Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 106
03/30/2006 01:30 PM RULES
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* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
1:38:26 PM CHAIR ROKEBERG announced that the first order of business would be SENATE BILL NO. 210, "An Act relating to the manufacture and transportation of alcoholic beverages; relating to forfeitures of property for violations of alcoholic beverage laws; and relating to violations of alcoholic beverage laws." 1:39:52 PM SENATOR GENE THERRIAULT, Alaska State Legislature, sponsor, explained that the idea behind SB 210 arose from the work of the Alaska Rural Justice and Law Enforcement Commission, which identified a number of inconsistencies in state law that make it difficult to help control the alcohol problem in rural Alaska. Senator Therriault then provided a sectional analysis and highlighted that Section 1 amends the allowable quantities of alcohol from 12 liters of distilled spirits to 10.5 liters as it relates to a presumption of possession for the purpose of selling alcohol. Section 2 of the legislation allows for the seizure of alcohol from common carriers when it's being transported in violation of the law and allows the forfeiture of property that was purchased from the illegal proceeds from bootlegging activities. Section 3 adds language similar to that of the drug control statutes in order to provide a streamlined process when property is seized and an innocent party claims an ownership interest in that property. Senator Therriault pointed out that Section 4 relates to the common carrier statutes and Section 5 provides a definition for "the manufacture of alcohol." 1:42:19 PM SENATOR THERRIAULT thanked Chair Rokeberg for bringing the need for an amendment to his attention and allowing time to check with impacted communities, which are boroughs in which there is a city. He highlighted an e-mail from the mayors of the City of North Pole, the City of Fairbanks, and the Fairbanks North Star Borough that relates support for the amendment. Senator Therriault mentioned that he was supportive of Chair Rokeberg's [amendment]. 1:43:45 PM CHAIR ROKEBERG thanked the sponsor for allowing him to utilize SB 210 to correct a minor problem in state commerce. 1:44:27 PM REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked if all of the recommendations from the Alaska Rural Justice and Law Enforcement Commission were incorporated in SB 210. 1:44:45 PM HEATHER BRAKES, Staff to Senator Gene Therriault, Alaska State Legislature, acknowledged that were other recommendations. The recommendations included in SB 210 are mainly cleanup of current statute while the other recommendations not included in SB 210 were larger policy issues that the sponsor chose not to include. In further response to Representative Berkowitz, there is no set date for the report to be issued from the Alaska Rural Justice and Law Enforcement Commission. 1:46:32 PM REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL moved that the committee adopt Amendment 1, labeled 24-LS1232\G.1, Luckhaupt, 3/21/06, which read: Page 1, line 1, following "beverages;": Insert "relating to relocation of existing licenses within a borough;" Page 2, following line 3: Insert new bill sections to read: "* Sec. 2. AS 04.11.400(a) is amended to read: (a) Except as provided in (d) - (h), (k), [AND] (l), and (n) of this section, a new license may not be issued and the board may prohibit relocation of an existing license (1) outside an established village, incorporated city, unified municipality, or organized borough if after the issuance or relocation there would be (A) more than one restaurant or eating place license for each 1,500 population or fraction of that population, or (B) more than one license of each other type, including licenses that have been issued under (d) or (e) of this section, for each 3,000 population or fraction of that population, in a radius of five miles of the licensed premises, excluding the populations of established villages, incorporated cities, unified municipalities, and organized boroughs that are wholly or partly included within the radius; (2) inside an established village, incorporated city, or unified municipality if after the issuance or relocation there would be inside the established village, incorporated city, or unified municipality (A) more than one restaurant or eating place license for each 1,500 population or fraction of that population; or (B) more than one license of each other type, including licenses that have been issued under (d) or (e) of this section, for each 3,000 population or fraction of that population; (3) inside an organized borough but outside an established village or incorporated city located within the borough, if after the issuance or relocation there would be inside the borough, but outside the established villages and incorporated cities located within the borough, (A) more than one restaurant or eating place license for each 1,500 population or fraction of that population; or (B) more than one license of each other type, including licenses that have been issued under (d) or (e) of this section, for each 3,000 population or fraction of that population excluding the population of those established villages that have adopted a local option under AS 04.11.491(b)(1), (3), or (4), and excluding the population of incorporated cities located within the organized borough. * Sec. 3. AS 04.11.400 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: (n) Without regard to (a) of this section, the board may allow the relocation of a license within a borough, including within an incorporated city within a borough, if the governing body of the borough approves of the relocation and, if the license is being relocated into or within an incorporated city, the governing body of the incorporated city approves of the relocation." Renumber the following bill sections accordingly. REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS objected for purposes of discussion. 1:46:53 PM CHAIR ROKEBERG explained that Amendment 1 would allow the transfer of a Title IV license from a borough into a city or another Title IV entity and vice versa. He informed the committee that some major restaurant chains want to locate in the Wasilla area, but they are restricted from doing so because they can't obtain a beverage dispensary license due to the population restrictions and the lack of available licenses. However, there are available licenses in the borough. Therefore, the primary caveat is that in order to have any transfer from one jurisdiction to another, both political subdivisions have to approve it, which he characterized as a safety valve. 1:49:01 PM REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL asked if the appeal process would remain the same. 1:49:21 PM DOUGLAS GRIFFIN, Director, Alcoholic Beverage Control Board ("ABC Board"), Department of Public Safety, in response to Representative Coghill, specified that this won't change any of the appeals processes. Of course, when a license moves from the borough to the city, it becomes a city license and thus the renewal would go through the governmental entity to which the license was transferred. This, in effect, makes boroughs with cities within them operate much like a unified municipality in regard to the movement of liquor licenses and in both cases local government approval is required for the transfer. MR. GRIFFIN highlighted that SB 210 doesn't contemplate nor create any more liquor licenses. Upon review of this issue, it was determined that fewer restrictions [on the transfer of licenses] reduces the restriction on commerce. Overall the philosophy of the ABC Board, he related, is to try to regulate alcoholic beverages in a manner that best serves the public. Mr. Griffin related that the ABC Board doesn't have a problem with Amendment 1. 1:54:55 PM REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG related his understanding that the ABC Board has final approval over these licenses. He then posed a situation in which one city within the Fairbanks North Star Borough transfers a liquor license to another city in the borough. In such a case, would the city from which the license is leaving have the ability to protest/disapprove the transfer, he asked. MR. GRIFFIN deferred to the Department of Law representative. REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS removed his objection. 1:56:37 PM ANNE CARPENETI, Assistant Attorney General, Legal Services Section - Juneau, Criminal Division, Department of Law, said that a city-to-city transfer wasn't considered with Amendment 1. However, she related her understanding that when a liquor license leaves a city, the city doesn't have an occasion to protest. Therefore, the language of Amendment 1 would seem to mean that the area where the license is going to be relocated would have to approve. 1:57:31 PM CHAIR ROKEBERG asked if Amendment 1 would allow the transfer of a license from one city to another city under the same borough. MS. CARPENETI replied yes. 1:57:59 PM REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL surmised then that if a business is moved from Fairbanks to North Pole, the business would still have to apply in North Pole for the liquor license and go through the regular public hearing process. MS. CARPENETI confirmed that whatever municipal process in place would apply. 1:58:40 PM CHAIR ROKEBERG, upon determining no one else wished to testify, closed public testimony. 1:58:44 PM REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS moved to report SB 210, as amended, out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. There being no objection, HCS SB 210(RLS) was reported from the House Rules Standing Committee. 1:59:08 PM REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS moved to adopt a proposed House Concurrent Resolution, Version A, Luckhaupt, 3/21/06, as the working document. There being no objection, it was so ordered. REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS moved to report the proposed House Concurrent Resolution, Version A, Luckhaupt, 3/21/06, out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. There being no objection, it was so ordered.