Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/16/2002 02:14 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       April 16, 2002                                                                                           
                         2:14 P.M.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE HFC 02 - 85, Side A                                                                                                        
TAPE HFC 02 - 85, Side B                                                                                                        
TAPE HFC 02 - 86, Side A                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Williams called the House  Finance Committee meeting                                                                   
to order at 2:14 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 Richard Foster                                                                                                   
Representative John Harris                                                                                                      
Representative Bill Hudson                                                                                                      
Representative Ken Lancaster                                                                                                    
Representative Jim Whitaker                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Carl Moses                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative    Lisa   Murkowski;   Representative    Harry                                                                   
Crawford;   Representative   Gary  Stevens;   Margot   Knuth,                                                                   
Assistant Attorney  General, Department of  Corrections; Anne                                                                   
Carpeneti,   Assistant  Attorney   General,  Legal   Services                                                                   
Section, Criminal Division, Department  of Law; Marie Darlin,                                                                   
Alaska  Association   of  Retired   Persons  (AARP);   Lauree                                                                   
Hugonin,  Executive  Director,  Alaska  Network  on  Domestic                                                                   
Violence  and  Sexual  Assault;  Dana  Tindall,  Senior  Vice                                                                   
President of Regulatory Affairs,  GCI, Anchorage; Eric Yould,                                                                   
Executive   Director,  Alaska   Rural  Electric   Cooperative                                                                   
Association   (ARECA),   Anchorage;   Jim   Rowe,   Executive                                                                   
Director,  Alaska  Telephone  Association  (ATA),  Anchorage;                                                                   
Crystal  Smith, Department  of Law;  Jennifer Adzima,  Staff,                                                                   
Representative  Harry   Crawford;  Nan  Thompson,   Director,                                                                   
Alaska Regulatory Commission, Anchorage                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Lieutenant Julia Grimes, Alaska State Troopers, Department                                                                      
of Public Safety, Anchorage; Jim Kubitz, Vice President,                                                                        
Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC); Cindy Drinkwater,                                                                           
Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law, Anchorage;                                                                       
Dana Dodds, Anchorage; Diane Shanker,  Alaska State Troopers,                                                                   
Department of Public Safety, Anchorage; Jim Kubitz, Alaska                                                                      
Railroad Corporation (ARRC); Linda Wilson, Executive                                                                            
Director, Alaska Public Defender, Anchorage                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 317    An Act  relating to  stalking and amending  Rule 4,                                                                   
          Alaska  Rules  of  Civil  Procedure,  and  Rule  9,                                                                   
          Alaska Rules of Administration.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
          CS HB 317 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with                                                                    
          a "do pass" recommendation  and with fiscal note #1                                                                   
          by the  Department of Law, #2-indeterminent  by the                                                                   
          Department of Corrections,  #3-indeterminent by the                                                                   
          Department  of Administration, and a  new zero note                                                                   
          by the Department of Public Safety.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HB 333    An  Act  extending  the  termination  date  of  the                                                                   
          Regulatory Commission  of Alaska; and providing for                                                                   
          an effective date.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
          CS HB 333 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with                                                                    
          a "do pass" recommendation  and with fiscal note #1                                                                   
          by   the  Department   of   Community  &   Economic                                                                   
          Development.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HB 393    An  Act  relating  to unfair  and  deceptive  trade                                                                   
          practices    and   to   the   sale    of   business                                                                   
          opportunities;  amending  Rules  4 and  73,  Alaska                                                                   
          Rules  of Civil  Procedure;  and  providing for  an                                                                   
          effective date.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
          CS HB 393 (JUD) was reported out of Committee with                                                                    
          a  "do pass"  recommendation and  with fiscal  note                                                                   
          #1-indeterminent by the Department of Law.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HB 498    An  Act  expressing  legislative  intent  regarding                                                                   
          privately operated correctional  facility space and                                                                   
          services;   relating   to   the   development   and                                                                   
          financing   of  privately   operated   correctional                                                                   
          facility   space  and  services;   authorizing  the                                                                   
          Department   of  Corrections   to  enter   into  an                                                                   
          agreement   for  the   confinement   and  care   of                                                                   
          prisoners   in  privately   operated   correctional                                                                   
          facility  space;  and  providing for  an  effective                                                                   
          date.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
          CS HB 498 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with                                                                    
          "individual  recommendations" and  with new  fiscal                                                                   
          notes  by the  Department  of  Corrections and  the                                                                   
          Department of Revenue.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
#HB393                                                                                                                        
HOUSE BILL NO. 393                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     An Act relating to unfair  and deceptive trade practices                                                                   
     and  to the  sale  of business  opportunities;  amending                                                                   
     Rules  4 and 73,  Alaska Rules  of Civil Procedure;  and                                                                   
     providing for an effective date.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARY STEVENS,  SPONSOR, noted  that the  bill                                                                   
would  create a  new,  comprehensive statute  regulating  the                                                                   
sale  of  business  opportunities.    Business  opportunities                                                                   
commonly  referred to,  as "biz opps"  are prepackaged  small                                                                   
business deals  primarily targeted  to novice  entrepreneurs.                                                                   
