Legislature(2001 - 2002)

03/15/2001 08:10 AM CRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              HOUSE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS                                                                            
                       STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                         March 15, 2001                                                                                         
                           8:10 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kevin Meyer, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Carl Morgan, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Andrew Halcro                                                                                                    
Representative Drew Scalzi                                                                                                      
Representative Lisa Murkowski                                                                                                   
Representative Gretchen Guess                                                                                                   
Representative Beth Kerttula                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
HOUSE BILL NO. 156                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to municipal debt for development and                                                                          
redevelopment projects."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 156 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 135                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to municipal fees for certain police protection                                                                
services."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 145                                                                                                              
"An  Act making  a  civil  remedy available  to  the  state or  a                                                               
municipality  against  persons  who  make false  claims  for,  or                                                               
certain  misrepresentations regarding,  state or  municipal money                                                               
or other property; and providing for an effective date."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                              
BILL: HB 156                                                                                                                    
SHORT TITLE:MUNICIPAL DEBT FOR DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS                                                                             
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S)MCGUIRE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
02/28/01     0462       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
02/28/01     0462       (H)        CRA                                                                                          
03/15/01                (H)        CRA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 135                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:MUNICIPAL FEES: POLICE & FIRE SERVICES                                                                              
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S)GUESS                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
02/21/01     0386       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
                                   REFERRALS                                                                                    
02/21/01     0386       (H)        CRA                                                                                          
02/21/01     0387       (H)        REFERRED TO COMMUNITY &                                                                      
                                   REGIONAL AFFAIR                                                                              
03/15/01                (H)        CRA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LESIL McGUIRE                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Capitol Building, Room 418                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as the sponsor of HB 156.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
TOM KLINKNER, Attorney                                                                                                          
Birch, Horton, Bittner, and Cherot                                                                                              
1127 West 7th Avenue                                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska 99501-3399                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Offered information on HB 156.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ANNA FAIRCLOUGH, Member                                                                                                         
Anchorage Assembly                                                                                                              
PO Box 771112                                                                                                                   
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  As a member of the Anchorage Assembly, she                                                                 
supported HB 156.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ALAN TESCHE, Member                                                                                                             
Anchorage Assembly                                                                                                              
1032 G St                                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska 99501                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT:  Urged support of HB 156.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT RAY MILLER                                                                                                           
Fairbanks Police Department                                                                                                     
656 7th Ave.                                                                                                                    
Fairbanks, Alaska  99701                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 135.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DICK TREMAINE, Member                                                                                                           
Anchorage Assembly                                                                                                              
(No address provided.)                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 135.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JIM BALDWIN, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                         
Governmental Affairs Section                                                                                                    
Civil Division(Juneau)                                                                                                          
Department of Law                                                                                                               
PO Box 110300                                                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding HB 135.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 01-12, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  KEVIN MEYER  called the  House  Community and  Regional                                                               
Affairs  Standing  Committee  meeting   to  order  at  8:10  a.m.                                                               
Representatives Meyer, Halcro, Scalzi,  Murkowski, and Guess were                                                               
present  at  the  call  to order.    Representatives  Morgan  and                                                               
Kerttula arrived as  the meeting was in progress.   The committee                                                               
took two brief at-eases due to technical difficulties.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HB 156-MUNICIPAL DEBT FOR DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MEYER announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO. 156,  "An Act  relating to municipal  debt for                                                               
development and redevelopment projects."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0190                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   LESIL   McGUIRE,   Alaska   State   Legislature,                                                               
testified as  the sponsor of HB  156.  She explained  that "Title                                                               
29  authorizes municipalities  to  create redevelopment  agencies                                                               
for  the purpose  of  developing and  redeveloping  land."   This                                                               
specific statute  encourages development and redevelopment.   She                                                               
related her understanding that this  statute has been dormant for                                                               
a number of years,  which is, in part, due to  the "cloud" in the                                                               
current  language.   The problematic  language is  the following:                                                               
"but  only if  additional security  in the  form of  a letter  of                                                               
credit or  equal security is also  pledged".  She noted  that Mr.                                                               
Klinkner, an attorney who specializes in bonds, is online.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  McGUIRE  informed  the committee  that  the  bond                                                               
underwriters already  go through  a process that  determines what                                                               
security is required with respect to  the issuance of bonds.  The                                                               
[type of security  required] is largely determined  by the market                                                               
at  that time.    She pointed  out  that a  letter  would not  be                                                               
required  in every  case.   Therefore,  HB 156  would remove  the                                                               
"cloud"  from the  language and  place  the power  [in regard  to                                                               
security] in the hands of the  bond underwriters.  She noted that                                                               
the  concept of  tax increment  financing is  used in  many other                                                               
states.   She informed the  committee that her  sponsor statement                                                               
and letters of support are included in the packet.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0513                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA  related  her  understanding  that  this                                                               
would only happen in certain areas.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE McGUIRE  replied yes  and clarified  that it  is a                                                               
