Legislature(2015 - 2016)BUTROVICH 205

03/01/2016 03:30 PM Senate EDUCATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
<Above Item Removed from Agenda>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Moved SSSB 103 Out of Committee
        HB 107-BD OF REGENTS REGIONAL RESIDENCY QUALIF.                                                                     
3:40:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DUNLEAVY announced  that the final order  of business would                                                               
be HB 107. He noted a zero fiscal note.                                                                                         
3:40:55 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN GATTIS, Alaska State Legislature, sponsor of                                                                
HB 107. She related that the University of Alaska (UA) boasts                                                                   
approximately 32,000 students a year governed by an eleven-                                                                     
member Board of Regents, one of which is a full-time student.                                                                   
She maintained that there has been a lack of representation of                                                                  
the various areas of Alaska for the last century.                                                                               
She read the mission statement of the University of Alaska: "The                                                                
University   of   Alaska    inspires   learning,   advances   and                                                               
disseminates  knowledge through  teaching,  research, and  public                                                               
service emphasizing the North and  its diverse peoples." She said                                                               
in  accordance with  the university's  mission  to emphasize  the                                                               
diversity of Alaska's  residents, HB 107 calls for  change to the                                                               
composition of UA's Board of Regents.                                                                                           
She  noted  that currently  there  is  one  seat reserved  for  a                                                               
student and  ten at-large regents  who must  be a citizen  of the                                                               
United States  as well  as a  resident of  Alaska. The  bill will                                                               
change  the  composition  of  the  board  to  include  geographic                                                               
representation. If  passed, the  regents would include  one board                                                               
member from  each of  the following  areas: Fairbanks  North Star                                                               
Borough,  Municipality of  Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna  Borough,                                                               
Kenai Peninsula Borough,  City and Borough of  Juneau, a resident                                                               
not from  the above areas  and not connected  by road or  rail to                                                               
Anchorage or  Fairbanks, one student, and  four at-large members.                                                               
This change  would reflect the  diversity of  Alaska's population                                                               
and bring more voices to the table on university policies.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS  noted a handout that  provides the history                                                               
of the  Board of  Regents. She  said that  the Mat-Su  Valley had                                                               
never been represented until the  Governor recently appointed Dr.                                                               
Deena Paramo  to the  board. She  concluded that  her goal  is to                                                               
bring diversity to the board long term.                                                                                         
3:44:25 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRYSTAL  RANDOLPH,  Staff,  Representative Lynn  Gattis,  Alaska                                                               
State Legislature, presented information on  SB 107. She read the                                                               
sectional analysis:                                                                                                             
     Section 1:                                                                                                                 
     AS  14.40.130(a). Repeals  and Reenacts  Composition of                                                                    
     the Board of Regents                                                                                                       
     Defines the Board of Regents by requiring:                                                                                 
     1. One resident of Fairbanks North Star Borough                                                                            
     2. One resident of Municipality of Anchorage                                                                               
     3. One resident of Matanuska-Susitna Borough                                                                               
     4. One resident of Kenai Peninsula Borough                                                                                 
     5. One resident of City and Borough of Juneau                                                                              
     6. One  resident of a  community that is  not described                                                                    
     in  (1)  through (5)  of  this  subsection and  is  not                                                                    
     connected by road or rail to Anchorage or Fairbanks;                                                                       
     7. One student regent.                                                                                                     
     8. Four at large members that are Alaskan Residents.                                                                       
     Section 2:                                                                                                                 
     AS 14.40.130. Adds new subsections                                                                                         
     Regents Qualifications and Board Membership                                                                                
     Regents must be  a resident of region for  at least two                                                                    
     years  prior to  appointment.  A  regent will  complete                                                                    
     their  term if  they fail  to maintain  residency in  a                                                                    
     Section 3:                                                                                                                 
     Uncodified law. TRANSITION                                                                                                 
     Regents  currently serving  on  the  board will  finish                                                                    
     their terms  and as vacancies arise  the Governor shall                                                                    
     make   appointments   that    fulfill   the   residency                                                                    
     requirements of this Act.                                                                                                  
3:45:39 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  DUNLEAVY asked  whether the  four  at-large members  could                                                               
also be  from the  Mat-Su or  must be from  outside of  the seven                                                               
other categories.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS replied that  the four at-large members can                                                               
come from any region.                                                                                                           
3:46:45 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GARDNER  pointed out  that  the  Court System  has  five                                                               
judicial  districts. She  asked  if the  sponsor considered  that                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS  explained that  she did  not think  of the                                                               
court  when  she considered  the  regional  areas and  what  they                                                               
bring. She looked at where the  regents came from in the past and                                                               
who was left out. She said she also considered community size.                                                                  
3:47:58 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GARDNER  asked  where  applicants  came  from  when  the                                                               
Governor was looking for appointees.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS  said during last year's  public testimony,                                                               
there was concern about the  struggle to find representation from                                                               
some areas. She opined that now  is the right time to provide the                                                               
opportunity to  bring Alaskans together  in light of  this budget                                                               
3:49:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GARDNER  wondered what  would happen  if no  good, strong                                                               
applicants   came   forth  in   order   to   meet  the   regional                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE   GATTIS  said   the  bill   does  not   focus  on                                                               
whether there  were good, strong  folks in areas.  She maintained                                                               
that each area has strong candidates.                                                                                           
SENATOR  GARDNER agreed  they are  everywhere, but  they may  not                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS said  that conversation did not  come up in                                                               
the House, but the Regents expressed concern about it.                                                                          
3:51:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DUNLEAVY opened public testimony.                                                                                         
3:51:18 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN DAVIS, Board Member, University  of Alaska Board of Regents,                                                               
expressed concerns about  HB 107. He opined  that regional regent                                                               
applicants  might not  consider the  university "one  university"                                                               
and that  they may believe  they only represent their  region. He                                                               
also said he is concerned that when  there is a vacancy it may be                                                               
difficult to find someone to fill  it. He said it is important to                                                               
give the  Governor lee-way  and not  require specific  regions be                                                               
represented in that case. He concluded  it may be hard to find an                                                               
applicant from some regions.                                                                                                    
3:54:31 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  DUNLEAVY  summarized the  first  concern  if the  bill  is                                                               
regionalized,  there might  be regents  who represent  their area                                                               
first, rather than the university.                                                                                              
MR. DAVIS said yes.                                                                                                             
CHAIR  DUNLEAVY thought  that could  happen now.  He wondered  if                                                               
there have been  examples of that happening,  currently. He asked                                                               
if the selection process was previously regionalized.                                                                           
MR. DAVIS  said it  was not  regionalized previously,  but people                                                               
had the view that they were representing a certain region.                                                                      
CHAIR DUNLEAVY  thought it might  have been a personal  view held                                                               
by a regent.                                                                                                                    
3:56:07 PM                                                                                                                    
JO HECKMAN, Board Member, University  of Alaska Board of Regents,                                                               
echoed  concerns expressed  by Mr.  Davis. She  said she  has not                                                               
experienced  the "regionalism"  mentality as  a board  member. It                                                               
has been  understood that there is  a greater good over  the last                                                               
four years.                                                                                                                     
She  appreciated the  goal of  diversity  in HB  107. She  listed                                                               
areas represented  and noted  some members work  in a  variety of                                                               
areas. She described the diversity  on the current board. She did                                                               
not know what  additional gains could be had by  HB 107, in terms                                                               
of diversity.                                                                                                                   
She concluded  that it is  irrelevant where members come  from as                                                               
long as they advocate for the  university as a whole. There is no                                                               
need to  focus on  regions. She questioned  who from  rural areas                                                               
would serve  for eight years. She  concluded it might be  hard on                                                               
the board  to wait until the  right person from the  right region                                                               
is found.                                                                                                                       
4:03:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DUNLEAVY asked who Ms. Heckman means by "we."                                                                             
MS. HECKMAN  said she meant a  group of Alaskans; the  Board does                                                               
not have a choice  in the matter, but would like  to see the best                                                               
people serve on the Board.                                                                                                      
CHAIR DUNLEAVY  commended Representative  Gattis for  looking for                                                               
people from rural  Alaska, as they are often  overlooked and have                                                               
unique needs. He  opined that the intent of  the at-large members                                                               
might be for that purpose.                                                                                                      
SENATOR GARDNER thanked Ms. Heckman.  She referred to the current                                                               
statute's language  regarding student regent  qualifications. She                                                               
asked how a student who is  enrolled for four years and remains a                                                               
full-time student can serve for eight years.                                                                                    
MS. HECKMAN corrected that the student serves a two-year term.                                                                  
4:06:27 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DUNLEAVY asked how long Ms. Heckman served.                                                                               
MS. HECKMAN said she was appointed in 2011.                                                                                     
CHAIR DUNLEAVY asked if anyone has resigned from the Board.                                                                     
MS. HECKMAN listed several instances where regents stepped down.                                                                
4:07:07 PM                                                                                                                    
ELIZABETH RIPLEY,  representing herself, testified in  support of                                                               
HB 107. She provided her  background and reasons why diversity is                                                               
important on the  Board of Regents. She  described the population                                                               
growth in  the Mat-Su Valley,  including student  enrollment. She                                                               
voiced concern  about the lack  of representation by  people from                                                               
the Mat-Su Valley. She urged passage of the bill.                                                                               
4:09:31 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DUNLEAVY left public testimony open.                                                                                      
He held HB 107 in committee.                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GARDNER requested  information  on  how many  applicants                                                               
there were  last year  and this  year when  the Governor  had the                                                               
opportunity to  make appointments to  the Board. She said  she is                                                               
concerned about getting a pool  of applicants that are available,                                                               
interested, and qualified.                                                                                                      
CHAIR DUNLEAVY thought there might be a different pool of                                                                       
applicants in the future due to HB 107.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
1. HB 107 Sponsor Statement.pdf SEDC 3/1/2016 3:30:00 PM
HB 107
2. HB 107 Sectional Analysis Newest Version.pdf SEDC 3/1/2016 3:30:00 PM
HB 107
3. HB 107 Fiscal Note (2016).pdf SEDC 3/1/2016 3:30:00 PM
HB 107
4. HB 107 Legal Opinions.PDF SEDC 3/1/2016 3:30:00 PM
HB 107
5. HB 107 Executive Summary of Past Regents.pdf SEDC 3/1/2016 3:30:00 PM
HB 107
6. HB 107 Letters of Support.pdf SEDC 3/1/2016 3:30:00 PM
HB 107
7. HB 107 Letters of Opposition.pdf SEDC 3/1/2016 3:30:00 PM
HB 107
SB 191 - Fiscal Note EED.pdf SEDC 3/1/2016 3:30:00 PM
SB 191
SB 191 - Fiscal Note DCCED.pdf SEDC 3/1/2016 3:30:00 PM
SB 191