Legislature(2007 - 2008)BELTZ 211

03/14/2007 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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                     ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                 
               SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                            
                          March 14, 2007                                                                                        
                            1:37 p.m.                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Hollis French, Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Charlie Huggins, Vice Chair                                                                                             
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
Senator Lesil McGuire                                                                                                           
Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                         
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 64                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating to  the  requirement  for candidates,  groups,                                                               
legislators,  public  officials,  and  other  persons  to  submit                                                               
reports electronically  to the Alaska Public  Offices Commission;                                                               
relating  to disclosures  by legislators,  public members  of the                                                               
Select  Committee on  Legislative Ethics,  legislative directors,                                                               
public  officials,  and  certain  candidates  for  public  office                                                               
concerning  services performed  for  compensation and  concerning                                                               
certain  income, gifts,  and other  financial matters;  requiring                                                               
legislators,   public  members   of  the   Select  Committee   on                                                               
Legislative Ethics, legislative  directors, public officials, and                                                               
municipal  officers to  make certain  financial disclosures  when                                                               
they leave  office; relating to insignificant  ownership interest                                                               
in a  business and to  gifts from  lobbyists for purposes  of the                                                               
Alaska  Executive   Branch  Ethics   Act;  relating   to  certain                                                               
restrictions  on  employment  after  leaving  state  service  for                                                               
purposes  of   the  Alaska  Executive  Branch   Ethics  Act;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
SENATE BILL NO. 78                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating  to  the installation  of  window  tinting  in                                                               
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
SENATE BILL NO. 89                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to requiring electronic monitoring as a special                                                                
condition of probation for offenders whose offense was related                                                                  
to a criminal street gang."                                                                                                     
     SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SB  64                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: DISCLOSURES & ETHICS                                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
01/26/07       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/26/07       (S)       JUD, STA, FIN                                                                                          
02/08/07       (S)       JUD AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/08/07       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/08/07       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/12/07       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
02/12/07       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/12/07       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/12/07       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
03/12/07       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/12/07       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
BILL: SB  78                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MOTOR VEHICLE WINDOW TINTING                                                                                       
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) FRENCH                                                                                                   
02/09/07       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/09/07       (S)       TRA, JUD                                                                                               
03/06/07       (H)       TRA AT 1:30 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
03/06/07       (S)       Moved SB  78 Out of Committee                                                                          
03/06/07       (S)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
03/07/07       (S)       TRA RPT  1DP 3NR                                                                                       
03/07/07       (S)       DP: KOOKESH                                                                                            
03/07/07       (S)       NR: WIELECHOWSKI, WILKEN, COWDERY                                                                      
03/14/07       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
Anne Carpeneti, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                      
Criminal Division                                                                                                               
Department of Law                                                                                                               
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Responded to questions related to SB 64                                                                  
David Jones, Senior Assistant Attorney General                                                                                  
Civil Division                                                                                                                  
Opinions, Appeals, and Ethics                                                                                                   
Department of Law                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Responded to q2uestions related to SB 64                                                               
William Boswood                                                                                                                 
Auto Trim Design                                                                                                                
Fairbanks, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed SB 78                                                                                            
Andrew Felt                                                                                                                     
Auto Trim Design                                                                                                                
Fairbanks, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed SB 78                                                                                            
Steve Vincent                                                                                                                   
Auto Trim Design                                                                                                                
Fairbanks, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed SB 78                                                                                            
Lieutenant Nancy Reeder                                                                                                         
Anchorage Police Department                                                                                                     
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Spoke in support of SB 78                                                                                
Rob Hill                                                                                                                        
Autostart Alaska, LLC                                                                                                           
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed SB 78                                                                                            
Margaret Auth, Member                                                                                                           
Spenard Community Council                                                                                                       
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Spoke in support of SB 78                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
CHAIR  HOLLIS   FRENCH  called  the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to order at 1:37:42  PM. Present at the call to                                                             
order   were  Senator   Therriault,   Senator  Huggins,   Senator                                                               
Wielechowski, and  Chair French. Senator McGuire  arrived shortly                                                               
                   SB  64- DISCLOSURES & ETHICS                                                                             
1:38:09 PM                                                                                                                  
