Legislature(1995 - 1996)
04/11/1995 10:05 AM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE BILL NO. 87 "An Act relating to community local options for control of alcoholic beverages; relating to the control of alcoholic beverages; relating to the definition of 'alcoholic beverage'; relating to purchase and sale of alcoholic beverages; relating to alcohol server education courses; and providing for an effective date." Senator Donley spoke to Amendment K.7. He stated that it deals with making it a violation to frequent an illegal gambling establishment. He said that it is difficult for the owners of the legal establishments because they are frequently accused of the improper activity that goes on at the illegal establishments where they are serving alcohol. After bar hours, people will continue to find a place to drink. When they find an establishment that is not legal, they are not subject to the same kinds of controls as the legal establishments exhibit. This is a tool to help the law enforcement keep people out of these places, by way of issuing a citation, which is a violation to frequent the illegal establishments. The bill did pass the House in the 1988 session, but did not make it through the Senate. Senator Donley MOVED Amendment #2 and it was ADOPTED. Senator Donley stated that he has been in conversation with the Department of Law, the Department of Revenue, and Mr. Sharrock, who is available in Anchorage for teleconference, regarding Amendment #1. In response to the questions brought up at the last committee meeting, Senator Donley pointed out the packet sent by Teresa Williams, Assistant Attorney General in Anchorage, who is handling the illegal gambling cases that involve licensed premises. The information provides a list of 5 cases which have occurred since July of 1990 regarding liquor licensees who were convicted of criminal violations of the gambling laws. The Division of Gaming does not enforce illegal gambling activities, because their charge is to regulate legal gambling activities. Illegal gambling activities are regulated by the troopers or Department of Law. The activity in the 5 cases consisted of slot machines, which is clearly prohibited by statute. These were the particular sanctions they were given by the ABC Board. The ABC Board is free to sanction them from zero to full revocation of their licenses. There are provisions of violations of Title 4, which are more restrictive than that, but these are criminal law violations and they have a general provision in the code that allows them to pursue sanctions which are in the public interest that do not have specific guidelines. He modified Amendment #1, to change 3 months to 6 months for suspension of license. On a subsequent offense, there would be a revocation of the license." He stressed that this is not for violation of our legalized gaming statutes, but only for criminal gambling. He indicated that he wanted to add a new subparagraph C that would read, "if the Board receives notice from the Department of Revenue, that a licensee or permittee has violated a provision of AS 05.15,(the charitable gaming provisions relating to gaming), the Board may suspend a license or permit, and shall suspend for at least 30 days, if the offense is the person's second violation. Senator Donley introduced Amendment #3. This would restructure the ABC Board. Currently there is a mandated requirement of two members of the Board to be involved in industry. The amendment would make it clear that three members of the Board should represent the general public. Currently, two members have to be from industry, but there is no limit. The amendment adds an ethics provision stating that of those two persons who represent the general public, immediate family members could not be directly involved in the industry. The provision would also state that to make a quorum, at least two of the members would have to be from the general public. Currently, the quorum can be made up of two members from the industry and one member from the general public. Senator Donley MOVED Amendment #3. Senator Frank inquired as to the language regarding "immediate family". Senator Sharp indicated his concerns regarding Section 1, in that it does not restrict the number of people involved in counseling on the Board. It could be all three. He stated he did not mind that exclusion, as long as there is a limit as to those represented from industry, he would want a limit on other interests groups. Senator Sharp MOVED a Conceptual Amendment to Amendment #3. Beginning on page 1, line 19, after the words "alcohol beverage industry.", eliminate the period and state, "not more than two members shall represent counseling or related services". No objection having been raised, it was ADOPTED. Senator Rieger inquired as to the clause on line 16 which reads, "engaged in any aspect of". Senator Donley stated that it would be anyone having a financial interest in the industry, either ownership or employed by the industry. Co- chair Frank asked if there are alcohol counselors on the Board? Senator Donley stated that in the past there was a counselor. Senator Phillips MOVED a Friendly Amendment. On page 1, line 16, delete the word "aspect", and after the word "any" add "financial interest in". No objection having been raised, it was ADOPTED. Co-chair Halford asked for a show of hands in moving Amendment #3. By a show of hands Amendment #3 was ADOPTED. Senator Donley introduced Amendment #4. He stated that it is an empowerment of community councils to better protect their own neighborhoods. This shifts the balance of power toward the community councils, but with a check that if the assembly thinks it is in the best interest of the community, they can still do it. Senator Donley MOVED Amendment #4. Senator Sharp OBJECTED based on the unanimous vote of the assembly. Co-chair Frank asked what is the circumstance regarding the city boroughs, do they have absolute veto power, or is it a recommendation to the ABC Board? Ms. Williams responded that the Board may not overturn a protest by a local governing body unless it finds it arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable. Co-chair Halford pointed out that this amendment also provides for extra territorial jurisdiction in areas of overlapping councils. There may be two or three councils with authority over one location. Senator Sharp asked if community councils are elected through the regular election procedure of the unified city? Senator Donley responded that they are elected to the council. Senator Donley MOVED an Amendment to Amendment #4, stating a requirement of two-thirds the vote rather than unanimous. Without objection, the Amendment to the Amendment the show of hands, the amended Amendment #4 FAILED. Senator Sharp MOVED Amendment #5. No objections being heard, Amendment #5 was ADOPTED. Senator Donley MOVED Amendment #1. He explained that this amendment would set guidelines for appropriate penalties for convictions of illegal gambling activity, and separate standards for violations for charitable gaming laws by liquor licensees. This would also establish for a criminal violation by a licensee, that the Board would suspend for a period of at least 6 months. A second criminal offense would call for permanent revocation. A violation of the charitable gaming laws would mean a discretionary penalty. A second violation for the gaming statutes, it would mean at least a 30-day suspension. There is also a provision that the Division of Gaming would notify the Alcohol Control Beverage Board when there has been a violation. Co-chair Halford stated that this amendment requires a conviction in criminal court subject to the protection of the due process. Without objection Amendment #1 was ADOPTED. Senator Sharp MOVED CSSB 87 (FIN) with individual recommendations and a zero fiscal note from the Department of Revenue. Without objection CSSB 87 (FIN) was REPORTED OUT of committee with a "do pass" recommendation from Co- chairs Halford and Frank and Senators Phillips and Sharp. Senators Rieger and Donley signed "no recommendations". Further discussion on SB 87 is at the end of the text. Co-chair Halford returned to SB 87. Senator Phillips MOVED to delete Section 30. By a show of hands, Section 30 was DELETED from the CS 37 (JUD). Senator Donley brought to the attention of the committee Section 49. He said that Subsection C (2) the question of whether local communities can put a sales tax on alcohol unless there is another sales tax in that area. Conversation on clarity with regard to taxation transpired. Senator Donley MOVED to delete after the word "sales" on line 29, "if sales taxes are imposed on other sales within the municipality". By a show of hands the Amendment FAILED. Senator Phillips MOVED CSSB 87(JUD) with individual recommendations. No objection being heard, CSSB 87 (JUD) was REPORTED OUT of committee. At approximately 11:00 a.m. the meeting RECESSED.