thumbnail of Capital '79; 1979-01-15
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<v John Hale>The first session of the 11th Alaska legislature is underway. <v John Hale>I'm John Hale. In a moment, we'll be going to Marcia Alvar and Mike Harmon for reports on <v John Hale>the efforts to organize the House and Senate. <v John Hale>Also tonight, we'll be looking at some of the bills that have been filed prior to today's <v John Hale>opening of the legislative session. A look at how the committee system works and what it <v John Hale>means to be a committee chairman. But first, the oath of office. <v Terry Miller>The Senate will please come to order. <v John Hale>The president's chair in the Senate was familiar territory for Miller, who represented <v John Hale>Fairbanks in the legislature for 10 years. <v John Hale>2 of those were as Senate president. <v John Hale>But the Senate Miller briefly presided over this morning had changed considerably in his <v John Hale>4 year absence. Of the 20 senators who took their oath of office today, 7 <v John Hale>are freshmen members of that body. <v John Hale>For the first time since 1944, John Butrovich of Fairbanks was not there <v John Hale>to be sworn in. Also gone from the Senate, Joe Orsini, Chancy Croft, <v John Hale>Ed Willis, John Rader, John Huber, and Kay Poland. <v John Hale>In their stead, new faces like Don Bennett and Bettye Fahrenkamp of Fairbanks, Terry
<v John Hale>Stimson, Ed Dankworth, Tim Kelly, and Arlis Sturgulewski from Anchorage. <v John Hale>And Bob Mulcahy from Kodiak. <v John Hale>This was a Senate in which Republicans outnumber Democrats for the first time in 4 years. <v John Hale>In fact, the Republican majority had actually begun organizing behind Halibut Cove <v John Hale>Republican Clem Tillion before the November 7th election. <v John Hale>But at the other end of the hall, the gavel came down on a disorderly House. <v Terry Miller>The House will please come to order. <v John Hale>The Democratic majority there has so far been unable to organize for a simple reason. <v John Hale>Too many incumbents and not enough leadership positions to go around. <v John Hale>Of the 25 House Democrats and 14 Republicans, 7 from each party <v John Hale>are freshmen. Many of the Democratic freshmen are from the Bush. <v John Hale>Jack Fuller from Nome, Vernon Hurlbert of Sleetmute, Fred Zharoff from Kodiak, <v John Hale>and Delta Junction Representative Pappy Moss. <v John Hale>Brian Rogers is representing Fairbanks for the first time, and Joyce Munson is the lone <v John Hale>freshman Democrat from Anchorage. <v John Hale>But 4 of the freshman Republicans are from Anchorage. <v John Hale>Ray Metcalfe, Terry Martin, Joe Montgomery and Rick Halford.
<v John Hale>Bob Bettisworth is Worth is here from College along with fellow Republicans Margaret <v John Hale>Branson and Pat O'Connell from the Kenai Peninsula. <v John Hale>There are 3 representatives who were not members of the last legislature, but have <v John Hale>served terms in the House before. <v John Hale>Democrat Bill Parker and Republican Ramona Barnes from Anchorage and Libertarian Dick <v John Hale>Randolph from Fairbanks, who served between 1970 and '74 as a Republican. <v John Hale>Marcia Alvar has a report on the efforts to organize the state House of Representatives. <v Marcia Alvar>The House adjourned almost immediately after its members were sworn in because until the <v Marcia Alvar>House is organized, no other business can proceed. <v Marcia Alvar>The 1 matter that was accomplished was the election of Mike Miller as temporary speaker, <v Marcia Alvar>an organizational caucus was held yesterday afternoon, but it was brief with just <v Marcia Alvar>1 of the organization plans made public. <v Marcia Alvar>It was put together by Nels Anderson of Dillingham. <v Marcia Alvar>In addition to Anderson, there are 3 other major aspirants to the speaker's post. <v Marcia Alvar>Sam Cotten from Anchorage, Terri Gardiner from Ketchikan and Charlie Parr from Fairbanks.
<v Marcia Alvar>All of them talked about what each feels is the most attractive quality of their <v Marcia Alvar>organization plan. <v Nels Anderson>Our organization does, of course, is that it presents, <v Nels Anderson>I think, to the House Democrats, a responsibly <v Nels Anderson>devised organization that <v Nels Anderson>we have worked about 2 and a half months on, and what <v Nels Anderson>we saw last night was various speaker candidates <v Nels Anderson>right in front of fellow Democrats just whipping something out and writing it down <v Nels Anderson>in longhand and saying, what do you think of this? <v Nels Anderson>The fundamental difference, again, there are several. <v Nels Anderson>Ours is responsible. <v Nels Anderson>Ours has taken people's feelings about where they feel they belong <v Nels Anderson>in the organization into consideration. <v Nels Anderson>We have called people since after the election in November. <v Nels Anderson>I have traveled extensively at my own expense.
<v Nels Anderson>Members of the Bush caucus have traveled and lobbied and negotiated <v Nels Anderson>with other Democrats. <v Nels Anderson>We've made a real good faith effort to get as many points of view as we possibly <v Nels Anderson>could into the organization process. <v Charles Parr>I think if you had to summarize in a nutshell <v Charles Parr>that perhaps the major difference would be the choice for finance chairman <v Charles Parr>and my finance chairman would be Oral Freeman. <v Charles Parr>I think that this next 2 years has to be a time for the state <v Charles Parr>government to be fiscally conservative. <v Charles Parr>Everybody's heard about the notorious 65 million dollar shortfall in the year we're <v Charles Parr>in now, and we don't know what it will be like next year. <v Charles Parr>And this is a time in which we simply are going to have to pinch, pinch the dollars. <v Charles Parr>Oral is, I think, more fiscally conservative than <v Charles Parr>most other people.
<v Marcia Alvar>Oral Freeman, of course, served on the Finance Committee as vice chairman <v Marcia Alvar>last year. And there was- he's a man of some controversy in terms <v Marcia Alvar>of where he was in the organization in this House <v Marcia Alvar>a few years ago, 4 years ago, when he became a member of the coalition. <v Charles Parr>That's correct. <v Marcia Alvar>Are there still repercussions from that 4 years ago? <v Marcia Alvar>Do you think there are problems with Oral Freeman being accepted as finance chairman? <v Charles Parr>I think there is maybe 1 or 2 people who still are very, a little unhappy <v Charles Parr>about that, but must remember that Oral came back <v Charles Parr>and the big turnover in '74 and came back in '75 and '76. <v Charles Parr>And if you want to see it that way, he's done his penance. <v Charles Parr>First 2 years he was really in the in the nether depths, and <v Charles Parr>so then last year, as you remember, he was vice chairman of finance under Steve Cooper. <v Charles Parr>And I think that's ancient history now is the way we have to look at it. <v Terry Gardiner>It's better.
<v Terry Gardiner>It has all the obvious people and obvious places where they have the best talents for. <v Terry Gardiner>And, you know, I guess everybody probably has that opinion about their organization. <v Marcia Alvar>So you don't think it's just the critical difference is the body that eventually gets to <v Marcia Alvar>occupy this chair? <v Terry Gardiner>Well, that obviously has something to do with it. <v Terry Gardiner>The thing that you have to do is structure an organization where <v Terry Gardiner>the top leadership positions have the support of everybody. <v Terry Gardiner>And if you try to organize on a power paced basis of I've got this block <v Terry Gardiner>of votes and you got that block of votes, so I'll trade you this leadership position, <v Terry Gardiner>you still have a lot of unsatisfied people with 1 person in a leadership position <v Terry Gardiner>or another person. So I think in the end, if you <v Terry Gardiner>want to have the best working organization, you try to have all of that leadership <v Terry Gardiner>generally acceptable to a vast majority of the caucus and still capable <v Terry Gardiner>of doing the job. <v Marcia Alvar>Sam Cotten was in caucus and unable to speak with Capital '79, but he has said
<v Marcia Alvar>that his organization plan would allow for broader participation in the leadership for <v Marcia Alvar>all the regional areas. There is also talk of a Republican Bush coalition. <v Marcia Alvar>Although Minority Leader Joe Hayes admits such a plan is a long shot, he disagrees <v Marcia Alvar>with those who say that the Bush and urban Republicans will have little in common except <v Marcia Alvar>for their past mutual support of unemployment and workman's compensation legislation. <v Joe Hayes>I think that perhaps we're together on many other issues. <v Joe Hayes>Generally, those that are considered more or less Republican <v Joe Hayes>issues like that are business oriented <v Joe Hayes>versus consumer oriented. <v Joe Hayes>I think the Bush people are now beginning to realize that they're probably <v Joe Hayes>operating the biggest business in Alaska through their, or businesses in <v Joe Hayes>Alaska, through the various Native corporations. <v Joe Hayes>And so I think that we're we're talking about a situation where the <v Joe Hayes>Bush people are becoming more business oriented, which is
<v Joe Hayes>1 of the things that Republicans <v Joe Hayes>subscribe to, and I think we have a lot of common ground there. <v Joe Hayes>So I think that there are many common, common <v Joe Hayes>planks upon which we could build a coalition. <v Marcia Alvar>So you're talking about forging new interests as opposed to any that have existed in the <v Marcia Alvar>past? <v Joe Hayes>Right. I think many of the issues, at least in <v Joe Hayes>the 11th legislature, I think many of the issues that we might have been in conflict on <v Joe Hayes>in the past are, are are behind us and that those <v Joe Hayes>issues that we'll be facing the next 2 years will be the type that we can <v Joe Hayes>get together on. <v Marcia Alvar>But talk of a coalition as well as other aspects of the organizing process have been <v Marcia Alvar>puzzling to freshman Democrats who are going through the process for the first time. <v Marcia Alvar>One told Capital '79 some of it doesn't make any sense at all. <v H. Pappy Moss>It seems to me like that logic is out to window. <v H. Pappy Moss>Some of the things that you'd think would be a logical thing doesn't seem to matter as
<v H. Pappy Moss>much. <v Marcia Alvar>What would be logical, say, looking at the organization of the House? <v H. Pappy Moss>Well, really, as far as just saying it would be logical to me, <v H. Pappy Moss>it's well, you look at a party here, we've got some discussion. <v H. Pappy Moss>Here is 2 running coalitions and all of that. <v H. Pappy Moss>The Senate was organized in a hurry. <v H. Pappy Moss>But logically, the Democrats should pull together more as a group than what they are. <v Marcia Alvar>So it's surprising you a little bit that there's this much factionalism. <v H. Pappy Moss>That's correct. Of course, I can understand part of it, because you have about 4 <v H. Pappy Moss>different areas in the state. You've got the interior area, you've got the Bush area <v H. Pappy Moss>you've got south central, and you've got south eastern. <v H. Pappy Moss>I can understand to some degree of it, but it seems logical that the party itself <v H. Pappy Moss>would pull together more than they seem to be. <v Marcia Alvar>What's happening to you in all of this? Are, are people coming? <v Marcia Alvar>Do you feel as a freshman, you're sort of left out? <v Marcia Alvar>People aren't coming up and saying, well, Pappy, you know, here's where we want you to <v Marcia Alvar>be? <v H. Pappy Moss>Well, no, I don't think so.
<v H. Pappy Moss>I've had a lot of interesting conversations with a lot of interesting people. <v H. Pappy Moss>But my problem is the fact as a freshman legislator, <v H. Pappy Moss>I don't know the past performances or exactly <v H. Pappy Moss>some of the roads that have been traveled in the past <v H. Pappy Moss>that are the best roads. <v H. Pappy Moss>Consequently, I'm holding my options open until the very last because <v H. Pappy Moss>I want to at least get on the right highway so that I can do a good job <v H. Pappy Moss>in the next 2 years. <v Marcia Alvar>How do you think a freshman can get around that? <v Marcia Alvar>How can you how can you become a quick study in the history of all the players in this <v Marcia Alvar>particular moment? <v H. Pappy Moss>Sit on your hands and keep your mouth shut. <v Marcia Alvar>I've heard it's been suggested by you that, that freshmen get together, that freshmen <v Marcia Alvar>as a group form their own caucus. <v H. Pappy Moss>We're working on that particular item right now. <v H. Pappy Moss>I've talked to a number of the freshmen legislators and in fact, ?inaudible? <v H. Pappy Moss>we just had a little, you might call it a mini caucus this morning among some of us
<v H. Pappy Moss>freshmen legislators. And if you stop and think of many, including both parties, <v H. Pappy Moss>you've got about 17 freshmen legislators this year. <v H. Pappy Moss>And that's not a very bad caucus when you start to think about it and when you include <v H. Pappy Moss>both parties. <v Marcia Alvar>What's the political clout in the freshmen caucus? <v Marcia Alvar>Why do you want to get together? <v H. Pappy Moss>Well, I think we've all got the same problems. <v H. Pappy Moss>We, we're a little bit unsure of the way issues <v H. Pappy Moss>are going. And we've got a learning process that <v H. Pappy Moss>we're all in where- You might say we're all in first grade and <v H. Pappy Moss>I'd like to see a bunch of first graders together instead of first graders all mixed up <v H. Pappy Moss>with a high school student, so to speak. <v Marcia Alvar>Last night, freshmen legislators did play a role in bringing more of the organization <v Marcia Alvar>discussion out into the open. <v Marcia Alvar>At a closed meeting, all of the various organization plans were put out on the table <v Marcia Alvar>for the first time after freshmen began airing their opinions of various legislators
<v Marcia Alvar>being considered for leadership spots. <v Marcia Alvar>But although the organization lists are now in circulation, it is expected that several <v Marcia Alvar>changes in those plans will be made and that significant obstacles still remain <v Marcia Alvar>to a resolution of just who will be selected for key slots in the leadership. <v Marcia Alvar>But most legislators are optimistic that organization can be completed within the next <v Marcia Alvar>couple of days. In contrast to the House, the Senate had long since settled <v Marcia Alvar>on its leadership. Mike Harmon has that report. <v Mike Harmon>2 years ago, Republicans gained control of the state Senate with the support of 3 <v Mike Harmon>dissident Democrats. But the minority coalition of that 10th Alaska legislature <v Mike Harmon>wasn't never that strong, and the Senate was bogged down by almost constant infighting <v Mike Harmon>and bickering. Republicans are back in the saddle again this year, but with one big <v Mike Harmon>difference. This time around, they have absolute numerical superiority <v Mike Harmon>and were able to organize quickly under the leadership and the presidency of veteran GOP <v Mike Harmon>Senator Clem Tillion of Halibut Cove. <v Mike Harmon>Tillion was so confident of a GOP majority that he put together much of his organization
<v Mike Harmon>even before the November general election. <v Mike Harmon>And he helped bolster the Republicans 1 vote edge in the Senate with leadership <v Mike Harmon>positions for 2 of those Democrats from that 1977 coalition. <v Mike Harmon>Bob Zeigler of Ketchikan and George Hohman of Bethel, <v Mike Harmon>the third, John Rader of Anchorage, didn't seek reelection. <v Mike Harmon>And the addition of Ziegler and Hohman gives the Republicans a comfortable 13 <v Mike Harmon>vote edge in the Senate. Tillion thought the division of power within his organization <v Mike Harmon>would be easy, but there was a flap at the last minute when former <v Mike Harmon>GOP House member and now Senate member Tim Kelly balked at his assignment <v Mike Harmon>as chairman of the Labor and Management Committee. <v Mike Harmon>Kelly wants to head the State Affairs Committee, where he can keep the spotlight on the <v Mike Harmon>capital move, a favorite issue of his. <v Mike Harmon>But Tillion already had promised that position to freshman Republican Bob Mulcahy of <v Mike Harmon>Kodiak, a self professed neutral on the issue. <v Mike Harmon>Kelly first raised his objections at a morning caucus and Tillion went behind closed
<v Mike Harmon>doors with the Senate's committee on committees in an effort to resolve the issue. <v Mike Harmon>There's another caucus scheduled for tomorrow, but at airtime Tillion said Kelly <v Mike Harmon>was still at labor and management. <v Mike Harmon>With the exception of the Kelly flap, All the other committee chairmanships in the Senate <v Mike Harmon>were settled weeks ago. Here's a rundown. <v Mike Harmon>John Sackett of Galena repeats as chairman of the Finance Committee, Mike Colletta of <v Mike Harmon>Anchorage will serve the dual role of majority leader and chairman of the Rules <v Mike Harmon>Committee. Mid-termer Bill Sumner of Anchorage will be chairman of the Resources <v Mike Harmon>Committee. Glenn Hackney of Fairbanks will repeat as chairman of Health and Social <v Mike Harmon>Services, while Brad Bradley will serve another 2 years as chairman of the Commerce <v Mike Harmon>Committee. Freshman Arlis Sturgulewski of Anchorage was given the Committee on Community <v Mike Harmon>and Regional Affairs. And on the Democratic side, Bob Ziegler will serve as Judiciary <v Mike Harmon>chairman while George Hohman was given the Budget and Audit Committee. <v Mike Harmon>Freshman Don Bennett of Fairbanks will head up the Joint Administrative Regulation Review <v Mike Harmon>Committee. <v Mike Harmon>Despite the Kelly flap, Tillion says he thinks he's still got a better organization
<v Mike Harmon>than the one in the Senate last year. <v Clem Tillion>Problem we had last time was you had all those statewide candidates campaigning on the <v Clem Tillion>floor of the Senate. And we only have 1 of them left <v Clem Tillion>that are even considering it. So I don't, I don't see that problem arising this time. <v Clem Tillion>I think it will be a more down to earth and hard working. <v Clem Tillion>It's an off election year for Alaska. <v Clem Tillion>And I think you'll find them just settling down and working. <v Mike Harmon>For the second legislature in a row, Senate Democrats have elected J. <v Mike Harmon>Kerttula of Palmer as minority leader. <v Mike Harmon>For a while. Senator Pat Rodey of Anchorage wanted the job to help him keep in the <v Mike Harmon>spotlight for another run for Congress in 2 years. <v Mike Harmon>He lost his first bid in November. <v Mike Harmon>But in the end, Kerttula prevailed. <v Mike Harmon>We also talked to Senator Kerttula about his assessment of this year's Senate <v Mike Harmon>organization and the role of the minority. <v Jay Kerttula>Well, Senator Trillian has an somewhat uneasy coalition arrangement within <v Jay Kerttula>his own party. I think he has the rural group <v Jay Kerttula>versus the urban. He has something of the Anchorage group
<v Jay Kerttula>of senators to deal with that, take <v Jay Kerttula>exception or take different points of view from Clem's and from <v Jay Kerttula>the present administrations in which Clem nearly a member very, very close <v Jay Kerttula>to Jay Hammond, the governor. <v Jay Kerttula>And I think that's Clem's problem. <v Jay Kerttula>We don't intend to exploit those problems, but <v Jay Kerttula>certainly we'll bring them to the attention of the public when, <v Jay Kerttula>when it seems to be in the interest of solving problems for the state. <v Jay Kerttula>We may well at times take the position of a number of the Anchorage legislators on some <v Jay Kerttula>issues. But other times, I suppose the rural <v Jay Kerttula>legislators and well, particularly in the fisheries and resource development <v Jay Kerttula>programs have most of the Democrats with them. <v Jay Kerttula>So Clem in his own organization, has at least 2 strong positions, <v Jay Kerttula>almost 100 degrees, 180 degrees in opposition to each other. <v Jay Kerttula>Philosophies cross party lines in the state, in
<v Jay Kerttula>the state legislature. And I think that the Democrats will <v Jay Kerttula>be a strong voice. I think they also will have the legislation to the floor that <v Jay Kerttula>particularly in areas of the economy, lands the deep 2 issues and <v Jay Kerttula>those issues of social services and education that have been traditionally a Democratic <v Jay Kerttula>role in this legislature. I think they all come the floor and will be well heard. <v Jay Kerttula>And I think most of those things will come to pass that we've supported in the campaign. <v Mike Harmon>Tillion says the 1 main goal of his organization is to get the people's business done <v Mike Harmon>quickly and adjourn within 100 to 110 days. <v Mike Harmon>And he says he hopes the House organizes under a similar mandate and works more closely <v Mike Harmon>with the Senate this year. But there's little question that the makeup of this Senate is <v Mike Harmon>even more conservative than last time around, when the 2 houses clashed repeatedly over <v Mike Harmon>fundamental issues. And despite the best intentions, it appears unlikely <v Mike Harmon>that relations between the House and Senate will be much smoother this time. <v Mike Harmon>This is Mike Harmon for Capital '79.
<v John Hale>All the maneuvering going on in these early days of the session really boils down to <v John Hale>the acquisition of institutional power that is positioning yourself in such <v John Hale>a way that you'll be able to influence legislation as it passes through the House or <v John Hale>Senate. There are 9 standing committees in each body. <v John Hale>When a bill is introduced in the House or Senate, the presiding officer of that body <v John Hale>refers it to several committees for hearings and possible changes. <v John Hale>Most bills receive 2 hearings in the House and occasionally only 1 in the <v John Hale>Senate, since there are fewer members in that body. <v John Hale>If the bill receives a hearing in 1 Senate committee, roughly 7 senators or <v John Hale>a third of that body's membership will have heard testimony on it by the time it reaches <v John Hale>the Senate floor. Depending upon their subject matter, a bill is usually referred to <v John Hale>one of 6 committees. A bill on the capital move, for instance, would ordinarily first <v John Hale>be referred to the State Affairs Committee. <v John Hale>When dealing with land leasing would go to the Resources Committee. <v John Hale>1 concerning unemployment insurance would go to Labor and Management, for instance.
<v John Hale>These are the committees of first referral. <v John Hale>The second stop for most bills is either the finance or the judiciary committees. <v John Hale>Since the finance committees in each House are responsible for preparing the state <v John Hale>budget, they must approve every bill that has anything to do with spending state <v John Hale>money. The Judiciary Committees must likewise approve every bill that has <v John Hale>legal implications. Virtually every major piece of legislation that has majority <v John Hale>support will pass through 1 of these 2 committees. <v John Hale>Judiciary and Finance, are the committees of second referral, the most powerful in the <v John Hale>legislature. Finally, the Rules committees are responsible for scheduling bills <v John Hale>for floor action. Though the committees rarely hold hearings, every bill that comes to <v John Hale>the floor for a vote goes through rules. <v John Hale>Mike Colletta of Anchorage will be serving as Rules Committee chairman in the Senate for <v John Hale>the next 2 years, as well as Senate majority leader. <v Mike Colletta>The Rules committee is the committee of, of last referral. <v Mike Colletta>Every measure must make an appearance and go through the Rules committee.
<v Mike Colletta>The Rules committee's primary duty is the scheduling of legislation <v Mike Colletta>that has completed the committee process. <v Mike Colletta>The reason it's beneficial to have the majority leader as the rules chairman <v Mike Colletta>is since the orderly daily organization <v Mike Colletta>and operation of the Senate is the majority leader's responsibility, <v Mike Colletta>it's well for that responsibility to include the scheduling <v Mike Colletta>of legislation to be heard by the membership. <v John Hale>You normally don't hear of rules committees actually meeting. <v John Hale>It's pretty much up to the committee chairmen to decide which bills will make <v John Hale>it onto the floor. <v Mike Colletta>That's true. The committee chairmen meet regularly <v Mike Colletta>and of course, these things are discussed. <v Mike Colletta>And then, of course, each body sets its priorities also. <v Mike Miller>There's an element of power or influence, whatever you want to call it. <v John Hale>Juneau representative Mike Miller has served as the House majority leader for the past 4
<v John Hale>years and has also chaired several standing and interim committees. <v John Hale>Miller says the real strength in a committee chairmanship is the ability to bottle up <v John Hale>certain pieces of legislation. <v Mike Miller>There's no question, you know, if you're a chairman, you can, <v Mike Miller>you know, maybe pick up some support for some other legislation by holding the bill <v Mike Miller>hostage, even though that you may not be able to hold it hostage indefinitely if it's <v Mike Miller>something the other House wants. <v Mike Miller>But there's no question about it. You can, you can use it, you know, for bargaining. <v Mike Miller>And if it's just a piece of legislation that doesn't have a lot of push behind it and <v Mike Miller>maybe the sponsor isn't even all that excited about it, it's just simply not <v Mike Miller>going to be acted on. <v Mike Miller>You know, maybe there's a special interest group that wants it acted on. <v Mike Miller>They'll start talking some people in the halls and try to generate some interest. <v Mike Miller>But if the chairman still doesn't want to do it, unless it's a, you know, sort of a cause <v Mike Miller>celebre, he still has the capacity to pretty well keep it, <v Mike Miller>keep it bottled up. The, the chairmanship isn't <v Mike Miller>quite what it perhaps used to be in the early days of statehood