CHAIR FRENCH announced the consideration of SB 64, Version \E                                                                   
committee substitute (CS).                                                                                                      
CHAIR FRENCH motioned to adopt Amendment 1, labeled 25-                                                                         
GS1059\E.5, and Senator Huggins objected for discussion                                                                         
                       A M E N D M E N T  1                                                                                 
     OFFERED IN THE SENATE                    BY SENATOR FRENCH                                                                 
        TO:  CSSB 64(JUD), Draft Version "E"                                                                                    
     Page 1, line 1, following "Act":                                                                                         
          Insert "relating to bribery, receiving a bribe,                                                                   
     and receiving unlawful gratuities;"                                                                                      
     Page 1, following line 9:                                                                                                  
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
        "* Section 1. AS 11.56.130 is amended to read:                                                                      
          Sec. 11.56.130. Definition. In AS 11.56.100 -                                                                       
     11.56.130, "benefit" has the  meaning ascribed to it in                                                                    
     AS 11.81.900 but does not include                                                                                          
               (1)      political   campaign   contributions                                                                    
     reported  in   accordance  with  AS 15.13   unless  the                                                                
     contribution  is made  or received  in exchange  for an                                                                
     agreement   to   alter   an   elected   official's   or                                                                
     candidate's vote or position  on a state administrative                                                                
     matter or a legislative or municipal matter;                                                                           
               (2)  concurrence in official action in the                                                                       
     cause   of   legitimate   compromise   between   public                                                                    
     servants; or                                                                                                               
               (3)  support, including a vote, solicited by                                                                     
     a  public  servant  or  offered by  any  person  in  an                                                                    
     Page 1, line 10:                                                                                                           
          Delete "Section 1"                                                                                                  
          Insert "Sec. 2"                                                                                                     
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
     Page 5, following line 10:                                                                                                 
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
        "*  Sec.  8. The  uncodified  law  of the  State  of                                                                
     Alaska is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                                         
          APPLICABILITY. Section 1 of this Act applies to                                                                       
     offenses occurring on or after the effective date of                                                                       
     section 1 of this Act."                                                                                                    
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
     Page 5, line 11:                                                                                                           
          Delete "Section 2"                                                                                                    
          Insert "Section 3"                                                                                                    
     Page 5, line 12:                                                                                                           
          Delete "Section 4"                                                                                                    
          Insert "Section 5"                                                                                                    
     Page 5, line 13:                                                                                                           
          Delete "secs. 7 and 8"                                                                                                
          Insert "secs. 9 and 10"                                                                                               
CHAIR  FRENCH  explained that  Amendment  1  intends to  close  a                                                               
loophole  that came  to light  with a  legislative legal  opinion                                                               
that  said that  it is  not against  the law  for a  candidate to                                                               
receive a bribe in the form  of a campaign contribution. The idea                                                               
behind the amendment  is that the quid pro quo  of a contribution                                                               
in exchange for a promise of  an agreement to alter a position on                                                               
an   administrative,   legislative,   or  municipal   matter   is                                                               
1:41:48 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR McGUIRE arrived.                                                                                                        
1:42:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  THERRIAULT, noting  that the  crime of  bribery did  and                                                               
still  does exists,  asked if  this  addresses only  a change  in                                                               
position  or  also  the  situation  of  a  contribution  that  is                                                               
accompanied  by  a  wink  and  nod  to  continue  to  maintain  a                                                               
particular position. Stating  that he would show the  door to the                                                               
person either way,  he questioned whether the latter  is any less                                                               
a bribe.                                                                                                                        
CHAIR FRENCH replied  it's important for the public  to know that                                                               
most ethical candidates take the  position that they were elected                                                               
because of  their good judgment  and ability  to be fair  and not                                                               
because they promised to do something in the future.                                                                            
SENATOR  HUGGINS commented  that it  also talks  about the  other                                                               
person's intent.                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FRENCH explained  that someone  could give  a contribution                                                               
with the intent to effect a  change in position, but for the loop                                                               
to close the promise must come back in exchange.                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS  focused on  the words  "contribution is  made or                                                               
received"   and  said   "it  appears   that  you're   being  held                                                               
accountable  for  somebody  else's conduct,  potentially,  versus                                                               
your own."                                                                                                                      
CHAIR  FRENCH,  agreeing  that  both  parties  would  be  equally                                                               
culpable,  said he  wouldn't dispute  that there  will always  be                                                               
proof problems.                                                                                                                 
1:46:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  McGUIRE summarized  that this  wouldn't apply  unless it                                                               
could  be  proved that  there  was  intent  to alter  an  elected                                                               
official's position in exchange for a contribution.                                                                             
CHAIR  FRENCH  added  that  it's   the  agreement  that  protects                                                               
candidates  and elected  officials from  false charges  and false                                                               
1:48:26 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  proposed the  committee expand on  the word                                                               
"alter"  on line  11 to  address situations  such as,  "Keep this                                                               
position and I'll give you $500."                                                                                               
SENATOR THERRIAULT  questioned whether receiving money  to switch                                                               
a position  is any different  from receiving money to  maintain a                                                               
CHAIR FRENCH urged caution. Because  most elected officials state                                                               
emphatic  support  for  something  or  someone  at  one  time  or                                                               
another,  he suggested  that could  be far  more problematic.  He                                                               
reminded the  committee that the  essence of bribery  is changing                                                               
your mind or  buying your influence in a corrupt  way that didn't                                                               
already exist.                                                                                                                  
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked if the  exception in the statutes allows                                                               
bad acts.                                                                                                                       
CHAIR FRENCH  said that under  current statute he believes  it is                                                               
perfectly legal  for someone to say  "I can gather up  $20,000 in                                                               
campaign contributions if you promise  me you'll never vote for X                                                               
or Y."                                                                                                                          
SENATOR THERRIAULT commented it would  be interesting to know the                                                               
discussion  that took  place when  the statutes  were crafted  to                                                               
clarify the reason for the exception.                                                                                           
1:52:10 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR McGUIRE  mused that  it's not unheard  of for  an elected                                                               
official  to change  his/her  mind on  an issue  as  a result  of                                                               
increased  understanding   of  a  subject.   Hypothesizing  about                                                               
changing her  mind about tort  reform, she  asked if it  could be                                                               
interpreted as a violation if  the trial lawyers association were                                                               
to  contribute  to  her  campaign after  learning  that  she  had                                                               
changed position.                                                                                                               
CHAIR FRENCH said  the contribution was not made  in exchange for                                                               
an agreement to change position; the change came first.                                                                         
SENATOR HUGGINS asked if a  vote for a particular candidate would                                                               
qualify as proof of an exchange.                                                                                                
CHAIR FRENCH  said no. "You'd  have to  show the blood  oath, the                                                               
handshake, the hall of lawyers  outside waiting with checkbooks."                                                               
That's  the  proof  to  the  agreement to  change  your  mind  in                                                               
exchange for the money."                                                                                                        
1:56:36 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI brought up  the issue of questionnaires that                                                               
candidate  respond to  during election  cycles.  The answers  are                                                               
evaluated and could  result in a campaign  contribution. He asked                                                               
for discussion  on the thinking  because even though  he realizes                                                               
that there  is a mens rea  that has be  met, he wants to  be sure                                                               
that type of situation would be covered.                                                                                        
CHAIR FRENCH  said it would  be problematic if  the questionnaire                                                               
came  with a  check that  was good  only if  a certain  series of                                                               
boxes is selected.                                                                                                              
SENATOR  McGUIRE  said she  is  bothered  by questionnaires  that                                                               
require  a  date and  a  signature  agreeing to  certain  points.                                                               
Sometimes the questionnaires  come at forums and  it's very clear                                                               
that the  members won't  support candidates  that don't  agree to                                                               
certain positions.                                                                                                              
CHAIR FRENCH said that is a  good example of the normal political                                                               
process   for  achieving   particular  goals   and  perhaps   the                                                               
Department  of Law  could  help  the committee  on  the issue  of                                                               
whether there has been quid pro quo  - an exchange or a deal made                                                               
to change your mind in exchange for that contribution.                                                                          
SENATOR  McGUIRE elaborated  that in  some forums  candidates may                                                               
only have the opportunity to  hold up a card indicating agreement                                                               
or disagreement with a particular  question or issue. There is no                                                               
opportunity to explain the reason  for an answer or the reasoning                                                               
behind a  change in position. At  the end there is  an evaluation                                                               
on some level and the candidate may or may not get a check.                                                                     
SENATOR  FRENCH granted  that that  is  an example  of money  and                                                               
power  being persuasive,  but  what is  missing  is the  explicit                                                               
agreement  that the  candidate is  changing  his or  her mind  in                                                               
exchange for a contribution.                                                                                                    
2:01:00 PM                                                                                                                    
ANNE  CARPENETI, Assistant  Attorney General,  Criminal Division,                                                               
Department  of Law,  drew attention  to  the fact  that the  bill                                                               
changes  the  definition  of  benefit. Benefit  is  used  in  the                                                               
bribery  statute,  which  is  a  specific  intent  crime  thereby                                                               
providing yet another  layer of having to  prove specific intent.                                                               
She clarified  that specific  intent means  that someone  does an                                                               
act with  a specific intent of  getting a result out  of the act.                                                               
For example, intent  to kill means that someone does  an act that                                                               
intends to cause the death of somebody.                                                                                         
CHAIR  FRENCH added  that the  most  difficult type  of crime  to                                                               
prove  is  the  type  where  there  is  specific  intent,  mental                                                               
MS. CARPENETI  agreed adding that  that is why there  aren't many                                                               
in case law.                                                                                                                    
SENATOR THERRIAULT noted that Title 11 deals with criminal law.                                                                 
CHAIR FRENCH  said that's a good  point; it is not  an Ethics Act                                                               
SENATOR  HUGGINS asked  about enforceability  unless  there is  a                                                               
MS. CARPENETI  recalled just  two cases. One  case was  a bribery                                                               
prosecution of a former legislator,  which did involve a wire and                                                               
she wasn't sure about the other.                                                                                                
2:03:26 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked  for  an opinion  on  the  following                                                               
situations: 1) someone answers a  questionnaire and then receives                                                               
a  check  from the  entity  that  issued the  questionnaire,  and                                                               
2)someone  changes  his/her vote  and  then  receives a  campaign                                                               
contribution.  He  asked  if she  foresees  those  situations  as                                                               
bribery under the current proposal.                                                                                             
MS.  CARPENETI replied  those situations  are different.  They do                                                               
not involve the  quid pro quo; there is no  bargain or meeting of                                                               
the minds to exchange a position for money.                                                                                     
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI, noting  that the  proposed amendment  says                                                               
"to alter  an elected official's  ... vote", asked if  she agrees                                                               
that  the current  language  does not  cover  situations where  a                                                               
candidate  doesn't  have  a  particular  position  but  might  be                                                               
influenced one way or another.                                                                                                  
MS. CARPENETI said she does agree,  but she would want to give it                                                               
serious thought before suggesting different language.                                                                           
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  if she  interprets the  provision as                                                               
applicable to both the briber and the bribee.                                                                                   
MS. CARPENETI said yes.                                                                                                         
SENATOR HUGGINS removed his objection to Amendment 1.                                                                           
CHAIR  FRENCH,  finding  no further  objection  to  Amendment  1,                                                               
announced it is adopted.                                                                                                        
At ease                                                                                                                         
2:07:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  FRENCH   motioned  to  adopt  Amendment   2,  labeled  25-                                                             
GS1059\E.7,   and  Senator   Huggins   objected  for   discussion                                                               
                       A M E N D M E N T  2                                                                                 
    OFFERED IN THE SENATE                    BY SENATOR FRENCH                                                                  
        TO:  CSSB 64(JUD), Draft Version "E"                                                                                    
     Page 1, line 3, following "Commission;":                                                                                 
          Insert "relating to the use of state government                                                                     
     assets and resources when there is no charge to the                                                                      
     state for their use, and to the use of state aircraft                                                                    
     for partisan political purposes;"                                                                                        
     Page 4, following line 30:                                                                                                 
     Insert new bill sections to read:                                                                                          
        "* Sec. 6. AS 39.52.120(b) is amended to read:                                                                      
          (b)  A public officer may not                                                                                         
               (1)    seek  other  employment  or  contracts                                                                    
      through the use or attempted use of official position;                                                                    
               (2)       accept,    receive,   or    solicit                                                                    
     compensation for the performance  of official duties or                                                                    
     responsibilities from a person other than the state;                                                                       
               (3)  use state  time, property, equipment, or                                                                    
     other  facilities  to  benefit  personal  or  financial                                                                    
               (4)   take  or  withhold  official action  in                                                                    
     order to  affect a matter  in which the  public officer                                                                    
     has a personal or financial interest;                                                                                      
               (5)    attempt  to   benefit  a  personal  or                                                                    
     financial  interest through  coercion of  a subordinate                                                                    
     or require  another public officer to  perform services                                                                    
     for the  private benefit of  the public officer  at any                                                                    
     time; or                                                                                                                   
               (6)    use  or authorize  the  use  of  state                                                                    
     funds,  facilities,  equipment,  services,  or  another                                                                    
     government  asset or  resource  for partisan  political                                                                    
     purposes; this  paragraph does not prohibit  use of the                                                                    
     governor's residence for  meetings to discuss political                                                                    
     strategy and  does not prohibit  use of  state aircraft                                                                
     or  the  communications  equipment  in  the  governor's                                                                
     residence so  long as there  is no [SPECIAL]  charge to                                                                    
     the  state  for  the  use;   in  this  paragraph,  "for                                                                    
     partisan political purposes"                                                                                               
               (A)       means   having   the    intent   to                                                                    
     differentially benefit or harm a                                                                                           
               (i)   candidate  or  potential candidate  for                                                                    
     elective office; or                                                                                                        
               (ii)  political party or group;                                                                                  
               (B)   but does not include  having the intent                                                                    
     to  benefit the  public interest  at large  through the                                                                    
     normal performance of official duties.                                                                                     
        * Sec.  7. AS 39.52.120 is  amended by adding  a new                                                                  
     subsection to read:                                                                                                        
          (f)  Use of state aircraft for partisan political                                                                     
     purposes is  permitted under (b)  of this  section only                                                                    
     when the use is collateral  or incidental to the normal                                                                    
     performance of  official duties and does  not exceed 10                                                                    
     percent of  the total  of the use  of the  aircraft for                                                                    
     official  purposes  and  partisan  political  purposes,                                                                    
     combined,  on  a  single trip.  A  public  officer  who                                                                    
     authorizes  or makes  any partisan  political use  of a                                                                    
     state  aircraft   under  (b)  of  this   section  shall                                                                    
     disclose the authorization  and use under AS 39.52.210,                                                                    
     39.52.220, or  39.52.230 for each trip,  and the person                                                                    
     who  uses the  aircraft shall  reimburse the  state for                                                                    
     the actual cost of the use."                                                                                               
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
     Page 5, line 13:                                                                                                           
          Delete "secs. 7 and 8"                                                                                                
          Insert "secs. 9 and 10"                                                                                               
SENATOR  FRENCH highlighted  that  Amendment 2  follows  up on  a                                                               
previous discussion about  the use of state  aircraft. After that                                                               
discussion he reviewed  the APOC decision as well  as the opinion                                                               
Mr.  Jones  issued  regarding  the  way  jet  use  is  allocated.                                                               
Recognizing  that  the  governor  is  a  complex  person  with  a                                                               
fulltime  job that  doesn't allow  leave slips,  he continues  to                                                               
return to the fact  that the jet is a state asset  and the use of                                                               
state  facilities  to  further  partisan  political  purposes  is                                                               
simply not right.                                                                                                               
CHAIR  FRENCH explained  that the  amendment  does essentially  two                                                             
things.  It adds  "state aircraft"  into the  same category  as the                                                             
governor's  residence to  make it  clear that  the governor  is not                                                             
prohibited  from   sitting  in  the  aircraft   and  talking  about                                                             
politics.  Similar  to  the  residence,  it is  a  place  that  the                                                             
governor will spend a certain amount  of time so it shouldn't be an                                                             
ethics violation to have a political discussion.                                                                                
The second  thing the amendment does  is allow for the  fact that                                                               
if the governor takes the jet  to a bill-signing and it is during                                                               
campaign season, there may be  some incidental use of that travel                                                               
to accomplish  some partisan political end.  Nevertheless, in his                                                               
view that time  should be very incidental or  the governor should                                                               
not  be using  a valuable  state asset  to achieve  that partisan                                                               
political end.                                                                                                                  
2:11:54 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR THERRIAULT  asked for  an explanation  of the  10 percent                                                               
CHAIR  FRENCH  said   his  interpretation  is  that   it  is  the                                                               
percentage of time spent on  partisan political activity compared                                                               
to  the total  time  spent on  the  trip. Each  trip  would be  a                                                               
separate entity.                                                                                                                
SENATOR   THERRIAULT   asked  how   he   made   the  10   percent                                                               
CHAIR  FRENCH said  it was  a  policy call.  Right now  up to  48                                                               
percent may be okay, which strikes him as being far too much.                                                                   
SENATOR  HUGGINS asked  if  this would  apply  to the  governor's                                                               
chauffeured vehicles.                                                                                                           
CHAIR  FRENCH responded  the amendment  targets state  aircraft -                                                               
specifically the jet.                                                                                                           
2:13:49 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID  JONES,  Assistant  Attorney  General,  Criminal  Division,                                                               
Department  of Law,  said the  current language  would not  cover                                                               
chauffeured   vehicles.   Including   chauffeured   vehicles   is                                                               
problematic  because security  concerns  frequently dictate  that                                                               
the governor use that type of transportation.                                                                                   
SENATOR HUGGINS  questioned what "government asset  or resources"                                                               
would be other than aircraft.                                                                                                   
MR. JONES  replied that  would be a  variety of  things including                                                               
the governor's residence or office.                                                                                             
SENATOR  HUGGINS   said  that's   already  been   discussed;  the                                                               
residence can be used.                                                                                                          
MR. JONES said use the  residence for partisan political purposes                                                               
is  very limited.  For  example  the governor  could  not hold  a                                                               
fundraiser at the residence.                                                                                                    
CHAIR  FRENCH  clarified  that the  preemption  is  for  partisan                                                               
political purposes;  a rally  for breast  cancer, Boys  and Girls                                                               
Club or something similar is acceptable.                                                                                        
SENATOR McGUIRE asked if the  state would pay for airline tickets                                                               
for a security detail to travel  with the governor when she/he is                                                               
campaigning and flying commercial.                                                                                              
2:18:17 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. JONES  understands that the  governor is  usually accompanied                                                               
by  security,  but  he  doesn't  know  the  details.  He  further                                                               
explained  that   the  current   APOC  rules  would   require  an                                                               
allocation of cost  if the state pays for a  plane ticket and one                                                               
of  the  purposes of  the  trip  is  to participate  in  partisan                                                               
political activity.                                                                                                             
SENATOR THERRIAULT  questioned why that system  wouldn't work for                                                               
the state aircraft.                                                                                                             
MR.  JONES explained  that under  this provision  there would  be                                                               
separate treatment for state aircraft.                                                                                          
SENATOR  THERRIAULT questioned  why the  current system  couldn't                                                               
accommodate both.                                                                                                               
MR. JONES replied it is a policy call.                                                                                          
SENATOR  THERRIAULT  asked  for clarification  that  the  current                                                               
system does not cover the jet.                                                                                                  
MR. JONES  said when he wrote  the opinion that was  discussed at                                                               
the last hearing  he believed that the current  system would deal                                                               
with  the  use  of  state aircraft.  He  acknowledged  that  many                                                               
people,  including  some  on the  committee,  disagree  with  his                                                               
CHAIR FRENCH said in all fairness  to Mr. Jones it is conceivable                                                               
to continue  under the current  system. However, because  the jet                                                               
is  an extremely  valuable  state asset,  tight  rules should  be                                                               
constructed to  make it clear to  the public that it  will not be                                                               
used as a private jet.                                                                                                          
2:20:32 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. JONES said he had opportunity  to review the amendment and he                                                               
would suggest that the reference to  AS 39.52.230 on page 2, line                                                               
17 is redundant. Also, on  line 18 the reference to reimbursement                                                               
of the  actual cost  of the  use isn't clear.  It could  mean the                                                               
entire cost of  the trip or just the proportionate  share that is                                                               
attributed to the partisan political  activity. He suggested that                                                               
if partisan political activity is  restricted to just 10 percent,                                                               
then it might be overwhelming to  require a public officer to pay                                                               
the entire cost of the use of the state aircraft.                                                                               
CHAIR  FRENCH said  his  intent  is to  require  payment for  the                                                               
portion attributable to partisan political purposes.                                                                            
MR. JONES suggested inserting "a proportionate share of."                                                                   
CHAIR FRENCH  motioned to  amend Amendment 2.  On line  18 insert                                                               
"the proportional share  of" after the word "for"  and before the                                                               
word "the".                                                                                                                     
2:23:29 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  objected to  ask if the  language prohibits                                                               
the  governor   from  using  state  aircraft   for  all  partisan                                                               
political purposes.                                                                                                             
CHAIR FRENCH said no, but  anything exceeding 10 percent would be                                                               
an ethics violation.                                                                                                            
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  for clarification  that there  would                                                               
not be an instance in which  the governor reimbursed more than 10                                                               
percent because that would be an ethics violation.                                                                              
MR. JONES said that's correct.  He understands that the amendment                                                               
would say that if the attributable  time is more than 10 percent,                                                               
then the  governor could  not use the  state aircraft.  Also, the                                                               
governor would be  required to reimburse the state  for the share                                                               
of  the travel  that is  attributable to  the partisan  political                                                               
activities  so that  use  of  a state  aircraft  would  not be  a                                                               
2:24:50 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI withdrew his objection.                                                                                    
CHAIR FRENCH  announced that without objection,  the amendment to                                                               
Amendment  2  is adopted  and  the  committee would  continue  to                                                             
consider the amendment.                                                                                                         
SENATOR THERRIAULT remarked that under  the 10 percent rule a two                                                               
hour  flight  to  Anchorage  would  leave  just  12  minutes  for                                                               
partisan political activity and that is too tight.                                                                              
CHAIR FRENCH  suggested the  committee clarify  how much  time is                                                               
involved and what  time is relevant for one trip.  In his view it                                                               
would be easier to consider  time on the ground, roundtrip travel                                                               
time and time spent performing  official duties as one trip. Thus                                                               
for a  ten hour trip  from Juneau  to Juneau, the  allowable time                                                               
for partisan  political time would  be one hour. That  strikes me                                                               
as being  fair, he stated,  "but if  it's a two  hour fundraiser,                                                               
maybe you should be flying coach."                                                                                              
SENATOR  THERRIAULT  agreed that  it  is  more palatable  if  the                                                               
relevant time  is from takeoff  to touchdown, but other  than the                                                               
discussion  here in  the  committee  he isn't  sure  it would  be                                                               
interpreted that way.                                                                                                           
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  commented  that  weather  greatly  affects                                                               
total travel  time so  he questioned whether  travel is  the best                                                               
indicator. He asked Mr. Jones how that is addressed currently.                                                                  
MR. JONES  said Chair  French, Ms.  Smith and  the drafter  did a                                                               
remarkable job  on a  very difficult  concept. He  didn't believe                                                               
the   attorney   general's   office  would   have   any   trouble                                                               
interpreting a single trip as  being takeoff to touchdown, but he                                                               
couldn't speak for the personnel board or the court system.                                                                     
SENATOR  McGUIRE  pointed  out  that  the  intent  is  to  change                                                               
behavior. For  awhile this will  be inconvenient,  but ultimately                                                               
incumbents will be required to  better separate the office of the                                                               
governor and partisan political activities.                                                                                     
2:30:09 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR FRENCH  motioned to adopt  a second amendment  to Amendment                                                               
2. On page 2, line 17, delete "or 39.52.230".                                                                                   
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI suggested different punctuation.                                                                           
CHAIR FRENCH  rephrased the second  amendment to Amendment  2. On                                                               
page 2,  line 16, after  "210" delete  the comma and  insert "or"                                                               
and after "220"  delete ", or 39.52.230". There  was no objection                                                               
and the second amendment to Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                            
SENATOR HUGGINS removed his objection to Amendment 2.                                                                           
CHAIR  FRENCH announced  that without  objection  Amendment 2  is                                                               
adopted. He  stated his  intention to  prepare a  clean committee                                                               
substitute and  bring the bill  back before the committee  at the                                                               
next meeting for final action.                                                                                                  
2:32:40 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS  commented and he  hopes that what is  being done                                                               
here doesn't  haunt future legislatures.  "I'm listening  to this                                                               
and reluctantly accepting it," he stated.                                                                                       
CHAIR FRENCH held SB 64 in committee.                                                                                           
               SB  78-MOTOR VEHICLE WINDOW TINTING                                                                          
2:33:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  FRENCH  announced the  consideration  of  SB 78.  He  read                                                               
sponsor statement into the record as follows:                                                                                   
     Illegally  tinted  windows  cause a  number  of  safety                                                                    
     concerns in Alaska's local  communities. The dark tints                                                                    
     create  a  danger  for   peace  officers  who  approach                                                                    
     vehicles as they  can completely block any  view of the                                                                    
     driver and  passengers. In  addition, these  tints deny                                                                    
     pedestrians, bikers  and motorcyclists  the opportunity                                                                    
     to  confirm  they  have  been seen  by  a  driver  when                                                                    
     meeting in an intersection or sharing a roadway.                                                                           
     Currently  it  is  illegal  for  a  vehicle  to  be  on                                                                    
     Alaska's  roadways if  the window  tinting allows  less                                                                    
     than thirty  percent of the  light to  transmit through                                                                    
     the  glass.  However,  it is  not  illegal  for  higher                                                                    
     levels  of tinting  to be  installed by  auto detailing                                                                    
     shops and similar businesses.                                                                                              
     SB  78  would  close  this  loophole  by  making  it  a                                                                    
     misdemeanor  to  install  illegal window  tinting.  The                                                                    
     bill would  also help  enforcement efforts  by allowing                                                                    
     police  to  "go  to  the source"  by  bringing  charges                                                                    
     against installers.                                                                                                        
2:34:59 PM                                                                                                                    
WILLIAM  BOSWOOD, Owner,  Auto Trim  Design, Fairbanks,  said his                                                               
purpose today is  to educate the committee about  window film. He                                                               
explained that  reputable firms  have been  self-regulating since                                                               
1994 and providing  after-market tinting that meets  the needs of                                                               
the safety  issue and  the needs of  the customer.  Customers are                                                               
looking for  glare reduction, UV protection  and cosmetic appeal.                                                               
He acknowledged that unscrupulous  people who tint windows darkly                                                               
to  conceal  illegal  activity,   but  reputable  installers  are                                                               
against that.  The current regulation,  which passed in  1994, is                                                               
the  second  most restrictive  in  the  nation  and he  has  been                                                               
against  it  from  the  beginning.  He  urged  the  committee  to                                                               
consider changing  the current regulations to  allow the industry                                                               
to survive. "When you tint those  windows with a 70 percent light                                                               
transmission  on  the   front,  40  percent  on   the  back  it's                                                               
invisible." The only thing that is  good for is UV protection, he                                                               
2:39:04 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked  if it's true that the  bill will only                                                               
kill the industry if people are violating the regulation.                                                                       
MR. BOSWOOD  replied yes, "but  the regulation to begin  with was                                                               
way too restrictive."  Customers see no value in  tinting with 70                                                               
percent light transmittance. It does  not reduce glare and it has                                                               
no cosmetic affect at all.                                                                                                      
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  if it's  fair  to say  that a  large                                                               
number  of   tinting  installations  are  in   violation  of  the                                                               
MR. BOSWOOD  replied, "Any film  that you  put on a  vehicle that                                                               
you can see is in violation of the regulation."                                                                                 
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked  if most of the tinting he  does is in                                                               
violation of the regulation.                                                                                                    
MR. BOSWOOD  said, "There is  no tint manufactured that  would be                                                               
in compliance  with the  regulation from 1994.  We would  like to                                                               
see that regulation changed..."                                                                                                 
2:41:34 PM                                                                                                                    
ANDREW  FELT, Auto  Trim  Design, said  he  has installed  tinted                                                               
windows for over 20 years  in several different states. He agrees                                                               
with the sponsor  statement that windows that are  darker than 30                                                               
percent light transmission are a  problem. The difficulty is that                                                               
the  current  regulation only  allows  tinting  at basically  the                                                               
factory  level. Mini  vans, sport  utility  vehicles, and  pickup                                                               
trucks are  allowed to have dark  glass on the back  so this bill                                                               
would only affect front windows on those types of vehicle.                                                                      
The company  policy is  to only  tint down to  35 percent  on any                                                               
front door.  Business is thriving  and very few  customers return                                                               
to  have the  film removed  after having  had a  run-in with  law                                                               
enforcement. He interprets  that to mean that  law enforcement is                                                               
not  uncomfortable with  the  work that  Auto  Trim Design  does.                                                               
"This law  would basically  just run  out of  business all  of us                                                               
doing it  for a living and  transfer that into a  black market of                                                               
people doing it on their own."                                                                                                  
2:44:35 PM                                                                                                                    
STEVE  VINCENT, General  Manager,  Auto  Trim Design,  Fairbanks,                                                               
expressed the view that SB 78  would allow DMV to make changes to                                                               
tinting laws  via internal  interpretation and  memo. Now  it's a                                                               
state regulation  and this seems  to be  a shift of  power. There                                                               
are an awful lot of vehicles  running around that have 35 percent                                                               
tint and chances  are you wouldn't realize there was  any tint at                                                               
all, he stated. "We think the  law ought to be changed to reflect                                                               
what an awful lot of other states are allowing," he concluded.                                                                  
MR.  BOSWOOD  interjected  that  this  is  an  important  matter.                                                               
People's  ability to  feed  their  family is  at  stake here.  He                                                               
offered  to demonstrate  that  the tinting  his  company does  is                                                               
safe.  This legislation  will  kill the  tinting  portion of  his                                                               
2:48:26 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  McGUIRE asked  him to  clarify  what light  transmission                                                               
percentage he is advocating.                                                                                                    
MR.  BOSWOOD explained  that  the  number he  is  quoting is  the                                                               
actual light  transmittance. Current  regulation says  70 percent                                                               
on the  front windows and  40 percent on  the back windows.  A 70                                                               
percent tint  allows 70 percent of  the light to get  through and                                                               
it blocks  30 percent. He  asked the  committee to hold  the bill                                                               
and change the  current regulation to allow tinting  that is safe                                                               
and something that customers want.                                                                                              
SENATOR  McGUIRE asked  him  to fax  his  suggestions to  Senator                                                               
French at 465-6595.                                                                                                             
2:51:24 PM                                                                                                                    
LIEUTENANT  NANCY  REEDER,  Traffic Commander,  Anchorage  Police                                                               
Department,  stated that  she was  available to  answer questions                                                               
more than to  give testimony, but she wanted to  clarify that the                                                               
state  statute  and municipal  ordinance  are  both aligned  with                                                               
federal law.  Furthermore, law enforcement is  not confused about                                                               
the issue of  light transmittance. "We know that there  has to be                                                               
70 percent light transmittance that  shows on those front windows                                                               
and it's  very clear within the  current statute." SB 78  is also                                                               
quite clear;  it refers  back to the  regulations in  statute and                                                               
would  simply  address  those shops  that  operate  outside  that                                                               
LT. REEDER, speaking as an  officer who has written citations for                                                               
non-compliance, said that  motorists who are ignorant  of the law                                                               
and buy  vehicles with  after-market tinting  are a  big problem.                                                               
Dealerships  send vehicles  out to  these shops  for add-ons  and                                                               
they  sell  those  vehicles  to   the  unknowing  and  uneducated                                                               
motorist.  The  motorist  pays  for the  add-on  in  the  vehicle                                                               
purchase  price and  then  must  pay to  remove  it  if they  are                                                               
stopped  and cited.  SB 78  deals with  this issue  in the  right                                                               
place, she stated.                                                                                                              
In conclusion Lt. Reeder highlighted  the issue of night driving.                                                               
When windows  are tinted  a driver's ability  to see  is obscured                                                               
and  so  that motorist  becomes  more  a danger  to  pedestrians,                                                               
bikers, and others on the roadway.                                                                                              
SENATOR McGUIRE asked  how law enforcement deals  with panel vans                                                               
and if there is any interest in changing how they are treated.                                                                  
LT. REEDER acknowledged  the disparity, but it's  legal for those                                                               
vehicles to be  more darkly tinted than passenger  vans and cars.                                                               
Law  enforcement   realizes  it  must  be   more  cognizant  when                                                               
approaching  those vehicles  and  takes precautions  accordingly,                                                               
she stated.                                                                                                                     
2:57:27 PM                                                                                                                    
ROB  HILL,   Autostart  Alaska,  LLC.,   said  he  owns   a  tint                                                               
installation  center in  Anchorage  and he  can't understand  why                                                               
there  is so  much concern  about this  issue. Other  states have                                                               
much  higher crime  rates  yet  they have  laws  that allow  much                                                               
darker  window  film.  As  a   responsible  shop  owner  this  is                                                               
discouraging. He agrees  with Mr. Boswood that there  ought to be                                                               
some reasonable  amount of tinting  allowed on front  windows for                                                               
cosmetic and  glare purposes.  It's a safety  issue, he  said. "I                                                               
don't  like to  have people  see into  my car  and see  my laptop                                                               
through the front windows in the backseat."                                                                                     
MR. HILL  said that  "to bring charges  against the  installers I                                                               
think that is a  huge can of worms...." It should  be left in the                                                               
hands of the consumers.                                                                                                         
SENATOR HUGGINS  asked where to buy  a light meter to  test light                                                               
MR. HILL  replied his company  doesn't use  a photo meter.  He is                                                               
very  forthright  in  informing customers  that  law  enforcement                                                               
could require the removal of any customized window tinting.                                                                     
3:02:51 PM                                                                                                                    
MARGARET  AUTH,  Member,  Spenard Community  Council,  Anchorage,                                                               
said this  issue came up  during a  council meeting about  a year                                                               
ago.  The  discussion  centered   on  criminal  activity  in  the                                                               
neighborhood  and it  was noted  that it  is difficult  to assess                                                               
vehicles  that have  darkly tinted  windows. Also,  vehicles with                                                               
dark  window  tinting are  a  safety  issue for  pedestrians  and                                                               
bikers. She relayed a story about  a neighbor who purchased a new                                                               
car  that  had  after-market  tinting.  He  was  stopped  by  law                                                               
enforcement and required  to remove the film.  Basically the auto                                                               
shop received payment twice - first to install the film and next                                                                
to remove it.                                                                                                                   
CHAIR FRENCH held SB 78 in committee.                                                                                           
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair French adjourned the meeting at 3:05:27 PM.                                                                             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects