Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/29/2004 03:27 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 275-VETERINARIANS AND ANIMALS                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
[Contains  discussion  of HB  323,  which  was incorporated  into                                                               
HB 275, Version S]                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON announced  that the final order  of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE BILL  NO. 275,  "An Act  relating to  veterinarians and                                                               
animals."   [In  packets, not  yet  adopted, was  a new  proposed                                                               
committee substitute (CS), Version S.]                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0965                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SHARALYN WRIGHT,  Staff to  Representative Mike  Chenault, Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature, presented  HB  275  on behalf  Representative                                                               
Chenault, sponsor.   She introduced Charlie, her pet  dog, to the                                                               
committee.   She  thanked  Representative  Crawford's office  for                                                               
being cooperative in "marrying" his  bill, HB 323, with this one.                                                               
Referring  to   previous  legislation   that  didn't   pass,  she                                                               
expressed  concern that  Alaska  has fallen  behind  in terms  of                                                               
protecting children, animals, and the elderly.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WRIGHT said,  on average,  one child  a day  is mauled  by a                                                               
large dog.   She  expressed concern  for starved,  abandoned, and                                                               
abused animals, and said animal  abusers turn their anger towards                                                               
children, the  elderly, and the  defenseless.  She  reported that                                                               
her research  over the  past four years  found that  every serial                                                               
killer  and  serious  child  molester  or  abuser  has  a  direct                                                               
correlation  or relationship  to harming  small animals  in their                                                               
childhood.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. WRIGHT  explained that most of  HB 275 was written  to enable                                                               
and encourage  police officers  and veterinarians  to investigate                                                               
and take action  against animal abuse.  The bill  was kept simple                                                               
so the  court system and the  Department of Law wouldn't  have to                                                               
attach  a   large  fiscal   note,  and   so  the   Department  of                                                               
Environmental Conservation  could arrive at  reasonable standards                                                               
of care for  the state veterinarian.  She said  the first section                                                               
of HB 275 defines the minimum standards of care for animals.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. WRIGHT referred to page  2, where the investigation procedure                                                               
and statutes  that must be followed  in order to seize  an animal                                                               
are delineated.   She said page 3, line 11,  through page 4, line                                                               
15, allows for the destruction,  reclamation, and adoption of the                                                               
seized animal.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1336                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG moved  to adopt  the proposed  CSHB 275,                                                               
Version  23-LS0940\S,  Luckhaupt,  3/29/04.   [No  objection  was                                                               
stated, and Version S was treated as adopted.]                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON  expressed frustration that this  somewhat lengthy                                                               
proposed CS had just been presented to the committee.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WRIGHT  explained  that  Version  S  combines  HB  275  with                                                               
Representative Crawford's  bill, HB 323.   Resuming her analysis,                                                               
she  said page  4, lines  16-20, should  be omitted  in order  to                                                               
avoid  legal problems  resulting  from  authorizing employees  of                                                               
various departments  to act  as police officers.   Page  4, lines                                                               
21-22, defines an animal.  Page  4, line 23, through page 5, line                                                               
27, defines  cruelty to  animals in the  first degree  and allows                                                               
for  penalties.   Page  5,  line 29,  through  page  6, line  31,                                                               
defines  animal cruelty  in the  second  degree.   Pages 4-6  are                                                               
essentially    Representative    Crawford's   descriptions    and                                                               
definitions  of  cruelty  to  animals in  the  first  and  second                                                               
degree,  unchanged,   with  the  exception   that  Representative                                                               
Chenault's office took out reference to "department".                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. WRIGHT turned to page 7,  Section 5, which defines the people                                                               
and persons in the performance  of their occupational duties with                                                               
respect to  [paragraph] (8).   [Section 5] clarifies  exactly who                                                               
should report  child abuse  if animal  abuse or  suspected animal                                                               
abuse is found.  She noted  the high likelihood that if an animal                                                               
is being abused,  a child is being abused.   She pointed out that                                                               
her office had taken a lot  of political "heat" on this provision                                                               
and  had  received   many  phone  calls  as  there   had  been  a                                                               
misunderstanding.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GUTTENBERG  referred   to  page   7,  line   13,                                                               
requesting a definition of "practitioners of the healing arts".                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. WRIGHT  replied that this  definition is outlined  in statute                                                               
and that she'd been legally advised to use this phrase.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1540                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN referred  to page 4, line 29,  where it says,                                                               
"(3) kills a  dog or cat for the purpose  of preparing or serving                                                               
the animal for  human consumption".  He pointed out  that in some                                                               
cultures this  is a  common practice,  and questioned  Ms. Wright                                                               
about the consumption of a cat or dog in a survival situation.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WRIGHT suggested  the survival  of  a human  being over  the                                                               
survival of an animal would be a commonsense call.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN commented  that  Americans  have a  cultural                                                               
bias about this issue.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  questioned the  provision that  says a                                                               
person who commits cruelty to animals  in the first degree if the                                                               
person kills or  injures an animal by the use  of a decompression                                                               
chamber.  He wondered about the history of this provision.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. WRIGHT  replied that this  provision was already  in statute.                                                               
She   deferred   the   historical  question   to   Representative                                                               
Crawford's office.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
[Chairman Anderson passed the gavel to Representative Rokeberg.]                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1675                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CAROL GIANNINI,  Staff to  Representative Crawford,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  agreed  with  Ms. Wright  that  the  aforementioned                                                               
provision is in statute now.   However, "I'm told that it doesn't                                                               
happen anymore," she related.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1701                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG drew attention  to what became Conceptual                                                               
Amendments 1, 2, and 3,  contained on a one-page amendment titled                                                               
"Conceptual  Amendment and  Clean  Up Language."   That  document                                                               
read [original punctuation and spelling provided]:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
        Page 2 line 28 Seizure a of and lien of animals.                                                                        
     Remove "and lien on."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2 line 9 remove "department" and insert the State                                                                     
     Veteranerian as employed by any Department in State of                                                                     
     Alaska.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
         Page 4 line 16 and 17 omit "certain department                                                                         
     employees as peace officers"                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG  suggested  the three  sections  of  the                                                               
foregoing   amendment  be   treated  separately,   as  Conceptual                                                               
Amendments 1, 2,  and 3.  He asked about  Conceptual Amendment 1,                                                               
relating to page 2, line 28.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1740                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. WRIGHT responded that she knew  of no lien being placed on an                                                               
animal.   She said there is  a possible case before  the court by                                                               
the  ASPCA [American  Society for  the Prevention  of Cruelty  to                                                               
Animals] in  Anchorage.   A mechanism  other than  a lien  can be                                                               
used, she said,  and someone who sues for recovery  of damages or                                                               
costs when  taking care of  a seized  animal can get  a renewable                                                               
judgment.  The  aforementioned is easier, she  opined, to collect                                                               
upon  than  a lien,  which  adds  costs  for  the court  and  the                                                               
recorder's office and causes more  conflict and aggravation.  She                                                               
said she thought it better for  the owner to give up ownership of                                                               
an  animal, if  ordered to  do so  by the  court, or  to pay  the                                                               
caregiver of the animal up front without being sued.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. GIANNINI added:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Actually,  the lien  language is  not in  this version.                                                                    
     It  was in  our original  bill.   We  provided that  an                                                                    
     agency,  the  state,  a  person who  took  care  of  an                                                                    
     animal, automatically  had a lien against  that animal.                                                                    
     Part of that was because  of the bonding provisions ...                                                                    
     that we envisioned in here.   This conceptual amendment                                                                    
     in terms  of this  CS is  appropriate because  the lien                                                                    
     language has been  removed, and it fixes  the title [of                                                                    
     Section 03.55.120].                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1833                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD moved  to adopt  Conceptual Amendment  1                                                               
[text provided previously].  There  being no objection, it was so                                                               
ordered.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1850                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG read Conceptual  Amendment 2, relating to                                                               
page 2, line 9 [text provided previously].                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WRIGHT explained  that  the  state veterinarian,  previously                                                               
employed at the Department of  Natural Resources, is now employed                                                               
at the Department of Environmental  Conservation.  This amendment                                                               
allows for movement of that position.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1892                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG moved to  adopt Conceptual Amendment 2.                                                               
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1921                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG read Conceptual  Amendment 3, relating to                                                               
page  4, lines  16-17 [text  provided previously,  with a  verbal                                                               
correction saying it  goes through line 20].  He  said Ms. Wright                                                               
had  previously   spoken  to  this   change  [to   omit  "certain                                                               
department employees as peace officers"].                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1930                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GUTTENBERG   moved   to  adopt   the   foregoing                                                               
Conceptual  Amendment 3.   There  being no  objection, it  was so                                                               
ordered.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1970                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ANNE  CARPENETI,  Assistant   Attorney  General,  Legal  Services                                                               
Section-Juneau,  Criminal  Division,  Department  of  Law,  noted                                                               
there was no  referral of HB 275 to the  House Judiciary Standing                                                               
Committee and  so she wished to  testify about the impact  of the                                                               
bill here.  Directing attention to page 5, lines 1-2, she said:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     This is cruelty  to animals in the  first degree, which                                                                    
     is a  class A misdemeanor.   This provides that  ... if                                                                    
     the person who  owns or is responsible for  the care of                                                                    
     an   animal  recklessly   fails   to  provide   minimum                                                                    
     standards of  care for the  animal under  AS 03.55.100,                                                                    
     which  is added  in  this  bill on  the  first ...  and                                                                    
     second pages -- and that's  a concern to ... us because                                                                    
     we're concerned that this is vague. ...                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     That  section  that  it cross-references  says  that  a                                                                    
     person  is  required  to provide  medical  care  to  an                                                                    
     animal  at times  and to  the extent  necessary to  ...                                                                    
     maintain the animal  in good health.  And  ... that one                                                                    
     sticks out  particularly in my  mind as  something that                                                                    
     ... people  of good  will who take  good care  of their                                                                    
     animals ... can disagree on.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI related  that she has friends who'd  send their dog                                                               
to  a special  clinic  down south  if it  got  sick, whereas  she                                                               
wouldn't  choose to  do this  with her  pet.   She was  concerned                                                               
about this  bill making it  a crime not  to meet standards.   She                                                               
referred  to  a provision  in  current  law, AS  11.61.140(a)(2),                                                               
which addresses the problem of negligent  care of an animal.  She                                                               
suggested   substituting  that   provision   for   what  was   in                                                               
paragraph (5).                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI  noted that  her second concern  was taken  care of                                                               
with the deletion  of "peace officer".   However, another concern                                                               
relates to page 3, lines 11-12,  which changes the law to require                                                               
a  peace officer  first  to consult  with  a veterinarian  before                                                               
destroying an animal.   There are some places in  the state where                                                               
that would be difficult, she pointed out.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG  asked  Ms.   Carpeneti  to  review  the                                                               
current statute, AS 11.61.140.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI  noted that  subsection (a)(1)  prohibits knowingly                                                               
inflicting severe physical  pain or long suffering  on an animal.                                                               
She said  that's included in  the new  bill.  She  explained that                                                               
paragraphs (1)  and (2) are  current statute; paragraphs  (3) and                                                               
(4)  are new.   She  said  paragraph (5)  [page 5]  is cause  for                                                               
concern because it cross-references  the standards of care which,                                                               
for a criminal  prosecution, are not clear  enough.  Substituting                                                               
present law, (a)(2),  for paragraph (5) would  provide the needed                                                               
clarity.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if  there were affirmative defenses                                                               
available under the current statute.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2190                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI replied affirmatively but  wasn't sure if they were                                                               
identical.   She  pointed out  that the  second-degree provisions                                                               
are new.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  observed the small fiscal  note from the                                                               
Department of Law's civil section  and asked if Ms. Carpeneti was                                                               
representing that section.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CARPENETI replied  that she  was  representing the  criminal                                                               
division, which didn't anticipate a fiscal note.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2241                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DIANE ZARFOSS,  Alaska Society for  the Prevention of  Cruelty to                                                               
Animals,  testified that  her organization  had been  pushing for                                                               
this bill for many  years.  She felt combining HB  323 and HB 275                                                               
worked well.   She alluded to the many examples  of animal abuse,                                                               
saying  that at  one point  she had  been asked  by the  district                                                               
attorney's  office  to  bring  them   some  laws  so  they  could                                                               
prosecute.  She applauded the  fact that this bill would increase                                                               
authority for state troopers and  district attorneys, and offered                                                               
her  belief  that  there  was  no fiscal  note.    This  bill  is                                                               
desperately needed, she opined.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG pointed out  that the fiscal notes amount                                                               
to  over  $850,000.   He  suggested  Ms. Zarfoss check  with  the                                                               
sponsor for further information.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON  asked why the  bill wasn't referred to  the House                                                               
Judiciary  Standing  Committee  instead of  the  House  Resources                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. WRIGHT said she hadn't made those decisions.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  opined that combining the  two bills had                                                               
resulted in this route.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 2350                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM  said, as  chair of the  House Resources                                                               
Standing  Committee,  she intended  to  request  that HB  275  be                                                               
waived  from that  committee so  it could  be sent  to the  House                                                               
Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-35, SIDE B                                                                                                            
Number 2352                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
CHRIS HEINTZ,  Volunteer, Alaska Equine Rescue,  told members she                                                               
has provided  foster care for animals  for the past 20  years and                                                               
is in  total agreement with  HB 275.   She said  her organization                                                               
has been  involved with a case  of abused horses for  the past 18                                                               
months.   She thought it  would be  easier for prosecutors  to do                                                               
their  job,  and easier  to  get  care  for suffering  and  dying                                                               
animals, if this bill passes.   The present law is too vague, she                                                               
said;  she  gave the  example  of  animal owners'  claiming  they                                                               
didn't have to feed their animals  because no law says they must.                                                               
She said it's time there is a law.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 2303                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ALLEN  STOREY, Lieutenant,  Central  Office,  Division of  Alaska                                                               
State Troopers,  Department of Public  Safety (DPS),  referred to                                                               
Version  Q,  page  3,  line  11,  "Destruction  and  adoption  of                                                               
animals", noting that Version Q was  the latest version of HB 275                                                               
that  he had.   Noting  that this  section refers  to destruction                                                               
options for  animals and requires a  veterinarian's direction, he                                                               
said he  felt a previous version  of HB 323 had  better language,                                                               
from a  law enforcement  point of  view, since  it allowed  for a                                                               
peace  officer  to make  the  decision  to  seize or  destroy  an                                                               
animal,  alone  or  in  consultation with  a  veterinarian.    He                                                               
explained  that  it is  difficult  at  times  for an  officer  to                                                               
contact a  veterinarian due to  remoteness; not allowing  a peace                                                               
officer to  make this  determination independently  could prolong                                                               
suffering for an animal.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON noted that the committee  has Version S.  He asked                                                               
whether  Lieutenant Storey  thought  "may" should  be changed  to                                                               
"shall" on  page 2,  line 29.   He questioned  to whom  an animal                                                               
would be delivered if it  wasn't delivered to "a veterinarian, or                                                               
to a  person, a public  or private animal control  agency, humane                                                               
animal  treatment shelter  or  organization,  or other  custodial                                                               
agency".                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  STOREY replied  that troopers  often coordinate  with                                                               
neighbors, family  members, or friends  of the owner to  care for                                                               
an animal.   He  said he  didn't think  changing the  language to                                                               
"shall" would prevent these types of placements for animals.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 2143                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SALLY  CLAMPITT, President,  Alaska Equine  Rescue, testified  in                                                               
support of HB  275, saying it was badly needed.   She opined that                                                               
Alaska's current  cruelty laws are  poorly written  and extremely                                                               
difficult  to  enforce, and  felt  HB  275 would  overcome  these                                                               
serious issues.   She commented, in reference  to Ms. Carpeneti's                                                               
concern  about  vague  legal  language,  that  she  felt  it  was                                                               
appropriate  to   reference  standards   of  care   and  licensed                                                               
veterinary  involvement to  interpret  what  is adequate  medical                                                               
care.   She  said  a veterinarian's  involvement  in making  that                                                               
determination should be sufficient.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CLAMPITT  suggested "recklessly"  needed  to  be changed  to                                                               
"knowingly" because it altered the  level of accountability.  She                                                               
opined that it is easy  to demonstrate that someone may knowingly                                                               
fail  to  do something,  but  to  prove that  someone  recklessly                                                               
failed  to  do something  is  much  more difficult  because  this                                                               
implies malice and forethought.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2005                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BARBARA BRINK,  Director, Public  Defender Agency,  Department of                                                               
Administration,  noted that  she  didn't have  Version S  either.                                                               
She  agreed with  Ms. Carpeneti's  testimony, saying  the present                                                               
legal definition of cruelty to  animals is clear and the proposed                                                               
changes  aren't clear,  even with  attendant definitions.   She'd                                                               
submitted  an indeterminate  fiscal note  that indicates  unknown                                                               
costs, she pointed out.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BRINK  said  proposed  paragraphs  (3)-(7)  and  the  entire                                                               
"cruelty  to animals  in the  second degree"  section criminalize                                                               
conduct that  isn't currently a  crime.  Abandoning an  animal or                                                               
striking an animal when driving  and not immediately stopping and                                                               
notifying the  owner and the  appropriate law  enforcement agency                                                               
would  be  examples of  criminal  behavior  under  HB 275.    She                                                               
predicted a significant  number of people would  be charged under                                                               
these new criminal provisions, which would cost money.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1923                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KRISTIN  RYAN,   Director,  Division  of   Environmental  Health,                                                               
Department  of Environmental  Conservation (DEC),  explained that                                                               
the state veterinarian works within  this department and division                                                               
because his/her primary responsibility  is to protect humans from                                                               
diseases  that  transfer from  animals  to  humans, for  example,                                                               
rabies,  and  mad cow  disease.    Noting  that she  hadn't  seen                                                               
Version  S either,  she said  she'd need  to review  this version                                                               
with  the state  veterinarian  to determine  a  new fiscal  note,                                                               
since she anticipated significant change.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Ms. Ryan  if she thought the fiscal                                                               
note would  increase or  decrease, and  inquired where  the state                                                               
veterinarian was currently assigned.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.   RYAN   replied  that   she   thought   it  would   decrease                                                               
significantly, since  DEC wouldn't play a  significant role other                                                               
than  drafting   regulations  to  define  cruelty.     This  role                                                               
contrasts with the  previous version of HB 275  that required the                                                               
state veterinarian  to investigate cruelty cases,  which resulted                                                               
in a  large fiscal note.   She  said the state  veterinarian, Bob                                                               
Gerlach, D.V.M., works out of the Anchorage office.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1839                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TIM COLBATH,  Founder, Alaska's  Extended Life  Animal Sanctuary,                                                               
testified in support of HB 275.   He opined that, especially with                                                               
the current  amendments, the  proposed law  would be  much better                                                               
than the current one.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG  paraphrased  the following  portion  of                                                               
Version S, page 6, line 3, paragraph (2):                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     while operating a  propelled vehicle, knowingly strikes                                                                    
     and injures  an animal  and fails to  (A) stop  and (B)                                                                    
     notify  both   the  owner   and  the   appropriate  law                                                                    
     enforcement agency;                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
He  asked  Ms.  Brink  if  this is  too  broad  and  perhaps  the                                                               
distinction between  privately owned  and publicly  owned animals                                                               
needs to be  made.  He said  he was asking her  because she might                                                               
have to defend a person who had struck an animal.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRINK  said she didn't  know, but  no distinction is  made in                                                               
this legislation.  She informed  the committee that 80 percent of                                                               
people charged  in criminal court  can't afford  private counsel.                                                               
She characterized  the language  in HB 275  as vague,  broad, and                                                               
applying to many situations that might not be intended.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG  asked  when  the  "knowingly"  standard                                                               
applies.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BRINK  replied  that  "knowingly"  applies  specifically  to                                                               
"strikes" and the driver has a duty to stop.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1654                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG asked if  "knowingly" implies intent or                                                               
purpose or means accidental.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRINK responded  that there is a legal definition:   a person                                                               
acts  knowingly, to  a conduct  or to  a circumstance,  when that                                                               
person is  aware that certain conduct  is of that nature  or that                                                               
certain circumstance exists.   The knowledge of  the existence of                                                               
a particular  fact, as an  element of an offense,  is established                                                               
if  a  person  is  aware  of a  substantial  probability  of  its                                                               
existence,  unless  the  person  actually believes  it  does  not                                                               
exist, is  unaware of conduct,  or circumstance that  that person                                                               
would  have been  aware  of  had they  not  been intoxicated,  we                                                               
presume that they are acting knowingly.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1600                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   CRAWFORD  began   discussion   of  what   became                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 4.   He asked  for clarification on  page 6,                                                               
lines 3-4,  "and injures an animal".   He pointed out  that there                                                               
is no distinction between domestic and wild animals.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BRINK replied  that additional  specificity in  the language                                                               
would  deter  litigation.    If  the  intent  is  to  narrow  the                                                               
provisions so  not all people  hitting all animals  are included,                                                               
then clarification would help.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  referred to hitting birds  while driving                                                               
as  an  example  and  wondered  if  a  conceptual  amendment  was                                                               
necessary.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON, upon  determining no one else  wished to testify,                                                               
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1435                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  moved to  adopt Conceptual  Amendment 4,                                                               
inserting "domestic"  between "a" and "animal"  [and deleting the                                                               
word "an"] on page 6, line 4.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG objected for  purposes of discussion.  He                                                               
asked Ms. Carpeneti if and when  a citizen must report striking a                                                               
wild animal.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI said she didn't  know and offered to research this,                                                               
since [the Alaska  Department of] Fish & Game  might have related                                                               
regulations.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1320                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG removed his objection.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ANDERSON   asked  that   Ms.  Wright  discuss   this  with                                                               
Legislative Legal  and Research Services to  ensure that changing                                                               
the  language  in  this bill  wouldn't  affect  regulations  that                                                               
currently cover striking wild animals such as moose.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 1305                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ANDERSON   announced  that  Conceptual  Amendment   4  was                                                               
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1277                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN offered  Conceptual Amendment  5, to  change                                                               
the semicolon to  a comma on page  4, line 30, and  add the words                                                               
"except for the emergency survival of a human being".                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON,  hearing no objection, announced  that Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 5 was adopted.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1208                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD proposed  Conceptual  Amendment  6:   on                                                               
page 3, lines 12 and 16, after "peace officer", add "alone or".                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON,  hearing no objection, announced  that Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 6 was adopted.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  referred to the issues  of "reckless and                                                               
knowingly" under  the first degree crime  in the bill.   He asked                                                               
that the sponsors review this issue  and that it be brought up in                                                               
the  House Judiciary  Standing Committee,  the next  committee of                                                               
referral.   He suggested that  those who had testified  that this                                                               
was  an issue  might use  a  "knowingly standard"  in the  second                                                               
degree offense  and keep the  "recklessness" in the  first degree                                                               
offense.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1130                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG  offered   Conceptual  Amendment  7,  to                                                               
change paragraph (5),  page 5, lines 1-2, as  recommended by both                                                               
the attorney  general's office and the  public defender's office.                                                               
He asked  if the sponsors  were agreeable  to this or  whether it                                                               
should be referred to the House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. WRIGHT  replied that attorneys  aren't experts  in veterinary                                                               
care  and the  only individual  who can  determine a  standard of                                                               
care is  an animal  doctor, a veterinarian.   She  explained that                                                               
two individuals can  differ in their opinions of  a standard, but                                                               
the only expert is a veterinarian.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   ROKEBERG  said   they   were  discussing   legal                                                               
standards that  concern prosecutors  and defenders:   whether the                                                               
current standard  is criminal negligence and  whether that should                                                               
be maintained, and  whether or not the minimum  standards are the                                                               
criteria.   He recommended that  this discussion continue  in the                                                               
House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0963                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM  moved to  report CSHB 275,  Version 23-                                                               
LS0940\S, Luckhaupt,  3/29/04, as amended, out  of committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There being  no objection,  CSHB 275(L&C)  was reported  from the                                                               
House Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                                    

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