Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/19/2004 01:15 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 351 - CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTION DEVICES                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 2184                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE announced that the  next order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 351, "An  Act relating to the  devices, including                                                               
carbon  monoxide detection  devices, required  in dwellings;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2150                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  moved to  adopt the  proposed committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for  HB 351,  Version  23-LS1325\V,  Bannister,                                                               
3/18/04,  as the  working document.   There  being no  objection,                                                               
Version V was before the committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 2136                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CARL  GATTO, Alaska State Legislature,  one of the                                                               
prime  sponsors of  HB 351,  explained that  the main  reason for                                                               
this legislation is that there  is the possibility of negligence,                                                               
which  could kill  people.   Furthermore,  low  levels of  carbon                                                               
monoxide are fairly damaging to  newborns, toddlers, and the very                                                               
young.  Moreover, it's possible  to have a hazardous situation in                                                               
the   home   by   accident.     In   this   latter   possibility,                                                               
Representative Gatto  pointed out that someone  could fall asleep                                                               
with  the  auto  start to  the  car  in  his  or her  pocket  and                                                               
accidentally activate the auto start.   Starting an automobile in                                                               
a  garage produces  enough carbon  monoxide to  get someone  very                                                               
sick, if not dead.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG,  speaking as one of  the prime sponsors                                                               
of  HB  351,  informed  the  committee that  HB  351  received  a                                                               
referral to  the House Judiciary  Standing Committee  because the                                                               
legislation specifies that not having  a carbon monoxide detector                                                               
would  be a  class B  misdemeanor  with a  30-day jail  sentence.                                                               
Some  have felt  that  the aforementioned  penalty  is too  high.                                                               
Therefore, Sections 5  and 6 were added to Version  V.  Section 5                                                               
is  a conforming  amendment  while Section  6  provides that  not                                                               
having a  carbon monoxide detector  is a violation as  defined in                                                               
AS 11.81.900, which carries a maximum fine of $500.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG explained  that the legislation provides                                                               
that  in  all qualified  dwelling  units,  the [carbon  monoxide]                                                               
detection devices must be installed  and have an alarm, which can                                                               
be a  visual or auditory alarm.   The devices must  be in working                                                               
order, he  noted.  Representative  Gruenberg highlighted  that on                                                               
page  2, line  4, the  language  "of any  deficiencies" and  "the                                                       
landlord" was added by Representative  Gatto.  The aforementioned                                                           
change  necessitated  broadening  the  title  to  include  carbon                                                               
monoxide detection  devices as well  as smoke  detection devices.                                                               
Basically,  this  legislation   adds  carbon  monoxide  detection                                                               
devices  to  the  existing  law  pertaining  to  smoke  detection                                                               
devices.   Representative Gruenberg  informed the  committee that                                                               
just this week the Municipality  of Anchorage passed a very broad                                                               
carbon monoxide detection ordinance.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 1957                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KELLY NICOLELLO,  Assistant State Fire Marshall,  Central Office,                                                               
Division of  Fire Prevention, Department of  Public Safety (DPS),                                                               
announced that the [division] is  in favor of [Version V] because                                                               
it makes  good sense.  He  noted that very large  spaces, such as                                                               
hotels and  large residential locations,  aren't impacted.   This                                                               
legislation is geared toward homes.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG noted  that in the past,  John Bitney, a                                                               
lobbyist  for   Alaska  State  Home  Builders   Association,  has                                                               
testified that this  is a top priority of that  organization.  He                                                               
offered his  understanding that it's  also a top priority  of the                                                               
firefighters association as well.   Representative Gruenberg then                                                               
drew  attention  to  the  [definition]  of  "qualifying  dwelling                                                               
unit".                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE noted that James  Baisden, Fire Marshal, Kenai Fire                                                               
Department,  had   been  on-line  but  decided   to  forward  his                                                               
testimony in written  form.  Upon determining no  one else wished                                                               
to testify, Chair McGuire closed public testimony on HB 351.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1864                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG moved  to report the proposed  CS for HB
351, Version  23-LS1325\V, Bannister,  3/18/04, out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.   There  being no  objection, CSHB  351(JUD) was  reported                                                               
from the House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                

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