<v Mike Miller>back in the 60s, I wasn't in the legislature then, of course, but I can recall <v Mike Miller>that chairman was just really a little god. <v Mike Miller>And he, he could take a piece of legislation, if he personally didn't like it, he <v Mike Miller>could just plaster it against the back of his filing cabinet or as 1 or more <v Mike Miller>chairman had done, just literally tear the piece of legislation in half. <v Mike Miller>At that time for a bill to pass, you had to have the original. <v Mike Miller>It was one of those crazy quirks. <v Mike Miller>Now, if a bill gets lost, you can get another one. <v Mike Miller>But at that time, the thought was that if the original document was not there, it <v Mike Miller>couldn't pass. At least one chairman just tore this bill in half, and that was the end of <v Mike Miller>that bill for that session at least. <v Mike Miller>So the chairman had those powers in those days. <v Mike Miller>I think the chairman's power, if you want to use that word, <v Mike Miller>has probably been getting a little less every couple of years. <v Mike Miller>We, we have provisions in the joint rules, for instance, that if a chairman is buriying <v Mike Miller>in a particular bill, that the other members of the committee, a
<v Mike Miller>majority of them, can appeal to the Speaker and the Speaker will <v Mike Miller>then direct the chairman to put the bill <v Mike Miller>on the agenda for, you know, for movement up or down. <v Mike Miller>And if he fails to do that, if I remember the joint rules correctly, if he fails to do <v Mike Miller>that, the bill goes on to the next committee referral. <v Mike Miller>That rule, as far as I know, is at least in the House I'm sure, has never been used. <v Mike Miller>I don't think it's ever been used in the Senate either. But just the fact that is on the <v Mike Miller>books tends to take away a little bit of the power of the chairman. <v John Hale>That is unusual, though, isn't it? <v John Hale>Most majority members of a committee would not ordinarily challenge <v John Hale>the committee chairman. <v Mike Miller>Oh no, you wouldn't want it. <v Mike Miller>You're definitely off the committee chairman's Christmas card list if <v Mike Miller>you start challenging authority. <v John Hale>Miller said committee chairmen also have a big say in what amendments are adopted in his <v John Hale>or her committee as the legislation passes through. <v John Hale>All this may sound somewhat dry and uninteresting until you consider the types of <v John Hale>legislation that's going to be passing through the committee system.
<v John Hale>Here's a brief rundown of a few bills and resolutions that were introduced prior to <v John Hale>today's opening of the session. Sitka representative Dick Eliason has prefiled <v John Hale>2 resolutions, 1 of which would constitutionally designate Juneau as the state <v John Hale>capital. The other calls for a constitutional limit of 120 days to the length <v John Hale>of the legislative session. Both measures would go on the ballot in 1980 if approved by <v John Hale>the legislature. Senate Majority- Senate Minority Leader J. <v John Hale>Kerttula has introduced a bill calling for the disposal of 6 million acres of state land <v John Hale>through the open entry program. <v John Hale>It's already being talked about as a scaled down alternative to the Beirne Initiative, <v John Hale>now bogged down in court, which Kerttula co-sponsored. <v John Hale>If the Beirne Initiative is upheld by the Supreme Court, it would not be implemented <v John Hale>until July. Under a bill introduced by Fairbanks Representative Brian Rogers, <v John Hale>it's scheduled to take effect in March. <v John Hale>Another bill by Fairbanks Representative Charlie Parr would open the North Slope haul <v John Hale>road to year round public use. <v John Hale>The Comprehensive Litter Control Act, billed as a more reasonable and thorough <v John Hale>alternative to the bottle bill, has been prefiled in the Senate by Mike Colletta and in
<v John Hale>the House by Chet Chatterton. <v John Hale>We'll be taking a look at these and other issues as the session progresses. <v John Hale>Most legislators, meanwhile, seem to have their minds on the state's financial situation. <v John Hale>As Mike Harmon discovered when he asked several to describe the most important issue of <v John Hale>the session, in 2 words or less. <v Legislator 1>Land. <v Legislator 2>Money. <v Legislator 3>It's the unemployment problem that we have. <v Legislator 4>Of course land issue D2 and antiquities. <v Legislator 5>Budget and land. <v Legislator 6>Money, budget. <v Legislator 7>More for our money. <v Legislator 8>Land and money. <v Legislator 9>Land and jobs. <v Legislator 10>The fact that we don't have any money to spend. <v Legislator 11>The fiscal crisis. <v Legislator 12>What state finances will be. <v Legislator 13>The art of the possible. <v Legislator 14>State revenue and land disposal. <v Legislator 15>It's really a question of the state's economics. <v Legislator 16>Our financial position. <v Legislator 17>It's a permanent fund. <v John Hale>Tomorrow, members of the House and Senate meet in joint session to hear Governor Hammon's <v John Hale>State of the State address. Capital '79 has learned that the governor plans to ask the <v John Hale>legislature for an immediate 2 million dollar appropriation to establish and
<v John Hale>staff an office in Washington, D.C., to coordinate the state's D2 lobbying effort. <v John Hale>We'll be carrying the governor's remarks live beginning at 2:00 p.m. <v John Hale>Pacific Standard Time, 12:00 noon Alaska Standard Time, with condensed coverage on <v John Hale>tomorrow's edition of Capital '79. <v John Hale>That's it from Juneau this evening. Thank you. And good night from all of us here in the <v John Hale>capital.
<v Announcer>KTOOTV in Juneau, Alaska, now concludes another day of broadcasting. <v Announcer>KTOOTV, a member of the Public Broadcasting Service, is a noncommercial <v Announcer>public television station owned and operated by Capital Community Broadcasting <v Announcer>Inc., which also owns and operates KTOOFM. <v Announcer>We encourage our viewers to listen to KTOOFM when <v Announcer>KTOOTV is not on the air. <v Announcer>CCBI is a nonprofit membership corporation open to residents <v Announcer>of Juneau, which is partially funded by the Alaska Public Broadcasting Commission. <v Announcer>Transmitting facilities are located on top of the Juneau Federal Building, operating <v Announcer>at a visual, effective, radiated power of <v Announcer>2450 watts and an oral effective radiated power of 490 watts. <v Announcer>KTOOTV production facilities are located at 240 Main Street. <v Announcer>Much of our programing is made possible by the contributions of volunteers behind
Capital '79
Producing Organization
KTOO-TV (Television station : Juneau, Alaska)
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Episode Description
"This is the first program in a series of daily reports on the activities of the first session of the 11th Alaska legislature. John Hale reports on the swearing in of legislators and outlines the organization of the Senate. Marcia Alvar reports on the contest among Democrats for the Speaker's seat in the House, and interviews Speaker contenders Nels Anderson, Charles Parr, and Terry Gardiner, each of whom explains why he thinks his organizational plan is best. She also interviews House Minority Leader Joe Hayes, who explains why a coalition organization of bush Democrats and urban Republicans is a possibility, and freshman Democrat Pappy Moss, who expresses surprise about the factionalism among House Democrats and says that first-time legislators are considering the formation of a 'freshman caucus'. Mike Harmon reports on the background of the organization of the Senate and introduces the Senate committee chairmen. He also asks Senate President Clem Tillion and Senate Majority Leader Jalmar Kertulla about their expectations for the session. John Hale explains the committee system, outlining the various committees that a bill must pass through before being scheduled for floor debate, and interviews Senate Rules Committee chairman Mike Colletta on the role of the Rules Committee and House Majority Leader Mike Miller on the changes that have taken place in the roles and powers of committee chairmen over the past several years. John Hale reports on bills introduced on the legislature's first day, and Mike Harmon asks legislators what they consider to be the most important issues of the session."--1979 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Director: Mahan, James K.
Executive Producer: Northrip, Charles
Producing Organization: KTOO-TV (Television station : Juneau, Alaska)
Reporter: Harmon, Mike
Reporter: Hale, John
Reporter: Alvar, Marcia
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-168d9a098ae (Filename)
Format: U-matic
Duration: 00:30:00
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Chicago: “Capital '79; 1979-01-15,” 1979-01-15, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “Capital '79; 1979-01-15.” 1979-01-15. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: Capital '79; 1979-01-15. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from