local control mechanism.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA also related  her understanding that this                                                               
has  always  been  allowed,   although  additional  security  was                                                               
required.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE McGUIRE replied yes.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA asked  if  there is  any  danger in  not                                                               
requiring the additional security.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE McGUIRE  noted that  she had asked  that question.                                                               
She  related   her  understanding   that  the  process   of  bond                                                               
underwriting  must  occur  before   the  issuance  of  any  bond.                                                               
Therefore,  the  bond  underwriters  will review  the  method  of                                                               
security that is  in place.  She said that  requiring 100 percent                                                               
"securitization" is  not reasonable and  is not required  or done                                                               
in  most cases.    She  pointed out,  "The  sideboards are  there                                                               
through the process and through the market."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0653                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   HALCRO  mentioned   that  two   years  ago   the                                                               
legislature  passed  investment  tax credits  for  municipalities                                                               
that redevelop dilapidated properties.   He inquired as to how HB
156 would  work with that investment  tax credit.  He  also asked                                                               
if  there  was any  possibility  that  the  two would  come  into                                                               
conflict.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE McGUIRE  said that she  was not familiar  with the                                                               
specifics of that bill and statute.   She related her belief that                                                               
the  concepts  are  separate;  however,   she  could  envision  a                                                               
situation that  would result in overlap.   Representative McGuire                                                               
indicated that  one [tax  increment] deals  with the  initial tax                                                               
implications   while  the   other  deals   with  the   later  tax                                                               
implications.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SCALZI  read  the   language  from  Section  1(b)                                                               
regarding  the  definition  of  "tax  increment."    He  posed  a                                                               
situation  in   which  the  property  value   decreased  and  the                                                               
increment would go  down.  He was unsure how  a negative [amount]                                                               
could be attributed to a payment.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE McGUIRE  deferred to  Mr. Klinkner.   However, she                                                               
pointed out  that typically this  would refer to  development and                                                               
redevelopment, which increases the value of the property.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0891                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI  referred  to  the  sponsor  statement,                                                               
which  says,  "Removing  the  existing  language  will  remove  a                                                               
potential  cloud on  the  tax increment  bond  issue."   However,                                                               
Representative  Murkowski  said  she believes  that  keeping  the                                                               
language  in  doesn't  cloud  the   issue  but  rather  adds  an,                                                               
essentially, unnecessary requirement  because an appropriate form                                                               
of security already has to be established.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  McGUIRE said  that  she had  a conversation  with                                                               
Mike  Scott,  General  Manager,  Municipal  Light  &  Power,  who                                                               
remarked  that this  language has  placed a  cloud on  financing.                                                               
This  language  is unclear  to  bond  underwriters and  seems  to                                                               
require   100  percent   "securitization."     She  agreed   that                                                               
Representative Murkowski is  correct in that [HB  156] removes an                                                               
unnecessary and  somewhat arbitrary requirement.   Representative                                                               
McGuire informed the  committee that there have  been attempts to                                                               
use  this language  for  its intended  purpose,  but the  current                                                               
language is  problematic.   Furthermore, Mr.  Scott has  told her                                                               
that  the language  is  clear and  thus  [the bond  underwriters]                                                               
can't just make the decision.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI reiterated  that the  current statutory                                                               
language is very clear.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  McGUIRE mentioned  that she  believes there  have                                                               
been  attempts  to  interpret  the   language  otherwise.    This                                                               
legislation attempts to  broaden this and place the  power in the                                                               
hands [of the bond underwriters].                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1160                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TOM  KLINKNER,  Attorney,  Birch, Horton,  Bittner,  and  Cherot,                                                               
testified via teleconference.  He  informed the committee that he                                                               
has been working with the  Anchorage Downtown Partnership and the                                                               
Municipality of Anchorage on various  means of financing downtown                                                               
development projects.   During that process this  statute came to                                                               
his  attention.   He  also  informed the  committee  that he  was                                                               
involved in  the drafting  of [AS  29] some 10  or 15  years ago.                                                               
Originally, the  statute was  designed to  provide a  state block                                                               
that would  mesh with  a federal tax  code provision  that allows                                                               
the  issuance of  tax exempt  bonds  for redevelopment  projects.                                                               
These  projects  are  mainly  projects  that  are  governmentally                                                               
owned.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KLINKNER  turned  to the  earlier  question  regarding  this                                                               
legislation's    relationship   with    the   tax    relief   for                                                               
rehabilitating properties.   Mr. Klinkner said  that although the                                                               
two are separate, they are  complimentary.  He explained that the                                                               
tax  credit/relief is  aimed  at  privately-owned property  while                                                               
this statute is aimed  at financing governmentally-owned property                                                               
that would support private development.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KLINKNER agreed  with Representative  McGuire's explanation.                                                               
He said:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     The amendment  proposed here is  to delete  language in                                                                    
     the statute  that adds a  requirement above  and beyond                                                                    
     what is required, simply for  the issuance of the bonds                                                                    
     or to meet the federal  tax exemption criteria.  It has                                                                    
     two  ...  adverse  effects.    One  is:    it  imposes,                                                                    
     arbitrarily,  and  in  each case  the  requirement  for                                                                    
     additional security, which may  not be necessary in the                                                                    
     judgment of the market in  a particular financing.  And                                                                    
     second,  because   of  the   reference  to   "or  equal                                                                    
     security" in the statute it  imposes an ambiguity as to                                                                    
     what constitutes  equal security  and if the  letter of                                                                    
     credit  isn't  desirable  what  alternatives  would  be                                                                    
     permitted to meet the statutory requirements.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KLINKNER  related  his  belief that  the  deletion  of  this                                                               
language  would  leave the  decisions  to  the bond  marketplace,                                                               
which is the appropriate place for these decisions to be made.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1375                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI  asked  if Mr.  Klinkner  believes  the                                                               
current  language   has  prevented  the  use   of  tax  increment                                                               
financing.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KLINKNER replied,  "I believe  it has."   However,  he noted                                                               
that  it  isn't  the  only factor  determining  whether  the  tax                                                               
increment financing will  work in a specific case.   The language                                                               
is an  additional hurtle, which  he believes has  discouraged use                                                               
of the statute.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1438                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KLINKNER, in  response to  Representative Halcro,  said that                                                               
this  [tax   increment]  would  not   be  available   to  private                                                               
investors.    The  way  that  the remainder  of  the  statute  is                                                               
structured  as  well  as  the   way  the  federal  tax  exemption                                                               
provision is structured limits the  use [of the tax increment] to                                                               
publicly-owned property or projects.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HALCRO said,  "I'm not  quite sure  how this  ...                                                               
process is  going to play  out if it is  a publicly funded  or if                                                               
it's  a  public  undertaking, a  government  undertaking,  that's                                                               
going to support  private development."  He  requested an example                                                               
of a project for which this would apply.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. KLINKNER specified  that this would apply to  new or improved                                                               
infrastructure  that  would  make  an area  more  attractive  for                                                               
private development.  He identified  the construction of a public                                                               
building or  facility, such  as a  convention center,  that would                                                               
encourage private development.   He explained that  the area that                                                               
would  potentially   be  subject   to  the  increment   would  be                                                               
determined  by the  local governing  body when  the financing  is                                                               
approved.   Therefore,  a line  would  be drawn  around an  area,                                                               
including the  publicly-owned property that may  be financed with                                                               
the  bonds as  well as  the surrounding  privately-owned property                                                               
that  would  increase  in  value   as  a  result  of  the  public                                                               
investment.   He  said, "That's  where the  increment would  come                                                               
from."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE McGUIRE thanked Mr. Klinkner for his time.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1620                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ANNA  FAIRCLOUGH,   Member,  Anchorage  Assembly,   informed  the                                                               
committee that  she is a  representative of the  Legislative Body                                                               
of the Anchorage Assembly.  As  an assembly member, she noted her                                                               
[constituent's] support of HB 156.   The assembly has not taken a                                                               
specific position on HB 156,  although she was confident that the                                                               
assembly could pass  a specific bill of support.   Ms. Fairclough                                                               
related her appreciation of having  the opportunity to have local                                                               
control and  creative financing.   This  [legislation] is  a tool                                                               
that will  allow the Municipality  of Anchorage to work  well for                                                               
redevelopment of  particular areas in  the city.  She  noted that                                                               
she  does  serve  on  the  Convention  Center  Task  Force.    In                                                               
conclusion,  Ms.   Fairclough  said  she  would   appreciate  the                                                               
committee's support of HB 156.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HALCRO recalled  that  after the  passage of  the                                                               
investment tax  credit there  was debate  regarding how  to apply                                                               
some  of  these tax  credits.    He  mentioned the  Mark  Marlowe                                                               
project.  He  recalled there being a question as  to whether [the                                                               
Mark Marlowe project]  was a good use of tax  dollars and whether                                                               
this   would   shift  the   tax   burden   to  other   taxpayers.                                                               
Representative Halcro  asked if  a similar argument  could happen                                                               
with the use of this [tax increment] program.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FAIRCLOUGH  related  her   understanding  of  the  Anchorage                                                               
Convention Center and those involved.   She said "they" would use                                                               
the hotel  tax to  provide the payment  dollars to  subsidize the                                                               
project.  Ms. Fairclough emphasized,  "We are trying in every way                                                               
possible, with  all tools  possible, to have  it a  zero personal                                                               
property tax effect  in the City of Anchorage."   For the record,                                                               
Ms. Fairclough  noted that she  was in opposition to  the Marlowe                                                               
project going  forward because  she wanted  to [ensure]  that the                                                               
assembly  establish how  it  would [specify]  and  apply the  law                                                               
fairly to everyone.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI  reiterated her understanding  that this                                                               
is  not a  new tool,  but  rather [the  bill] is  making it  more                                                               
workable for the municipality.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. FAIRCLOUGH  answered in the  affirmative.  With  this [bill],                                                               
the convention center will not have to address a larger hurtle.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1901                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ALAN   TESCHE,   Member,   Anchorage  Assembly,   testified   via                                                               
teleconference.    Mr.  Tesche,  from   the  perspective  of  the                                                               
district   he  represents,   concurred   with  Ms.   Fairclough's                                                               
[remarks].  He noted his agreement  with Mr. Klinkner that HB 156                                                               
would remove a  potential obstacle to the use  of this financing.                                                               
He said  he believes that the  passage of HB 156  will allow this                                                               
type  of  financing   to  be  more  attractive   in  the  private                                                               
marketplace.  Mr.  Tesche pointed out that even  with the passage                                                               
of HB  156, the private  bond market will determine  the specific                                                               
terms and  conditions regarding how  particular projects  will be                                                               
financed through  the issuance of  these bonds.   Therefore, this                                                               
is in the interest of the public.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TESCHE addressed  how  [HB  156] would  work.   In  downtown                                                               
Anchorage there  are, in  his view, a  number of  properties that                                                               
are  underdeveloped.    For  example,   there  are  a  number  of                                                               
properties around the McKay Building  that could be used for much                                                               
more  intensive commercial  and residential  use.   Although such                                                               
projects  require intensive  private capital,  they also  require                                                               
additional   public  improvements   such   as  parking   garages.                                                               
Therefore, enactment  of HB 156,  which would make  tax increment                                                               
financing  easier for  public projects,  would ease  the way  for                                                               
public/private partnerships.   Mr.  Tesche remarked that  this is                                                               
exciting  for him  in that  [HB 156]  provides a  more attractive                                                               
financing  tool that  would  benefit  communities throughout  the                                                               
state.  He  informed the committee that the use  of tax increment                                                               
financing  is supported  by the  Anchorage Downtown  Partnership,                                                               
the Legislative  Program of  the [Anchorage]  Municipal Assembly,                                                               
the Alaska  Municipal League, the Anchorage  Economic Development                                                               
Corporation, and  Municipal Light  & Power.   In  conclusion, Mr.                                                               
Teshce urged the committee to support HB 156.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2159                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI remarked that  the legislature should do                                                               
all   possible   to    encourage   good   financing   mechanisms.                                                               
Furthermore,  when  obstacles  are  discovered,  the  legislature                                                               
should  fix the  problem so  that it  can be  used as  originally                                                               
intended.  She commented that HB  156 seems to facilitate the use                                                               
of a  good tool and  thus she supported  Representative McGuire's                                                               
efforts.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HALCRO  associated  his comments  with  those  of                                                               
Representative  Murkowski.     Representative  Halcro  noted  his                                                               
support of [HB 156].                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE McGUIRE  commented that this  [legislation allows]                                                               
local  communities   and  state  government  to   work  together.                                                               
Representative McGuire thanked those involved in this matter.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MEYER  said that  in his  experience with  the assembly,                                                               
this  [bill]  will help  with  the  convention center  and  other                                                               
public projects.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2315                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI moved to report  HB 156 out of committee                                                               
with individual recommendations and  the accompanying zero fiscal                                                               
note.   There being no  objection, HB  156 was reported  from the                                                               
House Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease from 9:48 a.m. to 9:50 a.m.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB 135-MUNICIPAL FEES: POLICE & FIRE SERVICES                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2238                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MEYER  announced that the  next order of  business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO. 135,  "An Act  relating to municipal  fees for                                                               
certain  police  protection services."    He  noted that  he  and                                                               
Representative Guess are co-sponsors of HB 135.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUESS,  testifying as  a  co-sponsor  of HB  135,                                                               
explained that  HB 135 allows  municipalities to access  fees for                                                               
excessive  use  of  police   services  for  residential  property                                                               
owners.   For example, the  municipality could decide  that there                                                               
could be  ten free police visits  a month, but that  the eleventh                                                               
visit would  result in a  charge.  This is  aimed at some  of the                                                               
troubled  properties   who  aren't   being  responsible.     This                                                               
legislation  would  allow   a  lien  on  the   property,  if  the                                                               
municipality  so   chooses.     The  municipality   would  define                                                               
excessive  and  the  process.     The  legislation  does  exclude                                                               
domestic violence calls from being charged.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2443                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI  moved  to   adopt  CSHB  135,  Version                                                               
LS0421\F,  Cook,  3/9/01,  as the  working  document  before  the                                                               
committee.   There being no  objection, CSHB 135, Version  F, was                                                               
before the committee.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI  related  her understanding  that  this                                                               
legislation  would leave  the determination  of reasonable  fines                                                               
and how that is assessed to the individual municipality.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUESS  agreed with that understanding.   She said,                                                               
"All it does  is give them a  tool; they can choose to  use it or                                                               
not use it, it's not mandated."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SCALZI asked if this  is necessary.  He also asked                                                               
whether this can [already] be done by ordinance or code.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUESS answered that  currently, it is questionable                                                               
whether the municipality can do  this.  However, this legislation                                                               
makes it clear with guidelines.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  MEYER  remarked  that   he  believes  the  municipality                                                               
probably already has  the power to do this,  but this legislation                                                               
makes it clear.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GUESS    interjected   that    [currently]   the                                                               
municipality  doesn't have  the  power to  impose  a lien,  which                                                               
would be allowed under this legislation.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2562                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA  expressed  concern for  those  property                                                               
owners who are in  the process of the eviction of  a tenant.  She                                                               
suggested that  the legislation include  a sideboard that  when a                                                               
fee  is imposed,  a municipality  must  take into  account if  an                                                               
owner is in the process of eviction.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUESS noted  that  [she and  Co-Chair Meyer]  had                                                               
spoken  with  Tam Cook,  Director,  Legal  and Research  Services                                                               
Division, Legislative  Affairs Agency, Alaska  State Legislature,                                                               
who thought  such was somewhat  difficult.   Representative Guess                                                               
reiterated that  the idea is  to provide the municipality  with a                                                               
tool to  work with  their communities  and residential  owners in                                                               
order to  create a system.   She indicated that if  the committee                                                               
desired such  an exemption that  it could be worked  on, although                                                               
Ms. Cook recommended leaving that to the municipality.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  suggested inserting  on page 1,  line 7,                                                               
after "property"  the following language:   "and shall  take into                                                               
account what attempts  are being [made]".  She  clarified that it                                                               
would not  be required as  an exemption but rather  such attempts                                                               
would have to be taken into account.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MEYER  said that  he would  make note  of that  and [the                                                               
committee could discuss it] after the testimony.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2679                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI  highlighted that this  legislation only                                                               
applies to owners  of residential real property.   Therefore, she                                                               
inquired as to how this would work in the commercial world.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUESS  answered that this [legislation]  would not                                                               
cover  the  commercial  entities.    She  noted  that  there  was                                                               
discussion on that  matter, which identified one  of the problems                                                               
as  incentives.   In some  situations  that happen  in bars,  one                                                               
would not want  to create a disincentive for the  bar to call the                                                               
police.  Representative  Guess said, "We just didn't  know how it                                                               
would work  in this situation.   So, we decided to  just focus it                                                               
on the residential  property."  However, if  the committee thinks                                                               
that it  is important to  [include commercial property],  then it                                                               
could be considered.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI  expressed curiosity  as to  whether any                                                               
of the communities  across the state try to  impose "an emergency                                                               
response charge  on a commercial establishment,  recognizing that                                                               
they're   contributing  to   some   problems."     Representative                                                               
Murkowski  agreed  that  [the legislation]  shouldn't  discourage                                                               
establishments from calling; however,  there are some that aren't                                                               
being responsible neighbors.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  MEYER related  his belief  that assembly  members would                                                               
testify that they do have ways  of dealing with problem bars.  He                                                               
also  related his  belief that  this legislation  will help  deal                                                               
with the absentee landlord situation.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUESS  expressed the hope that  a reporting system                                                               
will be established so that  an absentee landlord would know what                                                               
is going on at their property.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2810                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HALCRO informed  the committee  that three  years                                                               
ago he  served on the  Mayor's Budget Advisory Committee  and sat                                                               
on  a  subcommittee that  reviewed  alternative  revenue for  the                                                               
city.   He  said, "This  subject  came up."   At  that time,  the                                                               
concern  from the  [Mayor's Budget  Advisory Committee]  was that                                                               
the lower income  areas typically receive the  majority of police                                                               
protection.  Therefore, the question was:   "Is it fair to punish                                                               
those   folks   in  low   income   areas   because  they   call?"                                                               
Representative  Halcro also  informed the  committee that  he has                                                               
been charged for his home  alarm having false alarms.  Therefore,                                                               
he asked if the city already has the ability to do this.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUESS reiterated that  this [subject] was not very                                                               
clear and thus this legislation would make it clear in statute.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MEYER  said that Representative Halcro's  question would                                                               
be answered through testimony.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA asked  if this  legislation would  cover                                                               
the state, such as the  Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC)                                                               
and low  income housing.   She related  her belief that  it seems                                                               
that this legislation would cover those.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MEYER said  that he didn't know, but  indicated that Mr.                                                               
Tesche may know.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUESS responded  by saying  that she  would guess                                                               
that  those  entities, AHFC  and  low  income housing,  would  be                                                               
covered  by  this  legislation because  they  are  a  residential                                                               
property owner.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2951                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  RAY MILLER  testified via  teleconference.   He noted                                                               
his  support of  this bill.    He pointed  out that  the City  of                                                               
Fairbanks has  some ordinances [the nuisance  property ordinance]                                                               
that somewhat (indisc.) this issue.   (Indisc.).  He informed the                                                               
committee  that  in  a  13-month  period,  the  Fairbanks  Police                                                               
responded to one residence 70  times, of which 12 responses dealt                                                               
with drug  use and at  least two  shootings.  Over  that 13-month                                                               
period, officers spent more than 80 man-hours there.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 01-12, SIDE B                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT MILLER continued,  "... a number of  incidences at the                                                               
same  address to  contact a  property owner  and explain  to them                                                               
that there's  a problem  with their location  and offer  them the                                                               
opportunity to  work with us to  try to solve the  problem there.                                                               
We've  been able  to  use  that in  a  couple  of instances  very                                                               
effectively  to  shut down  business  properties  or cleanup  the                                                               
property."   He  noted that  the ordinance  does have  safeguards                                                               
regarding  the minimum  number of  times  [the police  department                                                               
responds] before people  are contacted.  He pointed  out that the                                                               
ordinance  is   designed  to  obtain   the  cooperation   of  the                                                               
landowner.    However, the  ordinance  doesn't  allow the  police                                                               
department to recover its associated costs.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  MILLER   mentioned  that   Fairbanks  does   have  an                                                               
emergency response ordinance for  Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)                                                               
cases from which  the costs can be recovered.   He explained that                                                               
if [the  police department] has an  emergency response associated                                                               
with a DWI  arrest, then the person arrested receives  a bill for                                                               
the police department's time, ambulance  time, fire truck [time],                                                               
or any  emergency response  that was generated.   If  that person                                                               
fails to  pay the  bill, their permanent  fund dividend  (PFD) is                                                               
attached, which is  an effective tool.   Furthermore, the process                                                               
is rather  seamless because an  individual officer merely  has to                                                               
report  the  amount  of  emergency response  time  that  is  then                                                               
[compiled] and  reported to the  city attorney who takes  care of                                                               
all the billing.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI inquired as to  what would happen if the                                                               
individual  causing the  problem is  the tenant  rather than  the                                                               
owner of the  property.  She asked if any  notice that the tenant                                                               
is causing problems is given to the owner.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  MILLER   clarified  that   there  are   two  distinct                                                               
ordinances.   One ordinance is the  response for DWI.   The other                                                               
ordinance is the nuisance property  ordinance that doesn't have a                                                               
cost  recovery mechanism,  although  it does  allow civil  action                                                               
against a  property owner.   That process  begins with  a letter,                                                               
which enumerates the problem, to the property owner.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI said  that  she assumed  the tenant  is                                                               
also notified.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  MILLER   related  his   belief  that   the  [nuisance                                                               
property]  ordinance is  specifically  directed  at the  property                                                               
owner.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HALCRO inquired  as  to who  would  set the  fine                                                               
structure.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  MILLER explained  that  with the  DWI ordinance,  the                                                               
cost is determined  by the cost assessed by the  departments.  In                                                               
further  response  to  Representative Halcro,  Lieutenant  Miller                                                               
said that  cost recovery  associated with  the DWI  ordinance has                                                               
been  successful due  to the  ability to  attach the  PFD if  the                                                               
individual doesn't pay.  He noted  that at the time of arrest the                                                               
individual receives  notification that he  or she will  receive a                                                               
bill for the services.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2756                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SCALZI  surmised  that  the  [police]  department                                                               
would make a recommendation to  the assembly regarding the number                                                               
of calls that would cause a fine to be implemented.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT   MILLER  mentioned   that   the  Fairbanks   nuisance                                                               
ordinance  was modeled  after the  Portland  [, Oregon]  nuisance                                                               
ordinance.   He  said  that [the  Fairbanks  ordinance says  that                                                               
responding] three  times in  six months  would result  in written                                                               
notification to the individual.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2692                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ALAN   TESCHE,   Member,   Anchorage  Assembly,   testified   via                                                               
teleconference.  Mr. Tesche remarked  that this subject matter is                                                               
not  something he  is  proud  of because  he  has  some of  these                                                               
[nuisance properties] in  his district.  However,  he agreed that                                                               
something  should be  done  about  it.   Mr.  Tesche praised  the                                                               
sponsors of HB 135 as the bipartisan cooperation is refreshing.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. TESCHE turned  to the need for this ordinance.   In regard to                                                               
whether municipalities can already do  this now, Mr. Tesche said,                                                               
"The  short answer  to  that is  a definite  maybe."   Under  the                                                               
current  law,  it  is  unclear how  far  municipalities  can  go,                                                               
especially if the desire is to  make some of these charges, first                                                               
and foremost,  liens with respect  to municipal taxes.   The bill                                                               
would  make it  clear  that [a  nuisance  property ordinance]  is                                                               
authorized by the legislature.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. TESCHE  then turned to  the question  of the problem  that HB
135  attempts to  fix.   He  explained a  typical situation  that                                                               
occurred  about 100  yards  from  his home.    In  this case,  an                                                               
absentee landlord,  a bank,  owned a  condominium that  was being                                                               
rented to  an individual  with a disability  and a  drug problem.                                                               
This individual  was basically running  a crack house out  of his                                                               
apartment.   Only after about  a year of considerable  effort was                                                               
the  landlord,  the bank,  convinced  to  take action  under  the                                                               
Landlord Tenant [Act] laws.   Mr. Tesche emphasized that what was                                                               
lacking was  a clear statute  or ordinance that  could illustrate                                                               
to  the bank  that an  excessive  amount of  police activity  had                                                               
occurred at  this property.   With such an statute,  that problem                                                               
could have  probably been solved a  year in advance.   Mr. Tesche                                                               
pointed out that  often the tenant won't do  anything in response                                                               
to  the   neighbors  who   are  often   afraid  of   the  tenant.                                                               
Furthermore, the  landlord's typical response  is that he  or she                                                               
didn't know what  was going on and if the  landlord did know what                                                               
was  going on,  they often  point to  the complexity  of Alaska's                                                               
landlord  tenant law.    Therefore, he  believes  a remedy  would                                                               
result in a different situation.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. TESCHE turned to the  question as to whether this legislation                                                               
is a revenue-generating measure.   He emphasized that he hoped it                                                               
is not a revenue-generating measure  because he didn't believe it                                                               
was  appropriate to  use law  enforcement to  raise revenue.   In                                                               
regard to whether this would apply  to the state, Mr. Tesche said                                                               
that it would  apply to the state if the  state owned residential                                                               
property, although  there could  be a  specific exemption  in the                                                               
local ordinance.   He  related his belief  that the  concern that                                                               
this could  be unfairly applied  to the state could  be addressed                                                               
in the local ordinance.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 2450                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.   TESCHE   addressed   the  question   regarding   why   this                                                               
[legislation]  shouldn't apply  to  commercial  properties.   Mr.                                                               
Tesche  said, "I  would  like  to see  how  this  thing works  by                                                               
addressing the most  serious part of the problem and  that is the                                                               
local  neighborhood  crack  house  that  is  operated  out  of  a                                                               
residence  in a  residential neighborhood."   Certainly,  some of                                                               
the  larger commercial  establishments [have  had numerous  calls                                                               
for service].  For example,  Chilkoot's had 800 calls for service                                                               
last year,  each of which  probably cost, in response  costs, the                                                               
Anchorage   Police  Department   (APD)  $100-$200.     Therefore,                                                               
Chilkoot's occupies a  substantial amount of APD's  $30 million a                                                               
year budget.   Nonetheless,  Mr. Tesche  agreed with  the earlier                                                               
comment  that   imposing  a  charge   on  Chilkoot's   through  a                                                               
commercial ordinance would deter  that establishment from calling                                                               
the police.   Therefore, Mr.  Tesche expressed his  preference to                                                               
address  the problem  that  exists  in residential  neighborhoods                                                               
first,   although  this   could  perhaps   speak  to   commercial                                                               
properties later.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2372                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TESCHE  continued  by   addressing  the  question  regarding                                                               
whether  this would  be fair  to  landowners who  have rights  as                                                               
well.   Property  owners  have rights  to not  be  forced to  pay                                                               
excessive fees  for local  services that  they [already]  pay for                                                               
through  their  real property  taxes.    Mr. Tesche  related  his                                                               
belief   that  "yes"   [this  legislation   would   be  fair   to                                                               
landowners].  He said he  believes that the legislature can trust                                                               
local governments,  assemblies, and city councils  that choose to                                                               
pass an ordinance, as authorized by HB  135, to do so in a manner                                                               
that  is fair  to both  neighborhoods  and property  owners.   He                                                               
reminded the  committee that local ordinances  are approved after                                                               
public   notice  and   public   hearing.     He  remarked,   "Our                                                               
constituents are a lot closer to  us, at a local level, than they                                                               
are to Juneau,  in terms of their access to  us and their ability                                                               
to  make   sure  that  we   don't  stray  far   from  responsible                                                               
legislation."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. TESCHE noted  that he would probably be  involved in drafting                                                               
a local ordinance in Anchorage.   He specified that there are two                                                               
critical  features that  must be  included in  order to  make the                                                               
local ordinance  work.   First, there must  be "actual  notice to                                                               
the  landlord."    Actual  notice  should be  used  so  that  the                                                               
landlord  knew that  something is  occurring  on their  property.                                                               
Second, the ordinance must show  that the landlord failed to take                                                               
reasonable  corrective  action  because  there is  no  desire  to                                                               
penalize the  landlord who  is cooperating.   In  conclusion, Mr.                                                               
Tesche  encouraged  the legislature  to  leave  the specifics  of                                                               
these ordinances to the local governing bodies.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2206                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MORGAN  related his view  that this bill will  deal with                                                               
"houses  of   ill  repute,"  drug  dealers,   and  troublemakers.                                                               
However, what  would happen in the  case of a nosey  neighbor who                                                               
would call.   He asked if  this would effect the  resident or the                                                               
nosey neighbor.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUESS informed the committee  that she had a nosey                                                               
neighbor call  animal control  on her  because the  neighbor felt                                                               
that Representative Guess was abusing  her Bassett Hounds because                                                               
they  were thin.   Representative  Guess remarked  that hopefully                                                               
this legislation will start communication  as it did in her case.                                                               
However, this  is something that  the local community  would have                                                               
to resolve in their ordinance.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. TESCHE  pointed out that  the nosey neighbor  situation often                                                               
arises in regard to noise  violations and animals.  He encouraged                                                               
caution in  drafting the ordinance  so that it would  address the                                                               
more  serious  situations,  such  as  drugs,  alcohol,  and  vice                                                               
crimes.    Again, he  reiterated  the  need  to trust  the  local                                                               
governing body to balance these considerations.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2024                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SCALZI  suggested that  if local  governing bodies                                                               
are going  to be trusted,  then this  option could also  apply to                                                               
commercial establishments.  He emphasized  that this is an option                                                               
for local governing bodies.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUESS  stated that  she  was  willing to  discuss                                                               
that.   However, the purpose  of the bill  was to provide  a tool                                                               
[to  address the  problems with  residential properties  with the                                                               
thought  that] perhaps  the  commercial  establishments could  be                                                               
addressed later.   Representative Guess remarked  that she wasn't                                                               
sure  that  this  legislation would  get  through  if  commercial                                                               
establishments were added.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  MEYER   agreed  with  Representative  Guess   that  the                                                               
addition of  commercial establishments  would hurt  the potential                                                               
passage of  this legislation.   He reiterated  the aforementioned                                                               
need to try this first with residential properties.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1886                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   MURKOWSKI   agreed   that  the   definition   of                                                               
"excessive" and  the calculation of  the fines should be  left to                                                               
the local governing  body as they draft the  ordinance.  However,                                                               
she  expressed concern  that  the rights  of  the property  owner                                                               
should  be  respected.   She  pointed  out that  the  legislation                                                               
"allows for a lien on the  property and this lien is paramount to                                                               
all other liens except the  municipal lien."  Therefore, there is                                                               
the potential  for this to  be significant to the  property owner                                                               
and thus  Representative Murkowski emphasized the  need to ensure                                                               
that  actual  notice is  provided.    She  said that  she  wasn't                                                               
comfortable with  allowing the individual local  governing bodies                                                               
the discretion in  deciding how the actual notice  is provided to                                                               
the property  owner.  Therefore,  she expressed the need  for the                                                               
legislation to  include language  stating that actual  notice has                                                               
to  be provided  to the  property  owner before  imposing such  a                                                               
lien.   The current language does  not specify that the  owner of                                                               
the property receives the actual notice.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. TESCHE reiterated  that no local ordinance  will work without                                                               
actual  notice and  thus he  didn't have  any objection  to using                                                               
language  to  that  effect  in the  legislation.    He  expressed                                                               
concern  with that  language going  further, such  that it  would                                                               
define  the  number  of  days  of notice  and  the  efforts  that                                                               
landlords  would  be permitted  to  take  without being  charged.                                                               
Dealing  with  those  specifics would  result  in  the  committee                                                               
drafting the  ordinance, which he  didn't believe should  be done                                                               
at the state legislative level.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI  agreed.  The committee  could deal with                                                               
the notice provision, but what  constitutes excessive needs to be                                                               
addressed at the local level.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1597                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA agreed  with placing  the actual  notice                                                               
requirement directly in  the statute.  She wasn't  sure where the                                                               
notice would  start, [would  notice occur]  when there  is police                                                               
contact  or   when  action   is  taken   [the  fee   is  levied].                                                               
Representative  Kerttula expressed  the  need  for the  following                                                               
language to be  included in the legislation, "The fee  may not be                                                               
imposed if the owner has  taken reasonable actions to correct the                                                               
problem."  She suggested making  it an exception or clearly state                                                               
in  statute  that  the municipality  must  consider  whether  the                                                               
property  owner is  taking action  before the  municipality takes                                                               
action.  Otherwise,  she felt that there would  be legal problems                                                               
later.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TESCHE  echoed  his  earlier  comments  that  Representative                                                               
Kerttula's  suggestions  verge  on  the actual  drafting  of  the                                                               
ordinance.     He  said  that   there  could  be   problems  with                                                               
Representative Kerttula's suggested  language because there could                                                               
be problems "because  ... the argument is going to  be, 'Well, as                                                               
per the  statute, did the  owner take reasonable action  and what                                                               
did  this committee  today mean  when  they wrote  that into  the                                                               
statute?'"   He  predicted that  such would  be litigated  by the                                                               
people running  the crack houses.   Mr.  Tesche said that  if the                                                               
committee  wants  to attach  new  requirements  into HB  135,  he                                                               
suggested the  following language:   "fees may not be  charged or                                                               
imposed  under this  statute if  owners  take prompt,  reasonable                                                               
corrective  measures  as  defined  by  local  ordinance."    That                                                               
language  would  establish   the  principle  that  Representative                                                               
Kerttula  is advancing  and refer  to the  local ordinance  where                                                               
reasonable would be defined.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1349                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DICK TREMAINE,  Member, Anchorage  Assembly, remarked that  he is                                                               
encouraged  to  see  this  bipartisan   effort  with  more  local                                                               
control.  As a landlord, Mr.  Tremaine said that he believes this                                                               
is a good idea.   With regard to the possibility  of the abuse of                                                               
power,  he pointed  out that  it is  good to  consider that  [and                                                               
realize] that there can always be an abuse of power.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MEYER  remarked that  this is  a problem  throughout the                                                               
City of Anchorage and the entire state.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1159                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA commented  on the  amorphousness of  the                                                               
"reasonable actions  to correct"  language.   She inquired  as to                                                               
the option  of [requiring] the  municipality to  consider whether                                                               
the  [property] owner  is in  the  process of  eviction or  there                                                               
could be  an exemption.   Representative Kerttula  clarified that                                                               
her major  concern was  in regard to  a [property  owner] already                                                               
being in the process of eviction.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TESCHE  said  that  he would  be  comfortable  with  general                                                               
language that says "reasonable corrective  action as defined by a                                                               
municipality."   He noted  that he  is trying  to keep  this from                                                               
getting into  the Landlord Tenant Act  and thus he would  opt for                                                               
the general language.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA agreed that seems reasonable.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0989                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HALCRO   moved  that  the  committee   adopt  the                                                               
following amendment, Amendment 1:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 14                                                                                                            
          Insert new subsection (b):                                                                                            
     "A  fee under  (a) of  this section  may not  be levied                                                                    
     unless  a  certified  letter   noticing  the  owner  of                                                                    
     violation of  the local ordinance  has been  issued and                                                                    
     the  owner has  had  a reasonable  time  to respond  as                                                                    
     defined by the ordinance."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI inquired  as to  whether Representative                                                               
Halcro meant  a reasonable time  to respond or a  reasonable time                                                               
to take corrective action.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HALCRO agreed that  the [property] owner should be                                                               
given time to respond [and] take corrective action.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI posed  a situation  in which  an absent                                                               
landlord  receives [the  municipality's] response  and says  that                                                               
it's his  property and  he can  do with  it what  he wants.   She                                                               
asked, "Are  we now off the  hook?"  She surmised  that the point                                                               
[of  this legislation]  is to  get the  [property owner]  to take                                                               
corrective action.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  MORGAN interjected  his suggestion  that the  notice be                                                               
certified  so the  [property] owner  would have  to sign  for the                                                               
notice.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  pointed out that most  court notice does                                                               
not require certified notice.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0771                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JIM  BALDWIN, Assistant  Attorney  General, Governmental  Affairs                                                               
Section,  Civil Division(Juneau),  Department of  Law, said  that                                                               
there  have been  some difficulties  in requiring  some certified                                                               
notices.   Therefore, it may not  be appropriate for the  bill to                                                               
specify how the notice is given.   Mr. Baldwin concurred with Mr.                                                               
Tesche's  comments  that this  could  be  worked out  at  another                                                               
level.   He  pointed  out that  postal  standards and  procedures                                                               
change  more  easily  than  the  law.    Therefore,  Mr.  Baldwin                                                               
recommended  that the  legislation  be fairly  general and  allow                                                               
flexibility in regard to how the notice is received.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TESCHE concurred  and indicated  that if  there is  language                                                               
specifying  that  there has  to  be  certified notice,  then  the                                                               
landlord would avoid  accepting any certified mail.   That action                                                               
would  create an  absolute defense  to  any action.   Mr.  Tesche                                                               
reiterated  his  support  of  specifying  actual  notice  in  the                                                               
legislation and leaving the specific  definition of the notice to                                                               
local governing bodies.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI  agreed  with Mr.  Tesche  that  actual                                                               
notice is appropriate.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0571                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUESS suggested  the  following  language [to  be                                                               
inserted  on page  1, line  14]:   "The  ordinance shall  require                                                               
actual  notice  to  residential owners  of  police  contacts  and                                                               
possible  fees."   She  also  suggested  inserting the  following                                                               
language:   "The ordinance shall include  consideration of prompt                                                               
reasonable corrective action as defined by the municipality."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HALCRO withdrew his amendment, Amendment 1.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SCALZI   asked  if  this  notification   was  the                                                               
notification  that goes  out prior  to  a citation  or after  the                                                               
first citation.   He asked, "What does  the notification actually                                                               
mean?"                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUESS  reiterated that  the notification  would be                                                               
left up to the municipalities  and would be about police contacts                                                               
and the possible fees that would be assessed.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SCALZI  announced   that  he   wouldn't  support                                                               
Representative   Guess'   amendment   because  he   trusted   the                                                               
municipalities to make that decision.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0333                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUESS   moved  that   the  committee   adopt  her                                                               
aforementioned amendment, now Amendment 1.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SCALZI  objected.   He referred  to Representative                                                               
Guess' proposed  language that would  require actual notice.   He                                                               
said, "I don't know what exactly  that means.  To me, its subject                                                               
to  interpretation  by the  local  municipality  as to  when  the                                                               
contacts must  take place, how  they should take place;  is there                                                               
going to be  a general notification to all property  owners?"  He                                                               
commented on its vagueness.  He  expressed the need to leave this                                                               
to the local governing body.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA disagreed.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   HALCRO   said  he   understands   Representative                                                               
Scalzi's  concerns.   This [amendment]  sets  forth some  minimum                                                               
parameters  for  reasonable  notification   and  allows  them  to                                                               
correct the measure.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  mentioned that  her husband sits  on the                                                               
Assembly  for the  City &  Borough of  Juneau.   She agreed  with                                                               
Representative Halcro that this set the minimum sideboard.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MURKOWSKI   hoped  that  this  is   a  conceptual                                                               
amendment so that the drafter can finesse the language.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUESS agreed that the amendment is conceptual.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote was  taken.  Representatives  Murkowski, Guess,                                                               
Kerttula,  Halcro, Morgan,  and  Meyer voted  for the  amendment.                                                               
Representative Scalzi  voted against  the amendment.   Therefore,                                                               
the amendment was adopted by a vote of 6-1.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 01-13, SIDE A                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUESS   announced  that   she  would   take  this                                                               
conceptual amendment  to the drafters  and provide  the committee                                                               
with an actual amendment when HB 135 is taken up again.  She                                                                    
recommended that anyone having concerns contact her so that it                                                                  
could be worked out.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MEYER announced that HB 135 would be taken up next                                                                     
Tuesday along with HB 145 and HB 20.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee meeting was                                                                   
adjourned at 9:55 a.m.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                

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