Legislature(2005 - 2006)HOUSE FINANCE 519

03/08/2006 01:30 PM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
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Heard & Held
Heard & Held
Moved Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
SENATE BILL NO. 210                                                                                                           
     An Act  relating to  the manufacture and  transportation                                                                   
     of  alcoholic  beverages;  relating  to  forfeitures  of                                                                   
     property for violations of  alcoholic beverage laws; and                                                                   
     relating to violations of alcoholic beverage laws.                                                                         
HEATHER BRAKES, STAFF, SENATOR  GENE THERRIAULT, related that                                                                   
in 2004,  Congress passed  legislation recognizing  that many                                                                   
rural  communities  and  their  residents  face  the  highest                                                                   
alcohol abuse and family violence  rates in the country.  The                                                                   
Alaska  Rural  Justice  and Law  Enforcement  Commission  was                                                                   
established  and  it released  a  Draft Interim  Report  that                                                                   
contains  recommendations,  including amendments  to  several                                                                   
provisions  in  Alaska  statutes.    Senate  Bill  210  is  a                                                                   
response to some of the recommendations  made in that report.                                                                   
3:01:44 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Brakes  pointed out  several  changes.   The  first  one                                                                   
allows seizure  of alcohol transported  by common  carrier in                                                                   
violation of  current law.   It allows  for the authority  to                                                                   
seize property determined to have  been purchased or obtained                                                                   
through  the  proceeds  of illegal  importation  or  sale  of                                                                   
alcohol, and it outlines procedures  for a person claiming an                                                                   
interest in property  that has been seized.   It also defines                                                                   
"manufacture"  of  alcohol  and clears  up  inconsistency  in                                                                   
statutes regarding  allowable quantities  of alcohol  and the                                                                   
presumption of possession for sale.                                                                                             
Ms.  Brakes  reported  that  there  are  currently  over  100                                                                   
communities  in Alaska  that have  chosen a  local option  to                                                                   
limit or ban the  sale of alcohol.  She referred  to the 2004                                                                   
Annual Drug Report  by the Department of Public  Safety (copy                                                                   
on  file.) She  noted  that on  pages  7 and  8,  bootlegging                                                                   
remains a lucrative  business.   SB 210 provides  clarity and                                                                   
consistency  in the  beverage  control statutes  in order  to                                                                   
assist  law  enforcement  and  communities  in  fighting  the                                                                   
illegal importation of alcohol.                                                                                                 
3:04:41 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Hawker inquired  about a change from 12 liters                                                                   
to 10 ½ liters  in the provision for possession  of distilled                                                                   
spirits.  Ms. Brakes replied that  AS 04.11.010(c) in Section                                                                   
1 is being amended regarding the  sale of spirits in order to                                                                   
make language consistent throughout statutes.                                                                                   
Representative Hawker  summarized that this change  makes the                                                                   
provision  consistent  with  other statutory  language.    He                                                                   
referred  to earlier  testimony  about forfeiture  provisions                                                                   
and the  concern that  a person  could lose  their home.   He                                                                   
inquired  about   the  judicial   process  related   to  that                                                                   
situation.   Ms. Brakes explained  that the intent of  SB 210                                                                   
is to mirror  the controlled substances statutes.   Loss of a                                                                   
person's home  was a  concern in a  previous committee.   The                                                                   
sponsor's concern  remains about someone who paid  for a home                                                                   
from proceeds  of an illegal  activity.  That  property would                                                                   
be  subject   to  forfeiture,   but  there  would   be  court                                                                   
proceedings  to  make  the  determination.     Representative                                                                   
Hawker stated  that there would  be a judicial process.   Ms.                                                                   
Brakes agreed.                                                                                                                  
3:08:03 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Kerttula noted  that she would ask for a legal                                                                   
opinion  about  what happens  to  family  members in  such  a                                                                   
DOUG GRIFFIN,  ALCOHOL BEVERAGE CONTROL BOARD,  DEPARTMENT OF                                                                   
PUBLIC SAFETY, offered to answer questions.                                                                                     
CAPTAIN ED HARRINGTON,  ALASKA STATE TROOPERS,  DEPARTMENT OF                                                                   
PUBLIC SAFETY, also offered to answer questions.                                                                                
3:09:47 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Kelly  presented  a  scenario  in  a  village                                                                   
involving a  common air carrier  that lands in a  dry village                                                                   
with illegal alcohol on board  before continuing on to a non-                                                                   
dry village.   He  asked what the  consequences would  be for                                                                   
the plane.   Captain Harrington  said that is not  a problem.                                                                   
The troopers  deal with it when  the alcohol reaches  the dry                                                                   
village.   Representative  Kelly  expounded  on the  possible                                                                   
scenario  when  the  plane  reaches  the  dry  village.    He                                                                   
wondered  about  an unintended  consequence.    He  suggested                                                                   
another scenario  involving a  boat on a  river passing  by a                                                                   
dry   village   and  wondered   about   possible   unforeseen                                                                   
Vice Chair Stoltze noted those are valid questions.                                                                             
Co-Chair Chenault closed public testimony.                                                                                      
3:13:25 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Kerttula redirected  her  question about  the                                                                   
family members of a bootlegging  situation to Anne Carpeneti.                                                                   
ANNE CARPENETI,  ASSISTANT ATTORNEY  GENERAL, LEGAL  SERVICES                                                                   
SECTION-JUNEAU,   CRIMINAL  DIVISION,   DEPARTMENT  OF   LAW,                                                                   
responded that the provision allowing  the state to seize and                                                                   
forfeit  items purchased  from illegal  activity has  been in                                                                   
statute since  1982 and a house  has never been seized.   The                                                                   
family is protected under forfeiture law.                                                                                       
Representative Kerttula asked  about the family vehicle.  Ms.                                                                   
Carpeneti replied  that there are safeguards  for those types                                                                   
of situations.                                                                                                                  
3:16:04 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Kelly asked for  a response from Ms. Carpeneti                                                                   
regarding his  previous scenarios.   Ms. Carpeneti  explained                                                                   
that there should  be no problem in either  situation because                                                                   
the plane and boat would be in  transit and the alcohol would                                                                   
stay  on  the vessel.    There  is a  statute  that  requires                                                                   
labeling of alcohol intended for damp villages.                                                                                 
Representative  Hawker  noted  on page  3  of the  bill  that                                                                   
"items of value purchased from  the proceeds" are being added                                                                   
to  the list  of forfeitures.    He wondered  if an  innocent                                                                   
person  who is  paid from  illegal proceeds,  or given  items                                                                   
purchased by  illegal proceeds,  is subject to  consequences.                                                                   
Ms.  Carpeneti  said  that situation  is  also  protected  by                                                                   
remission procedures in current  law that are not affected by                                                                   
this bill.                                                                                                                      
Co-Chair  Chenault  asked  what is  being  changed  regarding                                                                   
transporting  alcohol  by common  carriers  in dry  villages.                                                                   
Ms. Carpeneti said this bill refers  only to alcohol that has                                                                   
been illegally  transported in  violation to this  particular                                                                   
statute, which has particular labeling requirements.                                                                            
3:19:08 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Kerttula referred to  Section 3, the  30 days                                                                   
notice, and  asked if the innocent  spouse is included.   Ms.                                                                   
Carpeneti replied  that they would  have to file a  notice of                                                                   
their interest.   She  clarified that  Section 3  streamlines                                                                   
procedures  when  no  one  files a  notice  of  interest  and                                                                   
addresses civil forfeitures, which don't happen often.                                                                          
Representative  Kerttula  asked about  the  right  to a  jury                                                                   
trial.   Ms. Carpeneti  replied that  she thought  forfeiture                                                                   
proceedings were not subject to  a jury trial.  She suggested                                                                   
Captain Harrington respond to the question.                                                                                     
Representative  Kerttula redirected  her question to  Captain                                                                   
Harrington, who replied that he  does not know.  He said that                                                                   
most forfeitures have been adjudicated at a criminal trial.                                                                     
Co-Chair  Meyer corrected  his statement  that the  committee                                                                   
has seen the bill previously.                                                                                                   
3:22:50 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Chenault  MOVED to  REPORT SB  210 out of  Committee                                                                   
with  individual recommendations  and  with the  accompanying                                                                   
zero  fiscal note.    There being  NO  OBJECTION,  it was  so                                                                   
SB   210  was   reported  out   of  Committee   with  a   "no                                                                   
recommendation" and with a zero  note #1 by the Department of                                                                   
Public Safety.                                                                                                                  
3:23:51 PM                                                                                                                    

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