Legislature(2007 - 2008)BELTZ 211
05/11/2007 01:30 PM JUDICIARY
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* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
CSHB 118(RLS)-PROHIBIT ALLOWING MINORS TO HAVE ALCOHOL 2:32:36 PM CHAIR FRENCH announced the consideration of CSHB 118(RLS). MIKE PAWLOWSKI, Aide to Representative Kevin Meyer, sponsor of HB 118, said he was asked to add that the Department of Public Safety (DPS) likes this bill. SENATOR McGUIRE asked if there has been any discussion about changing the mental intent to "intentionally" permit a person. She would feel better about the bill if it was an intentional mental state. MR. PAWLOWSKI responded that was discussed at length. One of the first points was that "intentional" isn't a mental state that is included in Title 4, which says it's "knowingly criminal negligence and recklessly." They went with "recklessly" largely because the issue the police are confronted with is trying to prove "knowingly" when it comes to furnishing a standard of proof they can't do when they show up at these parties. As to the gun discussion, within the definition of "recklessly" is the idea that the unjustifiable risk has to be a gross deviation from the standard that a reasonable person would pursue. They felt comfortable that "recklessly" wasn't bringing in the type of thing she was talking about like locked gun or liquor cabinets. "Furnishing" is an action that is very difficult to prove, he said. 2:36:27 PM SENATOR THERRIAULT asked if "physically in possession" and "exercising domain" actually means the person is there. CHAIR FRENCH replied that's what he thought it meant. The child of the parent who owns the house is the one who probably gets busted. If a party is taking place at a construction site or a house being constructed he didn't know who would be exercising control, but other statutes could catch those. This is a problem because house parties where kids go to drink take place with great regularity and someone is letting them in and someone is letting it go on. So he understood the impulse behind the bill. 2:38:05 PM SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked if this bill means he wouldn't be liable if he was away on a camping trip and his son or daughter had a party at his house. CHAIR FRENCH replied that his hypothetical daughter would get the ticket. MR. PAWLOWSKI added that the sponsor specifically asked for a Rules Committee hearing in the other body to make some clarifying changes. The previous version didn't have "physically" on line 5; also following "possession" "or" was changed to "and". The conscious change in going from "physical" and inserting "and" is that you have to physically be there and exercising dominion and control specifically to get to what the chairman was describing as a circumstance. SENATOR McGUIRE said this is just the place where there is a philosophical divide - your family, your home, the way you live your life is private and there is nothing in law right now that prohibits a police officer from coming to a house party and making a significant scene. She didn't know that this would be more constructive than what exists now. Another concern she had was if they drop to "recklessly" here, they still have "furnishing at knowingly" and that creates an odd staggering in the statutes. She posed a hypothetical situation in which kids sneak friends into a large house and parents are in the house somewhere thinking the kids are in bed. She said teenagers are teenagers; they are who they are. It's an age requiring a lot of patience for everyone. She said maybe one has a teenager who has a propensity for trouble for instance; to her that would be a known risk. 2:41:32 PM CHAIR FRENCH asked Senator McGuire if she was offering an amendment. 2:41:51 PM SENATOR McGUIRE moved to insert "knowingly" after "not" on page 1, line 6. CHAIR FRENCH found no objection and Amendment 1 was adopted. SENATOR McGUIRE moved to report SCS CSHB 118(JUD) from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s). There were no objections and it was so ordered.