Legislature(2005 - 2006)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/25/2006 01:30 PM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 386 EXTEND NORTH SLOPE SEVERANCE TAX CREDIT TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 250 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE/SEXUAL ASSAULT COUNCIL TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ SB 20 OFFENSES AGAINST UNBORN CHILDREN TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSB 20(FIN) Out of Committee
+ SB 261 REGULATION OF HWYS; TRAFFIC OFFENSES TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSB 261(JUD) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       April 25, 2006                                                                                           
                         1:49 P.M.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer called the House  Finance Committee meeting to                                                                   
order at 1:49:43 PM.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Chenault, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Kevin Meyer, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Bill Stoltze, Vice-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Richard Foster                                                                                                   
Representative Mike Hawker                                                                                                      
Representative Jim Holm                                                                                                         
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
Representative Mike Kelly                                                                                                       
Representative Beth Kerttula                                                                                                    
Representative Carl Moses                                                                                                       
Representative Bruce Weyhrauch                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Vic  Kohring; Senator Fred Dyson;  Wes Keller,                                                                   
Staff, Senator  Fred Dyson;  Beverly Smith, Alaska  Christian                                                                   
Science Committee on Publications;  Clover Simon, CEO-Planned                                                                   
Parenthood  of Alaska,  Anchorage;  Kari Robinson,  Attorney-                                                                   
Alaska Network on Domestic Violence  and Sexual Assault; Anne                                                                   
Carpeneti,   Assistant  Attorney   General,  Legal   Services                                                                   
Section-Juneau,  Criminal Division,  Department of  Law; Mark                                                                   
Hanley,  Manager,   Public  Affairs,  Anadarko-Alaska;   Mary                                                                   
Siroky,  Special Assistant,  Department  of Transportation  &                                                                   
Public Facilities                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Lisa  Stone,   Executive  Director,  Northwest   Women's  Law                                                                   
Center,  Seattle,   Washington;  Bill  Van   Dyke,  Director,                                                                   
Division  of Oil and  Gas, Department  of Natural  Resources,                                                                   
Anchorage; Tiloma  Jayasing, Staff Attorney for  the National                                                                   
Advocates for  Pregnant Women,  Anchorage; Josh Fink,  Public                                                                   
Advocate,  Office of Public  Advocacy, Anchorage;  Lieutenant                                                                   
James  Helgoe,  Legislative  Liaison,  Department  of  Public                                                                   
Safety,  Anchorage;  Joelle  Hall,  Anchorage;  Randy  Magen,                                                                   
President,   National   Association    of   Social   Workers,                                                                   
Anchorage;  Anne  Smith, Anchorage;  Allison  Gottesman,  Co-                                                                   
Chair,  Social  Workers,  Social   Action  Committee,  Kenai;                                                                   
Debbie  Joslin;  Michael  MacLeod-Ball,  Executive  Director,                                                                   
American Civil Liberties Union  (ACLUA) of Alaska, Anchorage;                                                                   
Theda   Pittman,   Anchorage;  Connie   Rudnick,   Professor,                                                                   
Massachusetts   School   of  Law,   Andover,   Massachusetts;                                                                   
Christine  Pate,  Alaska  Network   on  Violence  and  Sexual                                                                   
Assault, Anchorage; Brenda Stanfill,  Interior Center for Non                                                                   
Violent  Living,  Fairbanks;  Judy  Crodell,  AWAIC  Shelter,                                                                   
Anchorage; Troy  Maulden, MatSu; Richard  Tremane, Department                                                                   
of  Revenue,  Anchorage;  John  MacKinnon,  Deputy  Director,                                                                   
Department  of Transportation  and  Public Facilities;  Robin                                                                   
Smith,  Anchorage;  Bonnie  Jack,   Anchorage;  Sherry  Goll,                                                                   
Haines;  Karen Lewis,  Executive  Director,  Alaska Right  to                                                                   
Life,  MatSu;  Michelle Dewitt,  Executive  Director,  Tundra                                                                   
Women's  Coalition, Bethel;  Meghan  Gangham, Tundra  Women's                                                                   
Coalition, Bethel                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 386    An  Act making  uniform  throughout  the state  the                                                                   
          deadline for certain  exploration expenditures used                                                                   
          as credits  against the  production tax on  oil and                                                                   
          gas produced from a  lease or property in the state                                                                   
          by  extending to  July  1, 2010,  the deadline  for                                                                   
          those expenditures on  leases or properties located                                                                   
          north of 68 degrees, 15 minutes, North latitude.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          HB 386 was HEARD and HELD in Committee.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CS SB 20(2d JUD)                                                                                                                
          An   Act  relating   to  offenses  against   unborn                                                                   
          children.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
          HCS CS  SB 20 (FIN)  was reported out  of Committee                                                                   
          with  "individual"  recommendations  and  with  new                                                                   
          zero note by the Department  of Public Safety, zero                                                                   
          note  #4 by  the  Department of  Corrections,  zero                                                                   
          note #5  by the Alaska  Court System, zero  note #5                                                                   
          by   the   Department    of   Public   Safety   and                                                                   
          indeterminate  notes #7 &  #8 by the  Department of                                                                   
          Administration.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SB 250    An  Act  extending  the  termination  date  of  the                                                                   
          Council  on Domestic  Violence and Sexual  Assault;                                                                   
          and   eliminating  statutory   references  to   the                                                                   
          network on domestic violence and sexual assault.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          SB 250 was SCHEDULED but not HEARD.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS SB 261(FIN)                                                                                                                  
          An  Act  relating  to the  designation  of  traffic                                                                   
          safety corridors; relating  to the bail or fine for                                                                   
          an offense  committed in a traffic  safety corridor                                                                   
          and  to separately accounting  for such  fines; and                                                                   
          providing for an effective date.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          HCS CS  SB 261 (JUD) was reported  out of Committee                                                                   
          with a "do" recommendation  and with fiscal note #1                                                                   
          by  the  Department   of  Transportation  &  Public                                                                   
          Facilities,  zero  note  #2 by  the  Department  of                                                                   
          Public Safety and zero  note #3 Alaska Court System                                                                   
          and  new indeterminate  note by  the House  Finance                                                                   
          Committee.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:50:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 20(2d JUD)                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     An Act relating to offenses against unborn children.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRED  DYSON,  SPONSOR,   stated  that  several  high                                                                   
