Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

04/19/2018 09:00 AM JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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Heard & Held
Moved CSSB 81(HSS) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
       HB 355-FIRE; FOREST LAND; CRIMES; FIRE PREVENTION                                                                    
9:12:05 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  called the committee  back to order  and announced                                                               
the consideration  of HB 355.  [The Senate  committee substitute,                                                               
version U as amended, was  before the committee.] He advised that                                                               
Chris Maisch would  like to supplement his  comments on Amendment                                                               
3 that the committee adopted yesterday.                                                                                         
9:12:55 AM                                                                                                                    
CHRIS MAISCH, State Forester and  Director, Division of Forestry,                                                               
Department  of   Natural  Resources  (DNR),   Fairbanks,  Alaska,                                                               
thanked the committee for the  opportunity to readdress Amendment                                                               
3 and apologized for not providing  a more complete answer at the                                                               
He said  you need  to read  subsection (b)  in Section  7 in                                                                    
context with  Sections 5,  6, and 7.  They all  use language                                                                    
similar to that being  removed. These sections work together                                                                    
to address the "other lands" piece that was removed.                                                                            
He read  the last sentence  in Section 5 and  explained that                                                                    
it talks  about how  the division  would identify  the other                                                                    
types of land  uses that would require a  permit. That would                                                                    
be a  regulation process which would  include public comment                                                                    
and discussion of those types of  uses. The type of uses the                                                                    
division  envisions is  primarily  commercial  uses such  as                                                                    
timber   harvesting,    land   clearing    for   residential                                                                    
development or  agricultural activities.  He noted  that the                                                                    
latter is  a common source  of escaped fire.  The regulation                                                                    
process would  identify the other types  of activities. Very                                                                    
few  activities would  be restricted;  lawn mowing  would be                                                                    
Section 7  allows the division to  enforce those regulations                                                                    
and removing  the part about other  activities would prevent                                                                    
the  division  from enforcing  things  that  are already  in                                                                    
regulation, such as jag burning.                                                                                                
Those  sections   work  with  Section  15   that  enumerates  the                                                               
penalties. This  would likely fall  under the bail  schedule they                                                               
hope to  develop under this statute.  This is where not  having a                                                               
permit might fall. More serious  things like an escaped fire that                                                               
developed  into a  project fire  might fall  under a  misdemeanor                                                               
He  reiterated the  importance of  looking at  these sections  in                                                               
context to clearly understand the impact of Amendment 3.                                                                        
CHAIR COGHILL  asked Mr. Maisch to  work with the sponsor  of the                                                               
amendment to  see if he was  willing to change it.  If it stands,                                                               
it appears that  the division will struggle  with enforcing other                                                               
activities.  He   opined  that  the  division   should  have  the                                                               
authority it needs but it's  important to recognize the potential                                                               
for overreach.                                                                                                                  
9:16:58 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KELLY said  he supported the amendment  because it wasn't                                                               
clear  that the  regulation  process for  the  fire permit  would                                                               
include   public  participation,   and  because   the  discussion                                                               
indicated that a burning permit  would be required throughout the                                                               
summer. He asked Mr. Maisch to comment on those two issues.                                                                     
MR.  MAISCH said  existing  statute has  the  qualifier that  the                                                               
regulations  the commissioner  sets  regarding  fire permits  are                                                               
only for extreme fire danger situations.                                                                                        
CHAIR COGHILL asked Senator Shower to present Amendment 4.                                                                      
9:18:35 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER moved Amendment 4, 30LS-1382\O.19, noting that he                                                                
withdrew it from consideration yesterday.                                                                                       
                          AMENDMENT 4                                                                                       
    OFFERED IN THE SENATE                 BY SENATOR SHOWER                                                                     
          TO: CSHB 355(JUD)                                                                                                     
     Page 6, following line 16:                                                                                                 
          Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                    
      "* Sec. 21. AS 41.15.950 is amended by adding a new                                                                   
     subsection to read:                                                                                                        
             (c)  A person is not required under this                                                                           
          section to disclose a deadly weapon under                                                                             
          AS 11.61.220(a)(1)(A)    to   a    peace   officer                                                                    
          described under (a)(1) of this section."                                                                              
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
     Page 7, line 2:                                                                                                            
          Delete "sec. 21"                                                                                                      
          Insert "sec. 22"                                                                                                      
     Page 7, line 3:                                                                                                            
          Delete "sec. 21" in both places                                                                                       
          Insert "sec. 22" in both places                                                                                       
     Page 7, line 4:                                                                                                            
          Delete "Sections 23 and 24"                                                                                           
          Insert "Sections 24 and 25"                                                                                           
     Page 7, line 5:                                                                                                            
          Delete "sec. 25"                                                                                                      
          Insert "sec. 26"                                                                                                      
9:18:40 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL objected.                                                                                                         
SENATOR  SHOWER said  he learned  last night  that House  members                                                               
support the  current draft of Amendment  4. It is a  much simpler                                                               
version than was presented during the process in that body.                                                                     
CHAIR  COGHILL  summarized that  the  amendment  talks about  the                                                               
requirement   to    disclose   a    deadly   weapon    under   AS                                                               
11.61.220(a)(1)(A). He asked if that  relies on the definition of                                                               
a peace officer in AS 11.81.900.                                                                                                
SENATOR SHOWER said that's correct.  The discussion yesterday was                                                               
about AS 41.15.950  and that the state  essentially declares that                                                               
for the  purpose of  enforcing this chapter,  an employee  of the                                                               
department  or   anybody  authorized   by  the   commissioner  is                                                               
identified  as a  peace officer.  The  bill allows  investigation                                                               
authority so they  can show up on a property  in an authoritative                                                               
role  and  write tickets.  What  the  amendment  tries to  do  is                                                               
prevent a confrontation by clarifying  that people do not have to                                                               
disclose a  firearm to these  government representatives  who are                                                               
identified  as  peace  officers  but   are  not  trained  by  law                                                               
9:20:52 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL commented  that the  amendment  would probably  be                                                               
more  beneficial to  the individual  who was  carrying a  firearm                                                               
than a peace  officer who is a fire prevention  officer. He asked                                                               
Mr. Maisch the department's view of the amendment.                                                                              
MR.  MAISCH  agreed  that  fire  prevention  officers  (FPO)  are                                                               
defined as peace  officers in the context of  enforcing Title 41.                                                               
He  said  his  perspective  is  that  disclosure  of  weapons  is                                                               
important  to FPOs  for general  safety  reasons. These  officers                                                               
often  work alone  in  remote  locations and  they  would have  a                                                               
better overall  sense of the  situation if they knew  someone was                                                               
carrying  a firearm.  He clarified  that they  would not  enforce                                                               
that statute because they are not trained for that.                                                                             
9:22:33 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  that his concern  is that it's  very broad.                                                               
He didn't  believe that most  people would perceive that  a peace                                                               
officer/FPO  is  somebody  to whom  they  need  to  affirmatively                                                               
reveal, but it would be a crime if they didn't.                                                                                 
9:23:18 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL   removed  his   objection.  Finding   no  further                                                               
objection, Amendment 4 was adopted.                                                                                             
9:23:30 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER moved Amendment 5, 30-LS1382\O.24.                                                                               
                          AMENDMENT 5                                                                                       
    OFFERED IN THE SENATE                 BY SENATOR SHOWER                                                                     
          TO: CSHB 355(JUD)                                                                                                     
     Page 4, line 1:                                                                                                            
          Delete "knows of a fire or"                                                                                           
          Insert "[KNOWS OF A FIRE OR]"                                                                                         
9:23:50 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL objected for an explanation.                                                                                      
SENATOR  SHOWER  said this  amendment,  too,  tries to  keep  the                                                               
enforcement  authority from  being overly  broad. His  concern is                                                               
that  anyone who  knows  of  a fire  potentially  makes too  many                                                               
people culpable.                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL asked Mr. Maisch to comment on the amendment.                                                                     
9:24:53 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  MAISCH  said  we  would oppose  this  amendment  because  it                                                               
removes the  duty to  report a fire.  It's important  for anybody                                                               
who has knowledge  of a fire to disclose that  so the response is                                                               
quicker   and   control   potentially  more   efficient.   Public                                                               
cooperation is important.                                                                                                       
CHAIR COGHILL commented that it is basically the duty to report.                                                                
MR. MAISCH answered yes.                                                                                                        
CHAIR COGHILL asked what the penalty is for failure to report.                                                                  
MR. MAISCH replied  a person could potentially be  cited but it's                                                               
unlikely that would  happen. Quick response and  suppression of a                                                               
fire is a matter of public safety.                                                                                              
CHAIR  COGHILL  clarified that  this  removes  the language  from                                                               
existing statute.                                                                                                               
MR. MAISCH agreed.                                                                                                              
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  said he didn't like  placing an affirmative                                                               
duty  on  innocent bystanders  and  is  always wary  of  granting                                                               
prosecutorial  discretion  on  such  things,  but  a  fire  could                                                               
devastate a  community. Thus, he's  leaning in favor  of granting                                                               
that discretion and opposing the amendment.                                                                                     
9:26:57 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL   maintained  his   objection.  He   commented  on                                                               
emergency  situations  in his  area  caused  by fires  that  went                                                               
SENATOR KELLY said  it seems that the duty to  report is due care                                                               
so he's okay with the amendment.                                                                                                
9:28:12 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL  said he  was  maintaining  his objection  because                                                               
removing the phrase leaves the due  care to prevent or control to                                                               
the person who set the fire.                                                                                                    
SENATOR KELLY  indicated that  he was  switching his  position on                                                               
the amendment.                                                                                                                  
CHAIR COGHILL asked for a roll call.                                                                                            
9:29:14 AM                                                                                                                    
A roll  call vote  was taken.  Senator Shower  voted in  favor of                                                               
amendment  5  and  Senators Coghill,  Kelly,  Wielechowski  voted                                                               
against it. Therefore, amendment 5, O.24, failed by a 1:3 vote.                                                                 
9:29:20 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL held HB 355 in committee.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 123 - Explanation of changes (ver. O to ver. B).pdf SJUD 4/19/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 123
HB 123 - Letters of Opposition.pdf SJUD 4/19/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 123
HB 123 - Letter of Support - Fairbanks Chamber.pdf SJUD 4/19/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 123
HB 123 - Letters of Support.pdf SJUD 4/19/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 123
HB 123 - Sectional Analysis (ver. B).pdf SJUD 4/19/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 123
HB 123 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SJUD 4/19/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 123
HB 123 - Supporting Document - ADN Article.pdf SJUD 4/19/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 123
HB 123 - Supporting Document - Health Care Price Transparency Laws.pdf SJUD 4/19/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 123
HB 123 - Supporting Document - How Price Transparency Can Control the Cost of Health Care.pdf SJUD 4/19/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 123