Legislature(2015 - 2016)GRUENBERG 120

04/06/2016 01:00 PM JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 1:15 p.m. Today--
+ HB 308 CHILD SAFETY SEAT INSTALLATION LIABILITY TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 308 Out of Committee
-- Public & Invited Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 147 ANIMALS: PROTECTION/RELEASE/CUSTODY TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 147(JUD) Out of Committee
+= HB 205 CRIMINAL LAW/PROCEDURE; DRIV LIC; PUB AID TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
        HB 308-CHILD SAFETY SEAT INSTALLATION LIABILITY                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:19:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LEDOX  announced that the  first order of business  would be                                                              
HOUSE  BILL  NO.  308,  "An Act  relating  to  the  limitation  of                                                              
liability  for the inspection,  installation,  or adjustment  of a                                                              
child  safety  seat  or  in  providing   education  regarding  the                                                              
installation or adjustment of a child safety seat."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:19:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT said  that HB  308 will  help save  lives,                                                              
make communities  safer for Alaskans,  and will allow  technicians                                                              
for  child passenger  safety  latitude to  install  car seats  and                                                              
teach  people how to  install car  seats without  liability.   She                                                              
offered that  these technicians  are fully  trained and  certified                                                              
through a  process.  Oftentimes,  she noted,  people go to  a fire                                                              
station or  a hospital  to have  their car  seat installed.   This                                                              
bill  is a  mechanism  for child  safety  technicians  to go  into                                                              
communities  that may  or  may not  have  fire  stations, and  the                                                              
opportunity to hold  free events to teach parents,  especially new                                                              
parents,  how to  install their  car  seats correctly.   The  bill                                                              
avoids  any  liability  when certified  technicians  volunteer  to                                                              
install  and  educate people  and,  she  noted,  the bill  has  no                                                              
opposition.   She pointed  out that  it is considerably  desirable                                                              
in rural  communities that do not  currently have car  seat safety                                                              
technicians because  it gives the  technicians the  opportunity to                                                              
teach the smaller communities.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:21:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  noted that his conceptual  amendment is now                                                              
before the committee  and stated that he feels  confident with the                                                              
legislative  intent.   He  said,  "Our  departed friend  Max,  I'm                                                              
standing  in  for him  today  making  sure  that we  aren't  doing                                                              
something  that is  unintended."   He noted  that as  he read  the                                                              
bill  he thought  it  was a  limitation  of liability,  except  as                                                              
provided in subsection (b), which read:                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
       (b) This section does not apply to a civil action                                                                        
              (1) for damages resulting from gross                                                                              
     negligence or willful or wanton misconduct; or                                                                             
           (2) where the inspection, installation, or                                                                           
       adjustment of a child safety seat, is performed in                                                                       
     conjunction with the for-profit sale of a child safety                                                                     
     seat.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  suggested  there  was the  possibility  of                                                              
liability  to parents.   He  stated he  wants a  safeguard in  the                                                              
bill that  the legislature does  not, in any manner,  increase the                                                              
liability of a parent  taking care of their child.   Mistakes will                                                              
be made,  he opined,  and their  standards for  adjustment  may be                                                              
different  for  others, and  stressed  he  wants an  exemption  in                                                              
there for parents.   In the event  there is not an answer  he will                                                              
propose the conceptual amendment later, he said.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:22:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   MILLETT  noted   that  it   is  a  question   for                                                              
Legislative  Legal  and  Research   Services  because  it  is  not                                                              
something that  came up during  their research  on the bill.   She                                                              
agreed  there  could  be  a  situation  wherein  parents  are  co-                                                              
parenting  and one  parent has custody  and the  other parent  has                                                              
joint custody.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:23:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LEDOUX  asked Representative  Keller  whether he was  trying                                                              
to exempt parents from legal liability.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER answered yes.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LEDOUX explained  that in reality, the  conceptual amendment                                                              
exempts  insurance  companies  from having  to  provide  coverage.                                                              
Due to  the manner in which  homeowner's insurance  policies work,                                                              
if  there  is  a  serious  accident  [with  the  child]  the  non-                                                              
negligent parent can  sue the other parent on behalf  of the child                                                              
and there  can be liability against  the other parent.   Although,                                                              
she  pointed out,  the  lawsuit wouldn't  even  be brought  unless                                                              
there  was insurance  coverage.   Therefore,  she explained,  this                                                              
amendment would  basically be  a boon  to the insurance  companies                                                              
and not  the injured child,  and not to  the parent who  would not                                                              
want  to  be exempted  because  they  would  want their  child  to                                                              
actually have the coverage.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:24:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  moved to  adopt Conceptual Amendment  1, as                                                              
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, Line 10                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     DELETE                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     [and]                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     After "instructiors [sic]: INSERT                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     or                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     (D) is a parent, legal or authorized guardian; and                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LEDOUX objected for purposes of discussion.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KELLER,    in   response   to    Chair   LeDoux's                                                              
explanation,  said he started  reading the  bill and thought  that                                                              
this   would  exempt   the   liability   of  people   [who   have]                                                              
successfully completed  a certification  course regarding  the use                                                              
of car seats.   He then posed the question, what  if someone tries                                                              
to use this  section of law to  hold someone liable and  there are                                                              
many  different  options.    He said  he  understands  that  Chair                                                              
LeDoux is saying  that one of the options here  is that Conceptual                                                              
Amendment  1  builds  a boon  for  insurance  companies  and  that                                                              
possibly  there  is  a  more  elegant  way  to  fix  the  problem.                                                              
Although, he  stressed the committee  needs to do something  to be                                                              
certain the  bill does  not increase  regulation and liability  on                                                              
parents at some level.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT  reiterated  that  she should  speak  with                                                              
Legislative    Legal   and   Research    Services   because    her                                                              
understanding is  that this only  applies to people who  have been                                                              
trained and  have received  a certificate,  parents wouldn't  need                                                              
to be  covered under  this bill  unless they  are a certified  car                                                              
seat inspector.   She  then referred to  Chair LeDoux's  point and                                                              
said  she  is more  concerned  about  not  having them  under  the                                                              
homeowner's insurance.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:27:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARIANNA CARPENETI,  Assistant Attorney  General, Civil  Division,                                                              
Torts and Workers'  Compensation Section, Department  of Law, said                                                              
she agrees  this is  a better question  for Legislative  Legal and                                                              
Research Services because  they are the people to  discuss how the                                                              
bill  might be  interpreted.    Representative Keller  is  correct                                                              
that parents are  not referenced, but she opined  that parents are                                                              
not envisioned  as implicated in the  operation of the  bill.  She                                                              
related that she  is hesitate to offer more because  she is unsure                                                              
what the drafter was thinking when drafting the bill.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:28:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 1:28 to 1:33:42.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:33:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER withdrew Conceptual Amendment 1.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LEDOUX opened public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:34:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SARA  PENISTEN,   Registered  Nurse,  Providence   Alaska  Medical                                                              
Center, advised  she is the coordinator  of the Kids  Alaska State                                                              
Coalition,  is a Child  Safety Instructor,  and has been  involved                                                              
in  child passenger  safety since  1998.   She  said she  strongly                                                              
urges the  committee's support  in that  currently Alaska  has 194                                                              
certified technicians  who hold a two-year certification  in child                                                              
passenger safety.   That certification is renewable  upon specific                                                              
requirements  set forth  by the  National  Child Passenger  Safety                                                              
Board,    the     National    Highway    Transportation     Safety                                                              
Administration,   and    the   Child   Passenger    Safety   (CPS)                                                              
Certification   program  which  is   administered  by   Safe  Kids                                                              
Worldwide.   She  advised  that the  Kids  Alaska State  Coalition                                                              
collects  data annually  through an  extremely structured  program                                                              
regarding car  seat misuse  on car seats  inspected in  Alaska and                                                              
offered  that a  lawsuit has  never  been brought  forth naming  a                                                              
child  passenger safety  technician.   However,  she related  they                                                              
are  hopeful  the legislature  will  pass  this legislation  as  a                                                              
layer  of protection,  and especially  encourage  people in  rural                                                              
areas  to  seek out  certification  for  people  that may  not  be                                                              
sponsored by  an agency that is  actively involved in the  care of                                                              
children  or in  their  transportation needs.    She advised  that                                                              
several people  have contacted  her with  interest over  the years                                                              
whose agencies  may not have that  same interest and due  to their                                                              
fear of liability  choose not to become certified  and; therefore,                                                              
cannot  serve their  community as  a  transportation resource  for                                                              
children.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:37:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANTHONY GREEN,  Director  of Public Policy,  Safe Kids  Worldwide,                                                              
advised that most  of the people acting as child  passenger safety                                                              
technicians  are volunteers who  go through  a rigorous  course to                                                              
become child  passenger safety technicians.   He pointed  out that                                                              
it  will  help  the  Alaska  program   if  candidates,  sponsoring                                                              
organizations, or  properties where events may take  place, can be                                                              
advised  they are  immune from  civil  liability.   Not only  have                                                              
there not  been any lawsuits brought  in Alaska, he is  unaware of                                                              
any  being brought  in the  entire  United States.   Although,  he                                                              
advised there was  an incident dealt with some years  ago that did                                                              
not resort  to litigation.   He offered  his appreciation  for the                                                              
committee's consideration of this bill.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:39:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID  WALLACE,  Engineer Paramedic,  Anchorage  Fire  Department,                                                              
advised  he  is an  Engineer  Paramedic  with the  Anchorage  Fire                                                              
Department  in   addition  to  being  a  child   passenger  safety                                                              
technician  instructor.     He   stated  that  while   working  in                                                              
communities  around Anchorage,  Southeast,  and  Kodiak Island,  a                                                              
concern  often expressed  is around  the level  of liability  that                                                              
technicians  and   the  agency  could   be  involved  in.     This                                                              
legislation would  help ease the concerns of  both the individuals                                                              
and agencies so  they will become a stronger  partner in providing                                                              
safe transportation for children, he opined.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:40:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DON ETHRIDGE,  Alaska State AFL-CIO,  said they support  this bill                                                              
and explained  that many members  of the Alaska State  AFL-CIO are                                                              
fire  fighters, police  department  employees,  and many  hospital                                                              
nurses who volunteer  their own time to offer trainings.   He said                                                              
this  bill is  viewed  as an  additional  step  in protecting  the                                                              
volunteers while caring for the public.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LEDOUX,  after ascertaining  that no  one further  wished to                                                              
testify, closed public testimony.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:41:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  moved  to   report  HB  308,  Version  29-                                                              
LS1323\A  out of  committee  with individual  recommendations  and                                                              
the accompanying fiscal  notes.  There being no  objection, HB 308                                                              
passed out of the House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                           

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB308 Sectional Analysis.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Document Letter from Safe Kids Worldwide Anthony Green.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Document-Letter from Terri Nelson.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Sponsor Statement.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Article Safe Kids Maine3-17-2016.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Article-ADN-1-12-16.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Article-NBC-KARE11-6-25-2014.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from Amanda Seethaler.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from Amanda Ferrara 3-3-16.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from Andrea Konik 3-7-16.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from Beth Schuerman 3-2-16.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from Hilario Alva 3-2-16.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from Gwendolynne Teutsch 3-2-16.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from Jared Stiglich-3-2-16.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from Jane Fellman 3-7-16.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from June May-3-3-16.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from Landon Forth 3-2-2016.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from Lori Tyler 3-3-16.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from Marialourdes Apilado 3-3-16.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-Letter from Sara Penisten 3-7-16.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 ver A.PDF HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Supporting Documents-FAQs AK Technician Immunity.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 308
HB308 Fiscal Note-LAW-CIV-03-25-16.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 308
HB 147 - CS ver C - 04.04.16.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 147
HB 147 - Support Letter - National Link Coalition.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 147
Amendment 1.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 2.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 3.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 4.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 5.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 6.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 7.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 8.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 9.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 10.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 11.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 12.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 13.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 14.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 15.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 16.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 17.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 18.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 19.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 20.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 21.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 22.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 23.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 24.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 25.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 26.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 27.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 28.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
Amendment 29.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205
HB 147 - Sectional Summary Comparison - Ver U to Ver C.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 147
Amendment 10 - Fixed.pdf HJUD 4/6/2016 1:00:00 PM
HB 205