profile  cases from across  the Nation  have highlighted  the                                                                   
need  for   laws  protecting   unborn  victims  of   criminal                                                                   
violence.   Currently, thirty  states provide some  degree of                                                                   
protection  for  unborn  victims  of violence.    Many  legal                                                                   
challenges  have been  brought  against  unborn victim  laws,                                                                   
based on Roe  versus Wade and other arguments,  but state and                                                                   
federal courts have rejected all those challenges.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SB 20  amends the Alaska  Criminal Code to afford  protection                                                                   
to an unborn  child at a level that is  reasonably equivalent                                                                   
to protection  afforded  to live born  persons in  comparable                                                                   
circumstances.  Nothing in law  shall apply to legal abortion                                                                   
or  to  usual and  customary  medical  practices  related  to                                                                   
pregnancy.   The  bill  also  defines "unborn  child"  within                                                                   
criminal statues.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Dyson continued  in 2004, U.S.  Congress passed  the                                                                   
Unborn  Victims of  Violence Act  and  President Bush  signed                                                                   
that bill into  federal law.  The law recognizes  that when a                                                                   
person  attacks a  pregnant woman  and injures  or kills  the                                                                   
unborn,  the  attacker  has  harmed  two  victims.    It  was                                                                   
narrowly drafted and only applies  when death or injury of an                                                                   
unborn child is  the result of a federal crime.   The federal                                                                   
act does not supersede State unborn  victim laws, nor does it                                                                   
impose such a state law on a state,  like Alaska that has not                                                                   
yet  acted.   Thirty-two  states currently  have  legislation                                                                   
protecting unborn children.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dyson said  that pregnant women who  have been harmed                                                                   
by  violence, and  their families,  know that  there are  two                                                                   
victims,  the mother  and  the unborn  child,  and that  both                                                                   
victims  should be  protected  by law.    Pregnant women  are                                                                   
already  protected  by  the  Alaska Criminal  Code.    SB  20                                                                   
affords similar protection to unborn victims.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dyson pointed out that  the bill had been restored to                                                                   
the original House Judiciary Committee version.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:01:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer  inquired  if  Senator  Dyson  had  seen  the                                                                   
amendments.  Senator  Dyson replied he was only  aware of the                                                                   
amendment brought forward by Representative  Kelly.  Co-Chair                                                                   
Meyer   pointed  out   two  other   amendments  proposed   by                                                                   
Representative   Kerttula;  Representative  Weyhrauch   added                                                                   
changes proposed by the Christian Science fellowship.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:02:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BEVERLY  SMITH,   ALASKA  CHRISTIAN   SCIENCE  COMMITTEE   ON                                                                   
PUBLICATIONS FOR ALASKA, stated  that her role was to monitor                                                                   
legislation in order that Alaskans  are offered the option to                                                                   
pursue  spiritual  means  for  the  prevention  and  cure  of                                                                   
disease.   She stated  that the  Christian Science  Committee                                                                   
proposes two amendments to SB 20.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
   1.   Proposed Section 11.41.180 on Page 3 and proposed                                                                       
        Section  11.41.289  on   Page  4  have  to   do  with                                                                   
        conditions  under,   which   the  previously   stated                                                                   
        sections for murder & assault of  the unborn child do                                                                   
        not apply.   The  Christian  Science Committee  would                                                                   
        like  reliance   on   spiritual   treatment   by   an                                                                   
        accredited  Christian  Science  practitioner   to  be                                                                   
        included in the  conditions.  Customary  medical care                                                                   
        is included and there should be  an accommodation for                                                                   
        spiritual treatment  as  there  is in  several  other                                                                   
        Alaska Statutes and in 45 states statutes.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
   2.   For over a century, many parents have successfully                                                                      
        relied on  Christian  Science treatment  and  healing                                                                   
        for the health &  well being of themselves  and their                                                                   
        children.    It  has  proved  to   be  a  reliable  &                                                                   
        effective means for  preventing and curing  disease &                                                                   
        Alaskans should be given the option  to continue such                                                                   
        practices.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:07:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CLOVER SIMON,  CEO-PLANNED PARENTHOOD  OF ALASKA,  ANCHORAGE,                                                                   
stated that  Planned Parenthood  supports the "intent"  of SB
20, regarding violence against  women who are pregnant, which                                                                   
results  in the  loss of  a wanted  pregnancy.   That is  the                                                                   
reason  why  Planned  Parenthood  continues to  work  for  an                                                                   
"Enhanced Penalty" solution in the bill.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Simon  claimed that  SB  20  is  the first  step  toward                                                                   
eroding a women's reproductive  rights & choices.  SB 20 lays                                                                   
a foundation by  giving separate and equal rights  to embryos                                                                   
and fetuses.   If enacted, SB  20 would be the  first Alaskan                                                                   
law  to recognize  an  embryo  as a  fetus  that  could be  a                                                                   
person,  experiencing  a crime  independently.   That  intent                                                                   
will  erode  a woman's  right  to  choose.   She  urged  that                                                                   
members look at a solution of  enhanced penalties in order to                                                                   
add a  measure of  protection for  a woman  and a measure  of                                                                   
punishment for the abuser.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:09:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kerttula  inquired  if similar  concerns  had                                                                   
been noted  in other  states.  Ms.  Simon understood  that in                                                                   
some places,  women were  being prosecuted, when  considering                                                                   
"child protection".                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:10:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KARI ROBINSON,  ATTORNEY-ALASKA NETWORK ON  DOMESTIC VIOLENCE                                                                   
AND SEXUAL  ASSAULT (ANDVSA), testified  against SB 20.   She                                                                   
noted concern  with the unintended consequences  of the bill.                                                                   
Women have  been charged with  crimes in states  with similar                                                                   
legislation.   Additionally, women could  die if they  do not                                                                   
receive prompt  medical care after injuries when  pregnant or                                                                   
miscarrying.   If  SB 20  is passed,  a women  might be  less                                                                   
likely to seek  protection.  She urged that the  focus be put                                                                   
back on  the woman, keeping her  safe, which keeps  the fetus                                                                   
safe.   Ms.  Robinson  encouraged consideration  of  enhanced                                                                   
penalties and/or  insurance aggregators.  She  urged that the                                                                   
legislation be tabled in House Finance Committee.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:11:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch asked which  provision of  the bill                                                                   
addressed  unintended consequences  for a women  experiencing                                                                   
domestic  violence   and  sexual   assault.    Ms.   Robinson                                                                   
explained that  the concern rests  in the reality  that women                                                                   
fear their abusers would be charged  with murder or homicide.                                                                   
Women  struggle with  many issues  and at  times might  avoid                                                                   
medical  care  rather  than entering  into  an  unsympathetic                                                                   
system.   Most  women  would  like to  see  the  focus be  on                                                                   
enhanced penalties  with the possibility of  the abuser being                                                                   
charged with homicide.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kerttula  asked why that was  the reaction, as                                                                   
seems the  "opposite" would  be true.   Ms. Robinson  replied                                                                   
that  anyone  in  a situation  of  abuse  while  pregnant  is                                                                   
accompanied  by fear and  stigma being  a victim of  domestic                                                                   
violence.  It takes a great deal  of courage to seek services                                                                   
during pregnancy.   The concern is that the  bill would deter                                                                   
women seeking help from abuse.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:14:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOELLE  HALL,  (TESTIFIED  VIA   TELECONFERENCE),  ANCHORAGE,                                                                   
echoed the  comments voiced  in opposition  to SB 20  made by                                                                   
Ms. Simon.   Ms.  Hall read  a statement  written by  a woman                                                                   
named  Cornelia from  South Carolina,  who  was convicted  of                                                                   
prenatal child abuse.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Hall  stressed that  SB 20 is  a dangerous direction  for                                                                   
Alaska to move.  She urged consideration of other options.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:18:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RANDY  MAGEN,  (TESTIFIED  VIA   TELECONFERENCE),  PRESIDENT,                                                                   
ALASKA  CHAPTER   OF  THE  NATIONAL  ASSOCIATION   OF  SOCIAL                                                                   
WORKERS,  ANCHORAGE, disagreed  with Senator  Dyson that  the                                                                   
problems of the  bill had been "fixed"; the  bill will create                                                                   
more   harm  to   women  and   children.     The   unintended                                                                   
consequences of the bill will be worse than the cure.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Magen  urged that the  focus turn to enhanced  penalties.                                                                   
There are definitional problems  in the bill where it applies                                                                   
to an  unborn child at  any stage of  development.   The bill                                                                   
sends the  message to  pregnant women  that they are  totally                                                                   
responsible  for the  health of  their unborn  children.   He                                                                   
pointed out  that miscarriages  and stillborn births  are not                                                                   
preventable and urged that the attackers be the focus.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:19:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNE  SMITH,   (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),   ANCHORAGE,                                                                   
voiced concern with  SB 20 and the method being  proposed for                                                                   
pregnancy  abuse.   She claimed  the need for  a bill,  which                                                                   
punishes the  offender, using the enhanced  penalty approach,                                                                   
an  approach, which  results  in the  same  or longer  prison                                                                   
sentences for the perpetrators.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:20:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALLISON GOTTESMAN, (TESTIFIED  VIA TELECONFERENCE), CO-CHAIR,                                                                   
NATIONAL  ASSOCIATION   OF  SOCIAL  WORKERS,   SOCIAL  ACTION                                                                   
COMMITTEE,  KENAI, testified  in opposition  to SB  20.   She                                                                   
provided  statistics of  Alaskan  teenage  mothers, who  have                                                                   
reported pregnancy  abuse.  Abused women are  twice as likely                                                                   
to wait until  the third trimester before  beginning prenatal                                                                   
care.  Murder  is the number  one cause of death  to pregnant                                                                   
women.    Ms.  Gottesman  urged   consideration  of  enhanced                                                                   
penalties.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:23:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
In response  to a question  by Representative  Weyhrauch, Ms.                                                                   
Gottesman explained  that if a batterer knew  that they could                                                                   
be prosecuted, they  might attempt to keep their  victim from                                                                   
seeking medical care.  Representative  Weyhrauch thought then                                                                   
that person then would be guilty of a more heinous crime.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:24:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LISA   STONE,  (TESTIFIED   VIA  TELECONFERENCE),   EXECUTIVE                                                                   
DIRECTOR, NORTHWEST WOMEN'S LAW  CENTER, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON,                                                                   
spoke strongly against the proposed legislation.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Stone stated that the bill  undermines a woman's right to                                                                   
choose and  is not intended to  protect pregnant women.   The                                                                   
bill undermines that  right by distinguishing the  fetus as a                                                                   
separate crime victim.  By doing  that, the law redefines the                                                                   
fetus at any stage of viability as a person.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
She commented  that personal beliefs  about when  life begins                                                                   
should be  addressed in private debate.   The law is  clear -                                                                   
the fetus  is not a separate  entity.  A law  that undermines                                                                   
abortion rights,  hurts more  than it helps  women.   That is                                                                   
why the  law center supports  the enhanced penalty  approach.                                                                   
Such  actions  change the  law,  so  that people  who  commit                                                                   
violent  assaults or  homicide against  pregnant women,  face                                                                   
heightened  penalties   and  enhanced  sentences   for  their                                                                   
crimes.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:27:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TROY MAULDEN,  (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE),  MATSU, voiced                                                                   
support for  SB 20 and urged passage  of the bill.   The bill                                                                   
recognizes the  unborn child as  a victim, which  has nothing                                                                   
to do with abortion.  The legislation  is about the intent to                                                                   
harm a fetus and  not being punished for it.   He recommended                                                                   
responsible legislation  for putting  away people  who commit                                                                   
crimes  against unborn  children.   He pointed  out that  the                                                                   
Republican Party's  platform establishes that "life  shall be                                                                   
defended".                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:28:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JUDY  CRODELL,  (TESTIFIED  VIA   TELECONFERENCE),  EXECUTIVE                                                                   
DIRECTOR, AWAIC  SHELTER, ANCHORAGE, noted that  AWAIC is the                                                                   
State's largest shelter service  provider in the State with a                                                                   
total of 80  beds.  She noted support for  enhanced penalties                                                                   
for assault to  women.  Ms. Crodell shared  concerns with the                                                                   
unintended  consequences of  the legislation.   She  strongly                                                                   
encouraged  that  the  bill  be  tabled  until  a  compromise                                                                   
measure could be made.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:30:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEBBIE  JOSLIN, (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE), EAGLE  FORM                                                                   
ALASKA, voiced support  for SB 20, which meets  the objective                                                                   
of  supporting  the unborn  rights  of  babies.   Failing  to                                                                   
protect the  unborn child  is a failure  to protect  women as                                                                   
well.  The  two are so close  that they can appear  as one to                                                                   
the perpetrator.   To fail to pass the bill would  be to fail                                                                   
to condem  violence against  the smallest  and weakest  among                                                                   
us,  sending a  message that  the  State of  Alaska does  not                                                                   
value life.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:32:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL  MACLEOD-BALL,  EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  AMERICAN  CIVIL                                                                   
LIBERTIES  UNION  (ACLUA)  OF  ALASKA,  ANCHORAGE,  spoke  in                                                                   
opposition to SB 20.  The ACLU  supports efforts against acts                                                                   
of violence that  harm or terminate a wanted  pregnancy.  The                                                                   
proposed  legislation diminishes  a woman  by separating  the                                                                   
fetus from the woman in the eyes of the law.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. MacLeod-Ball  spoke in support of  alternative approaches                                                                   
including  enhanced penalties.   According  to the Bureau  of                                                                   
Justice statistics,  1/3 of all murder victims  are killed by                                                                   
their partners.   The  intent of the  perpetrator is  to harm                                                                   
the woman,  not the fetus; there  is no evidence  to indicate                                                                   
the  proposed  legislation  would  protect  the  fetus.    To                                                                   
address the problem, it needs  to be addressed ahead of time.                                                                   
SB 20  does not do  that but  instead shifts society's  focus                                                                   
away from the intended victim to the fetus.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr. MacLeod-Ball pointed out that  North Carolina has adopted                                                                   
enhanced punishment legislation.   The ACLU supports properly                                                                   
crafted  legislation; SB  20 ignores  the  unity between  the                                                                   
pregnant  woman   and  the  fetus   she  carries.     Penalty                                                                   
enhancements   appropriately   punish  the   behavior.     In                                                                   
conclusion,  from a point  mentioned  by a pervious  speaker,                                                                   
"AS 11.41.180  - the exceptions  for an act a  pregnant woman                                                                   
commits against  herself, specifically, only deals  with acts                                                                   
of  commission,  not  providing  an  exception  for  acts  of                                                                   
omission."  He recommended that  language be corrected by the                                                                   
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:36:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
THEDA  PITTMAN, (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  ANCHORAGE,                                                                   
recommended  that legislation  be reviewed for  practicality.                                                                   
She  stated  that the  bill  must  be mindful  of  unintended                                                                   
consequences.     She  thought  that  because   there  is  no                                                                   
distinction  between a  fertilized  egg and  a viable  fetus,                                                                   
makes the  implementation impossible in  the real world.   In                                                                   
the early  stages of  pregnancy, the  State should  not adopt                                                                   
criminal  law.   The legislation  asks  the criminal  justice                                                                   
system to  make an impossible  differentiation.   Ms. Pittman                                                                   
urged that the bill not be moved from Committee.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:38:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBIN  SMITH,  (TESTIFIED  VIA   TELECONFERENCE),  ANCHORAGE,                                                                   
spoke in  opposition to the bill.   She stated that  the bill                                                                   
does  not  protect  women,  but  rather  undermines  abortion                                                                   
rights.  Ms. Smith pointed out  the number of bills presented                                                                   
by  Senator Dyson  to restrict  abortion and  urged that  the                                                                   
Committee not pass SB 20 out.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:39:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BONNIE  JACK,  (TESTIFIED  VIA   TELECONFERENCE),  ANCHORAGE,                                                                   
testified in opposition to the  bill and referred to a letter                                                                   
that   she   had   sent  to   legislators.      She   thanked                                                                   
Representative  Hawker for his  quick response.   Legislators                                                                   
should look at  the "big picture", noting  enhanced penalties                                                                   
adequately  address the  measure.   Ms. Jack  urged that  the                                                                   
bill not pass from Committee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:41:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TILOMA   JAYSING,  (TESTIFIED   VIA  TELECONFERENCE),   STAFF                                                                   
ATTORNEY  FOR  THE NATIONAL  ADVOCATES  FOR  PREGNANT  WOMEN,                                                                   
ANCHORAGE,  testified  that her  organization  is devoted  to                                                                   
protecting the rights of pregnant women and families.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
She addressed two points:                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
   · The exception language in Section 11.41.180 & 289,                                                                         
     disrespects women  and mothers.  The  language indicates                                                                   
     it would  apply to  acts committed  by a pregnant  woman                                                                   
     against herself  or unborn child.  The  language creates                                                                   
     a conflict  between a mother  and the fetus.   Even with                                                                   
    the exemption, the bill will be used against women.                                                                         
   · Urged that enhanced penalties be adopted instead.  The                                                                     
     way a fetus is harmed is when the pregnant woman is                                                                        
     harmed and should be recognized as that.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:44:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CONNIE RUDNICK, (TESTIFIED VIA  TELECONFERENCE), PROFESSOR OF                                                                   
CONSTITUTIONAL  LAW, MASSACHUSETTS  SCHOOL  OF LAW,  ANDOVER,                                                                   
MASSACHUSETTS,   referenced   a   letter  sent   to   Alaskan                                                                   
legislators, which  sets forth  the position that  the Unborn                                                                   
Victims of Violence  Act being considered, is  the first step                                                                   
with the sponsor's  goal, to undermine Roe versus  Wade.  She                                                                   
pointed out  such advocates  are generally "anti-choice"  and                                                                   
maintained that was the intent of SB 20.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Rudnick  referred  to Senator Dyson's  argument that  the                                                                   
unborn  child  had  not  been  defined as  a  person  in  the                                                                   
legislation and stated  that once the child  becomes a victim                                                                   
of  a  murder,  it becomes  the  established  identity  as  a                                                                   
person.  She noted the various  stages of pregnancy, prior to                                                                   
when  a fetus  becomes  viable.   The  legislation would  not                                                                   
differentiate  between a group  of cells  and a living  human                                                                   
being.    She  emphasized  the  legislation  is  intended  to                                                                   
address reproductive situations.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:48:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTINE  PATE, (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  ATTORNEY,                                                                   
ALASKA  NETWORK ON  VIOLENCE AND  SEXUAL ASSAULT,  ANCHORAGE,                                                                   
stressed that the version before  the Committee contains many                                                                   
concerns  for the  victims of  domestic violence.   The  main                                                                   
concern is that they would be  less likely to seek medical or                                                                   
police intervention  because of the fear that  their partners                                                                   
might  face long prison  terms.   She pointed  out that  some                                                                   
fathers  are  the sole  breadwinners  in  a family  and  that                                                                   
domestic violence  can result in miscarriages  and could lead                                                                   
to up to  a five-year sentence.   In such cases,  women might                                                                   
not seek  help.   Domestic violence  perpetrators need  to be                                                                   
held  accountable   and  victim's  protected;   a  system  of                                                                   
enhanced penalties could better accomplish that goal.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:50:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRENDA  STANFILL,  (TESTIFIED VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  INTERIOR                                                                   
CENTER  FOR NON  VIOLENT LIVING,  FAIRBANKS, reiterated  that                                                                   
there are unintended  consequences of the bill  to victims of                                                                   
domestic  violence.    She  noted  Senator  Dyson's  question                                                                   
regarding  "who is  worthy of  protection".   She said  women                                                                   
need to  be protected  first; she urged  a focus  on enhanced                                                                   
penalties.   She recommended  the need  to hold  perpetrators                                                                   
accountable  to  protect  women  instead of  passing  such  a                                                                   
controversial  bill.    Ms.  Stanfill  stated  she  does  not                                                                   
support the bill in its current form.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:52:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SHERRY   GOLL,  (TESTIFIED   VIA   TELECONFERENCE),   HAINES,                                                                   
emphasized that the  bill is not about protecting  women, but                                                                   
rather  about  changing  the  definition  of  a  "person"  in                                                                   
statute.   To  use an  unclear  term such  as "unborn  child"                                                                   
clouds  all  statutes.   If  the  sponsor was  interested  in                                                                   
protecting  women,  he  would protect  women  suffering  from                                                                   
domestic  violence.   Senator Dyson chose  to eliminate  $500                                                                   
thousand dollars from domestic violent services.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Goll reiterated  that she does not support the  bill.  It                                                                   
is  a  bad  bill  and  urged  that  it  not  be  passed  from                                                                   
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:54:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KAREN  LEWIS,   (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),   EXECUTIVE                                                                   
DIRECTOR,  ALASKA RIGHT  TO LIFE,  MATSU,  proposed that  the                                                                   
bill  was  not  about  violence  against  women,  but  rather                                                                   
against unborn  children.   She referred  to the bill  signed                                                                   
into law by President Bush.  The  legislation recognizes that                                                                   
when a criminal attack is made  against a pregnant women, two                                                                   
lives  have  been  claimed.    Ms.  Lewis  noted  that  fetal                                                                   
homicide laws do  not conflict with the Supreme  Court's pro-                                                                   
abortion  decrees.  She  discussed various  definitions  of a                                                                   
human being as they pertain to  a child in uterus.  She urged                                                                   
amending certain statutes.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Lewis  referred to a poll  taken by Fox news,  July 2003,                                                                   
regarding physical attack on a  pregnant woman leading to the                                                                   
death  of the  child.   Pro-abortion  groups have  vehemently                                                                   
attached  unborn victim  legislation  and she  asked that  no                                                                   
amendments  be  attached  to   Senator  Dyson's  bill.    She                                                                   
acknowledged support for the legislation.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:59:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHELLE  DEWITT, (TESTIFIED  VIA TELECONFERENCE),  EXECUTIVE                                                                   
DIRECTOR, TUNDRA WOMEN'S COALITION,  BETHEL, recommended that                                                                   
the concerns  be handled  through legislation that  addresses                                                                   
aggravators and urged  that substitution be added.   The bill                                                                   
is  not  appropriate  in addressing  family  violence.    She                                                                   
expressed  discomfort with  the  language of  the  bill.   In                                                                   
discussions with women in shelters,  they unanimously are not                                                                   
comfortable  with the  language in  SB 20.   She  recommended                                                                   
substituting  language that  addresses  the aggravators  when                                                                   
pregnancy is terminated during an assault.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:00:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEGHAN  GANGHAM,   (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),   TUNDRA                                                                   
WOMEN'S  COALITION,  BETHEL,  echoed  comments  made  by  Ms.                                                                   
Dewitt.  She noted concern with  the language of the bill and                                                                   
its affect  on women  who are  victims of domestic  violence.                                                                   
She  strongly urged  that  the Committee  consider  penalties                                                                   
against aggravators and rather than the proposed bill.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:02:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PUBLIC TESTIMONY CLOSED                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kerttula  referred    to   public    testimony                                                                   
discussion  regarding increased  penalties;  she asked  about                                                                   
considerations  in current law  regarding harm to  a pregnant                                                                   
woman.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ANNE CARPENETI,  ASSISTANT ATTORNEY  GENERAL, LEGAL  SERVICES                                                                   
SECTION-JUNEAU,   CRIMINAL  DIVISION,   DEPARTMENT  OF   LAW,                                                                   
responded  that  an  unlawful  termination  of  pregnancy  is                                                                   
considered and defined as a "serious physical injury".                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Kerttula  asked   if   assault  &   reckless                                                                   
endangerment  had been  taken into  account.   Representative                                                                   
Kerttula inquired if there are  aggravators, would a sentence                                                                   
be "bumped up"  because of pregnancy.  Ms.  Carpeneti pointed                                                                   
out that  although the charge  would not be changed  if there                                                                   
was  a  pregnancy  and  then  unlawfully  terminated  through                                                                   
serious  injury, however,  the assault  charge would  be more                                                                   
serious as a result.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:04:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOSH FINK,  (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE),  PUBLIC ADVOCATE,                                                                   
OFFICE  OF PUBLIC  ADVOCACY, ANCHORAGE,  testified  regarding                                                                   
the indeterminate fiscal note.   He pointed out that the bill                                                                   
creates new  crimes, which have  previously not existed.   It                                                                   
is difficult to  determine actual costs, but  he thought they                                                                   
could be absorbed.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer referred  to the new, zero fiscal  note by the                                                                   
Department of Public Safety.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Kelly   MOVED   to   ADOPT   Amendment   #1.                                                                   
Representative Kerttula OBJECTED.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
WES KELLER,  STAFF, SENATOR  FRED DYSON,  explained that  the                                                                   
issue being  addressed is the scope  on Page 1, Lines  7 & 8,                                                                   
deleting  "Constitution   of  the   United  States   and  the                                                                   
Constitution of  the State of  Alaska" and inserting  "United                                                                   
States Supreme Court".                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:07:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Keller  proposed that the  rights assured in Roe  v. Wade                                                                   
were  not  affected  by  the proposed  bill;  he  noted  that                                                                   
Senator Dyson supports the amendment.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Vice Chair Stoltze  observed that  the amendment was meant to                                                                   
frame  the  Roe  v.  Wade  as a  court  decision  and  not  a                                                                   
constitutional right.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kerttula  maintained  her objection,  pointing                                                                   
out that the  amendment goes against what the  Sponsor stated                                                                   
was the intent of the bill.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:09:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly thought that  it would be  "technically                                                                   
correct  to state  the genesis  of coming  from" the  Supreme                                                                   
Court decision.   He noted  that Senator Dyson  had requested                                                                   
the amendment.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR:      Stoltze, Foster, Holm, Kelly, Chenault, Meyer                                                                    
OPPOSED:       Weyhrauch, Hawker, Joule, Kerttula, Moses                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION PASSED (6-5).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:12:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kerttula MOVED  Amendment #2,  24-LS0197\T.3,                                                                   
Mischel, 4/24/06.  Vice Chair Stoltze OBJECTED.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kerttula commented  on the consequences of the                                                                   
proposed legislation.  Judges  currently cannot consider if a                                                                   
woman is pregnant or not when  sentencing.  She commended the                                                                   
sponsor  in  acknowledging  the   serious  nature  of  crimes                                                                   
against pregnant  women.  She  pointed out that  Amendment #2                                                                   
could provide  the obvious compromise,  allowing the  bill to                                                                   
move  forward  rather  than creating  serious  issues.    She                                                                   
advised  that the  bill without  the  amendment would  create                                                                   
many legal challenges for the State of Alaska.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:14:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Keller referred to the original  draft of the bill, which                                                                   
provides protection  to unborn  children.  There  was nothing                                                                   
in the  original intent that  offered protection  to pregnant                                                                   
women;  the sponsor  simply wants  to avoid  that within  the                                                                   
scope of SB 20.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:15:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch  referred to  Page  7, regarding  a                                                                   
defendant convicted  of an offense involving  physical injury                                                                   
to the woman.   He observed that assurances  are missing from                                                                   
current  Alaskan law  in  protecting women  and  asked if  it                                                                   
would be helpful to add them in.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Keller  clarified that there  are adequate laws  in place                                                                   
and that the sponsor choose not to address those in SB 20.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dyson noted  he intended to offer other  bills, which                                                                   
will protect women.  He recounted  discussions with the legal                                                                   
department, cautioning  him against  adding new crimes  for a                                                                   
separate  victim.    He proposed  to  review  the  inadequate                                                                   
assault crimes, however,  pointed out that the  purpose of SB
20 creates a crime for a separate victim.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:18:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice Chair Stoltze  pointed  out  that  the  amendment  would                                                                   
affect  the  title  and would  require  a  title  resolution.                                                                   
Representative Kerttula confirmed.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:19:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator Dyson  commented that the amendment  would profoundly                                                                   
change the bill; he did not support it.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR:      Hawker, Joule, Kerttula, Moses                                                                                   
OPPOSED:       Weyhrauch, Foster, Holm, Kelly, Stoltze,                                                                         
               Meyer, Chenault                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION FAILED (4-7).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:22:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kerttula  MOVED  Amendment #3, #24-LA0197\T.1,                                                                   
Mischel, 4/24/06.  Vice Chair Stoltze OBJECTED.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kerttula discussed  the amendment, which would                                                                   
provide  a "sidebar" regarding  when the  crime was  imposed.                                                                   
Without that language,  it could be assumed that  it would be                                                                   
at  the time  of fertilization,  and  that runs  the risk  of                                                                   
creating an over-broad statute.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:22:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Keller  advised that  the sponsor  opposes the  amendment                                                                   
because it would be difficult  to place a legal definition on                                                                   
it.  He mentioned  surviving children born at  19-weeks.  The                                                                   
Legislature  has  the  option   of  providing  protection  to                                                                   
whoever is chosen.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:23:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly  expressed opposition to  the amendment,                                                                   
and his desire to protect all unborn & unprotected beings.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kerttula  voiced respect for comments  made by                                                                   
Representative  Kelly regarding  protection of  women in  our                                                                   
society.    She  pointed  out,  however,  that  in  terms  of                                                                   
criminal law, it  is tough to prove and the  broad definition                                                                   
runs afoul from constitutional  requirements.  She reiterated                                                                   
that the amendment  narrows the definition and  that it would                                                                   
add clarity to the legislation.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:26:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Keller pointed  out that the definition  was identical to                                                                   
that in the federal legislation.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR:      Joule, Kerttula, Moses, Weyhrauch                                                                                
OPPOSED:       Foster, Hawker, Holm, Kelly, Stoltze, Meyer,                                                                     
               Chenault                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION PASSED (4-7).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:27:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kerttula MOVED to  TABLE the bill.   Co-Chair                                                                   
Meyer OBJEDCTED.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR:      Joule, Kerttula, Moses                                                                                           
OPPOSED:       Hawker, Holm, Kelly, Stoltze, Weyhrauch,                                                                         
               Meyer, Chenault                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION FAILED (3-8).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:28:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Foster MOVED  to REPORT  HCS CS  SB 20  (FIN)                                                                   
out  of Committee  with individual  recommendations and  with                                                                   
the  accompanying  fiscal  notes.    Representative  Kerttula                                                                   
OBJECTED.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR:      Holm, Kelly, Stoltze, Weyhrauch, Foster,                                                                         
               Hawker, Meyer, Chenault                                                                                          
OPPOSED:       Joule, Kerttula, Moses                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION PASSED (8-3).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HCS  CS  SB 20  (FIN)  was  reported  out of  Committee  with                                                                   
"individual" recommendations  and with  new zero note  by the                                                                   
Department of Public  Safety, zero note #4 by  the Department                                                                   
of  Corrections, zero  note #5  by the  Alaska Court  System,                                                                   
zero  note  #5  by  the  Department   of  Public  Safety  and                                                                   
indeterminate   notes  #7   &   #8  by   the  Department   of                                                                   
Administration.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:30:00 PM                                                                                                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 386                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     An Act making uniform throughout  the state the deadline                                                                   
     for  certain exploration  expenditures  used as  credits                                                                   
     against the production tax  on oil and gas produced from                                                                   
     a lease  or property in the  state by extending  to July                                                                   
     1, 2010,  the deadline for those expenditures  on leases                                                                   
     or properties  located north of 68 degrees,  15 minutes,                                                                   
     North latitude.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VIC KOHRING, SPONSOR,  explained that  HB 386                                                                   
provides  a production  tax credit  for certain  oil and  gas                                                                   
exploration expenses  from a leasehold  or property  owned in                                                                   
the State.  It also establishes  a deadline for using credits                                                                   
from certain exploration expenditures  against production tax                                                                   
on oil and gas produced.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HB  386 would  extend the  exploration  credit incentives  to                                                                   
2010 and encourages  exploration in Alaska and  in particular                                                                   
the North  Slope.   HB 386  would make  AS 43.55.025  uniform                                                                   
throughout  the  State,  allowing  oil  producers  to  credit                                                                   
exploration expenditures  against production  tax on  oil and                                                                   
                         st                                                                                                     
gas produced after July 1, 2004.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kohring noted  that in  order to qualify  for                                                                   
the   production   tax   credit   under   existing   statute,                                                                   
exploration expenditures  must be  incurred on or  after July                                                                   
1, 2003  and before  July 1,  2007.   It has become  apparent                                                                   
that the  July 1,  2007 deadline  would arrive  too soon  for                                                                   
some smaller independent oil companies  that are now planning                                                                   
their  exploration  dollars  for   the  future.    Given  the                                                                   
timetable,  it is  likely  that exploration  expenditures  on                                                                   
those leases would  occur after July 1, 2007,  in which case,                                                                   
they could not be credited against future production taxes.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:36:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch   asked  if  the   legislation  was                                                                   
basically  a "hold  card"  if  the Petroleum  Production  Tax                                                                   
(PPT) was not  adopted.  Representative Kohring  said yes and                                                                   
that the PPT would  not entirely supercede HB 386.   It could                                                                   
provide  an overlap;  the  portion  not overlapped  would  be                                                                   
extending the exploration incentive  credit and allow the use                                                                   
of  property  & income  tax  payments  as credits  to  offset                                                                   
expenses.  Those  are two major provisions that  the Industry                                                                   
would like to have.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer indicated  the intent  to merge  HB 386  with                                                                   
PPT.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:37:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kohring  said he would be amenable  to rolling                                                                   
the bill into the PPT bill; however,  requested that the bill                                                                   
be  moved out  of  the House  Finance  Committee  as soon  as                                                                   
possible in the  event that the provisions were  not adopted.                                                                   
Co-Chair  Meyer  reiterated  that   PPT  would  be  discussed                                                                   
tomorrow.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:38:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK HANLEY, PUBLIC AFFAIRS MANAGER,  ANADARKO-ALASKA, voiced                                                                   
support for the legislation.   He realized that portions were                                                                   
included in  both the  Senate and House  sections of  the PPT                                                                   
bill.    HB  386  credits  work and  has  had  an  impact  on                                                                   
exploration in  Alaska; the tax  credits have  helped attract                                                                   
partners.   The tax credits  are valuable in  encouraging new                                                                   
prospects.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:40:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BILL  VAN  DYKE, (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  DIRECTOR,                                                                   
DIVISION  OF OIL AND  GAS, DEPARTMENT  OF NATURAL  RESOURCES,                                                                   
ANCHROAGE,  testified  in support  of  the bill,  noting  the                                                                   
program has  worked well.   The legislation  would be  a good                                                                   
investment for the State's future.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:41:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RICHARD TREMANE,  (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE),  DEPARTMENT                                                                   
OF REVENUE, ANCHORAGE,  pointed out the $15.7  million dollar                                                                   
issued  credits  with  an  additional  $20.6  million  credit                                                                   
dollars "in the  wings".  It is a program that  is well used.                                                                   
The referenced  section is the  extension and  allows credits                                                                   
to be used against other types of debt to the State.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:43:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PUBLIC TESTIMONY CLOSED                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:43:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Chenault voiced support  for HB 386.  Representative                                                                   
Foster noted that he had signed on as a co-sponsor.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HB 386 was HELD in Committee for further consideration.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:44:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 261(FIN)                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     An  Act relating  to the designation  of traffic  safety                                                                   
     corridors; relating  to the bail or fine  for an offense                                                                   
     committed   in  a   traffic  safety   corridor  and   to                                                                   
     separately accounting for  such fines; and providing for                                                                   
     an effective date.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MARY SIROKY, SPECIAL ASSISTANT,  DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION                                                                   
& PUBLIC FACILITIES, explained  that the bill relates to bail                                                                   
or  fines  for  an offense  committed  in  a  traffic  safety                                                                   
corridor; it separately accounts for such fines.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The  Alaska Supreme  Court  and  each municipality  would  be                                                                   
required to provide the scheduled  amount of fine or bail for                                                                   
a  motor vehicle  or  traffic  offense  in a  traffic  safety                                                                   
corridor and would  be double the fine amount  if the offense                                                                   
had not been committed in that area.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Siroky pointed  out that the bill also  provides separate                                                                   
accounting for  fines collected  for traffic safety  corridor                                                                   
offenses and for the 50% appropriation  of collected fines to                                                                   
the  Department of  Transportation  & Public  Facilities  for                                                                   
highway safety  programs.   SB 261 would   have an  immediate                                                                   
effective date.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:47:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Chenault asked  if  there would  be  a speed  limit                                                                   
change  on the  Sterling  Highway  realignment.   Ms.  Siroky                                                                   
responded that safety  zones do not always result  in a speed                                                                   
limit  change  but  rather  a   double  fine  including  more                                                                   
patrolling of those areas.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:48:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kerttula requested that  one be put  in place                                                                   
on the North Douglas highway.   Ms. Siroky explained that the                                                                   
Department  uses  information  from  fatalities  and  traffic                                                                   
accident rates for  a three-year period average  to make such                                                                   
a determination.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Holm  asked  why  no  fiscal  note  had  been                                                                   
included for  the Department  of Public Safety.   He  did not                                                                   
understand how it could be patrolled  without extra troopers.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:49:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  MACKINNON,   (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),   DEPUTY                                                                   
DIRECTOR,   DEPARTMENT    OF   TRANSPORTATION    AND   PUBLIC                                                                   
FACILITIES, noted there are Safety  Sanction Funds available,                                                                   
to  be used  for additional  enforcement.   Those funds  were                                                                   
generated  from  seat  belt  &  motorcycle  monies  that  the                                                                   
federal government  withholds from construction  programs for                                                                   
use of safety programs.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:50:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Holm asked  about the  costs associated  with                                                                   
extra  hired   personnel.    Mr.  MacKinnon   explained  that                                                                   
typically,  the additional  level of  enforcement is  handled                                                                   
through overtime charges.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:50:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Weyhrauch  pointed   out   that  the   House                                                                   
Judiciary  Committee version  adds  sign  intervals of  every                                                                   
three miles rather  than five and asked if that  could add to                                                                   
the expense.   Mr. MacKinnon thought that the  traffic manual                                                                   
requires  signs every  five miles.    The three-mile  spacing                                                                   
would only happen in the safety corridors.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:51:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Chenault asked  if there had  been more  fatalities                                                                   
since  the realignment  of the  roads.  He  noticed from  the                                                                   
backup that over  half the deaths were related  to alcohol or                                                                   
drugs.   Mr.  MacKinnon acknowledged  that some  of the  maps                                                                   
indicate  an  accident increase  after  major  reconstruction                                                                   
projects.  He  did not relate that to driver's  speed, rather                                                                   
more likely  due to volume  on the road.   The target  of the                                                                   
legislation   is  driver's  behavior,   with  only   a  small                                                                   
percentage of drivers causing most problems.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Chenault understood the  intent was to find careless                                                                   
drivers.   Mr.  MacKinnon agreed.    In 2005,  on the  Seward                                                                   
Highway from Anchorage  to Seward, Troopers wrote  a total of                                                                   
722  citations; in  2006, from  January  through March  only,                                                                   
Troopers  wrote  730  citations  from  the  Girdwood  Station                                                                   
alone, a change  due to increased enforcement.   He stated it                                                                   
is an effective tool.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:54:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT  JAMES  HELGOE,  (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),                                                                   
LEGISLATIVE LIAISON  - ALASKA  STATE TROOPERS, DEPARTMENT  OF                                                                   
PUBLIC SAFETY, ANCHORAGE, offered  to answer questions of the                                                                   
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:54:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PUBLIC TESTIMONY CLOSED                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:54:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice Chair  Stoltze noted  the legislation seriously  affects                                                                   
his district and that he appreciates the intent.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:55:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer mentioned  the fiscal notes and  the Letter of                                                                   
Intent.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch  interjected that the  House Finance                                                                   
Committee  should not  adopt the  House  Judiciary Letter  of                                                                   
Intent.  Co-Chair Meyer agreed.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:57:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster  MOVED to REPORT  out of HCS CS  SB 261                                                                   
(JUD) out  of Committee  with individual recommendations  and                                                                   
with  the accompanying  fiscal  notes.   Representative  Holm                                                                   
OBJECTED.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Holm thought  that it  would make more  sense                                                                   
for the Department  of Transportation & Public  Facilities to                                                                   
lower  the  speed  limit.    Requiring  a  blanket  "finding"                                                                   
mechanism is not  right.  Fines do not  necessarily translate                                                                   
into better driving  habits.  He added, there  are not enough                                                                   
police to effect the bill.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Holm  WITHDREW his OBJECTION.   There being NO                                                                   
further OBJECTION, the bill moved from Committee.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HCS CS  SB 261  (JUD) was  reported out  of Committee  with a                                                                   
"do"  recommendation   and  with   fiscal  note  #1   by  the                                                                   
Department of  Transportation & Public Facilities,  zero note                                                                   
#2  by the  Department  of Public  Safety  and  zero note  #3                                                                   
Alaska Court System  and new indeterminate note  by the House                                                                   
Finance Committee.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:59:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Chenault  spoke to  his  intent in  addressing  the                                                                   
Petroleum Production  Tax (PPT)  legislation during  the next                                                                   
few days.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 4:03 P.M.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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