Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/01/1996 09:04 AM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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               SB 301 POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION                               
                                                                              
 Number 002                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN called the Senate Health, Education and Social                 
 Services (HESS) Committee to order at 9:04 a.m. and introduced                
 SB 301  as the first order of business before the committee.  She             
 announced that she intended to take testimony, but anticipated some           
 time constraints.  HB 465 will be before the committee again on               
 Wednesday.  She invited any witness interested to submit written              
 testimony to the HESS committee.  Chairman Green asked Mr. Tibbles            
 to review the changes made to SB 301 since the last meeting.                  
                                                                               
 MIKE TIBBLES, Staff to Senator Green, directed the committee to               
 page 3 of the Ford draft F dated 3/29/96.  Under Section 4, the               
 specified members were deleted and replaced with "The corporation             
 shall be the members of the commission."  Under subsection (c), the           
 specific references to the schools were deleted and replaced with             
 generic language.                                                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO inquired as to what language was deleted in Section 4.           
                                                                               
 MIKE TIBBLES stated that the specific references to the members               
 were deleted and replaced with language saying that the members               
 will consist of the members of the Alaska Commission on                       
 Postsecondary Education.  Under another section of the bill the               
 members are specified.                                                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO inquired as to where the commissioners were addressed.           
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN directed Senator Salo to page 17, Section 44; the              
 members of the corporation are specified in this section.                     
                                                                               
 Number 078                                                                    
                                                                               
 MIKE TIBBLES noted a technical change on page 4, line 19 where                
 "program" was changed to "programs".  At the request of the                   
 Department of Law, subsection (b) was deleted because the                     
 corporation already had the authority to obtain legal counsel.  On            
 page 13, line 26 the existing language "subject to appropriation"             
 was retained.  Mr. Tibbles reiterated that Section 44 specifies               
 what members are on the commission.                                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER moved that the CSSB 301 Ford version F dated 3/29/96           
 be adopted in lieu of the original bill for a working document.               
 Hearing no objection, Ford version F was adopted.                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO noted that this draft has substantive changes and                
 therefore, hoped that more time to review this draft would be                 
 given.                                                                        
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN said that in some brief checks, this draft has not             
 met any objection.  The bill, version C, that came before the                 
 committee was worked on by the Department of Law, the Department of           
 Education, and the Commission on Postsecondary Education.  The                
 changes in version F were those discussed in the last meeting.                
 Chairman Green said that legislators do want confirmation and the             
 bill has been set up accordingly.  Chairman Green stated that she             
 would like to see the bill move out of committee today.                       
                                                                               
 Number 139                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS asked if this bill retained legislators on the                  
 Commission of Postsecondary Education.  CHAIRMAN GREEN clarified              
 that the legislative members are only ex officio, non voting,                 
 members as is the student member.  This bill has aggressive                   
 language that does not allow persons with special interests to be             
 appointed as a member.                                                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS asked if SB 301 retained the proposals in the EO.               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN said that six or seven areas of the EO are                     
 maintained in SB 301.  This bill goes further than the EO by                  
 repealing those federal laws that are no longer applicable or                 
 required.  The EO was used as the basis for the bill.  Chairman               
 Green believed the main difference between the EO and the bill is             
 that the bill makes the legislature a part of the confirmation                
 process.  She reiterated the changes pointed out by Mr. Tibbles               
 earlier.  Chairman Green pointed out that the institutional                   
 authorization remains with the commission.  There are also some               
 clean-up items from SB 123.  The bill provides that persons                   
 involved with the corporation's institutions will sign an agreement           
 indicating their intention to provide a good product.                         
                                                                               
 DIANE BARRANS, Executive Director of the Alaska Postsecondary                 
 Education Commission, believed that the program participation                 
 agreement is in existing language.                                            
                                                                               
 Number 206                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS inquired as to the fate of the WICHE and WAMI                   
 programs under this bill.                                                     
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN referred Senator Ellis to page 2, line 21 where the            
 WAMI program falls under the University of Alaska and would be                
 controlled by the Board of Regents.  Currently, there are two line            
 items in the budget concerning the WAMI program; one is in the                
 university budget and the other is in the Department of Education.            
 She noted that this was decided in the House.                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS asked if the effect would be to eliminate the lines             
 in the budget.  CHAIRMAN GREEN said that it would coordinate the              
 line items for WAMI.  There would be no change to WICHE.                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR SALO expressed concern that the bill allows two boards to             
 remain although, they are the same people.  The legislative                   
 confirmation of the members may or may not create problems with the           
 bond rating from the Bond Council.  Senator Salo pointed out that             
 there has been a significant change in this draft by making the               
 members of the corporate board the members of the commission.  She            
 wanted to be sure that this would not jeopardize the bond rating.             
 She wanted to have more time for that reason.  Will this go to                
 Finance?                                                                      
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN replied yes and agreed that concern could be passed            
 on to Finance.  Chairman Green did not believe that anyone wanted             
 to negatively impact the bond rating.  She believed that there was            
 a provision for the board to continue.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 259                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN moved that CSSB 301, Ford version F, be reported out            
 of committee with accompanying fiscal notes and individual                    
 recommendations.                                                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS objected.  He did not believe the committee had given           
 this bill adequate time.                                                      
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN noted that there had been a task force on this for             
 three weeks.  SENATOR ELLIS asked if the task force consisted of              
 Senator Green, Representative Toohey, and Representative Bunde.               
 CHAIRMAN GREEN emphasized that the task force was open to anyone              
 interested.  Chairman Green noted that the Department of Law, the             
 Department of Education, and the Commission on Postsecondary                  
 Education participated.  The Department of Law and the Commission             
 on Postsecondary Education came up with version C of the bill.  The           
 following changes were made by Mr. Ford.                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS asked if the Administration supported this version              
 moving out of the committee.  CHAIRMAN GREEN did not know.                    
                                                                               
 Upon a roll call vote, Senators Green, Miller, and Leman voted                
 "Yea" and Senators Ellis and Salo voted "Nay".  Therefore,                    
 CSSB 301(HES), version F, passed out of committee.                            

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