Legislature(2011 - 2012)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/12/2012 09:00 AM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Continued at 5:30 p.m. Today --
+ SB 137 SUICIDE AWARENESS & PREVENTION TRAINING TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS SB 137(FIN) Out of Committee
+ SB 19 PASSENGER VEHICLE RENTAL TAX TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 135 CONTINUANCES IN CRIMINAL TRIALS; VICTIMS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSB 135(FIN) Out of Committee
+= SB 23 FILM PRODUCTION TAX CREDIT/AUDITS TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+= SB 119 ATHLETIC TRAINERS TELECONFERENCED
<Pending Referral>
+ SCR 24 COMMISSION ON 100TH ANNIV. OF LEGISLATURE TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ SB 160 BUDGET: CAPITAL TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      April 12, 2012                                                                                            
                         9:57 a.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:57:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze called the  House Finance Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 9:57 a.m.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bill Stoltze, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Bill Thomas Jr., Co-Chair                                                                                        
Representative Anna Fairclough, Vice-Chair                                                                                      
Representative Mia Costello                                                                                                     
Representative Mike Doogan                                                                                                      
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
Representative Mark Neuman                                                                                                      
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Bettye  Davis,  Sponsor; Katya  Wassillie,  Intern,                                                                    
Senator  Bettye Davis;  Kate  Burkhart, Executive  Director,                                                                    
Statewide Suicide  Prevention Council, Department  of Health                                                                    
and Social Services; Joe  Michel, Staff, Representative Bill                                                                    
Stoltze;  Kristen Peterson,  Staff,  Senator Hollis  French;                                                                    
Genevieve  Wojtusik,  Staff,   Senator  Lesil  McGuire;  Joe                                                                    
Michel,  Staff,  Representative  Bill Stoltze;  Sue  Wright,                                                                    
Staff,  Representative  Mike  Chenault; Lila  Hobbs,  Staff,                                                                    
Senator Hollis French; Karen Foster, Self, Anchorage.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Jean   Mischel,   Attorney,  Legislative   Legal   Services,                                                                    
Legislative Affairs Agency; James  Biela, Field Advocate and                                                                    
Board  Member, American  Foundation for  Suicide Prevention-                                                                    
Alaska; Clark Flatt, President and Chief Executive Officer,                                                                     
The Jason Foundation, Henderson, Tennessee; Sharon Strutz-                                                                      
Norton, Board Member, State Suicide Prevention Council,                                                                         
Homer; Nancy Hull, Owner, Alaska Motorcycle Adventures,                                                                         
Palmer.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 19(FIN)                                                                                                                    
          PASSENGER VEHICLE RENTAL TAX                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
          CSSB 19(FIN)  was HEARD and HELD  in committee for                                                                    
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 23(FIN)                                                                                                                    
          FILM PRODUCTION TAX CREDIT/AUDITS                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
         CSSB 23(FIN) was SCHEDULED but not HEARD.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SCR 24    COMMISSION ON 100TH ANNIV. OF LEGISLATURE                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
          SCR 24 was SCHEDULED but not HEARD.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 119(L&C)                                                                                                                   
          ATHLETIC TRAINERS                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          CSSB 119(L&C) was SCHEDULED but not HEARD.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 135(JUD)                                                                                                                   
          CONTINUANCES IN CRIMINAL TRIALS; VICTIMS                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
          HCS CSSB  135(FIN) was  REPORTED out  of committee                                                                    
          with  a "do  pass" recommendation  and with  three                                                                    
          new zero  fiscal notes from the  Court System, the                                                                    
          Legislature,  and the  Department of  Corrections,                                                                    
          two new  zero fiscal notes from  the Department of                                                                    
          Administration,   and  one   previously  published                                                                    
          indeterminate fiscal note: FN4 (SFIN/LAW).                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SB 137    SUICIDE AWARENESS & PREVENTION TRAINING                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
          HCSSB 137(FIN) was REPORTED  out of committee with                                                                    
          a   "do   pass"   recommendation  and   with   one                                                                    
          previously   published  zero   fiscal  note:   FN2                                                                    
          (DEED).                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 160(FIN)                                                                                                                   
          BUDGET: CAPITAL                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
          CSSB 160(FIN) was SCHEDULED but not HEARD.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 137                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act requiring suicide awareness and prevention                                                                         
     training for certain school personnel."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:59:00 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:00:50 AM                                                                                                                   
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:00:53 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Fairclough MOVED to  ADOPT the proposed committee                                                                    
substitute  for SB  137,  Work  Draft 27-LS0994\D  (Mischel,                                                                    
4/11/12) as a working document.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze OBJECTED for the purpose of discussion.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Fairclough  explained  the changes  in  the  new                                                                    
committee   substitute  (CS)   and   drew  the   committee's                                                                    
attention to page  1, line 9 of the  bill, where legislative                                                                    
intent language  had been inserted; furthermore,  on page 2,                                                                    
line 21, a sunset provision  was added that would repeal the                                                                    
act on July 1, 2016.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze interjected  that  the  bill's sunset  was                                                                    
structured to initiate a review  of the program, rather than                                                                    
an automatic repeal.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze WITHDREW  his  OBJECTION.  There being  NO                                                                    
further OBJECTION, Work Draft 27-LS0994\D was ADOPTED.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BETTYE DAVIS, SPONSOR, communicated  that she had no                                                                    
problems with the  proposed CS. She explained  that the bill                                                                    
required  annual  mandatory   youth  suicide  awareness  and                                                                    
prevention    training    for   teachers,    administrators,                                                                    
counselors, and specialists employed  by the school district                                                                    
for grades 7  through 12. She related that  the training was                                                                    
important because  Alaska had the  nation's highest  rate of                                                                    
suicide  per  capita,  specifically among  teenagers,  young                                                                    
men,  and  Alaska  Natives.   She  detailed  that  education                                                                    
awareness  was  the  key  to  suicide  prevention;  training                                                                    
teachers  to  recognize  the  signs of  at  risk  youth  and                                                                    
learning how  to intervene  had been  proven to  help reduce                                                                    
teen  suicides  in  many other  states.  The  bill  provided                                                                    
specific immunity to teachers  and school districts for acts                                                                    
of  omission while  performing the  duties authorized  under                                                                    
Section 3, subsections  (c) and (d) of  the legislation. She                                                                    
stressed  that SB  137 had  bipartisan support,  as well  as                                                                    
broad support  in the health and  education communities. She                                                                    
highlighted the zero fiscal note  and asked the committee to                                                                    
support  the  legislation  in  order   to  help  reduce  the                                                                    
"epidemic" of  youth suicide  that was  devastating families                                                                    
and communities throughout the state.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Stoltze   pointed   out  that   the   legislative                                                                    
internship program was a  very important educational program                                                                    
and welcomed an intern from Senator Davis's office.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:03:58 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
KATYA  WASSILLIE, INTERN,  SENATOR  BETTYE DAVIS,  discussed                                                                    
the  relevance  of the  bill  to  rural Alaska.  During  her                                                                    
experience as  a student in  rural Alaska, she  had observed                                                                    
the  closeness  between  the   students  and  teachers.  She                                                                    
believed  the   close  relationship  between   students  and                                                                    
teachers  was unique  in rural  Alaska because  the teachers                                                                    
were part  of a  small community  and had  interactions with                                                                    
students that  were much different  than in  urban settings;                                                                    
teachers in rural Alaska spent  time with students in school                                                                    
programs after the  school day had ended, as  well as during                                                                    
community  events.  She  concluded that  teachers  in  rural                                                                    
settings were  in a good  position to notice when  a student                                                                    
was showing potential signs of suicide.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara thanked  the sponsor  for bringing  the                                                                    
bill  forward and  told a  relevant personal  story about  a                                                                    
friend who  had lost  a child to  suicide. He  believed that                                                                    
teacher and counselor intervention  and education would help                                                                    
save  lives.  He thought  that  there  were members  of  the                                                                    
committee who were directly affected by the issue.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Costello  discussed a former student  who had                                                                    
lost  a  sibling to  suicide.  She  believed that  the  bill                                                                    
worked to  address a significant  problem in the  state, but                                                                    
wondered whether  there were concerns related  to increasing                                                                    
training requirements for teachers.  She added that creating                                                                    
small  learning environments  within larger  school settings                                                                    
would allow  a close  relationship to form  between students                                                                    
and teachers  and would  result in  benefits far  beyond the                                                                    
academics.   She  stressed   the  importance   of  providing                                                                    
opportunities for  teachers to  get to know  their students.                                                                    
Senator  Davis  replied that  the  teachers  union was  very                                                                    
supportive  of the  bill  and did  not see  it  as an  added                                                                    
training  burden;  teachers  would  be  allowed  to  do  the                                                                    
training at their own leisure.  She emphasized that the bill                                                                    
was not only  intended for teachers, but  was also inclusive                                                                    
of all  school employees  who interacted with  students. She                                                                    
offered that  she had not  heard any objections to  the bill                                                                    
and reiterated  that there were  not any  concerns regarding                                                                    
an  increased   training  burden.  She  observed   that  the                                                                    
legislation  was only  part  of the  answer  to the  suicide                                                                    
problem in Alaska.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:08:15 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  related a personal  story. He  agreed that                                                                    
it was  important to reach  other school staff and  that the                                                                    
custodian often  had a good  and trusting  relationship with                                                                    
students.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  supported the bill, but  believed the                                                                    
Department of Education and  Early Development (DEED) should                                                                    
provide  a  list of  all  of  the training  requirements  on                                                                    
school district  staff. She commented  that she  was pleased                                                                    
that  the  bill allowed  school  employees  to complete  the                                                                    
training online,  rather than requiring an  in-service to do                                                                    
so.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Fairclough pointed  out for  the record  that on                                                                    
page  2,  line  6  of  the   bill,  the  use  of  the  title                                                                    
"commissioner"  was referring  to the  commissioner of  DEED                                                                    
and  noted that  the  bill did  not  explicitly state  which                                                                    
commissioner  it was  referencing.  Senator Davis  responded                                                                    
that the bill was referencing the commissioner of DEED.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Fairclough  wondered where  exactly in  the state                                                                    
statutes  the legislation  would  be  inserted and  observed                                                                    
that the only reference code that  she could see was on page                                                                    
2, line 18 of the bill.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
JEAN   MISCHEL,   ATTORNEY,  LEGISLATIVE   LEGAL   SERVICES,                                                                    
LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS  AGENCY (via  teleconference), explained                                                                    
that   due  to   the  sunset   provision,  which   gave  the                                                                    
legislation an effective  date of less than  five years, the                                                                    
law was considered  to be temporary. The law  would not have                                                                    
a place  in statutes, but  would reside in the  session laws                                                                    
as  temporary law,  unless the  legislature voted  to extend                                                                    
the  program. She  added that  legal services  could clarify                                                                    
the  use of  the  terms "department"  and "commissioner"  on                                                                    
page 2, line 18.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
JAMES  BIELA,  FIELD  ADVOCATE AND  BOARD  MEMBER,  AMERICAN                                                                    
FOUNDATION     FOR     SUICIDE    PREVENTION-ALASKA     (via                                                                    
teleconference), vocalized the  foundation's support for the                                                                    
legislation. He urged the committee  to pass the bill and he                                                                    
related that  he was  assigned to  five villages  and worked                                                                    
with  families, students,  and school  personnel on  suicide                                                                    
prevention. He discussed that  teachers and school employees                                                                    
were the main contact for  students and were often the first                                                                    
to  identify  at risk  students.  He  relayed that  teachers                                                                    
often referred  students to him  when they noticed  a sudden                                                                    
behavior   change,   but   that  teachers   sometimes   felt                                                                    
uninformed on the  signs of suicide. He mentioned  a case in                                                                    
which  a   teacher  had  not  been   interested  in  suicide                                                                    
training, but  subsequent to the  training, the  teacher had                                                                    
used the  acquired knowledge to  identify and help  save the                                                                    
life  of a  student on  the verge  of suicide.  He discussed                                                                    
other trainings  that were conducted  in his area  that were                                                                    
done  at no  cost to  the district.  The More  Than Sad  and                                                                    
Signs  of Suicide  programs were  also accessed  annually by                                                                    
the school  districts. He stressed that  increased trainings                                                                    
would  prevent  further deaths  and  related  that the  most                                                                    
recent suicide had  been the past weekend, when  a young man                                                                    
took  his life  in Bethel.  He encouraged  the committee  to                                                                    
pass the legislation.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:14:42 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CLARK  FLATT, PRESIDENT  AND  CHIEF  EXECUTIVE OFFICER,  THE                                                                    
JASON     FOUNDATION,      HENDERSON,     TENNESSEE     (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified  in  support  of  the  bill.  He                                                                    
explained that the legislation had  been named after his son                                                                    
and was also known as the  Jason Flat Act. He expressed that                                                                    
the legislation was  very important. The act  had first been                                                                    
passed in  Tennessee in 2007  and recently, Utah  had become                                                                    
the eighth state  to pass the legislation.  He detailed that                                                                    
a  marked  annual  reduction  in  youth  suicide  rates  was                                                                    
visible  in Tennessee  and compared  that  reduction to  the                                                                    
rising  rates in  other  areas. He  discussed  the value  of                                                                    
equipping  teachers with  the information  and knowledge  to                                                                    
help  identify and  refer  students that  were  at risk  for                                                                    
suicide within  the school  system. He  stated the  2009 and                                                                    
2011  Youth  Risk  Behavioral   Survey  showed  that  Alaska                                                                    
continued to  increase in  "those" statistics  and commended                                                                    
the state for its work on the issue.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SHARON   STRUTZ-NORTON,   BOARD    MEMBER,   STATE   SUICIDE                                                                    
PREVENTION  COUNCIL, HOMER  (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                    
favor of the  bill. She relayed that the bill  was needed to                                                                    
address  suicide  prevention  in   the  school  system.  She                                                                    
discussed  that youths  had shared  stories at  local health                                                                    
fairs  about  themselves  or friends  who  had  contemplated                                                                    
suicide.  She believed  that  teachers, counselors,  nurses,                                                                    
coaches, and  janitors were  in a  prime position  to detect                                                                    
behavioral changes,  seek appropriate assistance,  and refer                                                                    
to  resources; however,  prevention training  was needed  to                                                                    
provide  the knowledge,  confidence, and  direction to  help                                                                    
the  individuals  know  how to  handle  the  situation.  She                                                                    
pointed out  that the  bill did not  have a  cost associated                                                                    
with it  and that  many free educational  resources existed.                                                                    
She urged the committee's support of the legislation.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
KATE   BURKHART,  EXECUTIVE   DIRECTOR,  STATEWIDE   SUICIDE                                                                    
PREVENTION   COUNCIL,  DEPARTMENT   OF  HEALTH   AND  SOCIAL                                                                    
SERVICES,  expressed  the  council's  full  support  of  the                                                                    
legislation.  She  detailed that  the  bill  fit within  the                                                                    
council's recommended  statewide plan for the  upcoming five                                                                    
years,  which   would  require   training  for   all  school                                                                    
personnel; she believed that the bill was a great start.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thomas CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:19:34 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:19:41 AM                                                                                                                   
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Fairclough  pointed to the zero  fiscal note from                                                                    
the Department of Education and Early Development.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:20:18 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Fairclough MOVED to  report HCSSB 137(FIN) out of                                                                    
committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal  note. There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                                                                    
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:20:31 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HCSSB  137(FIN) was  REPORTED out  of committee  with a  "do                                                                    
pass" recommendation  and with  a previously  published zero                                                                    
fiscal note: FN2 (DEED).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:20:36 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:21:39 AM                                                                                                                   
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  stated that the committee  intended recess                                                                    
and continue with the meeting later in the day.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:22:18 AM                                                                                                                   
RECESSED                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:32:20 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 19(FIN)                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act specifying the vehicle rental tax for                                                                              
     motorcycles and motor-driven cycles; and providing for                                                                     
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:33:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Fairclough MOVED to  ADOPT the proposed committee                                                                    
substitute for  CSSB 19, Work Draft  27-LS0157\B (Luckhaupt,                                                                    
4/10/12) as a working document.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze OBJECTED for the purpose of discussion.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
JOE MICHEL, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE  BILL STOLTZE, remarked on                                                                    
two major  changes in the  House CS that incorporated  SB 26                                                                    
into  the  legislation.  Section  1 was  added  to  the  CS;                                                                    
Section 1 continued to page 2,  line 21. On page 3, line 31,                                                                    
Section  7 was  added.  On page  4, Sections  8  and 9  were                                                                    
added.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze WITHDREW  his  OBJECTION.  There being  NO                                                                    
further OBJECTION, Work Draft 27-LS0157\B was ADOPTED.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
KRISTEN  PETERSON, STAFF,  SENATOR  HOLLIS FRENCH,  extended                                                                    
the  sponsor's  apologies  for being  unable  to  attend  in                                                                    
person.  She explained  that  motorcycles  and motor  driven                                                                    
cycles  were  currently  subject to  the  Passenger  Vehicle                                                                    
Rental  Tax, which  was 10  percent  of the  total fees  and                                                                    
costs  that  were charged  for  the  rental of  a  passenger                                                                    
vehicle; the  tax was found  in AS 43.52.010  and 43.52.020.                                                                    
The CS  for SB 19  would reduce  the tax on  motorcycles and                                                                    
motor driven cycles  to 3 percent, bringing it  in line with                                                                    
the  tax on  recreation  vehicles,  motorhomes, and  campers                                                                    
that was located in AS  43.53.030 and 43.53.040. She offered                                                                    
that in 2003, the Alaska  Legislature had passed the Vehicle                                                                    
Rental Tax  on passenger vehicles without  having discussion                                                                    
on  the  motorcycle  rental businesses.  She  observed  that                                                                    
making  an  exception for  a  seasonal  rental business  had                                                                    
already  been done  when the  Vehicle Rental  Tax was  first                                                                    
imposed,  as  motorhomes  were  given  a  lower  rate  of  3                                                                    
percent.   In  2008,   the  Department   of  Revenue   (DOR)                                                                    
discovered the existence of  motorcycle rental businesses in                                                                    
Alaska  and  notified the  businesses  that  the 10  percent                                                                    
rental  tax  would  be  collected.  She  related  that  with                                                                    
Alaska's short summers  and the cost of  winter storage, the                                                                    
businesses in question  had found it more  difficult to make                                                                    
a profit when  a 10 percent tax was added  to the total. She                                                                    
concluded that the  bill was designed to  help small Alaskan                                                                    
businesses that had clients  who were independent travelers,                                                                    
which  visited other  small businesses  in Alaska.  The bill                                                                    
had  an  immediate  effective  date  to  coincide  with  the                                                                    
upcoming summer tourist season.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
GENEVIEVE  WOJTUSIK,  STAFF,  SENATOR LESIL  MCGUIRE,  noted                                                                    
that the Senator's  office was hoping to combine  SB 26 with                                                                    
SB  19. She  explained  that Section  1 of  the  new CS  set                                                                    
special  registration fees  for  alternative fuel  vehicles;                                                                    
the  legislation would  impose a  $20 biannual  registration                                                                    
fee for  electric, alternative  fuel, or  compressed natural                                                                    
gas  (CNG)  vehicles,  rather   than  requiring  the  normal                                                                    
registration fees. The  sunset date of the SB  26 portion of                                                                    
the new  CS was in  2015 and was found  in Section 7  of the                                                                    
legislation. She concluded  that the legislation represented                                                                    
a trial  program and  that although the  state did  not have                                                                    
many  electric vehicles,  the sponsor  wanted to  reward the                                                                    
businesses that did have them.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
5:39:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Doogan  inquired if both the  sponsors of the                                                                    
new CS were  happy with the changes to  the legislation. Ms.                                                                    
Peterson responded in the affirmative.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Fairclough  discussed a fiscal note  from DOR and                                                                    
a  fiscal note  from the  Department of  Administration. She                                                                    
pointed  to  the DOR  fiscal  note  and mentioned  that  the                                                                    
note's  "change  in  revenues" section  showed  an  expected                                                                    
decrease of $8,400 each year from FY 13 through FY 18                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
NANCY  HULL,  OWNER,  ALASKA MOTORCYCLE  ADVENTURES,  PALMER                                                                    
(via teleconference),  supported the  bill and  related that                                                                    
her company  was in its  19th summer of  renting motorcycles                                                                    
in  Alaska.   She  indicated  that  there   were  unintended                                                                    
consequences to the present tax  and that her business had a                                                                    
very limited operating  season of about 90  days. She stated                                                                    
that  her  average  rental  rate   was  $200  per  day,  per                                                                    
motorcycle and that a customer  renting for 10 days resulted                                                                    
in a tax of $200. She  explained that the current tax became                                                                    
very punitive when  a couple or a father and  son rented two                                                                    
motorcycles  and were  taxed  $400 for  10  days of  rental;                                                                    
furthermore, there  was no cap  on the amount that  could be                                                                    
taxed.  She stated  that in  order offset  the high  vehicle                                                                    
rental taxes, her customers were  choosing to rent for fewer                                                                    
days  or travel  to different  locations outside  of Alaska.                                                                    
She shared that  her customers were able to get  to the very                                                                    
remote  locations of  Alaska because  the vehicles  that her                                                                    
business  used were  capable of  getting there.  She offered                                                                    
that because her customers were  not in an RV, they required                                                                    
services such  as hotel rooms,  meals, etc. She  indicated a                                                                    
preference  to eliminate  the  tax  altogether, rather  than                                                                    
reducing it to  3 percent and stated that  the tax collected                                                                    
from the state's four existing  rental businesses would only                                                                    
represent  about  $15,000 per  year  and  was a  very  small                                                                    
amount.["Four  existing  rental   businesses"  was  made  in                                                                    
reference   to  seasonal   rental  businesses   that  rented                                                                    
motorcycles.] She mentioned that  the Harley Davidson rental                                                                    
business in Anchorage  was not expected rent  after 2012 and                                                                    
that  Alaska  would  only have  three  seasonal  motorcycles                                                                    
businesses  2013. She  questioned whether  it was  worth the                                                                    
state's effort  for DOR to  track three or  four businesses,                                                                    
given the  small amount  of taxes  that would  be collected;                                                                    
she reiterated that she would like the tax repealed.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:46:17 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:47:03 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  communicated  that   the  intent  of  the                                                                    
committee was  to repeal the 3  percent tax that was  in the                                                                    
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Costello offered  a Conceptual  Amendment on                                                                    
behalf  of  the House  Finance  Committee  to repeal  the  3                                                                    
percent rental tax that was mentioned in the bill.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara clarified  that the Conceptual Amendment                                                                    
was  repealing  the  3  percent   tax  on  motorcycles,  not                                                                    
recreational vehicles.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  stated that the committee's  intent was to                                                                    
repeal the  3 percent  rental tax  on motorcycles,  but that                                                                    
the bill would  be brought back at a later  date in order to                                                                    
make sure the changes were done appropriately.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Peterson  commented  that the  original  version  bill,                                                                    
which  excluded the  motor  cycle  rental businesses,  would                                                                    
amend  AS  43.52.099;  she pointed  out  that  this  statute                                                                    
housed the exceptions to the  Alaska Vehicle Rental Tax. Co-                                                                    
Chair  Stoltze responded  that intent  of the  committee was                                                                    
made clear and that the changes would be done right.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
5:49:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 19(FIN)  was HEARD  and HELD  in committee  for further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
5:49:33 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:50:40 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 135(JUD)                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to the rights of crime victims;                                                                           
     relating to the duties of prosecuting attorneys; and                                                                       
     amending Rule 45, Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
5:50:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Fairclough MOVED to  ADOPT the proposed committee                                                                    
substitute   for  SB   135(FIN),   Work  Draft   27-LS0966\I                                                                    
(Gardner, 4/11/12) as a working document.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze OBJECTED for the purpose of discussion.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
JOE  MICHEL, STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE  BILL STOLTZE,  outlined                                                                    
the additions in  the proposed CS. He detailed  that on page                                                                    
4, Section  3 had been included;  Sections 4, 5, and  6 were                                                                    
likewise  added  to  the   legislation.  He  concluded  that                                                                    
Sections 7,  8, and 9  were part  of the original  bill that                                                                    
had entered the committee.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SUE WRIGHT,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE MIKE  CHENAULT, explained                                                                    
that the  CS basically  merged HB  221 into  SB 135;  HB 221                                                                    
dealt with court  appointed council. Page 4, line  25 of the                                                                    
bill added financial resources and  "adds a little teeth" to                                                                    
what  people swear  to in  court when  they were  asking for                                                                    
court  appointed  council. Page  5,  line  14 described  the                                                                    
change to  the court  rule, which  was Rule  39.1 subsection                                                                    
(e). Page  5, line  19 specified that  people who  lied when                                                                    
asking for  appointed council were subject  to penalties for                                                                    
perjury. She  added that the  merging allowed for  courts to                                                                    
go back  and make  sure that  the financial  statements that                                                                    
were  signed were  correct  and  enforceable. She  expressed                                                                    
appreciation for  the cooperation on the  bill. She observed                                                                    
that the CS had been delivered  to her about 5 minutes prior                                                                    
to the  meeting and offered  her apologies if  she misstated                                                                    
anything.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:55:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  emphasized that  he had been  working with                                                                    
Speaker  Chenault's  office  for  quite  some  time  on  the                                                                    
legislation and  stated that he  did not want the  public to                                                                    
be under the  impression that the speaker's  office had just                                                                    
received  the CS.  Ms. Wright  responded that  she had  been                                                                    
absent  from  the office  and  that  someone else  had  been                                                                    
working  on  the  bill.  She clarified  that  she  had  just                                                                    
personally received the CS.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze   commented  that  the  committee   had  a                                                                    
thorough process,  which had not  been shortened  during the                                                                    
formulation  of   the  legislation.   He  inquired   if  the                                                                    
presumption in the  bill was that someone  would be provided                                                                    
an  attorney during  arraignment  and would  have to  verify                                                                    
their  financial  ability  at   a  later  date.  Ms.  Wright                                                                    
responded in the affirmative.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze requested  Vice-Chair Fairclough  to share                                                                    
her  contributions  to  the measure.  Vice-Chair  Fairclough                                                                    
replied  that  the  Office  of  Victims'  Rights  (OVR)  was                                                                    
reviewed  and  it was  discovered  that  its pay  scale  was                                                                    
frozen  at Step  A. She  related that  it was  difficult for                                                                    
someone to  stay in an office  and be stuck at  a particular                                                                    
pay  level,  while  other  staff   was  advancing.  She  had                                                                    
proposed to Senator French's  and Co-Chair Stoltze's offices                                                                    
that the  restrictions on that  particular level  be lifted;                                                                    
the  level would  stay at  a pay  grade 26,  but the  change                                                                    
would allow OVR, based on  the employee's number of years of                                                                    
service, to move across the states pay scale.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze inquired  if the changes to  OVR arose from                                                                    
discussions  by the  Victims  Advocate Selection  Committee.                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Fairclough responded  that she  had brought  the                                                                    
suggestion to his attention.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze observed  that  the discussions  regarding                                                                    
OVR  were conducted  in executive  sessions  and that  there                                                                    
probably  was an  issue with  confidentiality regarding  the                                                                    
specifics   of   the   discussion.   Vice-Chair   Fairclough                                                                    
responded that  earlier in  the day,  she had  discussed the                                                                    
change to  OVR with Senator  French, who also had  served on                                                                    
the Victims Advocate Selection Committee.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  clarified for the record  that the process                                                                    
to change the  OVR pay scale did not  arise arbitrarily, but                                                                    
that  it  had come  from  discussions  during the  selection                                                                    
process.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze WITHDREW  his  OBJECTION.  There being  NO                                                                    
further OBJECTION, Work Draft 27-LS0966\I was ADOPTED.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
LILA  HOBBS,  STAFF,  SENATOR  HOLLIS  FRENCH,  stated  that                                                                    
Article  1,  Section 24  of  the  Alaska State  Constitution                                                                    
housed the  entitled rights  of crime  victims and  that the                                                                    
amendment  that had  added  those rights  had  passed by  an                                                                    
overwhelming  majority,  when  it had  gone  before  Alaskan                                                                    
voters in  1994; included  in those  rights was  a guarantee                                                                    
that  crime  victims  would  have  the  right  to  a  timely                                                                    
disposition  of  the  case  following   the  arrest  of  the                                                                    
accused. She  offered that  it had been  18 years  since the                                                                    
constitutional amendment had passed  and that the promise of                                                                    
timely  disposition was  often not  kept, particularly  with                                                                    
the most serious cases. Delays  in the trials of cases, also                                                                    
known as  continuances, could  go on  for years.  She shared                                                                    
that SB  135 required prosecutors  and judges to  consider a                                                                    
victims right  to a timely  disposition of their  case, when                                                                    
making  decisions on  allowing continuances;  the bill  also                                                                    
insured  that  victims  were notified  of  any  requests  or                                                                    
motions   that   could   substantially  delay   the   speedy                                                                    
prosecution  of  their  case. She  mentioned  that  repeated                                                                    
delays  in   cases  prevented  the  victims   from  reaching                                                                    
emotional,  physical,  and financial  closure;  furthermore,                                                                    
delays in prosecution could also  affect the availability of                                                                    
witnesses,  the  victim's  ability to  recall  details,  and                                                                    
could create  other impediments to  a successful  trial. She                                                                    
concluded  that the  legislation would  guarantee a  victims                                                                    
right  to  a timely  resolution  in  the court  system.  She                                                                    
concluded   that  the   bill  was   widely  supported   from                                                                    
organizations such as the Victims  for Justice, the OVR, the                                                                    
Alaska  Network on  Domestic  Violence  and Sexual  Assault,                                                                    
Standing Together  Against Rape,  the Alaska  Peace Officers                                                                    
Association, as well as Karen  Foster, who was the mother of                                                                    
Bonnie Craig.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:59:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KAREN  FOSTER, SELF,  ANCHORAGE, shared  that her  daughter,                                                                    
Bonnie Craig, was  murdered and that it had  taken almost 17                                                                    
years  before  the  person responsible  was  convicted.  She                                                                    
discussed the incredible tragedy  and hardship of having her                                                                    
daughter murdered,  as well  as having  to wait  almost five                                                                    
years for  a conviction after the  defendant was identified.                                                                    
She stated that her family  was "re-victimized" by the state                                                                    
of  Alaska.  Bonnie's killer  was  identified  though a  DNA                                                                    
match  in November  of 2006,  but it  took almost  two years                                                                    
before  a trial  date  was  set on  September  of 2008.  She                                                                    
stated  that her  family  had endured  six  trail dates  and                                                                    
related  how   difficult  the  process  for   everyone.  She                                                                    
mentioned that  she had  written a  letter to  the committee                                                                    
and expressed a  desire that the members would  all read it.                                                                    
She  stated that  the  system  was financially,  physically,                                                                    
mentally,   and    spiritually   difficult    on   families;                                                                    
furthermore,  there  was  nowhere  else  to  turn  to  while                                                                    
families were enduring  the wait. She shared  that more than                                                                    
once,  her family  had  talked to  the  judge regarding  the                                                                    
defense  attorney's  repeated   continuation  requests;  the                                                                    
continuations had wasting two years  of the family's and the                                                                    
state's  time. She  urged  the committee  to  deal with  the                                                                    
issue  of timely  dispositions and  emphasized that  she did                                                                    
not want anyone else to go  through what her family had. She                                                                    
requested that  the committee consider the  victims and give                                                                    
judges the opportunity to consider the victims as well.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Fairclough  discussed   six  fiscal  notes.  She                                                                    
addressed the  fiscal note  from the  Department of  Law and                                                                    
related  that it  was  currently  indeterminate because  the                                                                    
Senate  did  not feel  that  there  was adequate  supporting                                                                    
documentation for a new full-time position.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
6:06:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Fairclough MOVED to  report HCS CSSB 135(FIN) out                                                                    
of  committee   with  individual  recommendations   and  the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal notes. There  being NO OBJECTION, it was                                                                    
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
6:06:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HCS CSSB 135(FIN)  was REPORTED out of committee  with a "do                                                                    
pass" recommendation  and with  three new zero  fiscal notes                                                                    
from the  Court System, the Legislature,  and the Department                                                                    
of Corrections,  two new zero  notes from the  Department of                                                                    
Administration, and  one previously  published indeterminate                                                                    
fiscal note: FN4 (SFIN/LAW).                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze noted  that he was glad to  work on another                                                                    
victims'  rights bill  and that  he  had conducted  previous                                                                    
work on the issue.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
6:07:18 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
6:08:15 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 23(FIN)                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act  relating to  transferable film  production tax                                                                    
     credits  and film  production tax  credit certificates;                                                                    
     requiring the  legislative audit division to  audit the                                                                    
     Alaska   film   production   incentive   program;   and                                                                    
     providing  for  an  effective   date  by  amending  the                                                                    
     effective dates of secs. 3 and 4, ch. 63, SLA 2008."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 23(FIN) was SCHEDULED but not HEARD.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 24                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Establishing   the   Alaska   Legislative   Celebration                                                                    
     Commission to organize events  to commemorate the 100th                                                                    
     anniversary of  the first convening of  the legislative                                                                    
     branch of government in Alaska.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SCR 24 was SCHEDULED but not HEARD.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 119(L&C)                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to athletic trainers."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 119(L&C) was SCHEDULED but not HEARD.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 160(FIN)                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act  making and amending  appropriations, including                                                                    
     capital  appropriations,  supplemental  appropriations,                                                                    
     and  other  appropriations;  making  appropriations  to                                                                    
     capitalize  funds;  and   providing  for  an  effective                                                                    
     date."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 160(FIN) was SCHEDULED but not HEARD.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
6:08:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 6:08 p.m.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 135 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 135
SB 135 Sectional Summary.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 135
SB 135 Letters of Support.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 135
SB 135 Explanation of Changes.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 135
SB 137 Sponsor Statement Rev. 1-23-2012.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 137 Sectional Summary 27-LS0094M 1-24-2012.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 137 Legal Memo 2-17-2012.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 137- AK Suicide Prev.Plan. 2012-17.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 137 - Explanation of Changes rev. 3-16-2012.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 19 - Explanation of Changes.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 19
SB 19 - Relevant Statutes.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 19
SB 19 - Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 19
SB 19 - Letter Support MotoQuest.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 19
SB 19 - Letter Support Harley.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 19
SB 19 - Letter Support AMA.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 19
SB 137 Supporting Documents-Northern Light 2-6-2012.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 137 Supporting Documents-Bullets-Jason Foundation.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 137 Supporting Documents- NCSL.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 137 Supporting Documents -AkSCA.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 137 Supporting Documents - Facts & Information.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 137 Supporting Documents DHSS Ltr.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 137 Supporting Documents - CDC -Suicide Nationwide.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB 137 Supporting Document - APOA 2-10-2012.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB137 CS WORKDRAFT FIN 27-LS0994-D.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 137
SB135 CS WORKDRAFT 27-LS0966-I.pdf HFIN 4/12/2012 9:00:00 AM
SB 135