Legislature(1995 - 1996)

01/26/1995 03:35 PM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 SSTA - 1/26/95                                                                
                                                                               
         SB  19 LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS TO BE IN ANCHORAGE                       
                                                                              
 Number 368                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR SHARP brings up SB 19 as the next order of business before            
 the Senate State Affairs Committee and calls the first witness.               
                                                                               
 Number 373                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS, prime sponsor of SB 19, states SB 19                  
 relates only to the legislature convening during regular session in           
 Anchorage instead of in Juneau, and is not an entire capital move.            
 SB 19 complies with the FRANK (Fiscally Responsible Alaskans                  
 Needing Knowledge) Initiative.  Should this pass, the legislature             
 will begin meeting in Anchorage in January, 1998.  Those are the              
 main components of this bill.                                                 
 Number 386                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHUCK ACHBERGER, Juneau Chamber of Commerce, asks that Juneau be              
 given some time to work on being a better capital city.  Some of              
 the problems that need work, such as housing, require a long-term             
 investment.  Juneau is on the right track, but needs time to                  
 respond to the problems it has.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 402                                                                    
                                                                               
 JAMIE PARSONS, Former Chairman, Alaska Committee, states he is                
 opposed to SB 19.  Collectively, Alaskans voted against the Capital           
 Move Initiative this fall.  Recently, The Alaska Committee and the            
 Better Capital City Committee met and agreed to merge into one                
 organization with the mission of following up and seeing to                   
 fruition issues which will make state government work better for              
 all Alaskans.  Mr. Parsons requests that the Nineteenth Alaska                
 State Legislature give Juneau a few years of uninterrupted                    
 breathing room to allow the community to address some of these                
 issues: housing, land and air access, and electronic and                      
 telecommunications access.  To solve these problems, the community            
 and the legislature will need to work jointly.                                
                                                                               
 MR. PARSONS thinks there are more pressing problems the state                 
 should be dealing with at this time.  The last issue the state                
 needs at this time is one that pits different regions of the state            
 against one another.                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 432                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN adds that the previous several speakers hit upon two            
 problems that are also of concern to him.  A third problem he is              
 concerned with is transportation to Juneau.  Senator Leman states             
 that at this time transportation is as good as it has ever been,              
 but he asks Mr. Parsons what plans there are to help ensure that              
 good, competitively priced transportation will continue to be                 
 available.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 445                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. PARSONS replies that the Global Positioning System (GPS) will             
 eliminate at least 80% of weather interrupted arrivals and                    
 departures.  The Alaska Committee has been working with Alaska                
 Airlines on airfares and flight schedules, and will continue to do            
 so.  A representative from Alaska Airlines will be in town next               
 week to meet with the Alaska Committee/Better Capital City                    
 Committee.  The airfares now are very good.  We have recently been            
 made aware that the Alaska Airlines flight schedule is not as                 
 convenient for the legislature this year.  We contacted the                   
 airline, and as of February 1, the schedule will be changed for the           
 legislature's convenience.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 465                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHARLES NORTHRIP, Director, Juneau Economic Development Council               
 (JEDC) and The Southeast Alaska Small Business Development Center,            
 states that many of the businesses he works with are engaged in the           
 housing industry.  Mr. Northrip states that measures like SB 19               
 make providing housing much more difficult, in that every time the            
 capital move issue comes up, it dampens housing development.                  
                                                                               
 MR. NORTHRIP also states there is a possibility that the GPS being            
 installed at the airport may increase competition by attracting               
 more air carriers to Juneau.  Since the GPS will decrease the                 
 incidence of flights being weathered in or out of Juneau, each of             
 which costs approximately $10,000, Juneau will become a more                  
 attractive destination for air carriers.                                      
                                                                               