Although,   some  business   opportunities  offer   consumers                                                                   
legitimate methods  for earning income, the  field is fraught                                                                   
with unfair  and deceptive practices.   Unwary  consumers are                                                                   
enticed  by  the  promise  of  high  earnings,  which  rarely                                                                   
materialize.    According  to the  Federal  Trade  Commission                                                                   
(FTC), buz  opp scams bill  customers across the  country for                                                                   
much money each year.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Stevens  advised  that  with HB  393,  Alaska                                                                   
would  join  approximately  half   of  the  other  states  in                                                                   
regulating the  sale of business opportunities.   Persons who                                                                   
want to  sell or advertise  business opportunities  in Alaska                                                                   
would be  required to  register with  the State, to  disclose                                                                   
information  to  buyers, to  use  escrow accounts  to  assure                                                                   
delivery of  business assets, and  to provide a  30-day right                                                                   
of cancellation to the buyer.   Violators would be subject to                                                                   
civil  and  criminal  penalties.    The  bill  would  provide                                                                   
important  consumer  safeguards   for  entrepreneurial-minded                                                                   
Alaskans.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CINDY DRINKWATER,  (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE),  ASSISTANT                                                                   
ATTORNEY GENERAL,  DEPARTMENT  OF LAW, ANCHROAGE,  reiterated                                                                   
points made  by Representative Stevens.   She noted  that the                                                                   
Department of  Law supports the  legislation and  thinks that                                                                   
it is  very important.   Alaskans are frequently  targeted by                                                                   
the business  opp scams.   It is often vulnerable  businesses                                                                   
that are the target.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Drinkwater highlighted  some important  features of  the                                                                   
bill.  The  legislation would require business  opportunities                                                                   
that are conducting  business in Alaska to register  with the                                                                   
State.   The legislation  provides a  framework similar  to a                                                                   
couple of statutes already in  place, the Telemarketing Sales                                                                   
Act and the  Charitable Solicitation Act, which  both require                                                                   
registration of the entity involved.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Drinkwater noted  that the agencies would have  to post a                                                                   
bond and pay a registration fee.   With that information, the                                                                   
Department of Law  would be able to provide  information over                                                                   
the Internet  so that  people  will have a  way to  determine                                                                   
that  the opportunity  is  registered.   She  added that  the                                                                   
seller's of business opportunities  would have to disclose to                                                                   
the  buyers,  before  making the  sale,  seller  information.                                                                   
They  would have  to  make clear  what  services or  products                                                                   
would  be provided  and when  deliveries  would be  provided.                                                                   
Additionally, the consumers would  have a 30-day cancellation                                                                   
period.  There  would be an escrow account  system that would                                                                   
insure that the buyers receive delivery of services.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Drinkwater offered to answer  questions of the Committee.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Mulder asked what other  state's experience had been                                                                   
for adopting the regulations.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Drinkwater  responded that the statutes have  been useful                                                                   
for allowing  quick enforcement  action.  Once  states become                                                                   
aware of  these business opps,  they can make sure  that they                                                                   
are registered.   To some extent,  the fact that  some states                                                                   
have  statutes reflects  a  decrease in  fraudulent  business                                                                   
activities.  That is the hope in Alaska.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Hudson  asked   how  would  the   Department                                                                   
prosecute these people.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Drinkwater advised  that it is more difficult  to enforce                                                                   
laws when  people are out of  state because the  recourses do                                                                   
not exist.   The Department  of Law  works with other  states                                                                   
and  with  federal   entities  such  as  the   Federal  Trade                                                                   
Commission, toward  consumer protection  work.  Alaskans  can                                                                   
obtain  judgments  here  in  Alaska   against  out  of  state                                                                   
companies that  do business in  Alaska.  The question  is how                                                                   
to  enforce the  judgments.     She explained  that if  those                                                                   
companies  were  doing  business  in Alaska,  they  would  be                                                                   
prosecuted in Alaska.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MARIE DARLIN,  ALASKA ASSOCIATION OF RETIRED  PERSONS (AARP),                                                                   
JUNEAU,  voiced support  for the proposed  legislation.   She                                                                   
noted that  many times, it is  the senior population  that is                                                                   
targeted  and  experience the  consumer  fraud.   Ms.  Darlin                                                                   
noted that  addressing consumer fraud  is a top  priority for                                                                   
AARP.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DANA  DODDS,   (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),   ANCHORAGE,                                                                   
commented on a  situation that happened to her  in July 1999,                                                                   
regarding  consumer  fraud  and  how  dramatically  that  has                                                                   
impacted her life.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Bunde  referenced Page 12, Line 25,  and asked how                                                                   
the  difference between  felonies and  misdemeanors would  be                                                                   
determined.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Drinkwater  advised that  section is  a critical  part of                                                                   
the  bill. Sellers  that violate  the  registration and  bond                                                                   
requirement would be  guilty of a Class C felony.   The fines                                                                   
are similar to  the Telephone Solicitation Act.   Sub-section                                                                   
(B),  the misdemeanor  penalty would  cover situations  where                                                                   
the  seller fails  to  buy a  refund  or to  make  prohibited                                                                   
references.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Bunde  referenced  Page  13, Line  2,  and  asked                                                                   
further information  regarding the exemption  about franchise                                                                   
and security registrations.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Drinkwater  explained that the purpose of  the exemptions                                                                   
is  to make  sure  that the  State  would not  be  regulating                                                                   
something that is already being regulated.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Lancaster voiced  his support for the bill and                                                                   
asked how the message could get out to the public.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Stevens explained  that  the businesses  that                                                                   
are currently operating would  no longer be able to in Alaska                                                                   
until they comply with the registration requirements.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Davies  asked  about  #(1),  Page  13,  which                                                                   
exempts  business  opportunities   if  the  total  amount  of                                                                   
payment made by the buyer was less than $250 dollars.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Drinkwater  advised that there  are many types  of fraud.                                                                   
Scam artists  sometimes take advantage  of a large  number of                                                                   
people for a small amount of money  because they believe that                                                                   
there is less  chance enforcement resources  would be devoted                                                                   
to that.   In  regards to  the $250  dollar amount,  that was                                                                   
settled  upon strictly  as a  policy question.   In  statutes                                                                   
from other  states, there  is a  point which the  enforcement                                                                   
amount involved is minimal.  The  $250 dollars is only a cut-                                                                   
off amount.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Davies asked if  there was any way to consider                                                                   
the aggregate affect of a wide spread scam.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Mulder MOVED  to  report  CS HB  393  (JUD) out  of                                                                   
Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying  fiscal  note.   Vice-Chair  Bunde  OBJECTED  in                                                                   
order  to  make   a  comment  that  the  concern   voiced  by                                                                   
Representative J.  Davies should be further  discussed by the                                                                   
sponsor.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Stevens  explained that the Department  of Law                                                                   
has indicated  that the  State cannot  protect everyone  from                                                                   
"everything".  There  must be a point at which  you determine                                                                   
that the  cost of  correcting the  action is  too high.   The                                                                   
numbers do move and change.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Bunde noted  that the  sponsor had  misunderstood                                                                   
his  intent.   It would  not  be to  reduce  the amount,  but                                                                   
rather if  someone purposely scammed  $200 dollars  from 1000                                                                   
people, it would then rise to  a different level.  Vice-Chair                                                                   
Bunde WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative J.  Davies interjected that it  was his intent                                                                   
to pursue this issue on the House Floor.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
There being NO further OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CS HB  393 (JUD)  was reported  out of  Committee with  a "do                                                                   
pass"  recommendation   and  with  fiscal  note   #1  by  the                                                                   
Department of Law.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 317                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     An Act relating to stalking and amending Rule 4, Alaska                                                                    
     Rules of Civil Procedure, and Rule 9, Alaska Rules of                                                                      
     Administration.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HARRY  CRAWFORD, SPONSOR, spoke  in support of                                                                   
the  legislation.    He  noted  that HB  317  would  close  a                                                                   
loophole  in the  Alaska statutes,  by allowing  unacquainted                                                                   
victims  of stalking  to  enjoy the  security  of a  judicial                                                                   
protective order.   Current law provides protection  to those                                                                   
in domestic  situations and minor  children, but  enjoins the                                                                   
victims of  strangers from equal  protection of the law.   HB
317 would allow the victims of  stalking to seek and obtain a                                                                   
protective  order in cases  of stalking  that are not  crimes                                                                   
involving domestic  violence.  The bill would  streamline the                                                                   
process  for  public  safety   and  judicial  practioners  by                                                                   
harmonizing  the  warrant  and   notification  procedures  to                                                                   
mirror  those   already  in   place  for  domestic   violence                                                                   
situations.  It  would add the crime of violation  of a child                                                                   
protective order and of a violation  of a stalking protective                                                                   
order.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER  ADZIMA,   STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE   HARRY  CRAWFORD,                                                                   
provided a sectional analysis of the bill.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     ·    Section 1. Amends AS 04.11.494(e)(1) to provide a                                                                     
          conforming change  to the change made in  Sec. 2 of                                                                   
          the committee substitute.                                                                                             
     ·    Section 2. Amends the existing crime of violating                                                                     
          a  protective  order,  AS 11.56.740(a),  by  adding                                                                   
          violations  of stalking  protective orders,  Sec. 5                                                                   
          of  the committee substitute  and child  protective                                                                   
          injunctions under AS  47.17.069 as alternative ways                                                                   
          to commit the crime.                                                                                                  
     ·    Section 3. Amends AS 12.25.030(b) to provide a                                                                        
          conforming change  to the change made in  Sec. 2 of                                                                   
          the committee substitute.                                                                                             
     ·    Section 4. Amends AS 18.65.530(a) to provide a                                                                        
          conforming change  to the change made in  Sec. 2 of                                                                   
          the committee substitute.                                                                                             
     ·    Section 5. Amends AS 18.65 by adding new sections                                                                     
          that provide for the issuance of protective orders                                                                    
          in cases of stalking, that are not crimes                                                                             
          involving domestic violence.                                                                                          
     ·    Section 6. Amends AS 18.66.990(3) to provide a                                                                        
