Interim Joint Committee on State Government


Minutes of the<MeetNo1> 2nd Meeting

of the 2006 Interim


<MeetMDY1> July 26, 2006


The<MeetNo2> second meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on State Government was held on<Day> Wednesday,<MeetMDY2> July 26, 2006, at<MeetTime> 1:00 PM, in<Room> Room 149 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Mike Cherry, Co-Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.


Present were:


Members:<Members> Senator Damon Thayer, Co-Chair; Representative Mike Cherry, Co-Chair; Senators Julian Carroll, Carroll Gibson, Ernie Harris, Alice Forgy Kerr, Elizabeth Tori, and Johnny Ray Turner; Representatives Adrian Arnold, Eddie Ballard, Joe Barrows, Sheldon Baugh, Carolyn Belcher, Dwight Butler, Tim Couch, Joseph Fischer, David Floyd, Danny Ford, Derrick Graham, J. R. Gray, Mike Harmon, Melvin Henley, Jimmie Lee, Gerry Lynn, Paul Marcotte, Mary Lou Marzian, Lonnie Napier, Stephen Nunn, Jon David Reinhardt, Tom Riner, John Will Stacy, Tommy Thompson, Jim Wayne, and Brent Yonts.


Guests: Bill Hanes, Kentucky Retirement Systems; Gary Harbin, Kentucky Teachers' Retirement System; Sylvia Lovely and Joe Ewalt, Kentucky League of Cities; John Rogers, Sarah Jackson, Rhonda Farmer-Gray, and Connie Verrill – Registry of Election Finance; Ellen Hesen, Office of Auditor of Public Accounts; Brian Crall and Mark Honeycutt, Personnel Cabinet; John Farris, Kristen Webb, and Mark Rutledge - Finance & Administration Cabinet; Trey Grayson and Katie Dunnigan, State Board of Elections; Butch Callery, city of Covington.


LRC Staff: Joyce Crofts, Alisha Miller, Karen Powell, Stewart Willis, and Peggy Sciantarelli.


Representative Cherry recognized Representative Arnold for an announcement. Representative Arnold said he had been contacted by a resident of Paintsville regarding a young boy with a brain tumor who is trying to collect enough business cards to set a Guiness World Record. He said that anyone who would like to help should leave one of their business cards with him today.


First on the agenda was discussion of the issue of "defined benefit" (DB) and "defined contribution" (DC) retirement plans. Representative Cherry said that he and Senator Thayer had discussed the need to start a process for looking at public employee retirement in Kentucky. He said that, hopefully, conducting a dialogue on the issue during the interim may lead to creation of a task force to study the future viability of the retirement systems and consider possible long-term solutions to the funding problems. He stressed that it is not the Committee's intention to do anything that would affect the benefits of current employees and retirees.


The first speakers were Irvin T. "Butch" Callery, mayor of Covington, KY; Sylvia Lovely, Executive Director of the Kentucky League of Cities (KLC); and Joe Ewalt, KLC's Director of Policy Development. Senator Thayer said that his senatorial district abuts the city of Covington and that he had suggested inviting the Mayor to speak today. The following handouts were given to the Committee: a listing, by city, of actual and projected CERS (County Employees Retirement System) payments and projected CERS hazardous and nonhazardous employer contribution rates; article from the Winter 2006 issue of City magazine, "Local Government Pensions: A Time Bomb About To Go Off," written by KLC's Deputy Executive Director Neil Hackworth; and a recent article from the Cincinnati Enquirer, "Pensions Squeeze City Budgets."


Mayor Callery said that Covington, the largest city in northern Kentucky, has a general fund budget of $43 million. The city has 116 sworn police officers, 118 firemen, including paramedics, and 55 employees in the public works and recreation departments. He said that in 2003, Covington paid into CERS $2.9 million from the general fund, will pay more than $5 million this year, and is projected to be paying $11 million in 2017. He expressed concern about the high cost of funding hazardous duty retirement and health insurance for retirees; the large number of retirements expected in 2008 before expiration of the higher benefit formula; and the possibility that the city will be forced to hire fewer public safety employees in the future. He said there is a need to start a dialogue now to find ways to check this huge expense; otherwise, cities participating in CERS will be in serious trouble.


Ms. Lovely said that pension funding is a growing and grave concern for KLC's 370 member cities. She expressed appreciation to Bill Hanes and the staff of Kentucky Retirement Systems for working with KLC on this issue. Ms. Lovely went on to say that pensions costs are spiraling out of control due primarily to health care costs, which are also spiraling out of control. In fiscal 2004, Kentucky cities paid about $80 million into CERS in the form of employer contributions. In fiscal 2006, cities paid more than $120 million, a 50 percent increase in only two years. Projected contribution rates over the next 11 years will require cities to collectively pay $2.5 billion into CERS. Cities are already seeing budget shortfalls, layoffs, and cutbacks in services. Changing demographics are enabling people to live longer but with systems and programs designed for an era gone by. Cities do not have a choice about their contributions to public pension funding. The result is a train wreck waiting to happen. Fiscal pressures are worsened by legal limits on the ability of cities to raise revenues.


Ms. Lovely said that KLC recently convened an interactive summit through the Kentucky Community and Technical College System with more than 150 city officials across the state. The goal was to educate officials about the issue and to explore solutions to this complex problem. She noted that Representative Jimmie Lee and Senator Tom Buford participated in the summit and were very helpful. She went on to say that there is no quick fix. Solutions range from the incremental to comprehensive, and all come with difficult decisions. KLC seeks to protect the employees who have faithfully and valiantly served cities and their citizens. Solutions discussed at the summit included incremental steps to focus on health care, such as wellness programs and alternative ways to manage the health care system; restructuring of the CERS board; and less desirable measures such as perhaps increasing employee contributions. Other more comprehensive and complex solutions would include addressing the national issue of health care reform; switching from a defined benefit to a defined contribution retirement system; a state infusion of assistance directly to local governments; and more relief at the local level through options to raise revenue. Ms. Lovely said KLC is glad to have the opportunity to share ideas with the Committee and to begin dialogue to find long-term solutions to the problem.


Mr. Ewalt said that one of KLC's roles is to try to focus local leaders on the long term. He said that because the most recent legislative changes to retirement and health insurance benefits affect only new hires, it will take time to see the full benefit of those changes. Meanwhile, in the short term, CERS employer contributions are increasing at a rapid rate. He said that Covington is a good example of cities that are hurting the most, since that city has a high percentage of hazardous duty employees. He said that the KLC handout showing projected CERS payments and contribution rates (based on information provided by Kentucky Retirement Systems) illustrates why KLC is alarmed. He called attention to the last page of the handout, which shows that projected increases in employer contribution rates, both hazardous and nonhazardous, are primarily for the insurance fund. He stressed that the retirement system is a great recruiting tool for local governments and that KLC does not want harm done to the retirement system; however, everyone must work together to find ways to enable cities to pay for the benefits.


Senator Carroll noted that in the 1970s he personally opposed "27 and out" because of the potential cost. He suggested that this may be an area to be looked at for possible savings, as well as "20 and out" for hazardous employees. He said that the retirement systems are, and always have been, a tremendous tool for attracting and retaining public employees. He said that in his judgment the real problem is the cost of funding health insurance for retirees. He also commented on the importance of a statewide health insurance wellness program in combating health care costs.


Representative Baugh asked about the cost impact of hazardous employees being able to retire after 20 years of service. Mr. Ewalt explained that the cost to the system is greater than for nonhazardous retirees because the system pays for family health coverage for hazardous retirees.


The next speakers were Bill Hanes, Executive Director of Kentucky Retirement Systems (KRS), and Gary Harbin, Executive Secretary of the Teachers' Retirement System (KTRS). Mr. Hanes provided the Committee with copies of a July 24, 2006, memorandum from him to members of the Committee on the subject of "Defined Benefit vs. Defined Contribution"; and a July 24 letter from Cavanaugh Macdonald Consulting, LLC, to Mr. Hanes regarding the impact on KRS' financial condition if a defined contribution plan were to be established for KRS members. Mr. Harbin provided a handout entitled, "A Unique Comparison of the Defined Contribution Individual Savings Plan to the Defined Benefit Group Retirement Plan."


Senator Gibson asked whether the hazardous category includes any employees who work in administrative positions. Mr. Hanes answered affirmatively. He added that Kentucky probably has more hazardous categories than other states, most of which provide hazardous coverage only for police and firefighters. Answering another question from Senator Gibson, Mr. Hanes said that employees who retire and subsequently go to work full-time under another retirement system are required to participate in the second retirement system.


Mr. Hanes said that the cost of health insurance, which is a national issue, is driving the KRS funding problem and that the problem will continue to grow as long as health insurance is an issue. He went on to say that most retirement systems do not provide premiums for health insurance and fewer than a handful have a contractual obligation for the health insurance benefit. Defined contribution is not a new issue. It is not a panacea, and converting from DB to DC would not erase the unfunded liability but would actually incur additional cost. When Florida converted, that state paid more than $50 million just for education. A report conducted by the state of Nebraska determined that its DC retirement plan was more costly, dollar return was less than under a DB plan, and 68 percent of retirees elect a lump-sum payment and eventually squander the money. A defined contribution plan is simply a savings account—not retirement income.


Mr. Hanes said that KRS is in the midst of an asset/liability modeling study, which occurs every five years. Because of the significant underfunding, KRS is preparing to recommend to the Board that the system take more risks in its investments. He again stressed that funding health insurance is the problem. He went on to say that counties are paying less for pension costs today than they were in 1980 but paying much more for the health insurance. KRS' investment consultant recently made the frightening projection that by the year 2010, the liability for health insurance will exceed the pension liability. However, good things have occurred because of the contractual obligation to provide health insurance. For example, 96 percent of KRS retirees remain in Kentucky. Mayor Callery's county receives an economic boost from $18 million in DB monies paid to retirees. This kind of boost to the economy would not occur under a DC plan. Mr. Hanes reiterated that health insurance is the real issue and that converting to a defined contribution plan is not the solution.


Representative Cherry agreed with Mr. Hanes that defined contribution is not the solution. He called attention to materials in the meeting folders that explain the pitfalls of a defined contribution system. Mr. Hanes pointed out that the state's long-held public policy to provide a defined benefit retirement plan has enabled Kentucky to recruit and retain quality government employees. Referring to Nebraska as an example, he also commented on the likelihood that retirees under a DC plan may become dependent on public assistance after they have used up their lump-sum retirement income.


Senator Thayer asked what should be done to address the health insurance issue. He also remarked that the private sector's trend toward DC plans has not seemed to have calamitous results. Mr. Hanes explained that in order to address the health insurance problem, major changes were made in the health insurance benefit for new hires employed after 2003, and rules were changed relating to service purchases for purposes of vesting for the health insurance benefit upon retirement. He said there are options for partially relieving the liability in the future, but they are limited by KRS' contractual obligation. For example, the COLA is not contractual and could be eliminated, although the legislature would probably not want to do that. Mr. Hanes said he is not an expert on the private sector, but he knows that people changing jobs in the private sector need more mobility.


Mr. Harbin said he worked in the private sector for 25 years and brought his DC (401k) plan with him when he came to state government. He said that the private sector is moving to DC plans but will not see the impact of that until those people start to retire 20-25 years from now. He went on to say that a DC plan is a savings plan rather than a retirement plan and that the retiree is on his own to manage the retirement account. Because of uncertainty about life expectancy, it is difficult to plan for the future. A retiree cannot live the same quality life under a DC plan as under a DB plan. It is difficult to compare the two types of plans. DC is an individual savings plan, whereas DB is a group retirement plan that is much more efficient than the individual account.


Mr. Harbin gave an overview of the information in his handout. In summary, he said that financial planners recommend retirement income of 76-80 percent of final salary. The average teacher in Kentucky retires at age 55, with 30 years service. Relying on averages, KTRS knows that it must pay the benefit to approximately age 81 for the members. To compensate for the uncertainty about life expectancy, more money must be put into a DC retirement plan to assure the same benefit that would accrue under a DB plan.


KTRS has 4,598 retirees who are over 80 years old and 39 over age 100. The average career educator retires with a pension equal to 72 percent of final average salary. Teachers in Kentucky and 13 other states do not participate in Social Security. The KTRS plan for teachers has been in place since 1938 and pays a better benefit than Social Security. KTRS pays retired teachers $91 million per month in retirement annuity benefits and $14 million in medical benefits. Employer contributions pay for only about three years of a retiree's benefits. Teachers, on average, live 26 years after retiring at age 55; the benefits for those years are paid for by the teacher's contribution and the system's investment earnings. Thus, the state pays a very small percentage of the ultimate lifetime benefit paid to retirees. Teachers are also provided a medical benefit on a "pay as you go" basis, which means KTRS must seek funding of the benefit in its annual budget. KTRS is facing a serious issue in the funding of retiree health care. Employers—city, state, local governments, and school districts—who offer defined benefit plans reap savings when retirees are replaced by new hires at lower salaries. For local school districts the savings is approximately $321,000,000 per year. Concluding his presentation, Mr. Harbin said that both KTRS and KRS are strongly helping to support the economy of the state.


Representative Thompson asked how many states pay insurance premiums for retirees. Mr. Hanes said that most state retirement systems provide access to group coverage, and many, like Tennessee, give a subsidy. There are other variations, but very few states provide insurance benefits at Kentucky's level. The systems of Ohio and California are probably the most similar, but those states do not have a contractual obligation. The few states that do pay for health insurance are eroding the benefit because of the increasing cost and new GASB (Governmental Accounting Standards Board) requirements.


Representative Thompson raised the issue of the large number of retirements expected before January 2009 in order to take advantage of the higher benefit "window." Mr. Hanes said that a large number of professional career employees are expected to retire before the window expires and that this will be a significant financial "hit" to the retirement systems.


Representative Wayne said that the health insurance problem is affecting not only the retirement systems but also every business in the state, the unions, pension plans, and state and local governments, but that Kentucky is not doing anything about it. He said that Vermont and Massachusetts are taking steps to address the issue. He said Kentucky taxpayers are paying for the half-million uninsured and that this is a major injustice. He suggested that the state is "ready for a revolution" and said something dramatic must be done to fix the problem. He also thanked Mr. Hanes and Mr. Harbin for their efforts.


Senator Carroll asked Mr. Harbin to explain how KTRS has handled health care costs for teachers the last two years. Mr. Harbin explained that for the last two years the state of Kentucky has borrowed from KTRS retirement contributions in order to pay for health care for retired teachers, but those contributions are supposed to be set aside and invested for active teachers. The last biennium $91 million was borrowed, and it appears that just under $200 million will be borrowed for the current biennium. There is an agreement that these monies will be paid back to KTRS over a 10-year period at the System's assumed rate of return of 7½ percent. He said that total payback would be in the neighborhood of $400-$500 million and that it can be readily seen that this is not a sustainable method for providing health care for retired teachers.


Representative Gray asked whether it is true that a person drawing social security benefits will receive in 2½ years all that they have paid into the social security system. Mr. Harbin said that sounds like a reasonable figure. He pointed out that social security funds are not invested, whereas the retirement systems use investment earnings to pay benefits to retirees. Representative Gray said he can understand why Mr. Harbin and Mr. Hanes are so emphatic in their negative opinion of defined contribution.


Representative Graham said that today's testimony brings awareness of how important it is to address the retirement systems' funding problem. He said the legislature is not entirely to blame for the underfunding—that the retirement systems had made some investment decisions that were not good. He stressed, however, that the legislature needs to deal with the issue and fulfill its responsibility. Regarding KRS investments, Mr. Hanes explained that during a three-year period the market had declined, and, to the extent that KRS invests in the equity market, investment return suffered. He said that is not a measure of pension funding, however, since pensions are funded on a long-term basis. He added that, without exception, every year KRS investments have performed better than the benchmark, and KRS has also satisfied actuarial assumptions in every cycle over the past 15 years.


Review of executive orders was next on the agenda. Representative Cherry explained that the Committee is charged only with reviewing the orders and does not have to approve them.


The first order reviewed was APA 2006-01, which reorganizes the Office of the Auditor of Public Accounts. Ellen Hesen, General Counsel for the Auditor's Office, summarized the history and effects of the reorganization. There were no questions from the Committee.


The next order reviewed was 2006-680, which reorganizes the Personnel Cabinet. The Cabinet was represented by Secretary Brian Crall and Mark Honeycutt, Executive Director of the Office of Legal Services. Mr. Honeycutt gave a brief explanation of the reorganization, and there was no discussion.


The next orders to be reviewed were 2006-679 and 2006-684. Executive Order 2006-679 reorganizes the Finance and Administration Cabinet and boards administratively attached to the Cabinet. Executive Order 2006-684 reorganizes the Finance and Administration Cabinet. Present from the Cabinet were Secretary John Farris; Kristen Webb, Legislative Director; and Mark Rutledge, Deputy Commissioner of the Commonwealth Office of Technology. Secretary Farris briefly summarized the reorganizations. There was also brief discussion of why the reorganizations had failed to be ratified in previous sessions.


Next on the agenda was review of administrative regulations of the State Board of Elections: 31 KAR 4:160 (Elections Emergency Contingency Plan), and 31 KAR 4:170 (exceptions to prohibition on electioneering). Both regulations were reviewed by the Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee on June 13, 2006; 31 KAR 4:160 was amended by the Subcommittee. The Board of Elections was represented by Secretary of State Trey Grayson and Katie Dunnigan, the Board's General Counsel. Secretary Grayson briefly explained each regulation.


Representative Napier asked how the situation would be handled if someone wearing a cap advertising support for a political candidate entered the absentee voting area of a courthouse just prior to an election. Secretary Grayson said that in such a scenario the person should be asked to remove the cap and, hopefully, would do so in a mature manner. If the person complied, it would not be a violation of the law; to ignore the warning would be a Class B misdemeanor. He said that the Board is open to ideas on how to avoid criminalizing behavior that is inadvertent or unintentional but that it is difficult to draft regulations that cover every possible situation. There was no further discussion of the regulations.


The next item on the agenda was the second in a series of presentations on campaign finance in Kentucky that began at the Committee's June 28 meeting. Guest speakers from the Registry of Election Finance were John Rogers, Chair; Rhonda Farmer-Gray, Assistant Executive Director; and Connie Verrill, General Counsel. Sarah Jackson, Executive Director, was also in attendance. The Registry transmitted the following handouts in advance of today's meeting: an outline of the composition and purpose of the Advisory Task Force (ATF) for Development of Registry's Legislative Package; ATF member biographical information; and two charts comparing federal and state campaign finance laws. (At the June meeting Ms. Verrill presented an historical overview of campaign finance in Kentucky, and Ms. Jackson addressed the "top ten" features of Kentucky's current campaign finance laws.)


After introductory remarks from Mr. Rogers, Ms. Verrill reviewed highlights of the charts comparing federal and state campaign finance laws. Ms. Verrill said that the charts provide some guidance as to what the Task Force was considering in terms of moving toward a state system with more similarities to the federal system. She said that the Task Force decided to look at the federal system because of the confusion that may result from applying or complying with two different sets of laws. The Task Force also considered that there is more guidance for campaign finance at the federal level, due to federal case law and the sheer volume of regulated political entities.


Ms. Verrill's review is summarized as follows. Exceptions to the definition of "contribution" are codified at the federal level. Statutes at the state level set forth some exceptions; however, based on advisory opinions or case law, several of the exceptions were carved out. The Task Force recommended clarifying the statutes relating to, for example, news stories or editorials by the media, and communications to a restricted class of members.


Currently, at the federal level the limit on individual contributions is $2,100 per election, as indexed for inflation; the limit was originally $1,000 in 1974 but was raised to $2,000 in 2002. In 1996, Kentucky raised the limit to $1,000 but has not changed it since that time. The Task Force believes the state should continue matching the federal limit.


"Testing the waters" for candidacy is permissible at the federal level and is distinguishable from campaigning for office; there are no registration or reporting requirements for candidates, no matter how much money is raised. A person may explore the feasibility of a candidacy but may not campaign for office and must comply with all contribution limits. Permitted activities may include polling, telephone calls, travelling. Once a candidate decides to run, all funds raised or spent apply to the $5,000 threshold under the federal definition of candidate. The Task Force looked at "testing the waters" and had some concern about transparency because of the lack of registration and reporting requirements. The Task Force looked at Kentucky's old system of exploratory committees (KRS 121A.015, which was repealed by SB 112 in 2005). Exploratory committees allowed individuals to explore gubernatorial candidacy or determine slate composition but required them to file monthly reports; leftover funds went to the General Fund. The Task Force was concerned about "double dipping"—that an individual could receive contributions from someone and, once the slate was composed, go back to that individual for more money. They were also concerned whether exploratory committees should apply to all statewide campaigns. The Task Force recommended that there be some form of exploratory committee, with perhaps some fine-tuning to answer these concerns.


Ms. Verrill next discussed proposed legislative changes due to court challenges. In summary, she said that the most important recent case in Kentucky is Anderson v. Spear, which said that Kentucky's limits on personal loans made by a candidate or slate of candidates to a campaign are unconstitutional. KRS 121.150(13) imposes a $50,000 loan limit for slates, a $25,000 loan limit for other statewide candidates, and a $10,000 loan limit for other offices in any one election. The effect of the Anderson decision meant that at this point in time the statute cannot be enforced; so there are no limits on personal loans made by a candidate to his campaign. The Court reasoned that a candidate loan is considered an expenditure until such time as it is repaid or not repaid; then it would become a contribution. Under Buckley v. Valeo, restrictions on a candidate's expenditure were ruled unconstitutional—a substantial restraint on the candidate's First Amendment rights. The recommended action under the Task Force's proposal is to remove the unconstitutional monetary limits. However, the Task Force believed that the candidate should only be allowed 180 days following an election to repay the loans. ATF believed this would be a necessary restraint that would allow some limits other than a monetary cap; the 180 days would allow someone who is new to an office to adjust through a transition.


Anderson v. Spear also deemed the ban on post-election contributions after midnight on election day unconstitutional. Thus, the Registry cannot prohibit any candidate or candidate campaign committee with an open account from collecting contributions after the date of the election to defray the campaign's debts. The Court reasoned that this post-election restriction was not closely drawn. One point was that it affects both winning and losing candidates. The Court also mentioned concern about a donor purchasing undue influence. The Task Force recommended allowing acceptance of contributions for 180 days following an election, provided that: (a) the contribution is designated for that election; (b) the contribution does not exceed the contributor's limit for the designated election; and (c) the campaign has net debts outstanding for the designated election on the day it receives the contribution.


Citizens Against Rent Control v. Berkeley, a 1981 U. S. Supreme Court case, said that limits on contributions to political issues committees are unconstitutional. Under U. S. Supreme Court case law, the $1,000 limit written into Kentucky statutes cannot be enforced. The Task Force's recommended action was to delete the reference to political issues committees under the contribution limits of KRS 121.150(6). This concluded Ms. Verrill's presentation.


Ms. Farmer-Gray discussed the Task Force recommendations relating to statute simplification and adaptation to the paperless society of the 21st Century. In summary, she said that currently many of the campaign finance statutes are lengthy and confusing—e.g., KRS 121.150 (13), which applies to three different types of candidate. The Task Force found that a candidate would need to refer to nine separate sections of KRS Chapter 121. The problem is not in the substance of the statute but in its organization. House Bill 670 (introduced in 2006 but not enacted) addressed this issue and would clear up much of the confusion. The Task Force also found that it is incumbent on the Commonwealth to conform the statutes to the changes needed in an electronic society and to expand the acceptable methods of not only accepting contributions but also making expenditures. Concluding, Ms. Farmer-Gray said that the Registry and the Task Force believe that a modernization of campaign finance is essential in order to keep from technologically crippling candidates in the Commonwealth.


In closing remarks, Mr. Rogers said that the ATF, a bipartisan, geographically diverse group, worked very hard for eight months in developing their report. He said that at the next two meetings of the State Government Committee he and Registry staff will present a more in-depth view of the Task Force recommendations. He also thanked the Committee for studying the issue and looking at the ATF proposals.


Senator Gibson asked how the 180-day period for candidates to pay back personal loans was determined. Ms. Verrill explained that Anderson said that some limits could be imposed if they were closely drawn to meet a sufficient government interest. In that opinion the Court inferred that a time limitation could be acceptable, if closely drawn. The ATF first decided on 120 days but changed it to 180 days to allow for transition time for office newcomers and other factors. When Senator Gibson asked, Ms. Verrill confirmed that the 180-day limit had not been tested at the federal level.


Representative Arnold said that HB 670 passed the House in 2006 but that the Senate did not have sufficient time to review the legislation. He said that the "housekeeping" part of the legislation, which clarifies and reorganizes the campaign finance statutes, strongly needs to be enacted, for the benefit of the Registry, candidates, and county clerks. He said he hopes that those provisions, at the least, can be enacted in 2007.


The last item on the agenda was a subcommittee report by Senator Thayer, Co-Chair of the Task Force on Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs. He briefed the Committee regarding the Task Force's July 25 meeting and said that the next meeting of the Task Force will be September 26. The report was accepted by the Committee, without objection.


Representative Cherry thanked all of the guest speakers. He reminded the members that the Committee will not meet in August. Business concluded, and the meeting was adjourned at 3:00 p.m.