Legislature(2015 - 2016)SENATE FINANCE 532
04/05/2016 05:00 PM FINANCE
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SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 4 Relating to the duties of delegates selected by the legislature to attend a convention of the states called under art. V, Constitution of the United States, to consider a countermand amendment to the Constitution of the United States; establishing as a joint committee of the legislature the Delegate Credential Committee and relating to the duties of the committee; providing for an oath for delegates and alternates to a countermand amendment convention; providing for a chair and assistant chair of the state's countermand amendment delegation; providing for the duties of the chair and assistant chair; providing instructions for the selection of a convention president; and providing specific language for the countermand amendment on which the state's convention delegates are authorized by the legislature to vote to approve. 5:34:19 PM SENATOR BILL STOLTZE, SPONSOR, explained the resolution: SJR 15 and SCR 4 seek to restore the balance of power between the states and federal government. The pair of resolutions would strengthen state sovereignty by providing states with veto (countermand) power over federal decisions deemed not in their best interest by establishing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. These two resolutions in tandem are intended to start the process of amending the US Constitution via the powers granted in Article V. SJR 15 (The Application) provides Alaska's call to Congress for a clearly defined, single-issue Countermand Amendment Convention. The Countermand Amendment to the United States Constitution, when ratified, will allow states to propose Countermand Initiatives, which upon approval by three-fifths of the state legislatures, will repeal any federal statute, executive order, judicial decision, or regulatory decision listed in the Initiative. SCR 4 (The Delegate Resolution) enables the state legislature to institute parameters for the convention, ensuring that a "runaway convention" is not possible, and provides for a productive, safe and timely process. The Delegate Resolution establishes a Credential Committee for selection of delegates to the convention, and outlines the duties of the delegates. SCR 4 also includes the language of the proposed Countermand Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. These two resolutions do not pertain to a conservative versus liberal agenda; this is a state versus federal issue. Passage of these resolutions is an actionable step the Legislature can take toward restoration of the proper balance of state and federal powers. 5:36:07 PM STUART KRUEGER, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE SHELLEY HUGHES, explained the Sectional Analysis (copy on file): Resolve 1 Pg 2 ln 26: Authorizes the legislature to appoint and summon delegates for the amendment convention. Resolve 2 Pg 2, ln 29: Gives the legislature authority to decide the qualifications and total number of delegates to send to the convention. Resolve 3 Pg 3, ln 1: Gives the legislature the ability to add or remove delegates and Resolve 4 Pg. 3, Ln 6: Provides parameters and instructions for state's delegates at the convention. Prohibits delegates from voting for any other amendments, outside of the countermand amendment, at the convention. Resolve 5 Pg 3, ln 13: Reserves the countermand amendment as the only amendment for consideration for ratification by the legislatures. Resolve 6 Pg 3, ln 15 Upon a call for convention by 34 states, this resolve allows for establishing of the Delegate Credential Committee within the Alaska Legislature, with duties listed in section A. Speaker of the House shall appoint three members from the House, one being a minority caucus member. The President of the Senate shall appoint three members of the Senate, one being a minority caucus member. Resolve 7 Pg 3, ln 24 Provides for replacement procedure for members of the Delegate Credential Committee. Resolve 8 Allows for selection of co-chairs of the Delegate One co-chair from the House, one from Pg 3, ln 26 Credential Committee the Senate. Along with staff assignments for committee support. Resolve 9 Pg 3, ln 30 Establishes when Delegate Credential Committee can meet. Resolve 10 Pg 4, ln 1 Acknowledges that the Delegate Credential Committee will continue until the first day of the Thirtieth Alaska State Legislature. Resolve 11 Pg 4, ln 3 Requests that the Delegate Credential Committee be considered for reestablishment during the Thirtieth Alaska Legislature. Resolve 12 Pg 4, ln 6 Provides for removal and replacement procedure for members of the Delegate Credential Committee Members are removed or replaced by the presiding officer that appointed them. Resolve 13 Section A. Pg 4, ln 17 Provides the duties of the Delegate Credential Committee. Majority vote on decisions, official facilitator for the legislature, appointment of delegates, provide a committee report on selected delegates, appointing chair and assistant chair of delegation, properly vet and confirm delegates, issue convention passes to delegates, notify legislature of financial needs at the convention, administer oaths to the delegates, alternates, chair and assistant chair, monitor activities of Alaska's delegation, submit quarterly reports to the legislature on events, progress, and recommendations for the convention, authority to recommend removal of a delegate or alternate for approval by the legislature. Resolve 13 Section B Pg 6, ln 11 Provides for the duties of the chair of Alaska's state delegation and the president of the convention, Chair is responsible for communicating with other state delegations to open convention for business; identifying other legislatures that have approved a delegate resolution; build consensus with at least 26 state delegations to require that each state delegation at the convention has only one vote; require a simple majority vote at all roll calls; nominate convention officials; require a quorum of 26 state to conduct business; build a consensus of at least 26 states to support sending the countermand amendment for ratification; work to conclude convention in 21 days, or no longer than 180 days; nominate a candidate for convention president from Alaska's delegation, or work to elect a president Resolve 13 Section B, J Pg 7, ln 31 Under duties of the Alaska delegation chair, includes supporting the following duties of the convention president. Convention president duties include: securing a vote for this delegate resolution to be the rules of order at the convention; focus on the purpose of sending the countermand amendment for ratification by the states; request security measures as needed; oversee installment of officers at the convention; establish convention agenda; provide equal time for floor discussion for all states; to prohibit introduction of any subject other than the countermand amendment; call for a vote for sending countermand amendment to the states; report to 50 state legislatures, and the media on convention progress; provide formal requests, when needed, to states for money that will be needed to carry on business; oppose any effort to delay or modify the countermand amendment vote; oppose any effort by states to offer amendments other than the countermand amendment Resolve 13 Section C Pg 10, ln 3 Addresses duties and responsibilities of convention delegates. Delegate duties include: comply with directives in this resolution; follow instructions of the chair and assistant chair of Alaska's delegation; be present to vote at all roll calls; attend all assigned sessions at the convention; report to the delegation chair the number of states in favor of the countermand amendment; recommend strategies to help join 26 states in favor of the countermand amendment Resolve 13 Section D Pg 11, Ln 1 Addresses duties and responsibilities of convention delegate alternates. Resolve 13 Section E Pg 11, Ln 8 Provides the text for the countermand amendment to the United States Constitution. 5:40:41 PM MICHAEL SCHECHTER, ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), stated that he was available for questions. Co-Chair MacKinnon queried any technical errors in the resolution. Mr. Schechter replied that the there was an issue related to how the constitutional convention process would work. The process had never been used in the United States. Senator Stoltze stated that he hoped that there would be a point when the questions would be addressed. 5:44:18 PM MIKE COONS, NATIONAL LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR, CITIZEN INITIATIVES, PALMER (via teleconference), testified in support of the legislation. Co-Chair MacKinnon CLOSED public testimony. SCR 4 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further consideration. 5:49:23 PM AT EASE 5:49:57 PM RECONVENED