 MR. NORTHRIP states the JEDC is working with building contractors,            
 the City & Borough of Juneau, banks, and realtors, and making                 
 housing its' top priority.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 513                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS states that two-thirds of his constituents             
 want to move not only the legislature, but the whole capital.                 
 Senator Phillips believes citizen access is a real problem which              
 Juneau needs to address.                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 532                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHIP WAGONER thinks, in regards to Senator Phillips concern about             
 access to the capital city, Juneau's delegation in the legislature            
 would vote for a road out of Juneau, a communications system, and             
 a computer system.  Mr. Wagoner thinks Juneau will support access             
 issues if other members of the legislature will.  Mr. Wagoner says            
 he is speaking as a republican and wants the republican majority to           
 succeed.  However, he does not want the legislature wasting their             
 time on a capital move bill.  He wants the legislature to be                  
 promoting timber, logging, mining development, fishing, supporting            
 the University of Alaska deferred maintenance program, and perhaps            
 working on a food bank for Juneau.  Bigger issues, even to people             
 in Eagle River, are crime, budgetary problems, lack of development,           
 lawsuits with the federal government, the subsistence issue,                  
 reallocation of resources, etcetera.  Mr. Wagoner restates he wants           
 the republican majority to succeed, and concentrate with the                  
 limited time and funds available on the issues that count to                  
 Alaskans.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 560                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asks Mr. Wagoner if he has seen the "Contract with              
 Alaska".                                                                      
                                                                               
 MR. WAGONER responds he has not seen it, but he has heard of it.              
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asks Mr. Wagoner to take a look at the contract and             
 get back to him with comments he might have.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 570                                                                    
                                                                               
 BRAD PIERCE, Policy Analyst, Office of Management & Budget, informs           
 the committee he put together the consolidated fiscal note for SB             
 19.  Although OMB took a fresh look at this issue, and did not                
 simply pull information from previous fiscal notes, the cost figure           
 is in the same ballpark as last year.  The estimated figure would             
 be about 2.6 million per year.  Mr. Pierce also informs members               
 that a revised fiscal note from the Division of Postsecondary                 
 Education has been submitted to the committee.                                
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-1, SIDE B                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 580                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP notes that SB 19 has considerable fiscal notes,                
 which will be scrutinized in detail in the next committee of                  
 referral, the Finance Committee.                                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS makes a motion to discharge SB 19 from the             
 Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations.               
                                                                               
 Number 565                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DUNCAN objects.  Senator Duncan states he wants to go on              
 record as objecting, and that he will recommend "do not pass" on              
 the committee report.  With that statement, he removes his                    
 objection.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 525                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP comments there is considerable difference between              
 the ballot question that was decided this fall and SB 19, and the             
 discussion is healthy.  But he also has constituents who complain             
 about accessing the capital.  Senator Sharp does not know how one             
 would solve that problem in a state as big as Alaska, or whether it           
 is solvable.  Senator Sharp notes that he has been fortunate in the           
 six years he has been in Juneau in that he has never had a problem            
 acquiring adequate housing; nor has he had a problem with                     
 travelling into or out of Juneau.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 512                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN adds that he has found the people of Juneau to be               
 very hospitable.  Since the capital move issue has reemerged, he              
 has noticed an increased attention to detail.  However, he has                
 noticed frustration on the part of people that government is                  
 inaccessible to the people.  Senator Leman suggests perhaps having            
 all day hearings around the state: bringing the legislature to the            
 people.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 487                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DUNCAN thinks Senator Leman's suggestion is a good one, and           
 that a change in the Uniform Rules would be needed in order to do             
 something like that.  Senator Duncan says he would be happy to work           
 on doing that.  He would certainly advocate holding meetings around           
 the state.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 481                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN comments he went with Representative Mackie and a               
 group of people to Prince of Wales Island.  That was a big deal to            
 the residents of the island.  We had a public forum, they got a               
 chance to express their concerns, and the people really seemed to             
 appreciate it.                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 473                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection or further comments, orders SB           
 19 released from committee with individual recommendations.                   

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