Legislature(2005 - 2006)HOUSE FINANCE 519

01/31/2006 01:30 PM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 245 VETERANS' & POW'S VEHICLE FEES/TAXES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 326 POSTING LEWD MATERIAL AS HARASSMENT TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 326(JUD) Out of Committee
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      January 31, 2006                                                                                          
                         1:38 P.M.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer called the House  Finance Committee meeting to                                                                   
order at 1:38:47 PM.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kevin Meyer, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Bill Stoltze, Vice-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Richard Foster                                                                                                   
Representative Mike Hawker                                                                                                      
Representative Jim Holm                                                                                                         
Representative Mike Kelly                                                                                                       
Representative Beth Kerttula                                                                                                    
Representative Carl Moses                                                                                                       
Representative Bruce Weyhrauch                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Chenault, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative    Bob    Lynn;   Mike    Pawlowski,    Staff,                                                                   
Representative  Kevin   Meyer;  Marc  Antrim,   Commissioner,                                                                   
Department   of  Corrections;   Anne   Carpeneti,   Assistant                                                                   
Attorney  General,  Legal Services  Section-Juneau,  Criminal                                                                   
Division, Department of Law                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Duane  Bannock,   Director,  Division   of  Motor   Vehicles,                                                                   
Department  of Administration,  Anchorage;  Gordon  Severson,                                                                   
Anchorage Municipal  Military & Veterans  Commission, Chapter                                                                   
675, Anchorage; Ed Knoebel, Glennallen                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 245    An Act  relating to registration and  license plate                                                                   
          fees for Purple Heart recipients, prisoners of                                                                        
          war, Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, and                                                                     
          spouses of current prisoners of war.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
          HB 245 was HEARD and HELD in Committee for further                                                                    
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HB 326    An Act relating to harassment.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
          CS HB 326 (JUD) was  reported out of Committee with                                                                   
          a  "do pass"  recommendation  and  with three  zero                                                                   
          notes  by the Alaska  Court System, the  Department                                                                   
          of Law and the Department of Public Safety.                                                                           
1:39:42 PM                                                                                                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 245                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     An Act relating  to registration and license  plate fees                                                                   
     for   Purple  Heart   recipients,   prisoners  of   war,                                                                   
     Congressional Medal of Honor  recipients, and spouses of                                                                   
     current prisoners of war.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BOB LYNN, SPONSOR,  stated that the bill would                                                                   
allow  the Division  of Motor  Vehicles (DMV)  to design  and                                                                   
issue  special  registration  plates  for  one  noncommercial                                                                   
motor  vehicle  to   a  person  who  has  been   awarded  the                                                                   
Congressional Medal  of Honor.   He stated that  those people                                                                   
have  already  paid a  high  price  and should  receive  that                                                                   
honor.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Lynn  added that the  spouses also serve  in a                                                                   
different  way.  The  plate would  be for  both parties.   He                                                                   
urged favorable consideration of the bill.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:42:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DUANE  BANNOCK,  (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  DIRECTOR,                                                                   
DIVISION   OF    MOTOR   VEHICLES   (DMV),    DEPARTMENT   OF                                                                   
ADMINISTRATION,  ANCHORAGE,   offered  to   answer  questions                                                                   
regarding the impact of the legislation.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:44:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice  Chair Stoltze  asked  if there  were  any Pearl  Harbor                                                                   
survivors still alive.   Mr. Bannock thought  that there were                                                                   
seven registered  survivors in  Alaska; that information  was                                                                   
taken from  2004 data.   In 2004,  there were  a total  of 18                                                                   
vehicles registered with that classification.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:45:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GORDON  SEVERSON, (TESTIFIED  VIA TELECONFERENCE),  ANCHORAGE                                                                   
MUNICIPAL  MILITARY  &  VETERANS   COMMISSION,  CHAPTER  675,                                                                   
ANCHORAGE, encouraged  passage of the legislation.   He noted                                                                   
that he  already has  a Purple Heart  license plate  but that                                                                   
the legislation  would benefit other Purple  Heart recipients                                                                   
within the State.   Additionally, the legislation  recognizes                                                                   
wounded  Iraqi  veterans.   He  suggested that  those  people                                                                   
would be  privileged to be recognized  in such a manner.   He                                                                   
urged passage of HB 245.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:48:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ED  KNOEBEL,  (TESTIFIED  VIA   TELECONFERENCE),  GLENNALLEN,                                                                   
encouraged  passage of  the legislation  and offered  to help                                                                   
with design of the plates.  He  indicated that he was a World                                                                   
War II  veteran with a  Purple Heart.   He stated  that there                                                                   
are  a total  of 6,000  Purple Heart  members throughout  the                                                                   
country with 30 or 40 living in Alaska.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:51:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer asked  if there would be a one-time  charge of                                                                   
$5,000 dollar  for the new  plate.  Representative  Lynn said                                                                   
that was correct and thought that cost was excessive.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:52:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Bannock explained  that the $5,000 dollars  would include                                                                   
a couple different  items.  He added that any  change made to                                                                   
the  current computer  system  requires many  hours of  work.                                                                   
The system  is very old and  every license plate  is assigned                                                                   
for every type  of classification of automobile.   The system                                                                   
is  not  easily  amended  and   the  proposed  cost  includes                                                                   
redesign  charges.   Those license  plates  are designed  and                                                                   
ordered  on an individual  basis, which  increases a  little,                                                                   
the per plate cost.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:53:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer  pointed out  that there  are no Prisoners  of                                                                   
War  (POW)  or spouses  of  current  POW's  at this  time  in                                                                   
Alaska.   He  asked if  the plate  must be  designed at  this                                                                   
time.   Mr. Bannock  informed members  that currently,  there                                                                   
are  a POW  license plate.   What  is being  proposed is  who                                                                   
would  be  entitled  to receive  free  registration.    Those                                                                   
persons would qualify for the  free registration if they were                                                                   
a spouse of  a current prisoner of war.   Representative Lynn                                                                   
acknowledged that was the intent.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Holm inquired if  there already exists a metal                                                                   
of honor plate.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:55:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Bannock replied  that there is not one and  would need to                                                                   
be designed.   That person would  not pay for both  the plate                                                                   
and/or the vehicle registration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Holm  inquired if there were  current metal of                                                                   
honor residents in Alaska.  Mr. Bannock did not know.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:55:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Holm asked how  much it would cost to design a                                                                   
plate.    Mr.  Bannock  replied   that  number  was  variable                                                                   
depending on the  rendition.  He recommended that  a group be                                                                   
assigned to  design the plate,  keeping the cost  around $500                                                                   
dollars for a sample plate.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:56:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AT EASE:       1:57:22 PM                                                                                                     
RECONVENE:1:57:55 PM                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:57:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer  noted  that   the  bill  would  be  held  in                                                                   
Committee   in   order   to  research   the   fiscal   costs.                                                                   
Representative Lynn  said he would cooperate  with the wishes                                                                   
of the Committee.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HB 245 was HELD in Committee for further consideration.                                                                         
1:58:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 326                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     An Act relating to harassment.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL   PAWLOWSKI,  STAFF,   REPRESENTATIVE  KEVIN   MEYER,                                                                   
commented  that HB 326  includes the  publishing, posting  or                                                                   
distribution of material described  as lewd and/or obscene in                                                                   
the definition of harassment.   He noted that the issue arose                                                                   
from a constituent whose photos  were taken from a consensual                                                                   
situation and then as the relationship  ended, those pictures                                                                   
were used to harass that person.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
It is  obvious that  the Alaska Statutes  are not  keeping up                                                                   
with  technology.   With the  availability  of small  digital                                                                   
cameras  & phones  has changed  the  way that  photos can  be                                                                   
taken and used to harass individuals.   He reiterated that HB
326  changes current  statute  to include  the publishing  or                                                                   
posting  of lewd  or obscene  pictures in  the definition  of                                                                   
harassment.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Pawlowski noted the attached three zero notes.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:01:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer  reiterated that  a  constituent  of his  had                                                                   
brought the legislation forward.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:01:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Holm asked if  the zero  note would  create a                                                                   
potential problem  for the Department of Law.   He questioned                                                                   
if there was an indication of  prosecution coming forward and                                                                   
asked if the note should be classified as indeterminate.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:02:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Pawlowski  understood that  the departments could  absorb                                                                   
any change to  the definition.  He clarified  that harassment                                                                   
is not happening  as much as they  believe it will  be in the                                                                   
future.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer pointed out it  would be classified as a Class                                                                   
B misdemeanor.   Representative  Holm asked more  information                                                                   
regarding how the impact will be handled.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:03:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kerttula  indicated the she had  questions for                                                                   
Ms. Carpeneti, Department of Law.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:03:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNE CARPENETI,  ASSISTANT ATTORNEY  GENERAL, LEGAL  SERVICES                                                                   
SECTION-JUNEAU,   CRIMINAL  DIVISION,   DEPARTMENT  OF   LAW,                                                                   
offered to answer questions of the Committee.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Kerttula   asked   about   the   information                                                                   
attempting  to be  outlawed by  passage  of the  bill and  if                                                                   
conduct  and speech  were  included.   She  thought that  the                                                                   
State would be  creating problems [inaudible].   She inquired                                                                   
about the limited  jury option and how difficult  would it be                                                                   
to show  if infringement were  substantial.  She asked  if it                                                                   
would be dependant upon each case.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Carpeneti acknowledged that  was correct.  She noted that                                                                   
the case that  brought the legislation forward  also involved                                                                   
anonymous phone  calls.  The  legislation is less  speech and                                                                   
more conduct oriented.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:05:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kerttula emphasized  that it could happen, and                                                                   
wanted it noted for the record.  Ms. Carpeneti agreed.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:05:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice  Chair Stoltze  questioned  if it  could  become a  free                                                                   
speech issue.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Pawlowski interjected  that  there  had been  discussion                                                                   
regarding  that  in  the  House  Judiciary  Committee.    The                                                                   
distinction is  that the conduct  is not judged and  based on                                                                   
the interpretation  of the person who the picture  is of, but                                                                   
rather the intent  of the person publishing it.   He stressed                                                                   
that would  be when conduct crosses  the line.   The proposed                                                                   
legislation is intended to address that place.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:07:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARC ANTRIM,  COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF  CORRECTIONS, noted                                                                   
that the  Administration  does support  the legislation.   He                                                                   
provided  comments  on  a  case   that  happened  within  the                                                                   
Department  of Corrections in  the late  1990's at  the Lemon                                                                   
Creek Correctional  Center.   In that  case, an employee  was                                                                   
accused of  "guy cruising".  The  mystery was unsolved.   The                                                                   
Department noticed a website called  "My Fantasy Rape", which                                                                   
was  created  by  a  student  on  campus  in  Colorado.    He                                                                   
emphasized that these are "serious" concerns.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:14:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kerttula inquired  what change that person had                                                                   
been  prosecuted under.    Commissioner  Antrim replied  that                                                                   
Colorado is  one of seven states  that has a  criminal liable                                                                   
statute.  Those  statutes have been attached on  the basis of                                                                   
free speech.   Not  many accused  have been prosecuted  under                                                                   
it, however,  that person  was charged  with impersonating  a                                                                   
police  officer and  falsifying  documents.   Alaska was  not                                                                   
able to file charges on that person in Colorado.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:15:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kerttula advised  that  the proposed  statute                                                                   
would  not change  that and that  Alaska still  would not  be                                                                   
able  to  "take"  that  person with  passage  of  this  bill.                                                                   
Commissioner Antrim agreed.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:16:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker referenced the proposed new language:                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     "(6)  publishes,  posts,  or distributes  electronic  or                                                                   
     printed  photographs,  pictures,  depictions,  or  films                                                                   
     that show  the genitals, anus,  or female breast  of the                                                                   
     other  person or show  that person  engaged in  a sexual                                                                   
     act".                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker  asked what would  happen if it  were a                                                                   
composite  photograph  adjusted   digitally  and  could  that                                                                   
provide an affirmative defense.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Carpeneti advised  that behavior  could  not be  covered                                                                   
under the proposed language.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker asked if  it was the intent that it not                                                                   
be covered in the bill.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:18:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer thought  that it would  be covered  someplace                                                                   
else in the bill.   Mr. Pawlowski interjected that  it is not                                                                   
covered  in  the  House Judiciary  Committee  version.    The                                                                   
issued addressed by Legislative  Legal is free speech and how                                                                   
it becomes  more problematic  reaching  away from the  actual                                                                   
person.   HB  326  attempts to  walk  a "fine  line"  between                                                                   
addressing  free speech  issues  and staying  on the  correct                                                                   
line.  Legislative  legal warned about "going  to that place"                                                                   
using the actual composite pictures.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:19:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker observed  that with the ability used in                                                                   
digital imagery,  there could be a loophole.   Co-Chair Meyer                                                                   
agreed,  noting  that  the  only  intent  with  the  proposed                                                                   
legislation  was  to  prevent  using  current  technology  to                                                                   
harass.   Ms.  Carpeneti advised  that the  legislation is  a                                                                   
                             st                                                                                                 
limited approach because of 1 Amendment concerns.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:19:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kerttula  pointed out that it  could fall into                                                                   
the indecent photography statute.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:20:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Hawker   mentioned   "consensual   behavior"                                                                   
                st                                                                                                              
related to the 1  Amendment.   He asked if a prosecutor could                                                                   
accuse  someone engaged  in  consensual  behavior.   Co-Chair                                                                   
Meyer  pointed out  that  issue was  addressed  in the  House                                                                   
Judiciary Committee.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Carpeneti  stated that the  photos in the  proposal would                                                                   
have been  taken consensually, which  is how it  differs from                                                                   
indecent photographic viewing,  photos taken without consent.                                                                   
These are taken with consent and then used without consent.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker stated  that the  critical element  is                                                                   
that the  burden of  proof must  be established  in order  to                                                                   
determine harassment.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:21:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Stoltze asked if  there had been discussion of                                                                   
the  depictions.    Mr.  Pawlowski said  there  has  been  no                                                                   
discussion in Committee.  He recalled  that Legislative Legal                                                                   
Services agreed  to include the  language as a  definition of                                                                   
photograph  versus how  a picture  can be printed.   That  is                                                                   
standard  language and  was lifted  from  the Alaska  Statute                                                                   
(AS) 11.61.123 definition.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:22:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.   Pawlowski   commented   that  the   language   key   to                                                                   
Representative Hawker  reference is that it would  have to be                                                                   
limited  to what  is actually  on  that person's  body.   The                                                                   
proposed legislation is limited,  but the behavior exists and                                                                   
must be stopped.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:22:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster MOVED to  REPORT CS HB 326 (JUD) out of                                                                   
Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying zero  notes.  There  being NO OBJECTION,  it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CS HB  326 (JUD)  was reported  out of  Committee with  a "do                                                                   
pass" recommendation and with  three zero notes by the Alaska                                                                   
Court System,  the Department  of Law  and the Department  of                                                                   
Public Safety.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 2:24 P.M.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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