Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 106
02/14/2006 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS
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* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 347-MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE & NOTICE 9:41:57 AM CHAIR SEATON announced that the last order of business was HOUSE BILL NO. 347, "An Act relating to mandatory motor vehicle insurance, license suspensions, and notices relating to motor vehicles and driver's licenses." [Amendment 1, left pending from the 1/31/06 House State Affairs Standing Committee meeting, was renamed and offered as Amendment 7.] 9:42:14 AM REPRESENTATIVE LES GARA, Alaska State Legislature, as sponsor of HB 347, explained that at the last hearing of the bill there were some technical changes that both the committee and the director of the Division of Motor Vehicles had recommended, and he said those changes are stapled together in the committee packet as possible amendments. REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER, in response to a question from Chair Seaton, said she would be offering those amendments. 9:42:45 AM CHAIR SEATON directed attention to an e-mail in the committee packet from Duane Bannock, Director, Division of Motor Vehicles. 9:43:25 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER moved to adopt Amendment 1, as follows: On page 2, line 2: Following "department" Insert "Notwithstanding AS 28.05.121" 9:44:28 AM CHAIR SEATON asked if there was any objection to Amendment 1. There being none, it was so ordered. 9:44:39 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER moved to adopt Amendment 2, [labeled "24- LS1372\G.6, Luckhaupt, 2/1/06"], which read as follows: Page 2, lines 3 - 4: Delete "most current" Insert "most recently recorded" 9:45:13 AM REPRESENTATIVE GATTO objected. He said the most recently recorded address may not necessarily be the most current; therefore he questioned the advantage of Amendment 2. 9:46:06 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER suggested using the phrase "most recently provided" instead. REPRESENTATIVE GATTO suggested the phrase "most recently obtained". REPRESENTATIVE ELKINS asked why the committee doesn't leave the language to read "most current". REPRESENTATIVE GATTO explained that a person could say, "You know, that's my most current address, but I'm leaving there in a day. Why don't you just send it to my Mom ...." 9:47:18 AM CHAIR SEATON reminded the committee that "we're not dealing with someone's private knowledge. He explained that the address in question would be obtained from only three sources, [as shown on page 2, lines 5-9, which read as follows:] (1) the address the department has for the person; (2) the address shown on the citation or police report of the accident; and (3) the address provided to the Department of Revenue in an application for a permanent fund dividend. CHAIR SEATON said he wants to know the reason for the request for Amendment 2. 9:47:42 AM J. KEVIN BURCHFIELD, Driver Services Supervisor, Division of Motor Vehicles, Department of Administration, testified that "most recently recorded" is preferred so that the address obtained from the accident report can be used. He added, "That is the person that was in the most recent contact with the individual." 9:48:07 AM REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG remarked that from a law perspective, the word "recorded" usually refers to a deed that is recorded by the registrar of deeds. 9:48:54 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARA, in response to Chair Seaton, recalled that the it was the committee who had a problem with the term "most current". He said he thinks that term would work, or perhaps "most recently provided" would work. 9:49:18 AM MR. BURCHFIELD, in response to Representative Gara's suggestion, said "most recently provided" is acceptable. 9:49:51 AM REPRESENTATIVE GATTO stated his preference for the phrase "including but not limited to", which includes the three items previously noted, but "gives the individual an ability to seek out any other one." 9:49:58 AM CHAIR SEATON clarified that the issue is that currently the DMV has to send that notice to the [address] that it has on file, even if the police report or the Permanent Fund Division has a more current address. He stated, "I mean, if we're wanting to go out and say DMV is supposed to go out on an Internet search for somebody's address, ... we're stepping far beyond where we are in this bill currently. REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER, in response to Representative Gatto's recommendation, suggested that if the language said "most current but not limited to", a person could say, "But you could have sent it to all of them and you didn't, and therefore you didn't make efforts to reach me." She warned that would open up unnecessary problems. She stated her preference for the term "most recently provided". 9:51:10 AM REPRESENTATIVE GATTO maintained his objection. He remarked that the "most recently provided" [address] could be a couple years old. 9:51:25 AM CHAIR SEATON responded that someone who provide the police officer with an address that is a couple of years old doesn't want to get his/her notice from DMV. 9:51:55 AM MR. BURCHFIELD, in response to a question from Representative Gruenberg, said the word "recorded" is a reference to the way that [the address] is recorded on the accident report. He said it is probably a poor choice of words. CHAIR SEATON, in response to a question from Representative Gruenberg, explained again that the language in question refers to the three addresses [on page 2, lines 5-9, text provided previously]. 9:52:39 AM REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG moved to adopt Amendment 1 to Amendment 2, to change "recorded" to "provided". There being no objection, Amendment 1 to Amendment 2 was adopted. 9:53:17 AM CHAIR SEATON asked if there was any objection to Amendment 2, [as amended]. There being none, it was so ordered. 9:53:31 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER moved to adopt Amendment 3, [labeled "24- LS1372\G.5, Luckhaupt, 2/1/06"], which read as follows: Page 2, line 6: Delete "citation or" 9:54:38 AM CHAIR SEATON offered his understanding that Representative Gruenberg stated an objection [for discussion purposes]. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked Mr. Burchfield, "If there happens to be a citation, why couldn't they use that address?" 9:54:46 AM MR. BURCHFIELD responded, "Because the Division of Motor Vehicles does not receive the citations." 9:54:55 AM REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG removed his objection. There being no further objection to Amendment 3, it was so ordered. 9:55:24 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER moved to adopt Amendment 4, [labeled "24- LS1372\G.4, Luckhaupt, 2/1/06], which read as follows: Page 2, lines 7 - 9: Delete all material. Insert "accident." 9:56:49 AM DUANE BANNOCK, Director, Division of Motor Vehicles, Department of Administration, [in response to some committee discussion], clarified for the committee that Amendment 4 "is specific only to the Department of Revenue as it pertains to [the] permanent fund [dividend]." He said DMV asked that the language be removed because [obtaining addresses from the Permanent Fund Division] would be outside the field of DMV. 9:57:21 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARA, in response to Representative Gruenberg, said he would leave the decision whether or not to adopt Amendment 4 up to the committee. He proffered that the most accurate address will be the one on the citation or accident report. 9:58:00 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER said the problem in including the language [on page 2, lines 8-9, text provided previously] is that it would require DMV to take the additional step of looking up the permanent fund dividend application information, which is really not the DMV's bailiwick. 9:58:35 AM CHAIR SEATON objected to Amendment 4, in order to further clarify the language. He then removed his objection. 9:59:22 AM REPRESENTATIVE ELKINS objected. He explained as follows: Years ago I used to buy dividends - permanent fund dividends - and when they changed the law, I had a lot of money out there that I couldn't get paid for. And I had to take those addresses, and find those people, and get them to show proof of birth, ... because the Department of Revenue had determined that if they sold their dividend they might not be a real person. And I got to tell you - and it was quite a bit of money, ... so obviously quite a few people - [for] every person that I had to contact the address was true. And so, ... I have a little bit of problem taking that out, because people don't fool around -- I mean, when they put their permanent fund address down, it's usually bedrock. 10:00:19 AM CHAIR SEATON responded that he understands Representative Elkins' point of view. However, he stated that he supports Amendment 4 because he doesn't want to burden DMV with having to seek out addresses of people who are not giving police their most current address. 10:01:18 AM CHAIR SEATON asked if there was any objection to Amendment 4. [Representative Elkins' objection was considered withdrawn]. There being no further objections, Amendment 4 was adopted. CHAIR SEATON referred to [page 2, lines 6-7], which [after being previous amended by the adopted Amendments 3 and 4] read: (2) the address shown on the police report of the accident. CHAIR SEATON asked if that language is acceptable. REPRESENTATIVE GARA said he thinks that DMV's position is that the report is called an accident report, not a police report. 10:01:39 AM CHAIR SEATON asked Mr. Bannock for his recommendation. 10:02:47 AM MR. BANNOCK recommended that the word "police" on page 2, line 6, be deleted and replaced with the word "accident". In response to a request for clarification from Chair Seaton, he amended his recommendation to simply delete "police", thus leaving: (2) the address shown on the report of the accident. 10:03:49 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER moved to adopt Amendment 5, as follows: On page 2, line 6: Delete "police" CHAIR SEATON asked if there was any objection to Amendment 5. There being none, Amendment 5 was adopted. 10:04:47 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER moved to adopt Amendment 6, [labeled 24- LS1372\G.7, Luckhaupt, 2/1/06], which read as follows: Page 1, line 6, following "infraction": Insert "punishable by a fine not to exceed $300" REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG objected for discussion purposes, then removed his objection. He recalled that when this issue was discussed in the past, there was talk that "infraction" is "not defined in Title 28 anyway." 10:05:57 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARA recollected that the discussion had taken place to address Representative Gruenberg's concern about whether or not "there was a catch-all fine amount for driving license violations." He said, "There is, but it doesn't state an amount." He said he wants "the $300 fine to apply to this violation." He said he thinks Representative Gruenberg's recommendation was to "come up with a number and apply ... it to all violations at DMV." He said he does not feel comfortable coming up with an amount for the other violations, because he doesn't know what they are or what the fines should be. He concluded that he thinks [Amendment 6] is the "cleanest way to do it." 10:06:32 AM REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG reiterated that his objection was withdrawn. 10:06:40 AM CHAIR SEATON asked if there was any further objection to Amendment 6. There being none, Amendment 6 was adopted. 10:06:59 AM CHAIR SEATON moved Amendment 7, labeled 24-LS1372\G.2, Luckhaupt, 1/27/06 [previously named Amendment 1], which read as follows: Page 1, line 1, following "suspensions,": Insert "penalties for operating a motor vehicle while license is canceled, suspended, revoked, or limited, mandatory impoundments of vehicles used in certain offenses," Page 1, following line 6: Insert a new bill section to read: "* Sec. 2. AS 28.15.291(b) is amended to read: (b) Upon conviction under (a) of this section, the court (1) shall impose a minimum sentence of imprisonment (A) if the person has not been previously convicted, of not less than 10 days with 10 days suspended, including a mandatory condition of probation that the defendant complete not less than 80 hours of community work service; (B) if the person has been previously convicted, of not less than 10 days; (C) if the person's driver's license, privilege to drive, or privilege to obtain a license was revoked under circumstances described in AS 28.15.181(c)(1), or if the person was driving in violation of a limited license issued under AS 28.15.201(d) following that revocation, of not less than 20 days with 10 days suspended, and a fine of not less than $500, including a mandatory condition of probation that the defendant complete not less than 80 hours of community work service; (D) if the person's driver's license, privilege to drive, or privilege to obtain a license was revoked under circumstances described in AS 28.15.181(c)(2), (3), or (4) or if the person was driving in violation of a limited license issued under AS 28.15.201(d) following that revocation, of not less than 30 days and a fine of not less than $1,000; (2) may impose additional conditions of probation; (3) may not (A) suspend execution of sentence or grant probation except on condition that the person serve a minimum term of imprisonment and perform required community work service as provided in (1) of this subsection; (B) suspend imposition of sentence; (4) shall revoke the person's license, privilege to drive, or privilege to obtain a license, and the person may not be issued a new license or a limited license nor may the privilege to drive or obtain a license be restored for an additional period of not less than 90 days after the date that the person would have been entitled to restoration of driving privileges; and (5) may order that the motor vehicle that was used in commission of the offense be forfeited under AS 28.35.036 and shall order that the motor vehicle used in the commission of the offense be forfeited under AS 28.35.036 if the person has been previously convicted under this section." Renumber the following bill sections accordingly. Page 2, following line 9: Insert new bill sections to read: "* Sec. 5. AS 28.35.036(b) is amended to read: (b) Before forfeiture of a motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft, the court shall schedule a hearing on the matter and shall notify the state and the convicted person of the time and place set for the hearing. Except for a motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft that is required to be forfeited under AS 28.15.291, AS 28.35.030, or 28.35.032, the court may order the forfeiture of the motor vehicle if the court, sitting without a jury, determines, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the forfeiture of the motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft will serve one or more of the following purposes: (1) deterrence of the convicted person from the commission of future offenses under [AS 28.15.291(b),] AS 28.35.030 [,] or 28.35.032; (2) protection of the safety and welfare of the public; (3) deterrence of other persons who are potential offenders under [AS 28.15.291(b),] AS 28.35.030 [,] or 28.35.032; or (4) expression of public condemnation of the serious or aggravated nature of the convicted person's conduct. * Sec. 6. AS 28.40 is amended by adding a new section to read: Sec. 28.40.080. Impoundment of motor vehicle when arrested for certain offenses. On the arrest of a person for a violation of AS 28.15.291, AS 28.33.030, 28.33.031, AS 28.35.030, or 28.35.032, the motor vehicle used in the commission of the offense shall be impounded. If the motor vehicle is not forfeited, the motor vehicle shall be held for six months, unless the person is acquitted of the offense. The cost of towing and storage of the vehicle is a lien on the vehicle. If another person claims an ownership or security interest in the motor vehicle and establishes that the interest predated the offense and was acquired by the other person in good faith, the vehicle may be released to that other person if the person pays the accrued cost of towing and storage of the vehicle." REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER objected to Amendment 7. 10:09:03 AM CHAIR SEATON said, "This is a question of whether we should have drivers licenses at all." He stated, "It seems to me if we're not going to say there is something more than just saying you're not supposed to drive without your license upon second conviction, we're really saying we shouldn't be issuing a driver's license and we should just let anybody drive." 10:10:08 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARA said adding Amendment 7 is up to the committee. Notwithstanding that, he added: If the person driving the car without a license is the owner, that seems to be the penalty you're getting at. But what if the car is ... owned by somebody who didn't know that the person who was driving it had no license. REPRESENTATIVE GARA offered an example. He said he thinks there ought to be a defense for the owner of the car who doesn't knowingly provide the car to someone without a license. 10:11:59 AM REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG opposed Amendment 7. He said he is definitely not in favor of people driving without insurance, without a license, or with a suspended license; however, he indicated that a forfeiture "can be way out of proportion to the seriousness of the offense." 10:12:46 AM CHAIR SEATON said, "The forfeiture from someone who is not knowingly involved is not really the case." He said [Amendment 7] covers two issues: the first part deals with the forfeiture issue, and the part of the amendment addressing Section 6 deals with the impoundment of the vehicle. He reminded the committee of several recent driving incidents. One was a couple from Anchor Point killed by a person driving without a license. Even after that accident, a relative loaned the person without the license a car. There was no penalty at all for the person who loaned the vehicle, he said. He stated, "At some point in time, if you're loaning what is basically a deadly weapon on our streets to somebody, you ought to be responsible enough to find out whether that person's entitled to drive." 10:15:25 AM REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked that the two issues in Amendment 7 be considered separately. He asked that "part a" include page 1, line 6, through page 3, line 10, [as numbered on Amendment 7], and that page 3, lines 11-21 [as numbered on Amendment 7] be called "part b." CHAIR SEATON said, "I will accept that as a division of the question." REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG stated, "Then I will move the question on part a ... as [an] amendment to delete part a." [Representative Gruenberg moved to adopt Amendment 7a. Representative Gruenberg moved to adopt Amendment 1 to Amendment 7a.] 10:16:11 AM CHAIR SEATON said objected to Amendment 1 to Amendment 7a. 10:16:43 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER directed attention to page 2, lines 17-20 [as numbered on Amendment 7a]. She said she thinks there needs to be a provision addressing when a defendant is driving a vehicle that is not his own. 10:17:10 AM REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said [Amendment 1 to Amendment 7a] would remove the language that Representative Gardner had just highlighted [because it would remove Amendment 7a entirely]. CHAIR SEATON added, "And your issue, like I said, we could clarify, but it's already covered in law." CHAIR SEATON, in response to a request for clarification from Representative Gatto, said the motion is to delete "everything before Section 6 [as shown in Amendments 7a and 7b]." 10:17:37 AM A roll call vote was taken. Representative Gruenberg voted in favor of [Amendment 1 to Amendment 7a]. Representatives Gatto, Gardner, and Seaton voted against it. Therefore, Amendment 1 to Amendment 7a failed to be adopted by a vote of 1-3. [The result of this vote is that the motion to adopt Amendment 7a remains before the committee.] 10:18:58 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER said she would like some public testimony on "this provision." She stated, "As a general principle ... I support taking a vehicle away from somebody who persists in using it without a license." 10:19:35 AM REPRESENTATIVE GARA directed attention to page 2, lines 17-19, [as numbered on Amendment 7a], and said it seems the court currently has the discretion to order a forfeiture for driving without a license, so "maybe that's the way it should be." He recommended having the mandatory impoundment provision that is in [Amendment 7b], but not to have mandatory forfeiture in all cases. He offered further details. 10:20:43 AM CHAIR SEATON responded, "I think that that would have been the effect of Representative Gruenberg's motion." 10:21:46 AM CHAIR SEATON asked for unanimous consent to rescind the committee's action in failing to adopt [Amendment 1 to Amendment 7a, which would have deleted the entire language of Amendment 7a]. There being on objection, it was so ordered [and Amendment 1 to Amendment 7 was before the committee.] 10:22:17 AM REPRESENTATIVE GATTO said he would like the bill held over in order to leave time for the public to testify. 10:22:38 AM CHAIR SEATON announced that HB 347 was heard and held.