Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/26/1993 08:30 AM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 79 An Act relating to recovery from a parent or legal guardian of wilful or malicious destruction of property by a minor. CS HB 79 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with three zero fiscal notes by the Department of Health and Social Services dated 2/10/93, the Department of Administration dated 2/10/93 and the Department of Law dated 2/10/93. HOUSE BILL 79 "An Act relating to recovery from a parent or legal guardian of wilful or malicious destruction of property by a minor." JENNY MURRAY, AID TO REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE, testified in support of HB 79 and stated that the legislation would increase the current cap for parental liability from $2 thousand dollars to what is allowable in district court, $50 thousand dollars. The bill would allow owners of property damaged wilfully or maliciously by a minor to recover monetarily from the minor's parents or legal guardian. With this bill, victims of property damage may finally be able to recover a greater portion of their losses as long as those damages total less than $50 thousand dollars. Representative Parnell referenced Page 1, Line 10, and asked why "destroys" was used instead of "damages". Ms. Murray stated the verbiage was the same as that used in the original statute. Representative Parnell recommended changing the language with the advise of the Department of Law. 4 Co-Chair MacLean suggested that the $50 thousand dollar fine was too harsh. She asked if the child could be covered by insurance. Ms. Murray suggested that home owners could be covered by home owners insurance. She pointed out that legislation is geared toward the victims of property damage. Discussion followed regarding the responsibility of the insurance company paying the fees of damage versus the parent's responsibility of the minor. Co-Chair Larson asked accountability of parents of run-away children. Ms. Murray pointed out that the legal guardian is the responsible party if they had not emancipated that child. The Department of Health and Social Services is involved in determining the necessary process. Co-Chair MacLean questioned the average rate paid by other states. Ms. Murray pointed out that Alaska's rate has not been revised since 1967 and is currently lower than the other maximums. The average for most states is $15 - $25 thousand dollars. Representative Hoffman questioned the rights of the injured party to collect the proposed fees. (Tape Change, HFC 93-65, Side 2). Ms. Murray stated that upon deciding that the juvenile is guilty, there are several ways to determine the responsibility such as claiming the permanent fund, taking their personal property, etc. Representative Hoffman thought this would place unfair hardship on the family. Representative Parnell reminded the Committee that there are exemptions protecting the family's equity. Discussion followed regarding protection the minor's parents and the victim's house insurance coverage. Co-Chair Larson MOVED to amend Page 1, Line 7, by inserting "$10 thousand dollars" and deleting "$2 thousand dollars". Representative Foster OBJECTED. He MOVED to amend the amendment to "$5 thousand dollars". Representative Parnell OBJECTED. A roll call was taken on the MOTION to amend the amendment. IN FAVOR: Martin, Brown, Foster, Grussendorf, Hoffman, MacLean. OPPOSED: Parnell, Therriault, Hanley, Larson. Representative Navarre was not present for the vote. 5 The MOTION PASSED, (6 - 4). A roll call was taken on the MOTION to adopt the $5 thousand dollar change. IN FAVOR: Brown, Foster, Grussendorf, Hanley, Martin, Larson, MacLean. OPPOSED: Parnell, Therriault, Hoffman. Representative Navarre was not present for the vote. The MOTION PASSED, (7 - 3). Representative Parnell MOVED to report CS HB 79 (FIN) out of Committee with individual recommendations and with the accompanying fiscal notes. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. CS HB 79 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with three fiscal notes by the Department of Health and Social Services dated 2/10/93, Department of Administration dated 2/10/93 and the Department of Law dated 2/10/93.