Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 120

03/08/2010 01:30 PM JUDICIARY


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
+ HB 238 LANDLORD REJECTION OF OCCUPANT/SUBLEASE TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ HB 334 MILITARY DEPLOYMENT AND CHILD CUSTODY TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 334(JUD) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 71 ADVANCE HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVES REGISTRY TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 71(JUD) Out of Committee
        HB 238 - LANDLORD REJECTION OF OCCUPANT/SUBLEASE                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:34:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 238, "An Act  removing the number of persons under                                                               
18 years  of age in  the household as  a reasonable ground  for a                                                               
landlord to reject a proposed sublease or assignment."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:35:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CHARISSE   MILLETT,  Alaska   State  Legislature,                                                               
sponsor, explained that HB 238  would allow Alaska to comply with                                                               
the federal  [Fair Housing Act]  by deleting the provision  in AS                                                               
34.03.060(d) that  allows a  landlord to refuse  to consent  to a                                                               
sublease or assignment  based on the number of  persons under the                                                               
age  of 18  who  are in  the  household.   She  referred to  such                                                               
refusal  as  discriminatory,  and   noted  that  compliance  with                                                               
federal  law would  allow Alaska  to  receive additional  federal                                                               
funding for which  it currently doesn't qualify.   In response to                                                               
a question, she relayed  that previously-adopted legislation made                                                               
a  similar  change  to  the statute  pertaining  to  leases,  and                                                               
explained  that HB  238  is  merely proposing  the  same sort  of                                                               
conforming    change    to     the    statute    pertaining    to                                                               
subleases/assignments.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS, relaying  that he is concerned that  a young tenant                                                               
could  have several  people  under the  age of  18  move in  with                                                               
him/her, questioned  whether the term, "household"  is defined in                                                               
statute.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT said she's not  sure, but posited that the                                                               
bill  wouldn't preclude  a landlord  from  rejecting a  potential                                                               
renter based on the age of  those whom the renter would have move                                                               
in with him/her.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:38:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK ROMICK,  Director, Planning and Program  Development, Alaska                                                               
Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC),  Department of Revenue (DOR),                                                               
said  that although  there  isn't a  specific  definition of  the                                                               
term, "household" under  the federal Fair Housing  Act, that term                                                               
essentially includes  anybody that's residing in  the unit that's                                                               
covered by the lease.   Therefore, people who are living together                                                               
in an  apartment but  who aren't  immediate family  members could                                                               
constitute a household  as long as everyone is  covered under the                                                               
lease.   In  response  to questions,  he  explained that  neither                                                               
Alaska's  Uniform Residential  Landlord  and Tenant  Act nor  the                                                               
federal Fair Housing  Act make a distinction with  regard to time                                                               
of residency  or student status.   Instead, the  question becomes                                                               
whether a person is legally able  to enter into a lease agreement                                                               
and whether a  person is legally allowed to live  in a particular                                                               
unit, and  those issues are among  those left up to  the landlord                                                               
to address  when considering  whether to lease/rent  a unit  to a                                                               
particular person.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  observed  that a  letter  in  members'                                                               
packets   from  the   U.S.  Department   of  Housing   and  Urban                                                               
Development  (HUD) dated  July 18,  2007, in  part addresses  the                                                               
provision  that would  be repealed  by  the adoption  of HB  238:                                                               
"Such  provision may  be deemed  contrary to  federal regulations                                                               
and laws,  as note more  specifically under the Fair  Housing Act                                                               
as amended."   He  questioned under  what [legal]  authority that                                                               
statement  was   made,  and  how   the  term,   "familial  status                                                               
discrimination"  - as  used elsewhere  in that  same letter  - is                                                               
defined.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
[Chair Ramras turned the gavel over to Vice Chair Dahlstrom.]                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROMICK  indicated that  the  [legal]  authority behind  that                                                               
statement  could be  found in  the  federal Fair  Housing Act  as                                                               
amended, under 42 U.S.C. 3601,  and that [42 U.S.C. 3602(k)] says                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
      (k) "Familial status" means one or more individuals                                                                       
       (who have not attained the age of 18 years) being                                                                        
     domiciled with-                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
          (1) a parent or another person having legal                                                                           
     custody of such individual or individuals; or                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
          (2) the designee of such parent or other person                                                                       
     having  such custody,  with the  written permission  of                                                                    
     such parent or other person.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     The protections afforded  against discrimination on the                                                                    
     basis of familial status shall  apply to any person who                                                                    
     is  pregnant or  is in  the process  of securing  legal                                                                    
     custody of any individual who  has not attained the age                                                                    
     of 18 years.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
[Vice Chair Dahlstrom returned the gavel to Chair Ramras.]                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG observed  that that  federal definition                                                               
specifically references  age, and surmised that  a landlord could                                                               
still stipulate how the children in a household are to behave.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROMICK concurred, adding - in  response to comments - that in                                                               
order  to comply  with  the federal  Fair  Housing Act,  Alaska's                                                               
Uniform Residential  Landlord and  Tenant Act cannot  contain any                                                               
reference to age.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  RAMRAS, after  ascertaining  that no  one  else wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on HB 238.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:46:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM moved to report  HB 238 out of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.   There being no objection,  HB 238 was reported  from the                                                               
House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01 HB 334 Sponsor Statement.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 334
02 HB334 CS(MVA) v. S.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 334
03 HB334 Sectional.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 334
04 HB334-1-1-022410-CRT-N.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 334
05 HB334CS(MLV)-LAW-CIV-03-05-10.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 334
06 HB334 Support.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
SFIN 4/9/2010 9:00:00 AM
HB 334
07 HB334 Bill v. R.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 334
01 HB238 Sponsor Statement.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 238
02 HB238 ver R.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 238
03 HB238 Fiscal Note-CED-COM-2-11-10.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 238
04 HB238 HUD Letter 7-18-07.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 238
05 HB238 AHFC Comments.pdf HJUD 3/8/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 238