Legislature(1999 - 2000)

03/01/2000 01:44 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
         SB 277-ONLINE SYSTEM REPLACES AK ADMIN JOURNAL                                                                         
MR. MICHAEL MORTER, aide to Senator Parnell, read the following                                                                 
     You have before you today SB 277 which is sponsored by the                                                                 
     Senate Finance Committee at the request of the  lieutenant                                                                 
     governor's office.                                                                                                         
     By way of history, the journal was created in statute in 1983                                                              
     and has served as a compilation of public notices from state                                                               
     agencies.  These notices would include adopted regulations,                                                                
     agency meetings, competitive solicitations and the like.  The                                                              
     Journal is published weekly by the lieutenant governor's                                                                   
     office at a cost of $90.00 per year and is currently sent to                                                               
     9 out-of-state subscribers (down from 125 subscribers in                                                                   
     In June of last year, Governor Knowles initiated                                                                           
     Administrative Order 183 that requires agencies to submit                                                                  
     public notices to a central location on the Internet, the                                                                  
     Online Public Notice System.  Rather than searching for public                                                             
     notices agency by agency, the public now has the ability to go                                                             
     to a specific site online for this information.                                                                            
     This legislation eliminates the requirement that the                                                                       
     lieutenant governor publish the Alaska Administrative Journal                                                              
     and replaces it with the requirement that the lieutenant                                                                   
     governor provide oversight of the Alaska Online Public Notice                                                              
SENATOR HALFORD asked what is left for a written record.                                                                        
MR. MORTER responded it is his understanding the information is                                                                 
archived online and people can download that information from the                                                               
SENATOR HALFORD asked again if there will not be a written                                                                      
MR. JOHN LINDBACK, from the Lieutenant Governor's Office, responded                                                             
by saying the online journal is a compilation of public notices                                                                 
that are published in other places--newspapers or broadcast media.                                                              
The original notice is retained with the originating agency.  The                                                               
online journal, like the Alaska Administrative Journal, will be a                                                               
duplication of notices published elsewhere.                                                                                     
SENATOR HALFORD commented that other than the Internet there is not                                                             
one place a person can get all of the information.  You can go to                                                               
the originating agency for a hard copy and you can go to the                                                                    
lieutenant governor's office to create a hard copy.                                                                             
SENATOR HALFORD asked about notification to the legislative affairs                                                             
agency within the old law--the bill says, "to any state employee                                                                
designated by the lieutenant governor to receive requests."                                                                     
MR. LINDBACK responded it is his understanding that HB 37 will not                                                              
make any changes in the notification process.  Currently,                                                                       
legislative affairs places the Alaska Administrative Journal online                                                             
for the lieutenant governor's office.  It has been done this way                                                                
for a long time and nothing has been done to change this.  There is                                                             
no need for legislative affairs to be responsible for this any                                                                  
MR. LINDBACK noted that in 1983 the legislature adopted the Alaska                                                              
Administrative Journal and because of public demand the Journal was                                                             
eventually published online.  This resulted in a drop in                                                                        
subscriptions for the hard copy, but complaints were received                                                                   
because the online journal was not searchable.  This is why the                                                                 
Online Public Notice System was created--it is just another format                                                              
with a search function.  Because of the statute, there is both a                                                                
published notice and online notice.                                                                                             
SENATOR HALFORD commented the lieutenant governor's office is doing                                                             
what the bill authorizes now, the only effect of this bill is to                                                                
drop the printed version.                                                                                                       
MR. LINDBACK agreed.                                                                                                            
SENATOR HALFORD noted the bill should have a negative fiscal note                                                               
instead of a zero fiscal note.                                                                                                  
MR. LINDBACK said the fiscal note will stay the same because one                                                                
responsibility has been replaced with another.                                                                                  
SENATOR HALFORD asked what the printed service is worth.                                                                        
MR. LINDBACK answered it costs $90.00 a year and there are nine                                                                 
SENATOR HALFORD responded he meant what it is worth in actual state                                                             
MR. LINDBACK answered it is not a question of expenditures but of                                                               
time, and the amount of time is decreasing as the number of                                                                     
subscriptions decrease.                                                                                                         
SENATOR HALFORD asked if it costs the state $5,000, $3,000,                                                                     
$10,000--what does it cost?                                                                                                     
MR. LINDBACK said he does not know the actual cost, he will furnish                                                             
the committee with these figures at a later time.                                                                               
SENATOR TAYLOR asked if there will be a diminishment of the number                                                              
of public notices put in the press.                                                                                             
MR. LINDBACK responded no.                                                                                                      
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR asked if the nine people still subscribing do not                                                               
have computers.                                                                                                                 
MR. LINDBACK said Allstate and the University of Iowa are two of                                                                
the subscribers and it is clear they have computers.  At this time,                                                             
it is a statutory requirement that the journal be sent to them.                                                                 
SENATOR HALFORD asked where in the bill is the requirement to                                                                   
publish in the newspaper.                                                                                                       
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR pointed out that section 4 lists the requirement,                                                               
"published in the newspaper of general circulation or trade or                                                                  
industry publication that the state agency prescribes."                                                                         
MR. LINDBACK said the requirements are sprinkled throughout the                                                                 
SENATOR HALFORD asked for the definition of a "newspaper of general                                                             
MR. LINDBACK said because this bill does not address this, he                                                                   
cannot answer the question.                                                                                                     
SENATOR ELLIS moved SB 277 out of committee with individual                                                                     
SENATOR HALFORD objected because he would like to know the                                                                      
interplay between publishing notices in a newspaper and notices                                                                 
SENATOR ELLIS withdrew his motion so the answer to Senator                                                                      
Halford's questions can be addressed.                                                                                           

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