          conforming change to the change made in Sec. 2 of                                                                     
          the committee substitute.                                                                                             
     ·    Section 7. Provides notice that Sec. 5 includes an                                                                    
          indirect amendment to a court rule.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Croft  questioned  why  the  legislation  was                                                                   
warranted.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Crawford  explained that a constituent  in his                                                                   
community was  involved with an  "unknown" stalker.   Current                                                                   
law  only protects  those people  that are  being stalked  by                                                                   
someone that there has been a prior relationship with.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Croft commented  that without the legislation,                                                                   
it puts the person in a situation  where they either have had                                                                   
a relationship  with the stalker  or waiting until  an actual                                                                   
crime has occurred.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Bunde  inquired the  number  of  people that  the                                                                   
legislation  would affect  and how  many regular  restraining                                                                   
orders are issued each year.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  JULIA GRIMES, ALASKA  STATE TROOPERS,  DEPARTEMNT                                                                   
OF  PUBLIC   SAFETY,  clarified   that  the  legislation   is                                                                   
important.   She noted  that the  new version  had removed  a                                                                   
requirement for  the Department of Public Safety  to maintain                                                                   
the central  registry.   Lt. Grimes  advised how the  central                                                                   
registry  facilitates  law  enforcement  in  relationship  to                                                                   
violent  protective orders.   The  State knows  that the  law                                                                   
enforcement agency  in the area where the  respondent abides,                                                                   
is  required  to enter  protective  orders  within  24-hours.                                                                   
That  entry   then  becomes  the   federal  registry.     The                                                                   
conditions  of  the order  and/or  dismissals  of the  order,                                                                   
would  be similar  to tracking  in the  central registry  and                                                                   
that  the respondents  tend  to hide  from  service of  those                                                                   
orders.   The central  registry provides  that when  a police                                                                   
officer attempts  to contact a  respondent that is  trying to                                                                   
avoid a service, then the action  could result in the officer                                                                   
serving  that person  and  they could  no  longer avoid  that                                                                   
service.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Lt. Grimes  added, an  additional benefit  would be  that the                                                                   
victims of  the orders do not  usually carry their  papers on                                                                   
themselves.   If there  is a registry,  it would  provide all                                                                   
the  details needed  by  the law  enforcement  officers.   If                                                                   
there  was a  violation, the  law  enforcement officer  would                                                                   
know  the information  on  the spot.    The central  registry                                                                   
definitely enhances the ability  of the law enforcement to be                                                                   
effective in serving the orders and then enforcing them.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Lt.  Grimes  claimed  that without  a  central  registry  for                                                                   
stalking  orders,  they  could   then  go  into  absence,  as                                                                   
previously handled.   The officers  would be alerted  because                                                                   
there would be a note in the system about that person.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Croft questioned  why the  registry had  been                                                                   
removed.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Lt. Grimes responded that there  was a fiscal note for $7,600                                                                   
dollar included to write the program.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Bunde addressed  the  fiscal note  and asked  the                                                                   
number of  restraining orders that  would be run  through the                                                                   
system and how much it would be  expanded with passage of the                                                                   
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Crawford  replied   that  twenty-two   cases                                                                   
occurred  in  Anchorage  last year.    He  did not  know  the                                                                   
statewide numbers.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
TAPE HFC 02 - 85, Side B                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Crawford was surprised  that that the registry                                                                   
had been removed.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
DIANE SHANKER,  (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE),  ALASKA STATE                                                                   
TROOPERS, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC  SAFETY, ANCHORAGE, offered to                                                                   
answer questions of the Committee.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Davies  asked   why  there  needed  to  be  a                                                                   
distinction made  between domestic and non-domestic  in terms                                                                   
of the programming.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Shanker explained  that the  programming was  set up  to                                                                   
look  like the  original court  order, which  makes the  data                                                                   
easier to view.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Davies understood that  would be the  best of                                                                   
all  possible  worlds,  however,  he asked  if  it  would  be                                                                   
possible  to  enter  the  data  into  the  existing  computer                                                                   
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Shanker  replied  that  would  not  be  possible.    The                                                                   
proposed screen follows the wording  of the protective order.                                                                   
It could  still be  placed into the  computer in  the general                                                                   
text section, but it would not  be preformatted and would not                                                                   
match the court order.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
LAUREE  HUGONIN,   EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  ALASKA   NETWORK  ON                                                                   
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT,  voiced support for the                                                                   
legislation.    She  noted  that   there  have  been  several                                                                   
situations  in   which  people  have  needed   that  type  of                                                                   
protection.  She referenced situations  of "stalking" and how                                                                   
it affected residents.  At this time, there is only a "snap-                                                                    
shoot"  of protective  orders in  the registry.   Last  year,                                                                   
there were  11,000 orders and  to date there has  been around                                                                   
200  emergency  orders.    It  is  possible  to  contact  the                                                                   
Department  of Public Safety  to provide  the number  and she                                                                   
offered to gather that information.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ANNE CARPENETI,  ASSISTANT ATTORNEY  GENERAL, LEGAL  SERVICES                                                                   
SECTION,  CRIMINAL DIVISION,  DEPARTMENT OF  LAW, offered  to                                                                   
answer  back  ground  questions  for the  legislation.    She                                                                   
understood that  the central registry had been  removed which                                                                   
was a cautionary approach to a  new type of protective order.                                                                   
She pointed  out that  already  there is a  provision for  an                                                                   
emergency order  and for that  reason, it was  determined not                                                                   
to be included that in the central registry.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Croft asked about  the three different  types                                                                   
of orders:                                                                                                                      
     ·    Regular                                                                                                               
     ·    Ex parte                                                                                                              
     ·    Emergency                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Carpeneti advised  that  emergency  orders usually  come                                                                   
after  really  stressful  circumstances  and expires  in  72-                                                                   
hours.   She added that  HB 317 was  similar to  the Domestic                                                                   
Violence  Protective order  statutory scheme  but the  relief                                                                   
was  limited to  restraints from  stalking and  communication                                                                   
with the victim or the members  of the family.  That is where                                                                   
relief comes  from.   The domestic  violence scheme  has much                                                                   
broader parameters.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Hudson   clarified    that   the   emergency                                                                   
protective  order  for stalking  for  a crime  not  involving                                                                   
domestic  violence   was  a  new  element  of   the  proposed                                                                   
legislation.   He asked if  the language indicates  what will                                                                   
be required.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Carpeneti replied  that the petitioner has  to prove that                                                                   
the stalking  has  occurred.   She noted that  stalking  is a                                                                   
complicated statute.   It requires  that the defendant  place                                                                   
the victim in fear by repeated  acts of criminal conduct with                                                                   
reckless  disregard  for  that  fear.   She  added  that  the                                                                   
problem  with stalking  is that  much of the  conduct can  be                                                                   
normal.  The person  has to know that what they  are doing is                                                                   
knowingly  placing the  victim in  a state  of fear that  the                                                                   
acts are frightening  the victim.  A judicial  officer issues                                                                   
all protective orders.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
LINDA   WILSON,  (TESTIFIED   VIA   TELECONFERENCE),   DEPUTY                                                                   
DIRECTOR,   ALASKA   PUBLIC   DEFENDER   AGENCY,   ANCHORAGE,                                                                   
testified on  the bill.  She  noted that normally  the agency                                                                   
does  not support  a bill  that is  in response  to a  single                                                                   
case.    However,  the  agency   does  not  have  any  strong                                                                   
objections to  HB 317.  She  made suggestions to  improve the                                                                   
bill, referencing Page 5, Section  4, Line 27 that amends the                                                                   
definition of  domestic violence.   That language  would need                                                                   
to  have the  additional qualifier  of  AS 11.56.740  (a)(1),                                                                   
because  of the redefinition  of  Section 1.    That  section                                                                   
would then become the domestic  violence order.  She stressed                                                                   
that it is important to narrow that language.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Wilson  pointed  out  that  on Page  3,  Lines  16,  the                                                                   
sentence  in question  references AS 18.65.850©.   There  are                                                                   
three sections listed  in that section and the  third section                                                                   
is the one that  is problematic.  It does not  allow ordering                                                                   
the respondent  to stay  away from  their home, residence  or                                                                   
school,  unless   they  are  provided  actual   notice.    By                                                                   
including all  of Section ©,  it becomes confusing  regarding                                                                   
what  is allowed.    She thought  that  "provided" should  be                                                                   
replaced by "allowed".                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Mulder  asked if  it would  be acceptable  to insert                                                                   
(1) & (2), after AS 18.65.850©.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Wilson agreed that would work.   She pointed out that the                                                                   
same language  occurs again  on Page 3,  Line 29.   She noted                                                                   
that  in an  emergency  order, only  probable  cause must  be                                                                   
proven, which is a lesser standard.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Croft asked about  the language in  the first                                                                   
part of  (3).  He thought  it would provide problems  for the                                                                   
remaining portion of (3).                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Wilson  agreed it was  problematic and that  changing the                                                                   
word to  "allowed" would avoid  that problem.   A sub-section                                                                   
(4) could be added to address that concern.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Croft clarified  an alternative recommendation                                                                   
which would change "provided" to "allowed".                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Carpeneti  agreed  that "allowed"  would be clearer  than                                                                   
the current language.   The language in the last  half of (3)                                                                   
modifies and clarifies it.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Mulder  asked Ms. Carpeneti  about the  reference to                                                                   
Page 5, Line 26, adding AS 11.56.741(a)(1).                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Carpeneti agreed that would be a good change.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Davies proposed to  amend Amendment  #1, Page                                                                   
3, Line 16,  delete "provided" and insert "allowed";  Page 3,                                                                   
Line  29, after  "protection"  delete "provided"  and  insert                                                                   
"allowed";  Page  5,  Line 27  after  "AS  11.56.740"  insert                                                                   
"(a)(1)".  (Copy on File).                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative   J.  Davies  MOVED   to  ADOPT  the   amended                                                                   
Amendment #1.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Davies MOVED to  ADOPT Amendment #2.  (Copy on                                                                   
File).                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Wilson stated  that the change would make  the bill track                                                                   
the  language  in  the  domestic  violence  protective  order                                                                   
statutes.  In that statute, no  charge can be implemented and                                                                   
there can  only be a  seeking the relief  from filing  in the                                                                   
chapter.  She  added that having that language  tracked would                                                                   
be appropriate.   It would also  limit the extension  for the                                                                   
filing fee.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment #2 was adopted.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Davies MOVED to  report CS HB 317 (FIN) out of                                                                   
Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal notes.  There  being NO OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CS HB  317 (FIN)  was reported  out of  Committee with  a "do                                                                   
pass"  recommendation   and  with  fiscal  note   #1  by  the                                                                   
Department of  Law, #2 by  the Department of  Corrections, #3                                                                   
by the  Department of  Administration and  a new zero  fiscal                                                                   
note by the Department of Public Safety.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 333                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     An Act extending the termination date of the Regulatory                                                                    
     Commission of Alaska; and providing for an effective                                                                       
     date.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Mulder  explained the  committee  substitute  would                                                                   
extend  the  termination  date   for  the  Alaska  Regulatory                                                                   
Commission (ARC)  to 2006.   It would also provide  deadlines                                                                   
for the Commission to take action on the petitions.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
NAN THOMPSON,  CHAIRMAN, ALASKA REGULATORY  COMMISSION, spoke                                                                   
in support of  the legislation.  She commented  that the bill                                                                   
was  the  product  of  discussion  between  herself  and  the                                                                   
member's of industry who expressed  concerns before the House                                                                   
Labor and Commerce Committee.   She stated that it was a good                                                                   
effort and fairly  represents the productive  changes made to                                                                   
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Thompson  stated  that  the  committee  substitute  sets                                                                   
deadlines  for  prosecuting different  types  of  cases.   It                                                                   
would  allow  for  exemptions   or  exceptions  to  the  rule                                                                   
requiring  the  agency to  explain  the exceptions  when  the                                                                   
deadlines  are not  met.   She indicated  that would  provide                                                                   
more predictability  for the industry and  accountability for                                                                   
the agency.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
She  added that  with those  tools, the  arguments raised  in                                                                   
support of  the two-year  extension would  be weakened.   She                                                                   
claimed   that  the  Legislature   would   be  able   to  get                                                                   
information  from  the  Legislative Budget  and  Audit  (LBA)                                                                   
Committee regularly  regarding performance.   She  noted that                                                                   
the  Regulatory  Commission  should be  spending  their  time                                                                   
working on cases.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Thompson  voiced  concern having  a  shorter  extension,                                                                   
which  prohibits  the agency  from  being  able to  hire  and                                                                   
keeping  good staff  to work.   She  applauded the  four-year                                                                   
extension recommended by the committee substitute.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Thompson  provided  the  Committee  with  the  auditor's                                                                   
updated recommendations.   The audit report  was approved for                                                                   
public  release  in  January 2002  and  recommends  that  the                                                                   
agency  be continued  for four  years.   Auditors found  that                                                                   
most  of the  consumer complaints  had  been resolved  within                                                                   
thirty  days  and  that  most  of  the  tariff  filings  were                                                                   
processed within the required forty-five days.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
She  noted  that  the Regulatory  Commission  has  begun  the                                                                   
important transitions  to the MIS system as  requested by the                                                                   
Legislature.  It has been extension successful.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
The auditor did have three recommendations:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     ·    The Regulatory Commission should provide small                                                                        
          water  and sewer  utilities to  be certificated  or                                                                   
          exempt.   The Commission  addressed that item  at a                                                                   
          recent  meeting  and  asked for  industry  comments                                                                   
          regarding  the scope of  exemptions.  The  industry                                                                   
          has  been working  on  an application  to make  the                                                                   
          process  easier.    She  noted that  they  hope  to                                                                   
          expand and institutionalize the regulations.                                                                          
     ·    Adoption of regulations on the roll of the Public                                                                     
          Advocacy section, which  was newly created in 1999.                                                                   
          The Commission has regulations  that were submitted                                                                   
          by  that  section and  the  Commission  voted at  a                                                                   
          public meeting  to put them out for  comment.  That                                                                   
          process will  be concluded after the  notice period                                                                   
          has expired.                                                                                                          
     ·    Better monitoring publications and notices.  She                                                                      
          noted  that  was  a   complicated  process  as  the                                                                   
          regulations  require  that the  Commission  notice,                                                                   
          however, sometimes the  utilities place the notice.                                                                   
          The Commission  is working on  a way to be  able to                                                                   
          keep better track of the notices in the future.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Thompson  offered  to answer questions  of the  Committee                                                                   
and urged passage of the committee substitute.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Davies referenced  Pages 1 &  2, the  list of                                                                   
specific   applications.       He   recommended   that   "any                                                                   
application" be inserted.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Thompson  acknowledged that  the application  terminology                                                                   
could be confusing.  The intent  of that section was to grant                                                                   
applications for renewing utility  service and that she would                                                                   
not object to deleting them.   She recommended consulting Mr.                                                                   
Yould.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Davies  pointed out  that  the substance  was                                                                   
included in the first four sections.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Thompson  explained  that   the  new  application  would                                                                   
transfer  the   amendment.     An  application  requiring   a                                                                   
controlling interest would be  similar to a transfer and that                                                                   
she would not object to deleting #4 & #5.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Davies  referenced Page 3 and  asked about the                                                                   
language that had been added.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Thompson explained that those  standards identify whether                                                                   
the  settlement has  rates that  are  "just and  reasonable".                                                                   
The  Commission  has the  obligation  to guarantee  that  the                                                                   
rates are  not discriminatory.   Reference to  those statutes                                                                   
requires application of the same general rule.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Croft  commented  on   whether  or   not  to                                                                   
eliminate #5.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Thompson responded  that deleting  #5 would  be best  as                                                                   
there are  other items  that are  processed and handled  that                                                                   
could be  characterized  as applications.   That section  was                                                                   
intended to  address the authority  to offer new  service, if                                                                   
competition  was expanded.   The  alternative  to delete,  as                                                                   
recommended by Representative Davies, would be the best.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Croft  mentioned that current  language leaves                                                                   
it open to the  unintended consequences and that  it needs to                                                                   
be  fixed.   He pointed  out that  Page 3,  Section 2,  would                                                                   
allow them  the opportunity  to approve  a settlement,  which                                                                   
meets certain  legal standards without  having to base  it on                                                                   
recorded facts.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Thompson  acknowledged  that   was  true,  however,  the                                                                   
sponsors  of  the  amendment are  attempting  to  allow  more                                                                   
flexibility  for the  Commission.   The  complaints are  that                                                                   
they would have  to go through the same "standards  of proof"                                                                   
that they would at a hearing in  order for it to be approved.                                                                   
In the course  of settling, sometimes they compromise  and if                                                                   
they were  forced to put in  the evidence, they could  not be                                                                   
able to  agree.   She pointed  out that  would undermine  the                                                                   
terms of  the settlement.  The  concern of the  Commission is                                                                   
that there is enough for the record  that would not undermine                                                                   
their  efforts  for settlement.    It  is important  to  have                                                                   
enough  of  a  record  to  use as  a  basis.    The  language                                                                   
represents a  compromise that  would allow the  Commission to                                                                   
do what  it needs to  do in order  to decide things  that are                                                                   
important.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Croft agreed that  concern was valid, however,                                                                   
asked  if  it was  fair  to the  other  unrepresented  public                                                                   
parties.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Thompson agreed commenting  on the difference between the                                                                   
Commission and  the Court when the settlements  are approved.                                                                   
Often  what  occurs   happens  is  a  conflict   between  two                                                                   
utilities.  It  is the work of the Commission  to look at the                                                                   
interest  of the industry  and  the public  so that both  are                                                                   
protected.  That  is why it is important that  the Commission                                                                   
not  approve  just any  settlement.    The Court  could  have                                                                   
different interests.  It is important  that the settlement be                                                                   
consistent with the statute which protects other interests.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Bunde MOVED  to ADOPT  committee substitute  #22-                                                                   
LS1289\F,   Craver,  4/16/02,   as  the   draft  before   the                                                                   
Committee.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ERIC  YOULD,   EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  ALASKA   RURAL  ELECTRIC                                                                   
COOPERATIVE  ASSOCIATION  (ARECA),  ANCHORAGE,  testified  in                                                                   
support  of  the legislation.    He  noted  that all  of  the                                                                   
utilities associated with ARECA  work closely with the Alaska                                                                   
Regulatory  Commission  (RCA).    In  1999,  the  Legislature                                                                   
changed the  regulatory Commission  of Alaska and  through SB
133, the  Legislature recreated  the current  form.   At that                                                                   
time, when the statutes were moving  through the Legislature,                                                                   
ARECA took  it seriously.   He acknowledged that  the current                                                                   
form of the bill is significantly  better than it was before.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Yould voiced  his concern with how long it  takes to "get                                                                   
things done".  He pointed out  the caseload backlog, which is                                                                   
frustrating  to  the  industry.   He  pointed  out  that  the                                                                   
Legislature  had   authorized  nine  new  positions   to  the                                                                   
Commission to address  that backlog.  A year  later, five new                                                                   
positions were authorized.  As  of January 2002, with all the                                                                   
new  cases  coming  in,  there still  remains  608  that  are                                                                   
unaddressed.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
He  added that  the time-lines  that have  been proposed  are                                                                   
achievable.    At  the  same  time,  the  current  time-lines                                                                   
provide a  standard that  RCA can work  with.  He  reiterated                                                                   
that ARECA supports the proposed  time-lines.  The only thing                                                                   
that ARECA  does not agree  with in the  bill is  the portion                                                                   
that  extends the  sunset of  2006.   He  added that  ARECA's                                                                   
Board  of Directors  believe that  it is  important to  bring                                                                   
them back before the Legislative Body in 2004.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Davies referenced Page  2, Line 3,  and asked                                                                   
if Mr. Yould would object to deleting that language.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Yould agreed that it was appropriate to delete it.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DANA TINDALL,  SENIOR VICE  PRESIDENT OF REGULATORY  AFFAIRS,                                                                   
GCI,  ANCHORAGE, testified  in  support  of the  legislation.                                                                   
She  noted  that  GCI was  active  in  the  legislation  that                                                                   
created RCA.  Ms. Tindall stated  that no utility is in favor                                                                   
of letting the  Commission sunset.  Once an  order is issued,                                                                   
the industry is free to appeal  to a higher court.  The four-                                                                   
year sunset extension  would be a compromise.   She mentioned                                                                   
that  GCI would  like to  see  the sunset  extended to  2010.                                                                   
Every sunset  provides  an opportunity  for amendments.   Ms.                                                                   
Tindall voiced support for the committee substitute.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
TAPE HFC 02 - 86, Side A                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Tindall  noted  the importance  for the  State to have  a                                                                   
Regulatory Commission.   Without RCA,  there would be  no one                                                                   
to  enforce  consumer  issues,   pointing  out  that  in  the                                                                   
telephone   industry,  there   are   many  consumer   issues.                                                                   
Competition creates  many issues  that need to  be negotiated                                                                   
by RCA.  Without that entity, the consumers will suffer.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
In  response to  a  question  by Representative  Davies,  Ms.                                                                   
Tindall noted that GCI supports  the Committee substitute and                                                                   
the  reauthorization of  RCA.   She  urged that  the bill  be                                                                   
passed from  Committee.  She added  that GCI does  not object                                                                   
to the deletion of subsection 5.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
JIM ROWE,  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,  ALASKA TELEPHONE  ASSOCIATION                                                                   
(ATA), ANCHORAGE,  testified in  support of the  legislation.                                                                   
He commented  that the  Commission was  comprised of  ethical                                                                   
individuals  and is  a professional  group of  people.   This                                                                   
year, telephone  companies in  the State received  around $72                                                                   
million dollars  for services. Each  year, there should  be a                                                                   
State  Commission to  declare that  the companies  requesting                                                                   
the funding  are eligible tele-communication carriers.   They                                                                   
also have  to declare that  the companies are  utilizing that                                                                   
funding in  a way that  it should be  utilized.  He  spoke in                                                                   
support of the committee substitute.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Croft asked when  the expiration  date should                                                                   
be.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Rowe  responded  that he would  like to  see a  four-year                                                                   
sunset date.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative J.  Davies MOVED an amendment to  Page 2, Line                                                                   
3, deleting the language "(5)  any other application required                                                                   
or permitted under this chapter."   There being NO OBJECTION,                                                                   
the amendment was adopted.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative J.  Davies MOVED an amendment to  Page 1, Line                                                                   
3,  inserting "to  June  30, 2006",  after  the word  "date".                                                                   
There being NO OBJECTION, the amendment was adopted.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster  MOVED to report CSHB 333  (FIN) out of                                                                   
Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal  note. There  being NO OBJECTION,  it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CS HB  333 (FIN)  was reported  out of  Committee with  a "do                                                                   
pass" recommendation  and with  fiscal note #1  by Department                                                                   
of Community & Economic Development.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 498                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     An   Act   expressing   legislative   intent   regarding                                                                   
     privately  operated  correctional   facility  space  and                                                                   
     services; relating  to the development and  financing of                                                                   
     privately  operated  correctional   facility  space  and                                                                   
     services; authorizing  the Department of  Corrections to                                                                   
     enter into an agreement for  the confinement and care of                                                                   
     prisoners  in privately  operated correctional  facility                                                                   
     space; and providing for an effective date.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Davies MOVED  to  ADOPT committee  substitute                                                                   
#22-LS1345\O,  Luckhaupt,  4/16/02,   as  the  working  draft                                                                   
before  the Committee.    There being  NO  OBJECTION, it  was                                                                   
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Harris advised  that a State operated facility                                                                   
had been added  in Bethel to the Yukon Kuskokwim  Center, and                                                                   
that the  Whittier facility  would be  reduced to 1000  beds.                                                                   
The  amended bill  consists of  those two  changes and  would                                                                   
move  forward  as  a  compromise   with  the  Administration.                                                                   
Representative  Harris believed that  the amended  bill would                                                                   
be  "stronger" than  the original  version.   He pointed  out                                                                   
that Bethel was  supportive of the proposed  change and would                                                                   
address needs throughout the State.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Davies questioned the land status material.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JIM KUBITZ,  (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE),  ALASKA RAILROAD                                                                   
CORPORATION  (ARRC), explained  that  it would  consist of  a                                                                   
long-term lease and  that there would be a  master lease with                                                                   
the  City of  Whittier.   He  pointed out  that  there is  an                                                                   
agreement in place regarding how to proceed with Whittier.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Bunde MOVED  to report  CS  HB 498  (FIN) out  of                                                                   
Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying new fiscal notes.   There being NO OBJECTION, it                                                                   
was so ordered.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CS  HB  498   (FIN)  was  reported  out  of   Committee  with                                                                   
"individual  recommendations" and  with new  fiscal notes  by                                                                   
the Department of Corrections  and the Department of Revenue.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 4:13 P.M.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects