Legislature(2009 - 2010)

04/18/2010 05:16 PM Senate FIN

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05:16:00 PM Start
05:19:10 PM HB280
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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                                                                    
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).                                                                                                 

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