Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/26/2001 01:53 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       April 26, 2001                                                                                           
                         1:53 P.M.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE HFC 01 - 97, Side A                                                                                                        
TAPE HFC 01 - 97, Side B                                                                                                        
TAPE HFC 01 - 98, Side A                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Williams called the House  Finance Committee meeting                                                                   
to order at 1:53 P.M.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bill Williams, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Eldon Mulder, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Con Bunde, Vice-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Eric Croft                                                                                                       
Representative John Davies                                                                                                      
Representative Carl Moses                                                                                                       
Representative Richard Foster                                                                                                   
Representative John Harris                                                                                                      
Representative Bill Hudson                                                                                                      
Representative Ken Lancaster                                                                                                    
Representative Jim Whitaker                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Eddy Jeans,  Manger, School  Finance and Facilities  Section,                                                                   
Department of  Education and Early Development;  Pam LaBolle,                                                                   
President,  Alaska State  Chamber of  Commerce, Juneau;  Bill                                                                   
Cramer,  Acting Director,  Unemployment  Insurance  Division,                                                                   
Department  of   Labor  and  Workforce  Development;   Denise                                                                   
Henderson, Staff, Representative  Pete Kott; Jerry Luckhaupt,                                                                   
Legislative Legal, Legislative  Affairs Agency; Nancy Weller,                                                                   
State,  Federal  &  Tribal  Relations,  Division  of  Medical                                                                   
Assistance, Department  of Health and Social  Services; Karen                                                                   
Perdue,  Commissioner,   Department  of  Health   and  Social                                                                   
Services;   Rebecca    Nance-Gamez,   Deputy    Commissioner,                                                                   
Department   of   Labor  and   Workforce   Development;   Don                                                                   
Etheridge,  Alaska   State  AFL-CIO,  Juneau;   Kim  Garnero,                                                                   
Director, Division of Finance,  Department of Administration.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Katelyn  Markley, Development  Specialist, Alaska  Industrial                                                                   
Development  &   Export  Authority  (AIDEA),   Department  of                                                                   
Commerce & Economic Development, Anchorage.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 58     An Act relating to the calculation and payment of                                                                     
          unemployment  compensation benefits;  and providing                                                                   
          for an effective date.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          CS HB  58 (L&C) was reported out of  Committee with                                                                   
          a "do  pass" recommendation and with  a fiscal note                                                                   
          #1  by  the  Department   of  Labor  and  Workforce                                                                   
          Development,    #2    by    the    Department    of                                                                   
          Administration and #4  by the University of Alaska.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HB 65     An Act relating to a new optional group of persons                                                                    
          eligible   for  medical   assistance  who   require                                                                   
          treatment  for  breast   or  cervical  cancer;  and                                                                   
          providing for an effective date.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          CS HB 65 (HES) was reported out of Committee with                                                                     
          a "do  pass" recommendation and with  a fiscal note                                                                   
          #1 by  the Department  of Health & Social  Services                                                                   
          dated 1/16/01.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HB 125    An  Act relating to  unlawful and indecent  viewing                                                                   
          and photography and  to civil damages and penalties                                                                   
          for that viewing and photography.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          CS HB 125 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with                                                                    
          "individual"   recommendations  and  with   a  zero                                                                   
          fiscal note by #1 Department  of Law dated 4/20/01,                                                                   
          zero #2  by the Alaska Court System  dated 4/20/01,                                                                   
          and  fiscal impact  note  #3 by  the Department  of                                                                   
          Administration dated 4/20/01.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HB 175    An  Act  making  an  appropriation  to  the  Alaska                                                                   
          Industrial  Development  and Export  Authority  for                                                                   
          power  projects;  and  providing for  an  effective                                                                   
          date.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
          HB 175 was HEARD and HELD in Committee for further                                                                    
          consideration.                                                                                                        
HB 191    An  Act authorizing  financing  for certain  public                                                                   
          transportation  projects;   giving  notice  of  and                                                                   
          approving  the  entry  into,  and the  issuance  of                                                                   
          revenue obligations  that provide participation in,                                                                   
          lease-financing      agreements      for      those                                                                   
          transportation  projects;   and  providing  for  an                                                                   
          effective date.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
          HB 191 was RESCHEDULED for a hearing at a later                                                                       
          date.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
HB 234    An Act relating to the financing of construction                                                                      
          and  renovation of certain  public facilities;  and                                                                   
          providing for an effective date.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          HB 234 was RESCHEDULED for a hearing at a later                                                                       
          date.                                                                                                                 
HB 238    An Act relating to the power transmission intertie                                                                    
          fund of the Alaska Energy Authority.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
          HB 238 was HEARD and HELD in Committee for further                                                                    
          consideration.                                                                                                        
HB 260    An Act requiring the owners or operators of                                                                           
          certain passenger  vessels operating in  the marine                                                                   
          waters  of  the  state  to  register  the  vessels;                                                                   
          establishing     information-gathering,      record                                                                   
          keeping,  and  reporting requirements  relating  to                                                                   
          the  vessels' gray  water  and sewage;  prohibiting                                                                   
          the discharge of untreated  sewage from the vessels                                                                   
          unless  exempted; placing  limits on discharges  of                                                                   
          treated  sewage  and gray  water  from the  vessels                                                                   
          unless   exempted;    establishing   a   commercial                                                                   
          passenger    vessel   coastal   protection    fund;                                                                   
          establishing   a   fee  on   commercial   passenger                                                                   
          vessels,  that are  not  exempt from  the fee,  for                                                                   
          each  voyage during  which the  vessels operate  in                                                                   
          the  marine  waters  of  the  state  based  on  the                                                                   
          overnight  accommodation  capacity  of the  vessels                                                                   
          determined  with reference to  the number  of lower                                                                   
          berths;  establishing   penalties  for  failure  to                                                                   
          comply with  certain laws relating to  the vessels;                                                                   
          authorizing   the   Department   of   Environmental                                                                   
          Conservation  to encourage  and recognize  superior                                                                   
          environmental   protection   efforts   related   to                                                                   
          commercial    passenger     vessels;    authorizing                                                                   
          exemptions  from some  laws relating to  discharges                                                                   
          from  the vessels  and  from the  fee  requirements                                                                   
          related  to the  vessels; requiring  a report  from                                                                   
          the   Department  of   Environmental   Conservation                                                                   
          concerning  matters  relating to  the vessels;  and                                                                   
          providing for an effective date.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          HB 260 was RESCHEDULED for a hearing at a later                                                                       
          date.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 125                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     An Act relating to unlawful and indecent viewing and                                                                       
     photography and to civil damages and penalties for that                                                                    
     viewing and photography.                                                                                                   
     providing for an effective date.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DENISE  HENDERSON, STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE  PETE KOTT,  stated                                                                   
that HB  125 would  amend Alaska  Statute 09.68  by adding  a                                                                 
section  that  creates  protection for  victims  of  improper                                                                   
viewing  and/or  photography.     The  bill  establishes  the                                                                   
parameters for what  is considered to be improper  viewing or                                                                   
photography.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Henderson  added  that  the   bill  would  prohibit  the                                                                   
transmission of  pictures or video  images over  the Internet                                                                   
without the  consent of  the subject or  the parents,  if the                                                                   
subject  was a  minor.   The  bill  would also  prohibit  any                                                                   
monetary  gain to  be had by  the perpetrators  of crimes  as                                                                   
well as imposing stiff monetary fines.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Henderson  summarized that  HB 125  would ban a  practice                                                                 
known  simply   as  "up-skirting  or  down-blousing".     The                                                                   
Internet has  made the  practice more  common with  web sites                                                                   
posting  images and buying  pictures from  high tech  peeping                                                                   
toms and  telling users where  to buy hidden cameras.   Those                                                                   
web  sites  basically   promote  the  practice   as  well  as                                                                   
encourage it.   The bill is  designed to protect  the privacy                                                                   
of all the residents in the State of Alaska.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Bunde  asked if the  legislation resulted  from an                                                                   
extension of an  existing problem in the Mat-Su  Valley.  Ms.                                                                   
Henderson acknowledged  that it had.  There  were no previous                                                                   
civil  statutes  which  allowed  people  to  file  for  civil                                                                   
liabilities in these cases.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Davies referenced Page  2, Line 5,  and asked                                                                   
what  "viewed   and  photographed"  meant.     Ms.  Henderson                                                                   
explained that  a problem exists  with using photographs  and                                                                   
then posting them on the Internet.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Davies  asked if the fine would  be $5,000 per                                                                   
day  for each  day  the photograph  was  up.   Ms.  Henderson                                                                   
replied that was correct.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Davies reiterated  concerns with language  on                                                                   
Page 2, Line 5.  He requested  more information regarding the                                                                   
class of penalty it would be.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JERRY  LUCKHAUPT,  LEGISLATIVE   LEGAL,  LEGISLATIVE  AFFAIRS                                                                   
AGENCY, explained  that the  language refers  to a part  of a                                                                   
civil penalty.  It stipulates  that each day that a person is                                                                   
viewed  and photographed,  there would  be a separate  $5,000                                                                   
penalty.   Earlier in that  provision, the language  provides                                                                   
for  a  $100 dollar  accounting  for  each  photograph  made.                                                                   
There   are   different   alternatives   provided   and   the                                                                   
legislation provides for a separate  scheme for each day that                                                                   
the viewing takes place.  A Class  A misdemeanor provides for                                                                   
a $5,000 fine.  In Section 2,  a new crime, improper viewing,                                                                   
is made  which would be a  Class A misdemeanor.   The maximum                                                                   
penalty  for that  would be  one year  in jail  and a  $5,000                                                                   
dollar fine.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Davies pointed  out  that the  fine would  be                                                                   
assessed each day that the person  was viewed or photographed                                                                   
improperly.    He  asked  what  the  phrase  "photograph  was                                                                   
viewed"  would  encompass.    Mr.  Luckhaupt  explained  that                                                                   
language was drafted  in order to provide the  concept of the                                                                   
fine for the viewing or photographing.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Davies  reiterated his concern  with the Class                                                                   
A misdemeanor and the associated  penalty.  He suggested that                                                                   
a cap be  placed on the amount.   A Class C  felony typically                                                                   
has a $50,000 dollar fine which he thought was too much.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Davies MOVED to  ADOPT an amendment to Page 2,                                                                   
Lines  4 &  5, including  an "up  to" amount  perhaps in  the                                                                   
neighborhood of $15,000 dollars.   Co-Chair Williams OBJECTED                                                                   
for discussion.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Whitaker  asked  why the  penalty  should  be                                                                   
reduced.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Davies WITHDREW his MOTION.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Croft commented  on language indicated on Page                                                                   
2, Lines  8-12, regarding  the concealed  camera.   He stated                                                                   
that under  the bill, it would  be a crime for  knowingly and                                                                   
"surreptitiously"  viewing  inside a  house.   Mr.  Luckhaupt                                                                   
stated  that that  the  surreptitiously  viewing  would be  a                                                                   
viewing  that  is  unnatural   and  suspicious.    Discussion                                                                   
followed on  the meaning of "surreptitiously".  Mr. Luckhaupt                                                                   
noted  that   the  dictionary  definition   of  surreptitious                                                                   
viewing would  be something  like hiding  from behind  a bush                                                                   
peering through the blinds.  Representative  Croft questioned                                                                   
if the  person in the interior  of the house  would determine                                                                   
if it was surreptitious or not.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Bunde  referenced language  on Page 2,  Lines 3-4,                                                                   
and asked  about the  civil penalty.   He  questioned if  the                                                                   
case could  be taken on  contingency.  Mr. Luckhaupt  advised                                                                   
that the penalty  was provided under the civil  scheme in the                                                                   
first section  of the bill.   The first penalty would  be the                                                                   
person's actual  damages, Page 1,  Line 10; there would  be a                                                                   
penalty placed on the person for  every picture they produced                                                                   
from the illegal viewing and there  would be a penalty placed                                                                   
on them for $5,000 for each day  that they do the action.  He                                                                   
stressed that the penalty was  designed in order to encourage                                                                   
people not to partake in the conduct.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Bunde noted  that  the upper  limit  of the  fine                                                                   
would be determined in Court.   Mr. Luckhaupt stated that the                                                                   
victim of  the offense,  the plaintiff,  would have  to prove                                                                   
how  many  days that  person  had  been illegally  viewed  or                                                                   
photographed.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Bunde asked  if the fine would be  mandatory.  Mr.                                                                   
Luckhaupt  advised that it  would not  be a typical  criminal                                                                   
situation.   The Court would  impose the fine  and penalties.                                                                   
He emphasized that it is important  to provide some incentive                                                                   
that the person not engage in the illegal videotaping.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Davies commented  that most people do not know                                                                   
the law even though they have  a general moral sense that the                                                                   
behavior is  improper.  He  argued that  ending up with  a $3                                                                   
million dollar  fine could create  a very bad situation.   He                                                                   
urged that  a limit be  placed on the  crime.  He  emphasized                                                                   
that the legislation provides for no limit.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Williams questioned  the limit  for civil  actions.                                                                   
Mr. Luck advised that there is  not a limit.  In such a case,                                                                   
other provisions and damages suffered  by the person could be                                                                   
unlimited.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Henderson noted that the discussion  was being focused on                                                                   
the  monetary amount  indicated in  the bill.   She  insisted                                                                   
that  there is  no  monetary cap  which can  be  placed on  a                                                                   
person's  privacy.   Representative  Davies agreed,  however,                                                                   
pointed out  that there is no  way to determine the  value of                                                                   
"privacy"; the  way that is usually  used to determine  it is                                                                   
by setting a class  of penalty.  He stated  that the question                                                                   
is: "Does this  crime equal ten felonies?"   He stressed that                                                                   
there must be  some kind of rational used in  determining the                                                                   
penalty scheme.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Bunde   asked  if  the  sponsor   would  consider                                                                   
compromise in that language.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Lancaster  agreed that a person  could not put                                                                   
a value on their  privacy.  He believed that  society needs a                                                                   
message  that the fine  would be  unlimited.   Representative                                                                   
Davies argued  that there  should be  a rational between  the                                                                   
penalty scale and the level of the crime.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Henderson   stated  that  the  sponsor   would  consider                                                                   
amending the language.   Vice-Chair Bunde MOVED  a conceptual                                                                   
amendment  to  Page  2,  Line 4,  inserting  "up  to"  before                                                                   
"$5,000 a day".  Representative Lancaster OBJECTED.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR:      Davies, Harris, Hudson, Moses, Whitaker,                                                                         
               Bunde                                                                                                            
OPPOSED:       Foster, Lancaster                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Mulder  and  Representative  Croft  were  not                                                                   
present for the vote.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION PASSED (7-2).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Whitaker questioned  who could be found liable                                                                   
under the language  in the bill.  Mr. Luckhaupt  replied that                                                                   
Section 1 of  the bill provides for civil  penalties; Section                                                                   
2 of the bill provides for the  criminal penalty for improper                                                                   
viewing of photography  and Section 3 of the  bill amends the                                                                   
current law for  indecent viewing of photography.   Section 3                                                                   
is the portion of the bill addressing  the viewing of private                                                                   
exposure of the  genitals, anus or female breasts  of another                                                                   
person.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Whitaker  questioned how much  the legislation                                                                   
addressed  the   person  viewing   the  photographs   on  the                                                                   
Internet.  Mr. Luckhaupt explained  that the person that does                                                                   
the viewing, would not be the person prosecuted.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Whitaker   inquired   the   place   in   the                                                                   
legislation, which  precludes a person sitting in  his or her                                                                   
own home and  viewing.  Mr. Luckhaupt referenced  language in                                                                   
Sections 2 & 3, Page 2, Line 7.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Whitaker  voiced   concern   that  in   that                                                                   
language,  the person  would be  held  liable for  improperly                                                                   
viewing if  that person was knowingly  viewing.  He  asked if                                                                   
"surreptitiously"  was the key word.   Mr. Luck  advised that                                                                   
when you are sitting in your own  home, you are not viewing a                                                                   
person in his or  her own home.  Someone that  is viewing the                                                                   
person in his or  her own home, is the person  committing the                                                                   
offense.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Whitaker asked  if the  person viewing  a web                                                                   
cam  in  the  privacy  of  his  or  her  own  home  would  be                                                                   
precluded.  They would be a third  party to the production of                                                                   
that  site.   Mr. Luckhaupt  replied  that  a web  cam was  a                                                                   
closed  circuit.   Representative  Whitaker  stated  that  he                                                                   
wanted to guarantee that a person  watching the web would not                                                                   
be subject to  prosecution.  Mr. Luckhaupt noted  that he did                                                                   
not perceive that person would be guilty of viewing.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Whitaker  asked  if   a  person   living  in                                                                   
Anchorage and  viewing a picture produced in  Southeast would                                                                   
be subject to prosecution.  Mr.  Luckhaupt reiterated that he                                                                   
did not believe that they would be subject to prosecution.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Whitaker  agreed  that  it  is  important  to                                                                   
establish the  definition of  "surreptitiously" viewed.   Mr.                                                                   
Luckhaupt suggested  that the Committee could  draft a Letter                                                                   
of Intent  clarifying the  meaning of  that section  and that                                                                   
viewing secondary exposure of  photographs or videotape would                                                                   
not be subject to prosecution.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hudson asked what  portion of the  bill would                                                                   
preclude  someone  viewing  through  the  Internet,  be  held                                                                   
harmless.  He understood  that the intent of the  bill was to                                                                   
address "peeping toms".                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Williams  stated  that  HB  125 would  be  HELD  in                                                                   
Committee for further consideration.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
TAPE HFC 01 - 97, Side B                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 65                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     An  Act relating  to  a new  optional  group of  persons                                                                   
     eligible  for medical assistance  who require  treatment                                                                   
     for  breast or  cervical  cancer; and  providing for  an                                                                   
     effective date.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
NANCY WELLER, STATE, FEDERAL &  TRIBAL RELATIONS, DIVISION OF                                                                   
MEDICAL   ASSISTANCE,  DEPARTMENT   OF   HEALTH  AND   SOCIAL                                                                   
SERVICES, stated  that during the past year,  Congress passed                                                                   
legislation  to improve  health care for  women by  extending                                                                   
Medicaid  coverage  for  treatment  of  breast  and  cervical                                                                   
cancer.  In the interest of improving  Alaskans' health care,                                                                   
the bill  would allow  the State  to take  advantage of  this                                                                   
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Weller stated  that  by opting  into  this new  Medicaid                                                                   
program, uninsured women who have  been diagnosed with breast                                                                   
or  cervical  cancer  under a  federally  financed  screening                                                                   
program, would  be eligible for  treatment.  In  Alaska, that                                                                   
could  mean some  70  women or  so per  year,  who could  not                                                                   
otherwise afford  cancer treatment, would be  able to receive                                                                   
care.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Weller continued, the federal  program began in 1990 when                                                                   
Congress  passed the  Breast  and Cervical  Cancer  Mortality                                                                   
Prevention Act establishing the  Center for Disease Control's                                                                   
(CDC)  national breast  and cervical  cancer early  detection                                                                   
program. The CDC program provides  grants for screening exams                                                                   
to  millions  of  people  who   meet  eligibility  guidelines                                                                   
throughout  the country  each  year, including  Alaska.   The                                                                   
grantees  provide clinical  breast  exams,  pelvic exams  and                                                                   
mammograms.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
She noted that  unfortunately, federal money  did not provide                                                                   
for  follow-up  treatment to  any  of the  uninsured  persons                                                                   
diagnosed with  cancer, until now.   With last  year's Breast                                                                   
and Cervical Cancer Prevention  and Treatment Act signed into                                                                   
law, states may select a new Medicaid  option to cover cancer                                                                   
treatments of  uninsured women diagnosed under  the CDC early                                                                   
detection program.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
The American  Cancer Society estimated  182,800 new  cases of                                                                   
invasive  breast  cancer and  12,800  new cases  of  invasive                                                                   
cervical cancer expected  to occur among women  in the United                                                                   
States  during the  year, resulting  in  an estimated  45,400                                                                   
deaths.   As  a result  of the  recent congressional  action,                                                                   
diagnosed,  uninsured,  low-income  persons can  receive  the                                                                   
treatment needed  to save  their lives.   In order  to extend                                                                   
the  program to  Alaskan  women,  she urged  the  Committee's                                                                   
action on this legislation.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Bunde  pointed out the letter received  by members                                                                   
from Senator  Murkowski, encouraging forward movement  of the                                                                   
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
In response  to Representative  Harris' question,  Ms. Weller                                                                   
noted that it would be an optional coverage group.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Lancaster  questioned if the  legislation were                                                                   
to be  passed, if anyone  would be turned  away.   Ms. Weller                                                                   
replied that  there are  a certain  number of providers  that                                                                   
are enrolled  in the screening.   If a person  has insurance,                                                                   
they would not be eligible for Medicaid.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
KAREN PERDUE,  COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH  AND SOCIAL                                                                   
SERVICES, commented  that the  Department supports  the bill.                                                                   
She urged that the bill be passed out of Committee.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Bunde  MOVED to  report  CS HB  65  (HES) out  of                                                                   
Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal  note.  There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CS  HB 65  (HES) was  reported out  of Committee  with a  "do                                                                   
pass" recommendation and with  a fiscal note #1 by Department                                                                   
of Health & Social Services dated 1/16/01.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 58                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     An Act relating to the calculation and payment of                                                                          
     unemployment compensation benefits; and providing for                                                                      
     an effective date.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REBECCA  NANCE-GAMEZ,  DEPUTY   COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT  OF                                                                   
LABOR  AND   WORKFORCE  DEVELOPMENT,  stated   that  Alaska's                                                                   
economy includes many seasonal  industries with employees who                                                                   
rely on their unemployment benefits  to fill the gaps between                                                                   
times of  work.  The current  rate of unemployment  insurance                                                                   
payments  falls  short  in  helping   families  cover  living                                                                   
expenses.    Alaska's  unemployment  insurance  provides  the                                                                   
lowest percentage  of the State's average weekly  wage of any                                                                   
state.  Alaska's maximum weekly  benefit amount of $248 ranks                                                                   
  th                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
To  correct the  inadequacy, HB  58 has  been transmitted  to                                                                   
increase unemployment  insurance benefits and then  index the                                                                   
benefits to the  State's average weekly wage,  so that future                                                                   
adjustments  would  be  automatic  and  synchronized  to  the                                                                   
State's economy.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Nance-Gamez  commented that  under the bill,  the maximum                                                                   
weekly  benefit amount  would  increase January  1, 2002,  to                                                                   
$284.   Those  earning  $31,250  or more  per  year would  be                                                                   
eligible for the maximum benefit.   A year later, the maximum                                                                   
weekly benefit amount would be  indexed to the average weekly                                                                   
wage  in the  State for  the preceding  fiscal  year, set  at                                                                   
fifty percent  of that wage.   Based on current  projections,                                                                   
the maximum weekly  benefit amount in 2003 would  be $320 for                                                                   
those  claimants  who earned  $35,500  or  more.   She  urged                                                                   
support for the legislation                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL   CRAMER,  ACTING   ASSISTANT   DIRECTOR,   UNEMPLOYMENT                                                                   
INSURANCE  DIVISION,   DEPARTMENT  OF  LABOR   AND  WORKFORCE                                                                   
DEVELOPMENT, responded to questions  by Co-Chair Williams and                                                                   
noted  that  the  State  of  Alaska  is  last  and  that  the                                                                   
percentage  of  the average  weekly  wage  is 32%;  the  next                                                                   
lowest paying state  is Illinois at a 38% replacement  of the                                                                   
average weekly  wage.   The average weekly  cost of  a living                                                                   
wage increase was in 1996, moving  from $212 to $248 dollars.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Foster   asked  the  employee   and  employer                                                                   
percentage  being  paid.   Ms.  Nance-Gamez replied  that  in                                                                   
Alaska, employers  pay 80%.   New Jersey  is the  other state                                                                   
that has an employer's contribution.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PAM  LABOLLE, PRESIDENT,  ALASKA STATE  CHAMBER OF  COMMERCE,                                                                   
JUNEAU,  stated that  the  increase proposed  would  increase                                                                   
unemployment  compensation by  29% above  the present  level.                                                                   
Alaska employers  would pay the  cost of the increase,  which                                                                   
would be  $10 million dollars.   The Alaska State  Chamber of                                                                   
Commerce  believes that  the  increase would  be  exorbitant.                                                                   
She   noted  that   the  State   Chamber   does  oppose   the                                                                   
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hudson  asked  the  first year  cost  to  the                                                                   
employer.   Ms. LaBolle responded  that if the  increase were                                                                   
$10 million  dollars, the first  year increase would  be $3.5                                                                   
million dollars.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DON ETHERIDGE,  ALASKA STATE  AFL-CIO, JUNEAU, voiced  strong                                                                   
support  for the  legislation.   He noted  that the  proposed                                                                   
legislation  was the number  one priority  this year  for the                                                                   
Union.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
KIM  GARNERO, DIRECTOR,  DIVISION OF  FINANCE, DEPARTMENT  OF                                                                   
ADMINISTRATION, addressed  the fiscal note.   She stated that                                                                   
the  State   of  Alaska  is   a  reimbursable   employer  for                                                                   
employment   insurance  purposes.     The   State  pays   tax                                                                   
contributions  based on the  employers experience  rating and                                                                   
the employees contribute.  The  State reimburses the fund for                                                                   
actual payments made to former employees.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster MOVED to  ADOPT Amendment #1.  [Copy on                                                                   
File].  He asked Ms. LaBolle to  speak to the amendment.  Co-                                                                   
Chair Williams OBJECTED for purposes of discussion.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms. LaBolle explained  that the amendment would  supports the                                                                   
position of  the State Chamber  of Commerce that  an increase                                                                   
only occurs on the first level.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR:      Foster, Mulder                                                                                                   
OPPOSED:       Bunde,   Croft,    Davies,   Harris,   Hudson,                                                                   
               Lancaster, Whitaker                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Moses was not present for the vote.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION FAILED (2-8).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative J.  Davies MOVED to report CS HB  58 (L&C) out                                                                   
of Committee  with  individual recommendations  and with  the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal notes.  There  being NO OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CS  HB 58  (L&C) was  reported out  of Committee  with a  "do                                                                   
pass" recommendation  and with  fiscal note #1  by Department                                                                   
of  Labor and  Workforce  Development,  #2 by  Department  of                                                                   
Administration and #4 by the University of Alaska.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 175                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     An Act making an appropriation to the Alaska Industrial                                                                    
     Development and Export Authority for power projects;                                                                       
     and providing for an effective date.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Lancaster   MOVED  to  ADOPT   the  committee                                                                   
substitute  HB 175  (FIN), 22-LS0705\R,  Cramer, 4/26/01,  as                                                                   
the version  of the bill before  the Committee.   There being                                                                   
NO OBJECTION, it was adopted as the working document.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Lancaster explained the  changes made  to the                                                                   
proposed version of the legislation.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Bunde inquired the cost to the State.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
TAPE HFC 01 - 98, Side A                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
KATELYN MARKLEY, (TESTIFIED VIA  TELECONFERENCE), DEVELOPMENT                                                                   
SPECIALIST, ALASKA INDUSTRIAL  DEVELOPMENT & EXPORT AUTHORITY                                                                   
(AIDEA),  DEPARTMENT  OF  COMMERCE  &  ECONOMIC  DEVELOPMENT,                                                                   
ANCHORAGE, explained  that if  the Committee decided  to look                                                                   
into compound  interest for the  next twenty years,  a number                                                                   
could  be determined.   She  added  that AIDEA  does not  use                                                                   
general fund  money, and  as such, it  would not be  a direct                                                                   
cost to the State.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Lancaster  thought that some  project involved                                                                   
with Power Cost Equalization (PCE)  would have some amount to                                                                   
offset the interest.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hudson understood that  the balance  would be                                                                   
taken  from   the  Railbelt  Energy  Fund.     Representative                                                                   
Lancaster stated  that was not  correct.  The total  would be                                                                   
$101  million dollars  which would  come out  of the  Capital                                                                   
Budget Reserve  (CBR).  Vice-Chair  Bunde discussed  the cost                                                                   
of inflation which would be "eaten".                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Whitaker spoke to  the cost of  lost earnings                                                                   
and then  taking no  action.   He urged  that all factors  be                                                                   
taken into consideration, as well as taking no action.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Croft asked  the significance  of putting  it                                                                   
into the Railbelt  Energy Fund since that is  not the funding                                                                   
source.   Representative  Lancaster  advised  that could  pay                                                                   
back  the  Railbelt  Energy  Fund.     Representative  Harris                                                                   
responded that was  the intent, but it was not  the manner in                                                                   
which  the bill  had  been written.    He proposed  that  the                                                                   
drafting of the bill should be scrutinized.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Croft   referenced   Page   3,   the   lapse                                                                   
provisions, which  would lapse back  into the CBR.   He asked                                                                   
where  the loans  would be  paid.   Representative  Lancaster                                                                   
commented that  the payback would  be to the  Railbelt Energy                                                                   
Fund.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hudson  asked further clarification  regarding                                                                   
the $100 million dollar loan being  paid back to the Railbelt                                                                   
Energy Fund.   Representative  Lancaster replied that was the                                                                   
intent.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Bunde  stated  that  HB  175  would  be  HELD  in                                                                   
Committee for further consideration.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 238                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     An Act relating to the power transmission intertie fund                                                                    
     of the Alaska Energy Authority.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Lancaster  stated  that   HB  238   was  the                                                                   
mechanism that  the Department  of Law recommended  to change                                                                   
the statute to allow AIDEA to  receive the funds and have the                                                                   
authority to spend those funds.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
HB 238 was HELD in Committee for further consideration.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
#HB125                                                                                                                        
HOUSE BILL NO. 125                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     An Act relating to unlawful and indecent viewing and                                                                       
     photography and to civil damages and penalties for that                                                                    
     viewing and photography.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Foster   MOVED  to  report  HB   125  out  of                                                                   
Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  with  the                                                                   
attached fiscal notes.  Representative Croft OBJECTED.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Croft stressed  that a $5,000 fine to look out                                                                   
of window was not appropriate  and allowed for too broad of a                                                                   
net.   He stated  that it is  the job  of the Legislature  to                                                                   
write precise language in criminal  code.  He urged that more                                                                   
time  be  allowed  to address  the  proposed  language.    He                                                                   
emphasized that  vague language should not be  accompanied by                                                                   
a Letter of Intent to clarify it.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Bunde pointed  out  that if  adults were  viewing                                                                   
pornography from their own homes,  they would not be charged.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Henderson advised  that HB  125 was  an excellent  bill.                                                                   
She maintained  that everyone  deserves the right  to protect                                                                   
their  personal privacy.   Through  the  legislation, if  the                                                                   
right of privacy  were violated, then there would  be a civil                                                                   
avenue to address it.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Croft reiterated  his concerns.   There  is a                                                                   
category of  conduct that is  inappropriate in the  action of                                                                   
viewing, clothed  or unclothed.  Mr. Luckhaupt  stated if you                                                                   
could see  someone and the blinds  were open, that  would not                                                                   
be surreptitious  viewing.  It could be contained  within the                                                                   
use of  the term  or device.   He noted that  it was  not his                                                                   
intent that  the "view" would  be an expectation  of privacy.                                                                   
Someone who is not aware that  they are being viewed could be                                                                   
"surreptitiously" viewed.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Croft   referenced  Page  2,   Line  28,  the                                                                   
"private exposure".   He reiterated that  the "surreptitious"                                                                   
viewing is not clear language.   He reiterated that Section 1                                                                   
was fine, however, Section 2 was problematic.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Croft WITHDREW his  OBJECTION and  noted that                                                                   
he would  work on an  amendment for the  House Floor.   There                                                                   
being NO further OBJECTIONS, the legislation was adopted.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CS   HB   125   (FIN)  was   adopted   with   a   "individual                                                                   
recommendations" and  with fiscal notes by  the #1-Department                                                                   
of Law dated 4/20/01, #2-the Alaska Court System dated                                                                          
4/20/01, and #3-Department of Administration dated 4/20/01.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 3:35 P.M.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects