,  by which  a  legislator                                                               
already  serving on  a board  could  remain on  that board  while                                                               
running for office.                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE DOOGAN offered  his belief that there  would be no                                                               
such grandfather clause opportunity under  HB 53.  In response to                                                               
a follow-up question, he stated  that there is an exception under                                                               
HB  53   for  the  positions   legislators  have  on   boards  or                                                               
commissions "by virtue of the fact that they are legislators."                                                                  
9:27:33 AM                                                                                                                    
PRIYA  KEANE, Staff,  Representative  Mike  Doogan, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  answered  questions  on  behalf  of  Representative                                                               
Doogan, sponsor of  HB 53.  In response  to Representative Gatto,                                                               
she  directed  attention to  a  legal  memorandum from  the  bill                                                               
drafter,  dated  February  10,  2010.   In  the  memorandum,  Mr.                                                               
Bullard maintains that  there is a separation of  powers issue in                                                               
having  legislators  serve as  public  members  on state  boards,                                                               
commissions,  or authorities  - it  is not  legal.   However, she                                                               
said certain  boards, commissions, or authorities  have positions                                                               
for sitting legislators.  Those  legislative positions are exempt                                                               
under  HB 53.   The  purpose  of Version  R was  to clarify  that                                                               
9:29:44 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON directed attention to  the last page of the                                                               
aforementioned  list [included  in  the committee  packet] of  98                                                               
boards with influence over constituent  groups, and read the some                                                               
of  the names  on  it, including:   the  National  Park and  Park                                                               
Monument  Subsistence Resource  Commissions, the  Alaska Veterans                                                               
Advisory Council,  the Board of  Veterinary Examiners,  the Water                                                               
and Wastewater Works Advisory Board,  the Wood-Tikchik State Park                                                               
Management   Council,  and   the  Yukon   River  Panel   Advisory                                                               
Committee.   He said many of  those entities are run  by involved                                                               
citizens.  Especially  in rural Alaska, he said,  it is difficult                                                               
to fill  these positions with people  who are active and  want to                                                               
be  involved in  their  community.   He surmised  that  it is  an                                                               
unintended  consequence that  the bill  would prevent  people who                                                               
have  been  active  and responsible  in  their  communities  from                                                               
running  for  office without  giving  up  their position  for  an                                                               
entire year in the event they are not elected.                                                                                  
9:31:23 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DOOGAN  responded that  that is not  an unintended                                                               
consequence.   He  opined that  people  have to  make choices  in                                                               
life, and under  HB 53, a person would have  to decide whether to                                                               
run for office or  stay on a board or commission.   He said it is                                                               
the same  choice that  a public  employee would  have to  make if                                                               
he/she ran for office.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON directed  attention  to the  title of  the                                                               
original bill version, which  includes state boards, commissions,                                                               
and  authorities.   He then  noted that  the title  in Version  R                                                               
includes only  state boards  or commissions;  however, on  page 2                                                               
lines 14 and 17, of Version R, authorities is included.                                                                         
9:33:14 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. KEANE  responded that she is  not clear why the  bill drafter                                                               
chose [to include "authorities" on lines 14 and 17].                                                                            
9:33:29 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  noted that [on  page 2, lines 15  and 18,                                                               
of Version  R], federal  office is included.   He  questioned, "I                                                               
guess we're controlling  the board, so if you run,  we can remove                                                               
you from  the board, so, why  couldn't we do the  same thing with                                                               
... municipal elections?"                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE DOOGAN  replied, "I'm not sure  that we couldn't."                                                               
He indicated  that municipalities  can decide  whether or  not to                                                               
address the issue.                                                                                                              
CHAIR  LYNN  questioned whether  "any  of  us on  committee  here                                                               
[could] run for Congress and still keep our job here."                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE DOOGAN responded no.                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  observed  that   there  is  a  legislator                                                               
currently in office who is running for a federal election.                                                                      
CHAIR LYNN noted that legislator  is not filing for reelection to                                                               
the [legislature].                                                                                                              
9:35:26 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON said  his point is that  while cities have                                                               
control of their elections, the  legislature has control of their                                                               
boards and  commissions; therefore, requiring a  person to resign                                                               
from a  state board in  order to run for  a city office  would be                                                               
problematic for  a municipality.   In response  to Representative                                                               
Doogan, he said, "I think  there's a difference between making it                                                               
a  requirement that  you  not be  on a  board  and saying  you're                                                               
getting kicked  off a board  if you do."   He indicated  that one                                                               
may lead  to discrimination  issues.  He  concluded, "I  think it                                                               
has to come from us, it can't come from them."                                                                                  
9:38:03 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DOOGAN admitted  Representative Johnson  might be                                                               
9:38:23 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON suggested the  bill could pertain to city,                                                               
state, and federal elections.                                                                                                   
9:39:28 AM                                                                                                                    
HOLLY HILL, Executive Director,  Alaska Public Offices Commission                                                               
(APOC),   noted  that   the  definition   of   state  boards   or                                                               
commissions,  as well  as a  list of  boards which  report public                                                               
financial disclosures, is found in AS 39.50.200(b).                                                                             
9:40:10 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  directed attention to language  on page 1,                                                               
line  5,  of Version  R,  which  read:    "if the  person  sought                                                               
nomination or became a candidate".   He offered his understanding                                                               
that until a person files a  letter of intent [to run for office]                                                               
he/she cannot raise funds.                                                                                                      
MS.  HILL   responded  that   is  correct.     She   offered  her                                                               
understanding regarding  nomination, that until an  individual is                                                               
appointed, he/she does not file forms with APOC.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  remarked that any intent  the bill sponsor                                                               
may have of  including language to ensure that people  do not use                                                               
their   influence  on   a  board   or   commission  to   leverage                                                               
contributions would  be redundant,  because currently  if someone                                                               
seeks nomination and has not filed  a letter of intent, he/she is                                                               
prohibited from  soliciting or raising  money in pursuit  of that                                                               
9:43:20 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  described  a situation  in  which  three                                                               
people  from a  political  party are  nominated  for a  political                                                               
office.  He  asked if all three nominated would  be ineligible to                                                               
serve on  a board, even  though only  one of them  could possibly                                                               
get elected.                                                                                                                    
9:44:07 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON commented  that  the bill  would apply  to                                                               
anyone who  put his/her  name forward  to the  selection process.                                                               
He stated,  "So, it  could be  a dozen  people in  each community                                                               
that  wanted to  put their  name  forward for  that seat  because                                                               
they're   seeking  the   nomination,  as   I  read   seeking  the                                                               
nomination, and yet  they've had no ability to file  an intent or                                                               
to raise campaign funds."                                                                                                       
9:44:43 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DOOGAN  directed attention  to  page  2, line  1,                                                               
which read as follows:                                                                                                          
               (2) has filed a nominating petition under AS                                                                     
     15.25.140  -  15.25.200,  AS 15.30.026,  AS  15.40.180,                                                                    
     15.40.190,  15.40.270  -   15.40.290,  or  15.40.430  -                                                                    
     15.40.450 to  become a candidate for  elective state or                                                                    
     federal executive or legislative office;                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE DOOGAN said his understanding  of that language is                                                               
that  a   person  has   filed  for  office.     In   response  to                                                               
Representative Johnson,  he stated  his belief  that appointments                                                               
are not covered in the aforementioned statutes.                                                                                 
9:45:45 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN stated,  "That  was  basically the  same                                                               
thing  I was  going to  say, ...  that unless  they have  filed a                                                               
declaration as a  candidate then they wouldn't be  covered, so, I                                                               
think it's already covered."                                                                                                    
9:46:06 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG opined  that HB 53 is  a confusing bill.                                                               
He  described  proposed  legislation  as  possible  solutions  to                                                               
perceived  problems; however,  he  said he  is  not certain  what                                                               
problem is being addressed by HB 53.                                                                                            
9:46:49 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DOOGAN said  one of  the responsibilities  of the                                                               
legislature  is  to  safeguard  not only  the  integrity  of  the                                                               
electoral process, but  also the citizens' faith in it.   He said                                                               
the proposed  legislation is his  attempt to address  that issue.                                                               
In response to a follow-up question,  he said the point is to "do                                                               
what you can  to make sure that people don't  think that somebody                                                               
gets a leg up."                                                                                                                 
CHAIR  LYNN said  the  issue  relates to  not  only reality,  but                                                               
9:48:53 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG said,  "I  don't know  that anybody  is                                                               
going  to get  a  ... leg  up  because they're  on  the board  of                                                               
hairdressers or something like that.   In fact, I don't know very                                                               
many of these boards  where you'd really get a leg  up."  He said                                                               
his second concern  is that there are many ways  a person can get                                                               
a leg up that don't relate to "this."   He said he is not certain                                                               
that the  problem has  been properly  identified.   He questioned                                                               
whether this issue is something that  can be legislated.  He said                                                               
he  had thought  that  the purpose  of the  bill  was to  prevent                                                               
bribery, but now he is "more confused than ever."                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  DOOGAN  responded  that   he  is  having  trouble                                                               
understanding the  cause of  the confusion.   He  stated, "Either                                                               
you think  that there are  opportunities that other  people don't                                                               
have,  that  go  along  with  being   a  member  of  a  board  or                                                               
commission, in electoral terms, or you don't."                                                                                  
CHAIR  LYNN remarked  that most  people running  for office  have                                                               
some special interest group either supporting or opposing them.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  DOOGAN  concurred,  but  added,  "These  are  not                                                               
advantages that  you get from  being put in a  position basically                                                               
that you  can get that  through the State of  Alaska - this  is a                                                               
different deal."                                                                                                                
9:53:00 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DOOGAN, in response  to Representative Gatto, said                                                               
the year waiting period begins from the date of the election.                                                                   
9:54:51 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  said  a  person who,  for  example,  has                                                               
served on  the Board of Fisheries  and then gets elected  to be a                                                               
legislator would  have "huge  support" from  the board,  which is                                                               
why HB 53 makes sense.                                                                                                          
9:56:17 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN,  after ascertaining  that there was  no one  else who                                                               
wished to testify, closed public testimony.                                                                                     
9:56:41 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DOOGAN  remarked that he has  no expectations that                                                               
HB  53 will  pass into  law, and  expressed willingness  to start                                                               
over with it in the next legislative session.                                                                                   
9:58:05 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  LYNN removed  his objection  to  the motion  to adopt  the                                                               
committee  substitute  (CS)  for   HB  53,  Version  26-LS0296\R,                                                               
Bullard, 2/10/10, as work draft.                                                                                                
9:58:18 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON reminded  the committee  that there  is no                                                               
reference  to "authorities"  in  the title  of  Version R,  while                                                               
there is mention of "authorities" within the body of Version R.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  opined  that "authorities"  should  be                                                               
added to the title of Version R.                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON suggested that the bill be held.                                                                         
9:58:56 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN asked  the bill sponsor to come back  with a committee                                                               
substitute as soon as possible.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  DOOGAN  expressed  compliance with  the  idea  of                                                               
including "authorities"  in the title  of Version R, and  said he                                                               
would have a committee substitute made.                                                                                         
[HB  53  was held  over.    The  motion  to adopt  the  committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)   for  HB  53,  Version   26-LS0296\R,  Bullard,                                                               
2/10/10, as work draft, was left pending.]                                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01 HB0394A.pdf HSTA 3/18/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 394
02 HB 394 Sponsor.pdf HSTA 3/18/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 394
03 HB394 IBM.pdf HSTA 3/18/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 394
04 HB 394 Archive info.pdf HSTA 3/18/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 394
05 HB 394 software options.pdf HSTA 3/18/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 394
06 HB394-DOA-ETS-03-15-10.pdf HSTA 3/18/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 394
01 HB 53- Bill.pdf HSTA 1/28/2010 8:00:00 AM
HSTA 3/18/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 53
02 HSTA - HB 53 Sponsor Statement.pdf HSTA 1/28/2010 8:00:00 AM
HSTA 3/18/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 53
03 HB053-OOG-EO-01-22-10.pdf HSTA 1/28/2010 8:00:00 AM
HSTA 3/18/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 53
04 HSTA - HB 53 Sectional Analysis.pdf HSTA 1/28/2010 8:00:00 AM
HSTA 3/18/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 53
05 HSTA - HB 53 Leg. Research Report.pdf HSTA 1/28/2010 8:00:00 AM
HSTA 3/18/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 53
06 HSTA - HB 53 Back Up Charts.pdf HSTA 1/28/2010 8:00:00 AM
HSTA 3/18/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 53
07 HSTA - HB 53 Statutues Affected by HB 53.pdf HSTA 1/28/2010 8:00:00 AM
HSTA 3/18/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 53
08 HB 53 - Back Up Report.pdf HSTA 1/28/2010 8:00:00 AM
HSTA 3/18/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 53
09 HB 53 - Back Up Table.pdf HSTA 3/18/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 53
HB 53- CS.PDF HSTA 3/18/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 53
HB 53- Legal Memo.PDF HSTA 3/18/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 53
HB 53- Summary of Changes in CS Version R.PDF HSTA 3/18/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 53
HB394-DOLWD-CO-03-17-10.pdf HSTA 3/18/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 394
HB394-EED-ESS-3-17-10.pdf HSTA 3/18/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 394