Legislature(2005 - 2006)SENATE FINANCE 532

05/04/2006 09:00 AM FINANCE


Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= HB 307 KNIK RIVER PUBLIC USE AREA
Moved CSHB 307(RES) Out of Committee
+ HB 29 HEALTH CARE INSUR./COMP HEALTH INS. ASSN TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 29(L&C)(title am) Out Cmte.
+ HB 446 PENALTY FOR UNLAWFUL TRADE PRACTICE TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 446(JUD) Out of Committee
+ HB 326 USE OF LEWD MATERIAL AS HARASSMENT TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS CSHB 326(JUD) Out of Committee
+ HB 41 ASSAULT ON SCHOOL EMPLOYEES/BUS DRIVERS TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS CSHB 41(JUD) Out of Committee
+ HB 57 SALE OF STATE LAND TO ADJACENT LANDOWNERS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSSHB 57(FIN) Out of Committee
+ HB 419 REPEAL UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK LAWS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 419 Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                                                                                                                                
     CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 446(JUD)                                                                                             
     "An Act  relating to the  amount of  a civil penalty  for an                                                               
     unlawful  act  or  practice  in  the  conduct  of  trade  or                                                               
     commerce;  and eliminating  mandatory continuances  in these                                                               
     matters after issuance of an injunction."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This was  the first hearing for  this bill in the  Senate Finance                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:36:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CRAIG JOHNSON, Staff to Representative  Lesil McGuire, the bill's                                                               
sponsor,  stated this  legislation  would  update State  consumer                                                               
protection laws.  Civil penalty  amounts have not  been increased                                                               
since the bill's  enactment in the 1970s. This  bill would adjust                                                               
penalty levels to reflect inflation.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
In response to  a remark from Co-Chair Green,  Mr. Johnson stated                                                               
that, in  addition to  adjusting the fine  levels to  account for                                                               
inflation,  the   increased  fine   levels  would   provide  more                                                               
substance to the  Department of Law's effort  to address consumer                                                               
fraud cases.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:37:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ED  SNIFFEN,  Assistant  Attorney  General,  Department  of  Law,                                                               
testified  via   teleconference  from   Anchorage.  One   of  his                                                               
responsibilities  is  the  enforcement of  the  State's  Consumer                                                               
Protection  Act. This  legislation would  "make a  correction" to                                                               
the  civil   penalty  levels  specified   in  State   Statute  by                                                               
increasing the maximum allowable  penalty from $5,000 to $25,000.                                                               
In  addition,  the legislation  would  mandate  a $1,000  minimum                                                               
fine.  This  would  provide  the  Department  "more  teeth"  when                                                               
dealing with "offenders who aren't  really worried about breaking                                                               
the law because  they know if they pay back  the money" that they                                                               
received illegally, they might currently  only be subjected to "a                                                               
little  scolding  from  the   Department".  The  proposed  $1,000                                                               
mandatory  minimum fine  level could  be a  serious deterrent  to                                                               
those  considering  fraudulent  activities. In  addition  to  the                                                               
minimum penalty, the  bill, in general, would  expand the "tools"                                                               
available to the Department's "small enforcement section".                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson asked whether there was opposition to the bill.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Johnson responded in the negative.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Wilken moved  to report  the bill  from Committee  with                                                               
individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
There  being  no objection,  CS  HB  446(JUD) was  REPORTED  from                                                               
Committee with  previous zero fiscal  note #1 dated  February 21,                                                               
2006 from the  Alaska Court System and  indeterminate fiscal note                                                               
#3  dated  March  15,  2006  from  the  House  Finance  Committee                                                               
pertaining to the Department of Law.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:40:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects