Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/05/2004 04:22 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                        May 05, 2004                                                                                            
                         4:22 P.M.                                                                                              
TAPE HFC 04 - 106, Side A                                                                                                       
TAPE HFC 04 - 106, Side B                                                                                                       
TAPE HFC 04 - 107, Side A                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Williams called the House  Finance Committee meeting                                                                   
to order at 4:22 P.M.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative John Harris, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Bill Williams, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Kevin Meyer, Vice-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Mike Chenault                                                                                                    
Representative Eric Croft                                                                                                       
Representative Hugh Fate                                                                                                        
Representative Richard Foster                                                                                                   
Representative Mike Hawker                                                                                                      
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
Representative Carl Moses                                                                                                       
Representative Bill Stoltze                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Susan  Parkes, Deputy  Attorney  General, Criminal  Division,                                                                   
Department of  Law; Senator Fred Dyson; Linda  Hall, Division                                                                   
of   Insurance,   Department    of   Community   &   Economic                                                                   
Development;  Jane  Alberts,  Staff to  Senator  Bunde;  Rick                                                                   
Urion,   Director,   Division  of   Occupational   Licensing,                                                                   
Department of Community & Economic  Development; Senator Lyda                                                                   
Green; Senator Fred Dyson; Barbara  Huft-Tucknes, Director of                                                                   
Legislative  Affairs,   Teamsters  Local  959;   Laura  Young                                                                   
Campbell,   Speech   Language  Pathologist,   Mat-Su   School                                                                   
District                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Brook Miles, Director, Public  Offices Commission, Department                                                                   
of Administration; Mark Davis,  Director, Division of Banking                                                                   
and  Securities,  Department  of  Revenue,  Anchorage;  Karen                                                                   
Vosburg,  Alaska  Right  to  Life,   Wasilla;  Vicki  Halcro,                                                                   
Director,  Planned  Parenthood  of Alaska,  Anchorage;  Roger                                                                   
DuBrock, Chief Executive Officer, Aleut Corporation                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 255                                                                                                                          
     An  Act amending  the Alaska  Wage  and Hour  Act as  it                                                                   
     relates to  flexible work  hour plans, the  provision of                                                                   
     training  wages, and the  definitions of certain  terms;                                                                   
     and repealing the exemption  in the Act from the payment                                                                   
     of minimum wages for learners.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     CSHB  255(FIN)  was  REPORTED   out  of  Committee  with                                                                   
     individual  recommendations and  one zero fiscal  impact                                                                   
     note.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HCS FOR CSSB 30(JUD)                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     An Act  relating to  information and services  available                                                                   
     to pregnant  women and other persons;  ensuring informed                                                                   
     consent  before  an  abortion   may  be  performed;  and                                                                   
     providing  exceptions  to  informed consent  in  certain                                                                   
     cases.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     SB 30 was HELD in Committee for further consideration.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 170(JUD)                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     An  Act relating  to murder  in the  second degree,  the                                                                   
     justification  of defense  of self  or others,  immunity                                                                   
     from prosecution,  sentencing, probation,  discretionary                                                                   
     parole,  and  the  right to  representation  in  certain                                                                   
     criminal  proceedings;   relating  to  violation   of  a                                                                   
     custodian's duty;  relating to sexual abuse  of a minor;                                                                   
     relating  to release of  information concerning  certain                                                                   
     cases  involving  a  minor; relating  to  local  options                                                                   
     regarding   alcoholic   beverages,    the   offense   of                                                                   
     furnishing  or  delivery  of alcoholic  beverages  to  a                                                                   
     person  under  21  years   of  age,  and  forfeiture  of                                                                   
     property  used in,  and money  or other  items of  value                                                                   
     used in  financial transactions derived  from, violation                                                                   
     of  certain   laws  relating  to  alcoholic   beverages;                                                                   
     relating to assault by means  of a dangerous instrument;                                                                   
     relating  to  operating  or  driving  a  motor  vehicle,                                                                   
     aircraft, or watercraft while  under the influence of an                                                                   
     alcoholic beverage,  inhalant, or controlled  substance,                                                                   
     to the refusal to submit  to a chemical test, and to the                                                                   
     presumptions concerning the  chemical analysis of breath                                                                   
     or blood; and providing for an effective date.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     HCS  CSSB 170(FIN)  was REPORTED  out of Committee  with                                                                   
     individual  recommendations   and  three  fiscal  impact                                                                   
     notes.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HCS FOR CSSB 276(JUD)                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     An  Act  relating  to  the   Alaska  Insurance  Guaranty                                                                   
     Association;  relating  to  the  powers  of  the  Alaska                                                                   
     Industrial Development  and Export Authority  concerning                                                                   
     the association; and providing for an effective date.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     HCS  SB 276(JUD)  was  REPORTED  out of  Committee  with                                                                   
     individual    recommendations   and   five    previously                                                                   
     published fiscal impact notes.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE CS FOR CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 351(STA)                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     An Act  requiring the  Alaska Public Offices  Commission                                                                   
     to  accept   documents  by   nonelectronic  means,   and                                                                   
     specifying  the manner of  preparing the forms  that are                                                                   
     provided by the commission.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     HCS CSSB 351(STA)  was REPORTED out of  Committee with a                                                                   
     "do pass"  recommendation  and one previously  published                                                                   
     fiscal impact note.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 357(FIN)                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     An  Act   relating  to  the  regulation   of  insurance,                                                                   
     insurance   licenses,   qualifications    of   insurance                                                                   
     producers,   surplus   lines,    fraud   investigations,                                                                   
     electronic  transactions,  and compliance  with  federal                                                                   
     law  and  national  standards;   and  providing  for  an                                                                   
     effective date.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     SB 357 was POSTPONED.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CS SB 365(FIN)                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     An  Act relating  to the  regulation of  speech-language                                                                   
     pathologist assistants;  and providing for  an effective                                                                   
     date.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     HCS CSSB 365(FIN)  was REPORTED out of  Committee with a                                                                   
     "do  pass"   recommendation  and  with   one  previously                                                                   
     published fiscal impact note.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 389                                                                                                             
     An   Act  relating   to   the  conversion   of   certain                                                                   
     corporations   to  limited   liability  companies;   and                                                                   
     providing for an effective date.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     SB  389 was REPORTED  out of  Committee with  individual                                                                   
     recommendations  and  two  previously  published  fiscal                                                                   
     impact notes.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 170(JUD)                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     An  Act relating  to murder  in the  second degree,  the                                                                   
     justification  of defense  of self  or others,  immunity                                                                   
     from prosecution,  sentencing, probation,  discretionary                                                                   
     parole,  and  the  right to  representation  in  certain                                                                   
     criminal  proceedings;   relating  to  violation   of  a                                                                   
     custodian's duty;  relating to sexual abuse  of a minor;                                                                   
     relating  to release of  information concerning  certain                                                                   
     cases  involving  a  minor; relating  to  local  options                                                                   
     regarding   alcoholic   beverages,    the   offense   of                                                                   
     furnishing  or  delivery  of alcoholic  beverages  to  a                                                                   
     person  under  21  years   of  age,  and  forfeiture  of                                                                   
     property  used in,  and money  or other  items of  value                                                                   
     used in  financial transactions derived  from, violation                                                                   
     of  certain   laws  relating  to  alcoholic   beverages;                                                                   
     relating to assault by means  of a dangerous instrument;                                                                   
     relating  to  operating  or  driving  a  motor  vehicle,                                                                   
     aircraft, or watercraft while  under the influence of an                                                                   
     alcoholic beverage,  inhalant, or controlled  substance,                                                                   
     to the refusal to submit  to a chemical test, and to the                                                                   
     presumptions concerning the  chemical analysis of breath                                                                   
     or blood; and providing for an effective date.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HARRIS MOVED TO ADOPT  Work Draft 23-GS1024, Version                                                                   
S, Luckhaupt,  dated 5-5-04,  as the  version of  legislation                                                                   
before the  Committee. There  being NO  OBJECTION, it  was so                                                                   
ordered.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SUSAN  PARKES, DEPUTY  ATTORNEY  GENERAL, CRIMINAL  DIVISION,                                                                   
DEPARTMENT OF LAW (DOL), explained  that the seven amendments                                                                   
from the Department of Law propose  to move language from the                                                                   
House  version into  the Senate  version,  and one  amendment                                                                   
from Co-Chair  Williams proposes to delete a  provision. With                                                                   
the exception  of Amendment #1 relating to  self-defense, all                                                                   
of the amendments  and the revised Amendment  #2, relating to                                                                   
immunity and formerly Amendment  #5, have been moved into the                                                                   
Senate bill.  She noted that Ms.  Linda Wilson of  the Public                                                                   
Defender   Agency  had   testified   in   support  of   those                                                                   
amendments.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Parkes  explained that  the  first  change is  found  in                                                                   
Section 7, raising provision of  alcohol to a minor from an A                                                                   
misdemeanor  to  a  C  felony.   It  allows  a  local  option                                                                   
community  to opt  out of  making  that change.   The  second                                                                   
change is  in Section 13, creating  a new offense  of assault                                                                   
in  the  third  degree,  with   criminal  negligence  causing                                                                   
serious physical  injury by means of a  dangerous instrument.                                                                   
Two  definitions  of  "serious  physical  injury"  appear  in                                                                   
subsections  (a) and (b).  The House  limited the offense  to                                                                   
only the definition in subsection (b).                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
In  response  to  a question  by  Representative  Joule,  Ms.                                                                   
Parkes read  from the  definition of "dangerous  instrument,"                                                                   
and  said that  it is  any deadly  weapon, including  knives,                                                                   
guns, vehicles, bricks or bats.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Parkes  explained  that   the  next  change  appears  in                                                                   
subsection  27.    The  Senate  version  provided  that  once                                                                   
convicted of  a felony DUI,  every subsequent DUI  would also                                                                   
be a felony.   The House Judiciary Committee  wanted to limit                                                                   
subsequent felony DUIs to twenty  years. This change has been                                                                   
incorporated for both felony DUI and felony refusal.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Stoltze asked how  it meshes with the recently                                                                   
passed HB  342. Ms. Parkes  replied that  HB 342 was  a "look                                                                   
back" and this is a "look forward."   The Department believes                                                                   
that the bills mesh without conflict.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Chenault  asked if HB  342 was a  15-year look                                                                   
back. Ms.  Parkes thought  that it was  a 15-year  look back,                                                                   
and then  15 years later, a  DUI would be considered  a first                                                                   
offense.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Chenault asked  if the Department would prefer                                                                   
a 20-year  look back.   Ms. Parkes clarified  that this  is a                                                                   
20-year  look  forward that  only  applies to  felonies.  She                                                                   
explained  the  triggers.  Once   someone  commits  a  felony                                                                   
offense, the sentencing moves into Title 12.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Backtracking,  Ms. Parkes  explained  Amendment #2  regarding                                                                   
third party  custodians ordered by  the judge as part  of the                                                                   
bail condition. The judge must  make written or oral findings                                                                   
describing  the reason  for  the order.  This  change is  now                                                                   
incorporated  into  the Senate  version,  due  to a  Judicial                                                                   
Council  study   showing  that  the  third   party  custodian                                                                   
requirement was  holding people in  jail for a  longer period                                                                   
of time.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The Amendment  #8 proposed by  Co-Chair Williams  removed the                                                                   
felony murder provision from the  bill.  Representative Joule                                                                   
asked if Amendment  #8 appears in Section 13,  and Ms. Parkes                                                                   
thought  so [Amendment  #8 deletes  Section  13, which  would                                                                   
expand  the felony  murder rule  to  include the  death of  a                                                                   
participant in the crime].                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Parkes urged that Amendments  #1 and #2 made by the House                                                                   
Judiciary  Committee  and  deleted by  the  Senate  Judiciary                                                                   
Committee be adopted into the Finance Committee Substitute.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Stoltze asked if  she had discussed the change                                                                   
in immunity.   Ms.  Parkes clarified that  it is  the revised                                                                   
Amendment  #2, but  there is a  provision in  the Work  Draft                                                                   
Version S that simply codifies current law.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Joule  asked if the House  Judiciary provision                                                                   
on rights to contact attorneys  by friends or family does not                                                                   
appear in this version. Ms. Parkes  affirmed that it's not in                                                                   
the Senate version and the DOL  does not propose to adopt it.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Fate  referred to Section  17 and asked  for a                                                                   
description of  non-deadly force.  Ms. Parkes  explained that                                                                   
it includes pushing,  hitting, or shoving without  the intent                                                                   
to kill;  in other words, force  without a deadly weapon.   A                                                                   
discussion ensued with Representative Fate.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Harris MOVED  to ADOPT  Amendment #1.      Co-Chair                                                                   
Williams OBJECTED.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Amendment #1 reads:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Page 11, following line 5:                                                                                                      
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
"*Sec.19.  AS 11.81  is amended  by adding  a new section  to                                                                 
read:                                                                                                                           
     Sec.11.81.345. Defense of self and others.  A court may                                                                  
instruct  the  jury  about  justification   described  in  AS                                                                   
11.81.330-11.81.340  if the  court, sitting  without a  jury,                                                                   
finds  that there  is some  plausible evidence  to warrant  a                                                                   
reasonable jury to find elements of the justification."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Parkes  noted that the  Public Defender does  not support                                                                   
Amendment #1,  which changes the level of  evidence necessary                                                                   
for the judge  to instruct on self-defense.   Currently under                                                                   
case law,  if there is some,  even implausible  evidence, the                                                                   
judge  instructs   on  self-defense.   This  proposes   "some                                                                   
plausible  evidence," and  it  doesn't change  the burden  of                                                                   
proof.  Judges make  these decisions  all the  time, and  the                                                                   
Department  feels  that it  is  an  appropriate job  for  the                                                                   
judge. With only  implausible evidence of self-defense  for a                                                                   
jury  to rely  on,  Ms. Parkes  said that  it  might lead  to                                                                   
jurors making decisions based on speculation or conjecture.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Croft commented  that the amendment takes away                                                                   
the self-defense  from the  jury and gives  it to  the judge.                                                                   
He felt  that the right  to defend oneself  before a  jury is                                                                   
very important.  The Senate removed this after hearing it.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Joule  asked if it  applies to both  the grand                                                                   
and petit jury  systems. Ms. Parkes explained  that the grand                                                                   
jury is  ex parte,  or just the  prosecutor with  the jurors.                                                                   
The grand  jury does not  receive jury instructions  although                                                                   
the prosecutor will instruct on self-defense if needed.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Williams upheld his objection to Amendment #1.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote  was taken on the motion to  adopt Amendment                                                                   
#1.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR:  Hawker                                                                                                               
OPPOSED:   Stoltze,  Chenault,  Croft,  Fate, Foster,  Joule,                                                                   
           Meyer, Williams, Harris                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Moses was absent.                                                                                                
The MOTION FAILED (1-9).  Amendment #1 was not adopted.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Harris MOVED  to ADOPT  Amendment #2.      Co-Chair                                                                   
Williams OBJECTED.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Amendment #2 reads:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Page 11, following line 20:                                                                                                     
     Insert the following:                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          "(1) "higher-level felony" means an unclassified                                                                    
or class A felony;                                                                                                            
           (2) "lower-level felony" means a class B or class                                                                  
C felony;"                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Renumber the following paragraphs accordingly.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Page 12, lines 17 and 18:                                                                                                       
     Delete all material and insert:                                                                                            
     "(i) If the court finds that the witness has a valid                                                                       
claim of  privilege, it shall  advise an attorney  designated                                                                   
by  the attorney  general  of  that  finding and  inform  the                                                                   
attorney of  the category or  categories of offense  to which                                                                   
the privilege  applies: a higher-level felony,  a lower-level                                                                   
felony,  or  a  misdemeanor.    If  the  designated  attorney                                                                   
decides   that   granting   immunity  to   the   witness   is                                                                   
appropriate,  the   designated  attorney  shall   inform  the                                                                   
prosecution of that  decision, and shall deliver  or cause to                                                                   
be delivered a letter to the witness,  or an attorney for the                                                                   
witness,  granting immunity  to the  witness. The  designated                                                                   
attorney  may  not  disclose   the  category  of  offense  to                                                                   
anyone."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Parkes explained that the  Senate Judiciary Committee did                                                                   
not consider  Amendment  #2. A prior  immunity provision  was                                                                   
deleted   and   Representative    Gruenberg   proposed   this                                                                   
compromise.  Currently when  someone claims  a right  against                                                                   
self-incrimination  to testify, a  judge conducts  a hearing,                                                                   
appoints an attorney,  listens to his or her  offer of proof,                                                                   
and decides whether they have  a valid right to immunity. The                                                                   
judge  informs the  prosecutor that  the person  has a  valid                                                                   
Fifth  Amendment  privilege  and,  based  on  no  information                                                                   
whatsoever, the  prosecutor must  decide whether to  give the                                                                   
person   immunity.   The   Gonzales   Case   interprets   the                                                                   
Constitution   in   the   manner  that   Alaska   must   give                                                                   
transactional  immunity   so  that  any  crimes   the  person                                                                   
discusses on the stand cannot be prosecuted.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.   Parkes  explained   that   Amendment   #2  proposes   a                                                                   
constitutional means  for prosecutors to gain  information to                                                                   
make an  informed decision about  whether to offer  immunity.                                                                   
The risks are extremely high.  She said that if immunity were                                                                   
given to  the wrong  individuals, they  would take  the stand                                                                   
and  talk  about  serious  crimes for  which  they  can't  be                                                                   
prosecuted.  However,  if  immunity  is  not  given  in  very                                                                   
serious  cases,  crucial  evidence  may  not  be  offered  to                                                                   
prosecute a serious crime.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Parkes  continued,  this  proposes that  the  judge  not                                                                   
inform  the  prosecutor  of  any   information  but  instead,                                                                   
appoint  someone  within  the   Criminal  Division  to  grant                                                                   
immunity.  The  judge  would determine  the  Fifth  Amendment                                                                   
privilege of the witness for a  higher-level felony, a lower-                                                                   
level felony or  a misdemeanor. The prosecutor  would only be                                                                   
informed of  the granting  of immunity,  not the category  of                                                                   
offense to which it applies.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Parkes  concluded   that  the  DOL  believes   that  the                                                                   
amendment  would   safeguard  a  witness's   Fifth  Amendment                                                                   
privilege.  She  noted  that the  House  Judiciary  Committee                                                                   
discussed it at  length, and the Public Defender  believes it                                                                   
will  violate the  Gonzales Case  but the  Department of  Law                                                                   
does not.  The Department feels  it's good public  policy for                                                                   
public  defenders to  make informed decisions  on whether  to                                                                   
grant immunity. She said that  the issue would be appealed to                                                                   
the Supreme Court.  She urged adoption of the amendment.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
In  response  to  a question  by  Representative  Croft,  Ms.                                                                   
Parkes said  that the State would  want to weigh the  risk in                                                                   
granting immunity depending on  the seriousness of the crime,                                                                   
ranging from shoplifting  to felony.  She commented  that few                                                                   
states   require   transactional    immunity   but   Alaska's                                                                   
constitution  is  unique  in requiring  a  greater  level  of                                                                   
immunity.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Croft indicated that  he had no  objection to                                                                   
the amendment.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Williams  WITHDREW his OBJECTION.   Amendment #2 was                                                                   
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Chenault brought  up Section  26 relating  to                                                                   
DUI and asked  if AS 04 appears  somewhere else in  law.  Ms.                                                                   
Parkes affirmed that this deals  with the DUI statute, and AS                                                                   
04 relates  to minor and  commercial DUI. Section  26 relates                                                                   
to the "big gulp" defense.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MOVED  to report  HCS  CSSB 170(FIN)  out  of Committee  with                                                                   
individual recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal note.                                                                   
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HCS  CSSB  170(FIN)  was  REPORTED   out  of  Committee  with                                                                   
individual recommendations and three fiscal impact notes.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 365(FIN)                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     An Act relating to the regulation of speech-language                                                                       
     pathologist assistants; and providing for an effective                                                                     
     date.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JANE ALBERTS, STAFF TO SENATOR BUNDE, introduced the bill.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
LAURA  YOUNG CAMPBELL,  SPEECH-LANGUAGE  PATHOLOGIST,  MAT-SU                                                                   
SCHOOL  DISTRICT, explained  that  the bill  establishes  the                                                                   
regulation  of speech-language  pathologist  assistants.  The                                                                   
speech-language  assistants   would  enroll  in   a  two-year                                                                   
program  at   Prince  William  Sound  Community   College,  a                                                                   
distance-learning program taught  by licensed speech-language                                                                   
pathologists.  The  students  would  also  gain  one  hundred                                                                   
clinically supervised hours, to  emerge from the program with                                                                   
an assistant's  degree. This would  affect assistants  in all                                                                   
job settings,  not just  the schools.  She explained  that in                                                                   
the remote rural  regions of the State, a  speech pathologist                                                                   
is sometimes only available a  few days a month, while having                                                                   
a properly  trained assistant  would allow  the consumer  on-                                                                   
going treatment.  An  assistant in the  schools would  handle                                                                   
clerical,   non-student  activities   to  allow  the   speech                                                                   
pathologist  more  time  to work  with  students  in  smaller                                                                   
groups. Outside  of the schools, the assistant  would benefit                                                                   
the  treatment  of  all ages  of  people  with  communication                                                                   
disorders.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Harris  asked if  she supported  Amendment #1.   Ms.                                                                   
Young  Campbell  affirmed  that the  Alaska  Speech  Language                                                                   
Hearing Association supports it.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Chenault  asked her level of  education and if                                                                   
other degree programs would be  available for an assistant to                                                                   
advance and replace her when she  retires. Ms. Young Campbell                                                                   
explained   that    a   Masters   degree,    national   board                                                                   
certification, and an internship  are required. Following the                                                                   
two-year program,  a person could work toward  a Bachelors or                                                                   
a Masters degree. Currently Alaska  doesn't have a Bachelor's                                                                   
program,  but   a  distance  delivery  Master's   program  is                                                                   
starting up.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Harris  MOVED  to ADOPT  Amendment  #1.    Co-Chair                                                                   
Williams OBJECTED for purposes of discussion.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Amendment #1 reads:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Delete all language on page 4, lines 25-27                                                                                      
[" (3)  appears to  the department to  suffer from  no mental                                                                   
illness  or   chemical  or  alcohol  dependency   that  would                                                                   
interfere with  the applicant's ability to perform  safely as                                                                   
a speech-language pathologist assistant."]                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
RICK  URION, DIRECTOR,  DIVISION  OF OCCUPATIONAL  LICENSING,                                                                   
DEPARTMENT OF  COMMUNITY &  ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT  stated that                                                                   
the bill relates to a good program,  but the Department found                                                                   
a problem area on page 4, lines  25-27.  He felt that none of                                                                   
his dedicated employees is qualified  to determine if someone                                                                   
is mentally ill or chemically dependent.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Williams  WITHDREW his OBJECTION.   Amendment #1 was                                                                   
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster  MOVED to report HCS CSSB  365(FIN) out                                                                   
of  Committee   with  individual   recommendations   and  the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal  note. There  being NO OBJECTION,  it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HCS CSSB  365(FIN) was REPORTED  out of Committee with  a "do                                                                   
pass"  recommendation  and one  previously  published  fiscal                                                                   
impact note.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE CS FOR CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 351(STA)                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     An Act  requiring the  Alaska Public Offices  Commission                                                                   
     to  accept   documents  by   nonelectronic  means,   and                                                                   
     specifying  the manner of  preparing the forms  that are                                                                   
     provided by the commission.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
SENATOR LYDA  GREEN, SPONSOR, explained that  recently passed                                                                   
legislation  regarding the Alaska  Public Offices  Commission                                                                   
(APOC)  inadvertently included  the words,  "upon request  of                                                                   
the  Commission" which  gave the  APOC  authority to  require                                                                   
electronic  filing of  election  campaign  records. She  felt                                                                   
that this  should be changed.  Although all candidates  would                                                                   
eventually turn  to electronic  equipment, the program  would                                                                   
not  be ready  for  at least  two years.  The  bill has  been                                                                   
narrowed  to candidates  for election  and provides that  the                                                                   
information  may be  printed  legibly in  dark  ink on  forms                                                                   
approved  and  filed  by  the  Commission.  She  expressed  a                                                                   
concern  that forms  be filed  timely and be  made ready  for                                                                   
public review.  She disagreed with the current  emphasis that                                                                   
the information  be immediately available to  the public over                                                                   
the Internet.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Green  pointed out the  language that was  changed on                                                                   
page 1, line 6, "The commission  may request," and offered it                                                               
for the Committee's consideration.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Joule asked if  faxes would be  an acceptable                                                                   
means of filing.  Senator Green  explained that filing may be                                                                   
by fax, mail or electronically.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Meyer  voiced support for the bill  because he had                                                                   
experienced  software   glitches  in  filing   electronically                                                                   
during the past ten years.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Chenault asked  if a candidate could still fax                                                                   
the  reports  under  the  proposed   changes.  Senator  Green                                                                   
replied  that under the  current statute,  if APOC  requested                                                                   
it,  a   candidate  could   only  transmit  the   information                                                                   
electronically.  She  felt that  the  APOC should  waive  the                                                                   
requirement   for  Representative   Joule's  district   if  a                                                                   
candidate   didn't  own   a  computer.   She  believed   that                                                                   
candidates  should  be  able  to  file  in  their  accustomed                                                                   
manner.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
BROOK  MILES,  EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,   ALASKA  PUBLIC  OFFICES                                                                   
COMMISSION (APOC), DEPARTMENT  OF ADMINISTRATION, stated that                                                                   
the  APOC does  not support  the bill.  The Commission  views                                                                   
this reversal of the ability to  request electronic filing as                                                                   
a serious impediment.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
TAPE HFC 04 - 106, Side B                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Miles  continued,  stating  that  when  the  Legislature                                                                   
agreed to  give the APOC  electronic filing, it  also reduced                                                                   
the Commission's budget by $100  thousand, which has resulted                                                                   
in a 20%  reduction to its  workforce.  She pointed  out that                                                                   
there  is fewer  staff  to do  a lot  more  work, and  having                                                                   
electronic  filing would  change  APOC's  ability to  conduct                                                                   
business,  as well  as inform  the public of  changes in  the                                                                   
law. The fiscal  note is Indeterminate because  APOC does not                                                                   
know how many people will choose  to file paper documents and                                                                   
how  many  will  file electronically.  Ms.  Miles  said  that                                                                   
historically, never  higher than  15% of all candidates  have                                                                   
filed  electronically.  She  said   that  without  additional                                                                   
funding, the APOC would be unable  to meet its mission. There                                                                   
would be  significant  delays in getting  the information  to                                                                   
the public in the 2004 State election,  and the problem would                                                                   
be magnified in the 2006 gubernatorial election.                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
Vice-Chair Meyer  asked if the  APOC could scan  or otherwise                                                                   
avoid  retyping the  information  filed on  paper. Ms.  Miles                                                                   
affirmed  that it  would be  possible  to scan  forms, but  a                                                                   
relational  database would not  be possible  if a picture  is                                                                   
scanned in.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Meyer thought that  candidates with multiple terms                                                                   
would  prefer electronic  filing  because it  is easier.  Ms.                                                                   
Miles said  the current program  requires that  the candidate                                                                   
fill  out the  campaign disclosure  form electronically,  but                                                                   
the new program is more interactive and "user friendly."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Fate asked if the  program is operational, and                                                                   
commented that there  were a lot of glitches  in the upgraded                                                                   
filing  software that  led to  him filing a  couple of  typed                                                                   
pages.   Ms. Miles replied that  the APOC will use a [indisc]                                                                   
by next summer,  or at least in next year's  municipal races.                                                                   
She said that it would be tested beforehand.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster  MOVED to report HCS CSSB  351(STA) out                                                                   
of  Committee   with  individual   recommendations   and  the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal  note.  There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HCS CSSB  351(STA) was REPORTED  out of Committee with  a "do                                                                   
pass"  recommendation  and one  previously  published  fiscal                                                                   
impact note.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 255                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     An  Act amending  the Alaska  Wage  and Hour  Act as  it                                                                   
     relates to  flexible work  hour plans, the  provision of                                                                   
     training  wages, and the  definitions of certain  terms;                                                                   
     and repealing the exemption  in the Act from the payment                                                                   
     of minimum wages for learners.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                              
Co-Chair Harris  MOVED to ADOPT  the blank Work Draft  as the                                                                   
version of  legislation before the Committee.  Representative                                                                   
Croft objected and then withdrew his objection.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
The work draft amends Section 1 of HB 255 as follows:                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
*Section 1. AS 23.10.085(b) is amended to read:                                                                               
     (b) The regulations may, without limiting the                                                                              
generality of  (a) of this section,  define terms used  in AS                                                                   
23.10.050-23.10.150,  and  restrict  or  prohibit  industrial                                                                   
homework or other  acts or practices that the  director finds                                                                   
appropriate  to  carry  out  the  purpose  of  AS  23.10.050-                                                                   
23.10.150, or to  prevent the circumvention or  evasion of AS                                                                   
23.10.050-23.10.150.   If   the   regulations   defining   an                                                               
individual    employed   in    a    bona   fide    executive,                                                               
administrative, or  professional capacity for purposes  of AS                                                               
23.10.055  require  that  the individual  receive  a  minimum                                                               
salary, the  required minimum  salary must  be two  times the                                                               
state minimum  wage for the  first forty hours  of employment                                                               
each week.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
BARBARA  HUFT-TUCKNES,   DIRECTOR  OF  LEGISLATIVE   AFFAIRS,                                                                   
TEAMSTERS LOCAL 959, spoke to the change.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Foster MOVED to  report CSHB 255(FIN)  out of                                                                   
Committee with the accompanying  fiscal note.  There being NO                                                                   
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CSHB 255(FIN)  was REPORTED out of Committee  with individual                                                                   
recommendations and one zero fiscal impact note.                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
HOUSE CS FOR CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 276(JUD)                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     An  Act  relating  to  the   Alaska  Insurance  Guaranty                                                                   
     Association;  relating  to  the  powers  of  the  Alaska                                                                   
     Industrial Development  and Export Authority  concerning                                                                   
     the association; and providing for an effective date.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
LINDA HALL, DIVISION OF INSURANCE,  DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY &                                                                   
ECONOMIC  DEVELOPMENT,  explained  that  there is  a  serious                                                                   
financial  loss because  of the  insolvency  of the  insurer,                                                                   
Alaska  Insurance Guaranty  Association.  The statute  allows                                                                   
prorating of claimants  but this is an  unacceptable solution                                                                   
because  the  medical  bills   of  claimants  are  not  paid.                                                                   
Currently, Alaska  has 579 open claims with  injured workers.                                                                   
Employers  satisfy the  obligation  but when  the insurer  is                                                                   
insolvent, the  claim is transferred  and will revert  to the                                                                   
employer. The  goal is to  protect policyholders, and  SB 276                                                                   
proposes to  change the  way the  Division of Insurance  does                                                                   
assessments.   The   legislation    authorizes   the   Alaska                                                                   
Industrial  Development  and   Export  Authority  (AIDEA)  to                                                                   
guarantee loans to the Alaska  Insurance Guaranty Association                                                                   
(AIGA)  needed to make  the association  financially  able to                                                                   
meet cash flow needs.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
[Due to  the malfunction  of Tape 106  Side B, the  following                                                                   
minutes  are  a  reconstruction   of  discussion  during  the                                                                   
meeting.]                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hall continued her testimony.   She referred to the chart                                                                   
titled,  "Alaska  Insurance  Guaranty   Association"(copy  on                                                                   
file.) and  discussed the  first line.  Ms. Hall stated  that                                                                   
this is a  painful and expensive bill, with  employers unable                                                                   
to handle the claims of 579 injured employees.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Harris  discussed  the   line  item,  Fund  Source,                                                                   
reflecting $8,890,000 on Fiscal Note #6 with Ms. Hall.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Meyer  asked  if businesses  or  the  Chamber  of                                                                   
Commerce have been involved.   Ms. Hall affirmed. In response                                                                   
to a  question by Vice-Chair  Meyer, Ms. Hall  explained that                                                                   
businesses  handle the  situation according  to their  profit                                                                   
margins.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Meyer  asked  if  Providence  or  Carrs  are  the                                                                   
largest employers.   Ms. Hall affirmed, and  noted that these                                                                   
businesses are self-insured.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Chenault commented  that as an employer, he is                                                                   
hit hard  by Workers'  Compensation Insurance increases  that                                                                   
will continue to rise.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Fate   asked    the   effect   on   workers'                                                                   
compensation  as employers  go  to self-insurance.  Ms.  Hall                                                                   
said that as more companies seek  other types of insurance, a                                                                   
smaller market is  created that is less attractive  with less                                                                   
competition,  which  has led  to  increases in  premiums.  In                                                                   
Alaskan companies,  the average  worker's compensation  claim                                                                   
is $19 thousand.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
Representative Hawker  asked if the Division  of Insurance is                                                                   
responsible for  monitoring firms. Ms. Hall  affirmed that it                                                                   
has the responsibility to oversee insolvency.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker  discussed the Fremont  suspension with                                                                   
Ms. Hall.  He asked  if any  options are  remotely viable  to                                                                   
settle this assessment.   Ms. Hall replied that  the Division                                                                   
had  looked at  a  variety of  options  and  worked with  the                                                                   
AIDEA.  The Senate rejected using Permanent Fund earnings.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker  commented  that  this  is  less  than                                                                   
popular with the  people who would have to pay  it.  Ms. Hall                                                                   
pointed out  that the State Chamber  is on record  in support                                                                   
of the bill, and it has broad  support because of recognition                                                                   
of the  current crisis.   Representative Hawker  thought that                                                                   
the acceptance would be reluctant and Ms. Hall agreed.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
In response  to a  question by  Representative Chenault,  Ms.                                                                   
Hall  said that  in  Alaska the  frequency  of accidents  has                                                                   
declined  but the  cost  of claims  has  risen. Medical  care                                                                   
comprises 55% of the claims. She  commented on Alaska's aging                                                                   
population and  the variety of  factors that impact  Workers'                                                                   
Compensation.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                              
Co-Chair Harris MOVED to report  SB 276 out of Committee with                                                                   
individual  recommendations   and  the  accompanying   fiscal                                                                   
notes. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HCS  SB   276(JUD)  was  REPORTED   out  of  Committee   with                                                                   
individual  recommendations  and  five  previously  published                                                                   
fiscal impact notes.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
SENATE BILL NO. 389                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     An Act relating to the conversion of certain                                                                               
     corporations to limited liability companies; and                                                                           
     providing for an effective date.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
JANE ALBERTS, STAFF TO SENATOR BUNDE, introduced the bill.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MARK HICKEY,  ALEUT CORPORATION, explained  that SB 389  is a                                                                   
straightforward bill.   Section 2 on page 1  allows entities,                                                                   
including  subsidiary corporations  and certain domestic  and                                                                   
foreign corporations,  to convert to the status  of a limited                                                                   
liability company.  He pointed  out that the fiscal notes are                                                                   
zero.  The Native  regional  corporations  are interested  in                                                                   
this  legislation  because  they own  subsidiaries  and  this                                                                   
would  allow the  transfer of  assets.  The conversion  would                                                                   
bring operating  flexibility  and tax  benefits.  Mr.  Hickey                                                                   
discussed the Doyon and Koniag Corporations.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Harris  asked if Co-Chair Williams'  Native regional                                                                   
corporation would be involved. Mr. Hickey affirmed.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker  asked  the definition  of  subsidiary                                                                   
corporation on page  2, line 2.  Mr. Hickey was  unsure if it                                                                   
is defined in statute.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ROGER DUBROCK,  CHIEF EXECUTIVE  OFFICER, ALEUT  CORPORATION,                                                                   
VIA TELECONFERENCE,  stated that  a "subsidiary  corporation"                                                                   
is implicitly defined  in the language on page  2, lines 2-3,                                                                   
as  "owned  directly or  indirectly  by  one or  more  parent                                                                   
corporations."   A subsidiary  corporation has no  individual                                                                   
shareholders.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker  asked if the bill's intent  is revenue                                                                   
neutrality  and facilitation  of the conversion  of the  for-                                                                   
profit entities.  Mr. DuBrock affirmed.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Chenault and Mr. DuBrock discussed the non-                                                                      
qualification  of a  subsidiary  corporation  and whether  it                                                                   
could have its earnings sheltered.  Mr. DuBrock noted that if                                                                   
two corporations  owned the subsidiary  equally, half  of the                                                                   
earnings would flow to each parent  corporation. He discussed                                                                   
losses of the subsidiary.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Chenault asked  the ownership requirement  to                                                                   
file a consolidated  tax return. Mr. DuBrock  replied that it                                                                   
must be 80%.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Hickey  commented that the  key is the language  defining                                                                   
the subsidiary  corporation as  owned directly or  indirectly                                                                   
by  one  or  more  parent  corporations.    This  bill  would                                                                   
facilitate the exercise of dissolving the subsidiary.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Foster   MOVED  to  report  SB   389  out  of                                                                   
Committee   with    individual   recommendations    and   the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal notes.  There  being NO OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SB  389  was  REPORTED  out  of   Committee  with  individual                                                                   
recommendations  and two previously  published fiscal  impact                                                                   
notes.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE CS FOR CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 30(JUD)                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     An Act  relating to  information and services  available                                                                   
     to pregnant  women and other persons;  ensuring informed                                                                   
     consent  before  an  abortion   may  be  performed;  and                                                                   
     providing  exceptions  to  informed consent  in  certain                                                                   
     cases.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRED  DYSON, SPONSOR,  explained that the  Department                                                                   
of Health &  Social Services requested that  all reproductive                                                                   
information including  abortion services be  provided online.                                                                   
The  first  change  made by  the  House  Judiciary  Committee                                                                   
required that  information reviewed by obstetricians  also be                                                                   
reviewed  by the state  medical board,  which, Senator  Dyson                                                                   
said,  it would  prefer not  to  do. He  explained the  other                                                                   
amendments made by House Judiciary  Committee, and noted that                                                                   
the  major  change eliminated  the  24-hour  waiting  period.                                                                   
Senator Dyson felt that the 24-hour  waiting period would not                                                                   
pose a barrier to receiving the service.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
In response to  a question by Representative  Croft, Co-Chair                                                                   
Williams  clarified that  Version  G is  the House  Judiciary                                                                   
Committee Substitute and Version Y is the blank Finance CS.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MYRNA GARDNER, JUNEAU, spoke from  written testimony (copy on                                                                   
file.)  She  felt that the underlying intentions  of the bill                                                                   
are  anti-abortion, and  that it  implies that  women do  not                                                                   
have  a right  to  privacy even  though  Alaska's history  on                                                                   
privacy is very clear. She asked  that female constituents be                                                                   
considered   intelligent  enough   to   make  this   decision                                                                   
themselves  without State  invasion into  their privacy.  She                                                                   
asked the Committee not to vote for the bill.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
TAPE HFC 04 - 107, Side A                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
At Ease:       3:25 PM                                                                                                        
Reconvene:     3:30 PM                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
VICKI  HALCRO,   DIRECTOR,  PUBLIC  AFFAIRS   AND  MARKETING,                                                                   
PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF ALASKA,  ANCHORAGE, VIA TELECONFERENCE,                                                                   
voiced  opposition  to  SB  30.  She  commented  that  it  is                                                                   
redundant and discriminatory.  Under the Alaska Constitution,                                                                   
the right  to choose  is a  fundamental right  of women.  The                                                                   
bill  assumes  that physicians  are  being negligent  in  not                                                                   
giving  women the  information needed  for informed  consent.                                                                   
She added that the House Judiciary  Committee had removed the                                                                   
24-hour  waiting period,  and she stated  that this  [waiting                                                                   
period] would add  an undue burden on women  in rural Alaska.                                                                   
She felt that the bill has serious constitutional issues.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
KAREN  VOSBURG,  (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  EXECUTIVE                                                                   
DIRECTOR,  ALASKA RIGHT  TO LIFE,  ANCHORAGE, voiced  support                                                                   
for the  legislation.   She spoke to  the description  of the                                                                   
unborn  baby and  argued that  women  need to  know "what  is                                                                   
being removed  during an abortion." She asserted  that nearly                                                                   
80% of women  surveyed by the Elliott Institute  believe that                                                                   
they  were  denied information  or  actively  misinformed  by                                                                   
their counselors  prior  to their abortion.   She  continued,                                                                   
stating that women  were not given a full explanation  of the                                                                   
possible risks  or complications.  Abortion counseling  is an                                                                   
opportunity  to  discuss  birth  control, and  she  spoke  to                                                                   
censoring information. Ms. Vosburg urged that the                                                                               
legislation be passed from Committee.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Williams requested that the Department of Law be                                                                       
present to discuss these issues.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SB 30 was HELD in Committee for further consideration.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 6:25 P.M.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects