Legislature(2005 - 2006)FBX LIO Conf Rm

04/08/2005 09:00 AM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 71 NONUNION PUBLIC EMPLOYEE SALARY & BENEFIT TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ SB 130 WORKERS' COMPENSATION TELECONFERENCED
<Pending Referral>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 144 EMISSION CONTROL PROGRAM PERMITS/REGS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 144(RES) Out of Committee
+= HCR 2 IN-STATE NATURAL GAS NEEDS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCR 2 Out of Committee
+= SB 70 CRIMES INVOLVING CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= SB 103 OIL & GAS: REG. OF UNDERGROUND INJECTION TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 103 Out of Committee
+= SB 110 POLLUTION DISCHARGE & WASTE TRMT/DISPOSAL TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= SB 155 APPROP: SCHOOLS/UNIV/VIROLOGY LAB/MUSEUM TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 155(FIN) Out of Committee
10:53:00 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 70(JUD)                                                                                             
     "An Act relating to  controlled substances regarding the crimes                                                            
     of   manslaughter  and   misconduct   involving  a   controlled                                                            
     substance;  relating to  listing certain  anabolic steroids  as                                                            
     controlled  substances;   amending  Rule 41,  Alaska  Rules  of                                                            
     Criminal Procedure; and providing for an effective date."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DEAN  GUANELI,  Chief Assistant  Attorney  General,  Legal  Services                                                            
Section  -  Juneau,   Criminal  Division,  and  Office   of  Special                                                            
Prosecutions  and Appeals,  Department  of Law,  noted the  proposed                                                            
committee substitute.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Wilken  moved for adoption  of CS SB 70, 24-GS1049\Y,  as a                                                            
working document.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green objected for an explanation.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:53:54 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Guaneli noted  the difference between the language  in Section 2                                                            
of this committee substitute  and the committee substitute passed by                                                            
the Senate  Judiciary  Committee. This  provides  that a person  who                                                            
knowingly manufactures  or sells an  illegal drug commits  the crime                                                            
of  manslaughter  if another  person  dies  as  a direct  result  of                                                            
ingesting  that drug.  This  is consistent  with  the definition  of                                                            
manslaughter,  which involves a reckless act that  results in death.                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Guaneli  informed that the Senate  Health, Education  and Social                                                            
Services  Committee  and  the  Senate  Judiciary  Committee  adopted                                                            
committee  substitutes   that  included  an  "affirmative   defense"                                                            
provision  at the request  of Senator Dyson.  This defense  provided                                                            
that a person  who manufactured an illegal drug, but  kept that drug                                                            
in a safe, locked  place in their home would have  no responsibility                                                            
if the drug  was stolen, and a death  occurred as a result.  This is                                                            
an uncommon  scenario and typically  drug dealers and manufacturers                                                             
do not keep their drugs locked.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:55:58 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green contended  that the manufacture of methamphetamine is                                                            
illegal and there  is no reason to defend a person  in possession of                                                            
the drug.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:56:18 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson agreed with  Co-Chair Green's position, but understood                                                            
that certain manufacturing of methamphetamine is legal.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:56:37 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Guaneli replied that  one company legally manufactures the drug,                                                            
with Federal  Department of Agriculture  (FDA) approval,  for use in                                                            
extreme  weight loss cases.  However, this  legislation pertains  to                                                            
the knowing  manufacture or  delivery of  a controlled substance  in                                                            
violation of  AS 11.71. Possession  of prescription drugs  would not                                                            
be a violation of that statute.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:57:01 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Stedman  asked if a seller  of heroin could be charged  with                                                            
manslaughter in the event a user of that drug dies.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:57:51 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Guaneli responded  this  is the  purpose of  this legislation.                                                             
Heroin and  methamphetamine are the  two drugs most likely  to cause                                                            
"overdose situations".                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:57:55 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Stedman surmised  this legislation might "be a little light"                                                            
in the severity  of punishment. He  expressed no sympathy  for these                                                            
offenders.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:58:02 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green  asked if Mr. Guaneli had any comment  on the changes                                                            
made in the proposed committee substitute.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Guaneli had none.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
The committee  substitute was ADOPTED as a working  document without                                                            
further objection.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:58:21 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Guaneli  spoke to the committee  substitute. Section  1 includes                                                            
findings of the legislature  that methamphetamine manufacturing is a                                                            
"particularly dangerous  activity" therefore justifying restrictions                                                            
on bail for  defendants charged with  this offense. This  finding is                                                            
necessary to  enact the provision  of Section 5 requiring  a posting                                                            
of a minimum of  $250,000 cash bond. This provision  was included in                                                            
Section 6 of  the previous version  and is reflected as such  in the                                                            
current  committee  substitute.  The  language  must be  amended  to                                                            
correctly reference Section 5 rather than Section 6.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Guaneli relayed that  the Senate Judiciary Committee adopted the                                                            
language of Section 5 as  a conceptual amendment. The discussion was                                                            
unclear as to whether the  higher bond requirement should apply only                                                            
to offenders  with  previous convictions,  who it  could be  argued,                                                            
would  be more  likely  to continue  these  activities.  In  further                                                            
discussion with the staff  of that committee, it was determined that                                                            
the provision  should only  apply to second  offenders to  correctly                                                            
reflect the intent  of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  However, the                                                            
current language  could also apply to first offenders  in possession                                                            
of a firearm in the course of manufacturing the drug.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green indicated this issue would be resolved.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
11:00:43 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Green relayed  that  representatives  of  the real  estate                                                            
industry  have expressed  interest  in the  provision  of this  bill                                                            
relating  to the designation  of properties  in which manufacturing                                                             
activities have  occurred. Currently, the only way  to learn of past                                                            
activities has  been after a sale is completed and  a neighbor tells                                                            
the new owner  about the previous owner. If realtors  or prospective                                                            
buyers  suspect   methamphetamine   manufacturing  was  done   at  a                                                            
property, authorities  would not provide confirmation.  She asked if                                                            
this could be addressed in this legislation.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:02:14 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Guaneli concluded that  providing such information on a property                                                            
would not  create a liability  for the State.  Whether the  site was                                                            
property cleaned is a different  issue. A registry maintained by the                                                            
Alaska   State  Troopers   or   the  Department   of  Environmental                                                             
Conservation is an option.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
11:02:56 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Green  commented  that  some  realtors  "feel vulnerable"                                                             
because  they  are required  to  disclose  any information  about  a                                                            
property  that could  affect  its value.  She asked  if a  provision                                                            
creating  the  suggested  registry  would  be  appropriate  in  this                                                            
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:03:48 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Guaneli was  unsure  such a  provision  would comply  with  the                                                            
single  subject title  requirements  governing  all legislation.  He                                                            
suggested  a  registry  could  be  created  through  the  regulatory                                                            
process, provided  an agency is willing  to undertake the  duty. The                                                            
Committee might prefer statutory language.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
11:04:35 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Green   stated  that  Alaska  State  Troopers   have  been                                                            
unwilling  to share this  information and she  was unsure if  it was                                                            
due to confidentiality or privacy issues.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:04:52 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Wilken cited a  memorandum from the Legislative Division of                                                            
Legal and Research  Services dated April 4 and asked  the witness to                                                            
speak to the matter.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
11:05:07 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Guaneli  was aware of the issue  and indicated he would  address                                                            
it at the next hearing on this bill.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
11:05:19 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The bill was HELD in Committee.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                

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