Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 106

03/30/2010 08:00 AM House STATE AFFAIRS

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Audio Topic
08:07:35 AM Start
08:08:04 AM Overview(s): Division of Elections
08:45:23 AM SB43
09:17:22 AM HB241
09:38:51 AM HB128|| HCR8
09:47:40 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Overview: Division of Elections TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS SB 43(STA) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 241(STA) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
               HB 241-DIVEST INVESTMENTS IN IRAN                                                                            
9:17:22 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN  announced that the  next order of business  was HOUSE                                                               
BILL  NO. 241,  "An Act  relating to  certain investments  of the                                                               
Alaska permanent fund, the state's  retirement systems, the State                                                               
of   Alaska  Supplemental   Annuity   Plan,   and  the   deferred                                                               
compensation  program for  state employees  in companies  that do                                                               
business  in   Iran,  and  restricting  those   investments;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
The committee took an at-ease from 9:17:27 AM to 9:19:19 AM.                                                                
[Due to  technical difficulties with the  official recording, the                                                               
testimony  from 9:20  a.m. through  9:28  a.m. was  reconstructed                                                               
from an alternative audio source.]                                                                                              
9:20:34 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO,  sponsor, moved that the  committee rescind                                                               
its action, on  2/16/10, in failing to report  from committee the                                                               
proposed  committee  substitute  (CS)  for HB  241,  Version  26-                                                               
LS0680\S, Kane, 2/15/10, as amended.                                                                                            
9:20:44 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON objected.                                                                                                
9:21:33 AM                                                                                                                    
A  roll call  vote was  taken.   Representatives Seaton,  Wilson,                                                               
Gatto,  Gruenberg,  Petersen, and  Lynn  voted  in favor  of  the                                                               
motion to  rescind the  committee's action  in failing  to report                                                               
from  committee the  proposed committee  substitute  (CS) for  HB
241,   Version   26-LS0680\S,    Kane,   2/15/10,   as   amended.                                                               
Representative Johnson  voted against it.   Therefore, the motion                                                               
to rescind the committee's action passed by a vote of 6-1.                                                                      
9:21:51 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  spoke to  the reason  to pass  HB 241.   He                                                               
said the State  of Alaska currently has  approximately $1 billion                                                               
invested  in Iran.   The  federal government  has clearly  stated                                                               
that it wants sanctions on Iran,  to put pressure on the country.                                                               
He indicated  that the  bill would  not require  investigation of                                                               
every mutual stock  in every fund, but would  establish a $20,000                                                               
threshold.   He reminded  the committee  that the  Permanent Fund                                                               
Corporation had indicated that it  has no issue with the proposed                                                               
legislation.     Investments  would   be  transferred   to  other                                                               
investments,  he   said.     Representative  Gatto   offered  his                                                               
understanding  that  Iran will  have  the  capability to  send  a                                                               
nuclear weapon via missile to the U.S. within the next 10 years.                                                                
9:25:22 AM                                                                                                                    
PATRICK  GALVIN, Commissioner,  Department of  Revenue, testified                                                               
that  the department  appreciates the  bill sponsor's  efforts to                                                               
minimize the administrative costs and  burden in the structure of                                                               
the  bill.   He  said  the  governor  recognizes that  there  are                                                               
instances where  it is appropriate  to make  investment decisions                                                               
in response  to national security  issues.  In response  to Chair                                                               
Lynn, he  said the governor has  not taken a position  on HB 241,                                                               
but recognizes  that there are  instances when it  is appropriate                                                               
for the state to "join with  others in isolating nations that are                                                               
not  taking actions  that  are  in our  national  interest."   In                                                               
response to a follow-up question,  he indicated that the governor                                                               
would not  take action  on his  own, but  would cooperate  if the                                                               
bill passed.                                                                                                                    
9:26:15 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  spoke to  his objection.   He said  if he                                                               
thought the  proposed legislation  would effectively  prevent the                                                               
construction of nuclear weapons or even  "do any good at all," he                                                               
would support it.  He said  the cost per share difference, at two                                                               
cents, will  not impact  Iran.   He opined that  if the  State of                                                               
Alaska really  wants to have an  effect on Iran, it  would refuse                                                               
to  do business  with companies  that do  business in  Iran.   He                                                               
offered an  example.   He stated  that he does  not like  what is                                                               
happening to  soldiers in Iran,  but reiterated that he  does not                                                               
think the proposed legislation will do one bit of good.                                                                         
9:29:44 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO speculated  that  soldiers overseas  follow                                                               
the actions  of their government,  and the federal  government is                                                               
saying pressure  on Iran  is needed.   He mentioned  companies in                                                               
Alaska that  are pulling  out their investments  in Iran,  and he                                                               
asked, "Is  it economics or is  it public pressure?"   He stated,                                                               
"This  is where  the public  pressure originates."   He  said the                                                               
state has the ability to put  public pressure "on people who kill                                                               
our soldiers."                                                                                                                  
9:31:17 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  remarked,  "A journey  begins  with  a                                                               
single step."                                                                                                                   
9:31:23 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  stated that  the fighting is  in Pakistan,                                                               
which is  also where the Taliban  is.  He related  that there are                                                               
500,000-800,000 Afghani  refugees in  Iran.  He  said he  has not                                                               
heard  of cross-border  conflicts  or missiles  being fired  into                                                               
Iran.   He stated that  there is concern about  potential nuclear                                                               
weaponry, but the testimony by  the Chief of Staff and commanders                                                               
in the  field has not  shown that Iranians are  shooting American                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON mentioned companies  from around the world,                                                               
which Alaska  has tried  to work with  in developing  the state's                                                               
oil  fields.   He  questioned how  moral the  state  would be  in                                                               
divesting  from   all  these  companies  while   still  being  in                                                               
partnership with them and giving  them tax credits to develop oil                                                               
fields and leases on Alaska lands.                                                                                              
9:35:22 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO stated  that HB 241 is not  an omnibus bill,                                                               
but it  is a  powerful first  step, "especially  in light  of the                                                               
fact that we've  seen major oil companies pull out  of Iran."  He                                                               
said parts  for improvised  explosive devices  are being  made in                                                               
Iran and then being shipped out  and sold.  He stated, "So, while                                                               
they're not  actually throwing  the bombs  at us,  they're making                                                               
the parts."                                                                                                                     
9:36:28 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON said  he trusts  Representative Gatto  to                                                               
accurately report that  there are companies pulling  out of Iran,                                                               
but  he  is not  comfortable  concluding  that the  reason  those                                                               
companies are leaving is in response to public opinion.                                                                         
9:37:18 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO read some  news release headlines indicating                                                               
that Iran  is tied to the  killing of U.S. soldiers  and involved                                                               
in supplying weapons to the Taliban.                                                                                            
9:37:42 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG moved [to  report the proposed committee                                                               
substitute (CS)  for HB 241, Version  26-LS0680\S, Kane, 2/15/10,                                                               
as amended, from the House State Affairs Standing Committee.]                                                                   
9:37:54 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON objected.                                                                                                
9:37:58 AM                                                                                                                    
A  roll call  vote  was taken.    Representatives Wilson,  Gatto,                                                               
Gruenberg, Petersen,  and Lynn  voted in favor  of the  motion to                                                               
report  the  proposed  committee  substitute  (CS)  for  HB  241,                                                               
Version 26-LS0680\S,  Kane, 2/15/10,  as amended, from  the House                                                               
State Affairs  Standing Committee.   Representatives  Johnson and                                                               
Seaton voted against  it.  Therefore, CSHB  241(STA) was reported                                                               
out of  the House State Affairs  Standing Committee by a  vote of                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01-A second CS for HB 241 Version S.pdf HSTA 3/30/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 241
Explanation of changes from CS HCR 8 P to C versions.pdf HSTA 3/30/2010 8:00:00 AM
CS for HCR 8 ( ) C version.pdf HSTA 3/30/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB128-REVISED FISCAL NOTE GOV-OMB-3-29-10.pdf HSTA 3/30/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 128