Legislature(2009 - 2010)
04/18/2010 05:16 PM Senate FIN
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CS FOR SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 36(FIN) am "An Act relating to ballot initiative proposal applications, to ballot initiatives and to those who file or organize for the purpose of filing a ballot initiative proposal, and to election pamphlet information relating to certain propositions." 5:53:46 PM SONIA CHRISTIANSON, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE KYLE JOHANSEN explained that HB 36 is an attempt to bring additional information to the public prior to elections. She explained that HB 36 has provisions that require early financial disclosure for ballot measure campaigns. She stated that HB 36 delays the disclosure deadline requiring financial disclosures throughout the signature gathering portion of ballot measure campaigns. Currently, no disclosure exists for the process. Up to one year can pass before financial disclosures are required for ballot measure campaigns. She stated that the legislation also requires public hearings in four judicial districts of the state, with two judicial districts moderated by the lieutenant governor, which brings the initiatives closer to the people and allows Alaskans to meet with the sponsors and the opposition to ask questions and voice opinions. Ms. Christianson continued that HB 36 requires a legislative hearing allowing affected state agencies to discuss a ballot measure with the legislature. She explained that the bill requires signature gatherers to carry a full copy of the initiative. 5:56:27 PM Senator Olson asked if the administration was in favor of the changes. CRAIG CAMPBELL, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR stated that his office is responsible for initiatives in the state from the administration perspective and his office supports HB 36. Senator Olson noted the initiative process in the past ten years has become more involved. He asked if HB 36 would further complicate the process. Lt. Governor Campbell responded that the sponsor's intention is to create a more transparent process allowing for better understanding of the initiatives. He stated that his office supports the public hearing process. He believed that the legislation would allow the citizens of Alaska to have greater understanding and vetting of the initiatives. Senator Thomas asked about the concept of not allowing the use of per signature commission. Ms. Christianson responded that the mentioned provision was removed from the bill on the House floor and is no longer applicable. 5:59:04 PM Senator Huggins asked how the provisions would have affected the Pebble Initiative. Ms. Christianson responded that the provisions in HB 36 would have required disclosure earlier in the process. Technically, if money is not transferred in the signature gathering phase to the campaign phase, there is no disclosure. The legislation would have allowed the public to witness the signature gathering phase which is an essential part of the initiative. Co-Chair Stedman mentioned one fiscal note from the Department of Administration for $60,200 in general funds for one permanent full time position and two zero fiscal notes from the Office of the Governor on behalf of the Lieutenant Governor's office and the Division of Elections. Co-Chair Hoffman MOVED to report SCS CS SS HB 36 out of Committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal note. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. CS SS HB 36 was REPORTED out of Committee with no recommendation and with two previously published zero notes: FN 2 (GOV), FN 3 (GOV) and one previously published fiscal impact note: FN 5 (ADM).