Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/17/1995 03:05 PM CRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 SCRA - 3/17/95                                                                
        SB 87 ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES: LOCAL OPTION & MISC.                       
 OPTION & MISC.) back before the committee and stated testimony                
 would be taken over the teleconference network.                               
 Number 013                                                                    
 MAYOR DON LONG, Barrow, speaking to the committee substitute, said            
 the addition of a new subsection (g) to AS 04.11.507 will clarify             
 the procedures to follow when competing petitions are being                   
 circulated.  The new subsection will help communities deal with               
 these competing interests in an organized and orderly manner.                 
 Mayor Long also spoke in support of the transition section, which,            
 he said, is necessary to make sure that the ballot language of all            
 future elections meets the requirements of this legislation.  He              
 pointed out that with the new transition section, the outstanding             
 petitions would be void and sponsors could circulate new petitions            
 with the new language.                                                        
 Number 080                                                                    
 MAYOR GEORGE AHMAOGAK, North Slope Borough, said the decision made            
 by the people of Barrow on October 4, 1994, to go from damp status            
 to dry status was not an easy decision for the people to make, and            
 it should not be an easy decision to vote it back down either.                
 Mayor Ahmaogak spoke to the positive effects of that community                
 going dry such as:  alcohol-related incidents handled by the                  
 Department of Public Safety have fallen by approximately 90                   
 percent; teachers have noticed that some of their students are a              
 lot more attentive than before; employers have experienced less               
 absenteeism on the part of their employees; and vandalism of                  
 private property is down.  Even villages outside of Barrow have               
 benefited from its going to a dry status.                                     
 Mayor Ahmaogak urged that the legislation include a two-year                  
 moratorium after a local option election establishes a dry                    
 community before a new election could be held.  He also requested             
 that the section be retroactive to July 1994.                                 
 Number 185                                                                    
 SENATOR HOFFMAN expressed concern with a two-year moratorium after            
 the vote, especially when it is a close vote, and if an initiative            
 in another area might fail if people knew there was going to be               
 that two-year moratorium.  He suggested that perhaps there could be           
 a one-year or two-year moratorium option that could be selected by            
 the community when an election is  held.  MAYOR AHMAOGAK said he              
 thought the people in his area would support the two-year                     
 moratorium since they have seen the positive effects of communities           
 like Barrow going dry.                                                        
 Number 230                                                                    
 TOM NICHOLAS, Barrow, commented that regardless if it is a one-               
 year, two-year, or five year moratorium, to make it fair to both              
 sides and that everybody be treated equal no matter what side of              
 the issue they are on.                                                        
 Mr. Nicholas referred to Section 2 of the bill and said he believes           
 it is unfair to set limits on the amount of alcohol that can be               
 possessed for an individual to be charged with presumption of sale.           
 He also voiced concern with the amount of alcoholic beverages that            
 can be shipped to a purchaser.  He would like to see Section 27,              
 which relates to procedures for local option elections, clarified             
 and brought into alignment with state law.    In Section 45, which            
 relates to the type of alcoholic beverage container that may be               
 possessed in the municipality, he suggested adding wording that               
 would define a size of a container.                                           
 Number 300                                                                    
 JAMES WOOD, Captain of the North Slope Borough Department of Public           
 Safety, said many communities throughout Alaska have banned the               
 importation, sale and possession of alcoholic beverages.  However,            
 language in neither the law, as written, nor the law, as proposed,            
 is sufficient to convey public condemnation, to positively deter              
 violators, or to facilitate positive enforcement or timely justice.           
 Mr. Wood said a major impediment is the manner in which the                   
 possession of alcoholic beverages in local option communities is              
 treated.  Although importation or sale of alcoholic beverages in              
 local option communities are crimes, possession of alcoholic                  
 beverages in local option communities is a non-crime.                         
 Mr. Wood contended that the possession of alcoholic beverages in a            
 local option community is a crime, and he suggested amending AS               
 04.16.200 subsection (e) on page 23 to include the following                  
  "(e)  A person who sends, transports, or brings alcoholic                    
 beverages into [ , or who possesses an alcoholic beverage within ] a          
 municipality or established village in violation of AS 04.11.499              
 is, upon conviction guilty of..."                                             
 Mr. Wood also requested that the committee consider including in              
 the law the same mandatory penalties, perhaps coupled with                    
 substance abuse treatment and counseling programs, as are provided            
 for the crime of driving while intoxicated.  He said the serious              
 implications of the illicit possession of alcoholic beverages in              
 defiance of local option poses the same unjustifiable,                        
 unpredictable risks of death or serious injury as do drunk drivers.           
 Number 356                                                                    
 REX OKAKOK, SR., Barrow, testified in support of the legislation              
 and Mayor Ahmaogak's  suggestion of including a two-year                      
 moratorium.  He also asked that the committee consider hearing from           
 the elders in his community.  He added that the elders and some               
 other people in the community often need translators in order to              
 testify, and, given the opportunity, they would have a lot more               
 elders and people testifying on behalf of the bill.  He also                  
 requested that the committee seriously consider the cultural                  
 differences when dealing with these kinds of local options.                   
 Number 385                                                                    
 TERESA WILLIAMS, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law,               
 Anchorage, referred to page 28, line 9, and explained that change             
 was made by Pat Sharrock in response to a request by the mayor of             
 Nome.  There was concern that young people were going into                    
 establishments with containers that were disguised as non-alcoholic           
 containers, i.e., containers that looked like pop cans, etc.                  
 Ms. Williams directed to page 4, line 17, and suggested changing it           
 to read "each subsequent application to renew the license, a              
 Number 400                                                                    
 JOE AMBROSE agreed that the change to page 4, line 17, was a                  
 drafting error and was a technical change that  could be made.  He            
 then directed attention to a proposed amendment which, he said,               
 answers the concerns raised by Mayor Long in his initial testimony.           
 It clarifies the procedures to follow when competing petitions are            
 being circulated, as well as adding a transition section to ensure            
 that the ballot language of all future elections meets the                    
 requirements of this legislation.  Another part of the amendment              
 deletes language on page 31, lines 3 - 6 that was of concern last             
 year when the legislation was on the Senate floor, and it will                
 maintain the status quo as provided in statute right now.  The                
 amendment does not address the two-year moratorium question.                  
 Number 442                                                                    
 SENATOR HOFFMAN commented that if there was a choice of a one-year            
 moratorium or a two-year moratorium, then the community can decide            
 which one they think would be sellable.  JOE AMBROSE pointed out it           
 could be a problem because they don't automatically vote again in             
 12 months.  It is just that somebody can't bring a petition again             
 for 12 months.  He questioned how it could be worded because it               
 doesn't mean that a community is going to have an election every 12           
 Number 472                                                                    
 SENATOR KELLY moved adoption of the following amendment including             
 the technical change to page 4, line 17 to the draft CSSB 887(CRA):           
 AMENDMENT #1                                                                
 Page 21, after line 10:  Insert a new subsection to read:                     
  "(g) Notwithstanding AS 29.26.140(a), after a petition has                   
 been certified as sufficient to meet the requirements of (b) or (c)           
 of this section, another petition may not be filed or certified               
 until after the question presented in the first petition has been             
 voted on.  Only one local option question may be presented in an              
 Page 31:  Delete lines 3 - 6 and insert the following in its place:           
  "that does not contain any part of an incorporated city or                  
 another established village"                                                 
 Page 33, after line 28:  Insert a new bill section to read:                   
  "*Sec. 65.  TRANSITION:  EXITING LOCAL OPTION PETITIONS.  A                  
 petition to adopt or remove a local option on file with a                     
 municipality or the lieutenant governor on the effective date of              
 this section that has not been voted on is void and may not be                
 placed on an election ballot."                                                
 Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                             
 Page 34, line 22:  Delete "71" and insert "72"                                
 Page 34, line 31:  Delete "68 and 70" and insert "69 and 71"                  
 Hearing no objection, SENATOR TORGERSON stated Amendment No 1 was             
 adopted and would be incorporated into the draft committee                    
 Number 500                                                                    
 SENATOR HOFFMAN directed attention to a proposed amendment that               
 addresses his concern of clubs such as VFW's in damp communities              
 being allowed to leave ice machines, glasses, pop, etc., on the               
 premises when there is a function where alcoholic beverages are               
 brought in to the facility.  It also requires that a club,                    
 corporation, or association would have to be in existence for two             
 years prior to a vote to go damp, so there wouldn't be the                    
 formation of additional clubs, etc.  He said the amendment would              
 make the operation of the functions of the VFW's and other                    
 organizations in damp communities legal.  He then moved adoption of           
 the following amendment:                                                      
 AMENDMENT #2                                                                
 Page 21, after line 24:  Insert a new bill section to read:                   
  *Sec. 29.  AS 04.16.090(a) is amended to read:                               
   (a)   A person many not maintain a place in which alcohol                   
 beverages are received or kept, or to which alcoholic beverages are           
 brought, for consumption by members of the public or by members of            
 a club, corporation, or association [,] unless the person is                  
    (1)  in an area that has prohibited the sale of an                        
 alcoholic beverage under AS 04.11.490 and the place is a club,                
 corporation, or association that was in existence at least two                
 years before the prohibition against the sale of an alcoholic                 
 beverage under AS 04.11.490 was adopted; or                                  
    (2)  authorized to do so under this title."                              
 Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                             
 Page 33, line 9:  Delete "sec. 69"" and insert "sec. 70"                      
 Page 33, line 17:  Delete "sec. 29" and insert "sec. 30"                      
 Page 33, line 18:  Delete "66 and 68" and insert "67 and 69"                  
 Hearing no objection, SENATOR TORGERSON stated Amendment No. 2 was            
 Number 520                                                                    
 SENATOR R. PHILLIPS said one year is not enough time to really see            
 the effects of a community going dry, or, even if there isn't a               
 prohibition, it is still not enough time to see the negative or               
 positive effects.  He suggested having an 18-month moratorium                 
 before a proposition whether to go dry, wet, damp, etc. could be              
 brought up at the next election.  He then moved adoption of the               
 following amendment:                                                          
 Amendment No. 3                                                             
 Page 21, line 9:  Change "12-month period" to "18-month period"               
 Hearing no objection, SENATOR TORGERSON stated Amendment No. 3 was            
 There being no further amendments to CSSB 87(CRA), SENATOR                    
 TORGERSON asked for the will of the committee.                                
 Number 535                                                                    
 SENATOR R. PHILLIPS moved that CSSB 87(CRA), as amended, and the              
 accompanying fiscal note be passed out of committee with individual           
 recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.                    

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