Legislature(2013 - 2014)HOUSE FINANCE 519

02/28/2013 01:30 PM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Moved Out of Committee
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 24(JUD) Out of Committee
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                     February 28, 2013                                                                                          
                         1:35 p.m.                                                                                              
1:35:27 PM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Stoltze called the  House Finance Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 1:35 p.m.                                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Alan Austerman, Co-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Bill Stoltze, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Mark Neuman, Vice-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Mia Costello                                                                                                     
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative Lindsey Holmes                                                                                                   
Representative Scott Kawasaki, Alternate                                                                                        
Representative Cathy Munoz                                                                                                      
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg                                                                                                       
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Richard   Svobodny,   Deputy  Attorney   General,   Criminal                                                                    
Division,   Department  of   Law;   Darrel  Breese,   Staff,                                                                    
Representative   Bill    Stoltze;   James    Waldo,   Staff,                                                                    
Representative Lindsey Holmes;  Representative Peggy Wilson;                                                                    
Michael  Hanley, Commissioner,  Department of  Education and                                                                    
Early Development  Ron Fuhrer, President,  NEA-Alaska; Bruce                                                                    
Johnson,  Executive  Director,   Alaska  Council  of  School                                                                    
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Amy   Erickson,  Director,   Division  of   Motor  Vehicles,                                                                    
Department  of  Administration; Cynna  Gubatayao,  Assistant                                                                    
Borough  Manager,  Ketchikan   Gateway  Borough,  Ketchikan;                                                                    
Nancy  Hull,  Alaska   Motorcycle  Adventure,  Palmer;  Matt                                                                    
Fonder,  Tax  Division,  Department of  Revenue,  Anchorage;                                                                    
Lauren  Burch,   Superintendent,  Southeast   Island  School                                                                    
District, Thorne Bay                                                                                                            
HB 19     PERM. MOT. VEH. REGISTRATION/TRAILERS                                                                                 
          HB 19 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
HB 21     FOUR-DAY SCHOOL WEEK                                                                                                  
          HB 21 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
CSHB 24   SELF DEFENSE                                                                                                          
          CSHB 24(JUD) was REPORTED out  of committee with a                                                                    
          "do   pass"   recommendation    and   with   three                                                                    
          previously published zero  fiscal notes: FN1(ADM),                                                                    
          FN2(ADM), and FN4(DPS).                                                                                               
HB 56     PASSENGER VEHICLE RENTAL TAX                                                                                          
          HB 56 was REPORTED out of committee with a "do                                                                        
          pass" recommendation and with a previously                                                                            
          published fiscal impact note: FN1(REV).                                                                               
Co-Chair Stoltze related that  there were some fiscal issues                                                                    
with HB 19.                                                                                                                     
HOUSE BILL NO. 24                                                                                                             
     "An Act relating to self-defense in any place where a                                                                      
     person has a right to be."                                                                                                 
1:37:27 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Neuman  stated that  the change  to the  bill was                                                                    
the addition of  the language, "or in any  other place where                                                                    
the person  has a right  to be."  He said that  the language                                                                    
would  allow  a person  the  rights  granted by  the  Castle                                                                    
Doctrine anywhere the person happened to be.                                                                                    
1:38:36 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara had  questions  for  the Department  of                                                                    
1:38:52 PM                                                                                                                    
RICHARD   SVOBODNY,   DEPUTY  ATTORNEY   GENERAL,   CRIMINAL                                                                    
DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LAW expressed  that he was available                                                                    
to answer questions.                                                                                                            
1:39:10 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara  noted  that existing  statute  already                                                                    
extended the  right to self-defense  anywhere a  person felt                                                                    
threatened, and was not limited to home protection.                                                                             
Mr. Svobodny responded in the affirmative.                                                                                      
Representative Gara  asserted that people who  believed that                                                                    
there  was  not  an  existing  right  to  self-defense  were                                                                    
1:40:12 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze requested that  Representative Gara ask his                                                                    
questions in a less leading manner.                                                                                             
1:40:17 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gara inquired if  an individual had the right                                                                    
to self-defense in public.                                                                                                      
Mr. Svobodny replied in the affirmative.                                                                                        
Representative  Gara  believed  that  under  current  law  a                                                                    
person could  not chase someone  down, kill them,  and argue                                                                    
1:41:45 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze  interjected that  Mr. Svobodny  should not                                                                    
answer  moral  certitudes.  He thought  that  Representative                                                                    
Gara's  questioning  was an  unfair  attempt  to affirm  his                                                                    
level of certitude.  He instructed Mr. Svobodny  to reply to                                                                    
"yes" or "no" questions.                                                                                                        
Representative  Gara  argued  that   he  was  simply  asking                                                                    
questions of the department.                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze  reminded Representative  Gara that  he was                                                                    
asking questions "through the Chair."                                                                                           
1:42:15 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Svobodny  believed that under  current law, one  had the                                                                    
right to chase a person one felt threatened by.                                                                                 
Representative  Gara  asked  if the  right  to  self-defense                                                                    
could be lost if a person  had the ability to not shoot with                                                                    
clear safety to themselves or others.                                                                                           
Mr. Svobodny replied that a  jury would decide that question                                                                    
after the fact. He did not  believe that the person would be                                                                    
charged  in a  self-defense situation,  provided the  person                                                                    
doing  the chasing  believed  that they  were  in danger  of                                                                    
death or serious physical injury.                                                                                               
1:43:51 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara understood  that  under  current law  a                                                                    
person would  lose the  right to  claim self-defense  if the                                                                    
use of  deadly force  could have  been avoided  while safety                                                                    
was maintained.                                                                                                                 
Mr.  Svobodny  discussed  a similar  Alaskan  case  where  a                                                                    
person  who  was  fleeing turned  towards  a  homeowner  and                                                                    
attempted to fire  but the gun jammed. He  furthered that as                                                                    
the  person  was  running  away with  the  jammed  gun,  the                                                                    
homeowner chased them  a block and shot  them; the homeowner                                                                    
had  the duty  to retreat  as the  person was  running away,                                                                    
because he could have retreated safely.                                                                                         
1:45:36 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara  gathered  that in  that  scenario  the                                                                    
homeowner did  not have  to chase  the person  and therefore                                                                    
lost the right to claim self-defense.                                                                                           
Mr. Svobodny  replied that  you could  not use  deadly force                                                                    
against a  person when there  was no imminent threat  to you                                                                    
or those around you; the  amount of force must be reasonable                                                                    
to the circumstances.                                                                                                           
1:47:06 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gara  queried how  passage of the  bill would                                                                    
change current law.                                                                                                             
Mr.  Svobodny  thought  that there  would  be  circumstances                                                                    
where  the  district  attorney's  job  would  be  made  more                                                                    
difficult  by the  question of  whether deadly  force should                                                                    
have allowed  been used.  He said  that attorneys  made that                                                                    
decision all  of the  time, but  it became  very clear  if a                                                                    
person had  the ability  to retreat  in absolute  safety but                                                                    
chose not to.                                                                                                                   
1:48:00 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gara  stated that if there  was no difference                                                                    
between  the  bill  and  current law  then  time  was  being                                                                    
wasted. He referred to AS 11.81.335(b):                                                                                         
     Sec. 11.81.335.  Justification: Use of deadly  force in                                                                    
     defense of self.                                                                                                           
     (a)  Except  as provided  in  (b)  of this  section,  a                                                                    
     person who  is justified  in using non-deadly  force in                                                                    
     self-defense under  AS 11.81.330  may use  deadly force                                                                    
     in  self-defense upon  another person  when and  to the                                                                    
     extent  the  person  reasonably  believes  the  use  of                                                                    
    deadly force is necessary for self-defense against                                                                          
     (1) death;                                                                                                                 
     (2) serious physical injury;                                                                                               
     (3)  kidnapping,  except  for   what  is  described  as                                                                    
     custodial interference in the first degree in                                                                              
     AS 11.41.320 ;                                                                                                             
     (4) sexual assault in the first degree;                                                                                    
     (5) sexual assault in the second degree;                                                                                   
    (6) sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree; or                                                                         
     (7) robbery in any degree.                                                                                                 
     (b)  A  person may  not  use  deadly force  under  this                                                                    
     section  if  the  person   knows  that,  with  complete                                                                    
     personal safety  and with complete safety  as to others                                                                    
     being defended,  the person can avoid  the necessity of                                                                    
     using  deadly   force  by  leaving  the   area  of  the                                                                    
     encounter, except  there is no  duty to leave  the area                                                                    
     if the person is                                                                                                           
     (1) on premises                                                                                                            
     (A) that the person owns or leases;                                                                                        
     (B)   where   the   person  resides,   temporarily   or                                                                    
     permanently; or                                                                                                            
     (C)  as a  guest or  express  or implied  agent of  the                                                                    
     owner, lessor, or resident;                                                                                                
     (2)  a  peace  officer  acting  within  the  scope  and                                                                    
     authority  of  the  officer's employment  or  a  person                                                                    
     assisting a peace officer under AS 11.81.380;                                                                              
     (3)  in  a  building  where the  person  works  in  the                                                                    
     ordinary course of the person's employment; or                                                                             
     (4)  protecting a  child or  a member  of the  person's                                                                    
Representative Gara reiterated  his understanding that under                                                                    
current law:                                                                                                                    
     "……if a  person was  in a  shopping mall,  or someplace                                                                    
     they  were  legally allowed  to  be,  if with  complete                                                                    
     safety  to yourself  and others,  you can  go call  the                                                                    
     cops, you have to go call  the cops. It seems to me the                                                                    
     new bill  says that exception "with  complete safety to                                                                    
     yourself and others" does not  apply if you are in this                                                                    
     new place.  Are there  circumstances where, if  we pass                                                                    
     this  bill,  where  with complete  personal  safety  to                                                                    
     yourself  and others  you could  have avoided  conflict                                                                    
     and   could  have   avoided  a   shooting,  are   there                                                                    
     circumstances  under  this  bill   where  you  will  be                                                                    
     allowed to  shoot somebody even  though you  could have                                                                    
     not done  so with complete personal  safety to yourself                                                                    
     and others."                                                                                                               
Mr.  Svobodny   responded  that  the  first   thing  that  a                                                                    
prosecutor  would consider  would  not be  whether a  person                                                                    
retreated, but  whether the amount of  force was appropriate                                                                    
for   the  circumstance.   He   explained   that  the   bill                                                                    
represented a question of how  one balanced the death of the                                                                    
person versus one's  ability to not run  away. He reiterated                                                                    
the  real  question  came  down to  whether  a  person  used                                                                    
reasonable or excessive force to defend themselves.                                                                             
1:51:16 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gara opined that  the bill removed the burden                                                                    
of  proof   that  as  person   acted  in   self-defense.  He                                                                    
understood  that  currently  if  a person  could  avoid  the                                                                    
situation  with  complete  safety  then the  person  had  to                                                                    
retreat, HB 24  would give the person the  right to confront                                                                    
the other person without first calling the police.                                                                              
Mr.  Svobodny  replied  that  under HB  24  there  could  be                                                                    
instances  where reasonable  people would  walk away,  while                                                                    
others would  not and  the situation  could escalate  to the                                                                    
use of deadly force.                                                                                                            
1:53:39 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Austerman asked  if a  person could  chase someone                                                                    
outside their home  with a gun down and shoot  them in self-                                                                    
Mr. Svobodny  responded that current law  allowed someone to                                                                    
follow an  intruder out of  their home and follow  them down                                                                    
the street, even if the police  told them not to, and if the                                                                    
intruder  used  deadly force  against  the  person then  the                                                                    
person could use deadly force in self-defense.                                                                                  
1:55:06 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Neuman observed  that making  judgment calls  on                                                                    
particular  instances  was   the  job  of  the   jury  in  a                                                                    
Mr. Svobodny replied in the affirmative.                                                                                        
Vice-Chair  Neuman noted  that Alaska  law currently  stated                                                                    
that a  person had the duty  to retreat. He argued  that the                                                                    
bill weighed the right to  defend yourself over your duty to                                                                    
Mr. Svobodny  agreed that that  was what the bill  would do.                                                                    
He said that under current  law the state had the obligation                                                                    
to disprove self-defense beyond  a reasonable doubt. He said                                                                    
that currently,  if a person  did not retreat and  the state                                                                    
could  prove  that they  could  have  retreated in  absolute                                                                    
safety  then  the  court  would   not  pass  a  self-defense                                                                    
instruction to the jury.                                                                                                        
1:59:33 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Thompson asked  if  the  mechanism used  for                                                                    
deadly force would be a factor in court.                                                                                        
Mr. Svobodny replied in the  negative. He explained that the                                                                    
instrumentality  made no  difference; it  was the  amount of                                                                    
deadly force used that would be under consideration.                                                                            
2:00:39 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stoltze observed  that  there  are many  different                                                                    
types of deadly force.                                                                                                          
2:00:56 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Holmes  inquired about the zero  fiscal note,                                                                    
#3  (LAW).  She  wondered  why  it  had  been  changed  from                                                                    
indeterminate note to zero.                                                                                                     
Mr. Svobodny shared that when  the note was first crafted he                                                                    
had approved  it under  the assumption that  the law  of the                                                                    
state was the  majority rule in the country.  He stated that                                                                    
he had  recently discovered  that in most  of the  states in                                                                    
the U.S.,  the majority rule was  that there was no  duty to                                                                    
retreat. He  relayed that the  other reason the  fiscal note                                                                    
was  changed   from  indeterminate   to  zero   was  because                                                                    
prosecutors would still need to  work the cases just as they                                                                    
do now,  and the  responsibility would fall  to the  jury to                                                                    
determine the outcome.                                                                                                          
2:05:19 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Holmes  asked if  the case  was the  same for                                                                    
other states that did not have duty to retreat laws.                                                                            
Mr. Svobodny said yes.                                                                                                          
2:06:23 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Munoz   probed  the  reasoning   behind  the                                                                    
changed fiscal note #3.                                                                                                         
Mr. Svobodny  responded that  he did  not believe  that that                                                                    
addition of the  language, "or in any other  place where the                                                                    
person has  a right to be",  would add to the  trial process                                                                    
for  self-defense cases.  He did  believe that  the language                                                                    
could be litigated, but that did  not change his view of the                                                                    
note. He said  that self-defense cases were  small in number                                                                    
for  the   department  and  would   have  to   be  litigated                                                                    
2:08:52 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara   recalled  that  the  stance   of  the                                                                    
department  in the  past  had been  that  Stand Your  Ground                                                                    
legislation  could unwittingly  legalize  gang violence.  He                                                                    
asserted that  this type of  legislation could make  it more                                                                    
difficult  to prosecute  gang  violence  cases because  both                                                                    
gangs would claim self-defense.                                                                                                 
2:10:46 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze  noted that the  current Stand  Your Ground                                                                    
legislation was HB 24.                                                                                                          
2:12:05 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gara  asked if the department  maintained its                                                                    
opinion on Stand Your Ground and gang violence.                                                                                 
Mr.  Svobodny  replied that  removing  the  duty to  retreat                                                                    
could  exasperate a  gang  violence  situation. He  believed                                                                    
that determining  the aggressor would be  difficult and that                                                                    
mutual aggressors would be unable  to use self-defense as an                                                                    
excuse.  He thought  that the  legislation could  complicate                                                                    
prosecuting gang  related situations  because of  the burden                                                                    
of  proof for  the  state  to prove  the  negative beyond  a                                                                    
reasonable doubt.                                                                                                               
2:14:36 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Neuman  stated that significant  language changes                                                                    
had  been  made  while  crafting   the  legislation  due  to                                                                    
previous  testimony from  the department.  He felt  that the                                                                    
department's concerns  had been addressed. He  said that the                                                                    
department  had  given  contradictory  testimony  concerning                                                                    
arrest procedures self-defense cases.                                                                                           
Mr.   Svobodny   replied   that   arrest   procedures   were                                                                    
subjective. He said  that if the officer on  the scene could                                                                    
figure  out  what  was  going  on,  not  everyone  would  be                                                                    
arrested;  however, if  there were  several people  involved                                                                    
and  all  with  weapons,  those  who  were  armed  would  be                                                                    
arrested. He opined that the hypotheticals were unlimited.                                                                      
2:17:05 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Neuman offered another hypothetical.                                                                                 
Mr. Svobodny  reiterated that it  was the  responsibility of                                                                    
the department to  prove beyond a reasonable  doubt that the                                                                    
person  did not  act in  self-defense. He  said it  would be                                                                    
more difficult to convict someone  who legitimately acted in                                                                    
2:18:39 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Costello  discussed  the four  fiscal  notes                                                                    
attached to the bill.                                                                                                           
2:20:56 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Neuman  MOVED  to REPORT  CSHB  24(JUD)  out  of                                                                    
committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal notes. There  being NO OBJECTION, it was                                                                    
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
2:21:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CSHB 24(JUD) was REPORTED out  of committee with a "do pass"                                                                    
recommendation  and  with  four  previously  published  zero                                                                    
fiscal notes: FN1(ADM), FN2(ADM), FN3 (LAW), and FN4(DPS).                                                                      
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
2:27:09 PM                                                                                                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 19                                                                                                             
     "An   Act   relating   to   permanent   motor   vehicle                                                                    
     registration;  relating  to  the registration  fee  for                                                                    
     noncommercial  trailers and  to the  motor vehicle  tax                                                                    
    for trailers; and providing for an effective date."                                                                         
2:27:49 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair   Stoltze   relayed    some   background   on   the                                                                    
2:30:41 PM                                                                                                                    
DARREL  BREESE, STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE BILL  STOLTZE, stated                                                                    
that   the  CS   for  HB   19  had   been  changed   in  the                                                                    
Transportation Committee to remove  the final section of the                                                                    
bill  which set  a maximum  for how  much the  Department of                                                                    
Motor  Vehicles  (DMV) could  collect  for  a Motor  Vehicle                                                                    
Registration  Tax.  He  said  that Section  2  of  the  bill                                                                    
allowed for  the owners of  non-commercial vehicles,  over 8                                                                    
years-old,   to  receive   a   permanent  registration.   He                                                                    
explained that  the basic registration  fee for  the vehicle                                                                    
would be paid, plus a  $25 permanent registration fee, which                                                                    
would  be  honored for  as  long  as  the person  owned  the                                                                    
vehicle.  He relayed  that  the  permanent registration  was                                                                    
non-transferable.  He   shared  that  Section   3  addressed                                                                    
senior's ability  to receive one-year of  free registration,                                                                    
which  could  be  applied  along   with  the  $25  permanent                                                                    
registration   fee,  towards   permanent  registration.   He                                                                    
furthered  that   Section  4   offered  the   $25  permanent                                                                    
registration fee  to owners  of non-commercial  trailers. He                                                                    
continued that  Section 5 remained under  the recommendation                                                                    
of   legislative  legal   and  addressed   I/M  testing   in                                                                    
municipalities. He  continued that  Section 6  addressed the                                                                    
Motor Vehicle  Registration Tax; it established  a base rate                                                                    
for  municipalities and  communities to  use as  a guideline                                                                    
for  determining  a  registration  tax.  Section  7  allowed                                                                    
municipalities to set a motor  vehicle registration tax rate                                                                    
for permanently  registered vehicles.  He relayed  that this                                                                    
would  allow  municipalities raise  or  lower  the rate  for                                                                    
permanently registered vehicles.                                                                                                
2:35:29 PM                                                                                                                    
AMY   ERICKSON,  DIRECTOR,   DIVISION  OF   MOTOR  VEHICLES,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT OF  ADMINISTRATION (via  teleconference), related                                                                    
that the  DMV was responsible  for the fiscal note  and what                                                                    
the changes in revenue would be for the state.                                                                                  
2:36:08 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stoltze inquired  whether  the  DMV supported  the                                                                    
Ms.  Erickson responded  that  the DMV  was  neutral on  the                                                                    
2:36:18 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Wilson  inquired  the  average  duration  of                                                                    
vehicle ownership in the state.                                                                                                 
Ms. Erickson  replied that  the average  age of  vehicles on                                                                    
the road was 13 years.                                                                                                          
Representative Wilson inquired if there  was any way to know                                                                    
how many times a specific vehicle changed ownership.                                                                            
Ms.  Erickson responded  that  the DMV  did  not keep  those                                                                    
2:36:56 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Thompson  inquired  how many  senior  exempt                                                                    
vehicles were currently on the road in Alaska.                                                                                  
Ms. Erickson replied that she  was unsure but would get back                                                                    
to the committee with the requested information.                                                                                
2:37:44 PM                                                                                                                    
CYNNA  GUBATAYAO,   ASSISTANT  BOROUGH   MANAGER,  KETCHIKAN                                                                    
GATEWAY BOROUGH,  KETCHIKAN (via  teleconference), expressed                                                                    
the  borough's opposition  to HB  19. She  shared the  motor                                                                    
vehicle  taxes in  the borough  were used  to fund  the Junk                                                                    
Vehicle  Program; borough  residents  could  dispose of  one                                                                    
vehicle  per year,  with no  disposal  costs. She  concluded                                                                    
that  the borough  had a  direct nexus  between the  tax and                                                                    
solving the problems that older vehicles caused.                                                                                
2:38:40 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stoltze queried  the population  of the  Ketchikan                                                                    
Gateway Borough.                                                                                                                
Ms. Gubatayao replied that it was approximately 13,000.                                                                         
2:39:13 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze CLOSED public TESTIMONY                                                                                        
2:39:28 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze stated that discussion  of the fiscal notes                                                                    
would take place at the next hearing.                                                                                           
2:40:45 PM                                                                                                                    
HB  19  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 56                                                                                                             
     "An Act excluding motorcycles and motor-driven cycles                                                                      
     from the passenger vehicle rental tax; and providing                                                                       
     for an effective date."                                                                                                    
Representative Holmes  related that the bill  was an attempt                                                                    
to help a  fledgling industry in Alaska. She  stated that in                                                                    
2003, the legislature  had passed a Vehicle  Rental Tax that                                                                    
put a 10 percent rental  tax on passenger vehicles. She said                                                                    
that  soon   after,  the   legislature  realized   that  the                                                                    
definition  of a  passenger vehicle  also  included RV's  so                                                                    
during the course  of deliberations the bill  was amended to                                                                    
charge a  lower rate for  RV's because they were  bigger and                                                                    
more costly to  rent. She stated that at the  time there had                                                                    
been no discussion  of a motorcycle as  a passenger vehicle.                                                                    
She offered  that the  Tax Division  had not  recognized the                                                                    
absence of a tax on  motorcycles until recently. She relayed                                                                    
that  like RV's,  motorcycles were  more  expensive to  rent                                                                    
than  cars.  She  concluded  that   the  bill  would  exempt                                                                    
motorcycles from the definition  of passenger vehicle, which                                                                    
would  eliminate the  tax on  the rental  of motorcycles  in                                                                    
2:43:41 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair   Stoltze  inquired   how  municipalities   treated                                                                    
motorcycles for the purposes of rental taxes.                                                                                   
JAMES   WALDO,   STAFF,   REPRESENTATIVE   LINDSEY   HOLMES,                                                                    
responded that he did not have an answer to the question.                                                                       
2:44:29 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stoltze inquired  if  the sponsor  had talked  Tax                                                                    
Division regarding  the elimination of the  $12,000 per-year                                                                    
Representative   Holmes   replied   that  there   had   been                                                                    
discussion regarding the proposed  reduction of $12,000 per-                                                                    
year. She  said that  there had been  talks of  lowering the                                                                    
tax amount,  but then  the per-year amount  would be  so low                                                                    
that it  would cost more  to collect  the tax than  could be                                                                    
Representative  Thompson  wondered  how   much  it  cost  to                                                                    
collect the  $12,000 annually. He  agreed that  the economic                                                                    
impact of  motorcycle rentals could  be significant  for the                                                                    
2:46:16 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Costello  stated  queried   the  cost  of  a                                                                    
motorcycle rental in the state.                                                                                                 
Mr.  Waldo responded  that  motorcycle  rentals ranged  from                                                                    
$100 to $250 per day.                                                                                                           
2:47:23 PM                                                                                                                    
NANCY  HULL,   ALASKA  MOTORCYCLE  ADVENTURE,   PALMER  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified   in  support  of  HB   56.  She                                                                    
supported the  exclusion of motorcycles from  the 10 percent                                                                    
Vehicle Rental  Tax because  of the  unintended consequences                                                                    
of the tax.  She stated that her customers  were choosing to                                                                    
rent fewer  days or to  not rent at all  as a result  of the                                                                    
high tax.  She relayed  that in  a 90  day season  the rates                                                                    
were  high;  customers  paid  an average  of  $200  per  day                                                                    
resulting in  a $20 per day  tax. She said that  the tax hit                                                                    
spouses and  families traveling together  particularly hard.                                                                    
She  relayed an  example of  a  father and  three sons  that                                                                    
incurred a tax  of over $700 for a six-day  ride. She opined                                                                    
the lack of  a tax cap. She listed the  areas in Alaska that                                                                    
were difficult to reach but  by motorcycle, which meant that                                                                    
tourists gained  better access  to all  areas of  the state,                                                                    
while spending  money doing it. She  urged committee support                                                                    
for the legislation.                                                                                                            
2:51:33 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze inquired how  the municipalities dealt with                                                                    
Ms. Hull  responded that the  Municipality of  Anchorage did                                                                    
not   consider  motorcycles   as   passenger  vehicles   and                                                                    
therefore had no motorcycle tax.                                                                                                
2:52:56 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stoltze   noted  that  the  $12,000   of  the  tax                                                                    
collected annually  reflected less  than a thousand  days in                                                                    
motorcycle rentals for the entire industry.                                                                                     
Ms. Hull  replied that  the season was  limited to  90 days.                                                                    
She added that most  of the motorcycle rental establishments                                                                    
were predominately small family businesses.                                                                                     
2:53:58 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stoltze  inquired  an  estimate of  how  much  her                                                                    
business  spent on  bookkeeping  and accounting  to keep  in                                                                    
compliance with the tax.                                                                                                        
Ms. Hull replied that she did  all of the accounting for her                                                                    
business  and spent  a lot  of  time explaining  the tax  to                                                                    
customers.  She added  the  tax to  every  invoice and  then                                                                    
forwarded the  invoices to the Department  of Revenue (DOR).                                                                    
She said that  DOR required businesses to  report four times                                                                    
per  year,  including  the off-season  when  there  were  no                                                                    
2:55:56 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze inquired  if there was an  estimate of what                                                                    
it cost to administer the tax.                                                                                                  
MATT FONDER, TAX DIVISION,  DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, ANCHORAGE                                                                    
(via teleconference), replied that that  he did not know. He                                                                    
explained  that the  department had  one person  that worked                                                                    
with  all of  the Vehicle  Rental Taxes  in the  state which                                                                    
made it difficult  to break down how much time  was spent on                                                                    
motorcycles alone.                                                                                                              
2:56:52 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze CLOSED Public TESTMONY                                                                                         
2:57:38 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Munoz MOVED to REPORT HB 56 out of committee                                                                     
with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal                                                                     
note. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                              
HB 56 was REPORTED out of committee with a "do pass"                                                                            
recommendation and with a previously published fiscal                                                                           
impact note: FN1(REV).                                                                                                          
2:58:09 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
3:00:47 PM                                                                                                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 21                                                                                                             
     "An Act  relating to the  length of a school  week; and                                                                    
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
3:01:08 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PEGGY WILSON, shared her sponsor statement:                                                                      
     HB21 would allow  a pilot program for  one rural school                                                                    
     district to implement a 4 day school week.                                                                                 
     There is continued concern  of poor student performance                                                                    
     in  our   schools.  We   should  be   actively  seeking                                                                    
     alternative   solutions  that   may  improve   district                                                                    
     results. There are  over 22 states in the  US that have                                                                    
     implemented a 4 day week in rural districts.                                                                               
     For most  schools this has been  a positive achievement                                                                    
     - increased  morale for students and  teachers, reduced                                                                    
     absenteeism and allowing teachers  and students to have                                                                    
     more  direct contact  time which  then leads  to better                                                                    
     understanding of educational materials.                                                                                    
     Provisions in HB  21 require the district  to show that                                                                    
     the majority  of the  community, students  and teachers                                                                    
     support   the    implementation   of    this   program.                                                                    
     Additionally, the district will  have to prove that the                                                                    
     students  are  receiving  the equivalent  of  a  5  day                                                                    
     school  week.  They  will  also  be  required  to  file                                                                    
     quarterly  reports to  the Department  of Education  on                                                                    
     student and  teacher performance and the  effect of the                                                                    
     program.   Specifically  an   annual  report   will  be                                                                    
     required to  be submitted to the  legislative education                                                                    
     committee on the progress  and performance ratings from                                                                    
     the school district.  This report will be  due no later                                                                    
     than January 15th and must  include a comparison of the                                                                    
     performance ratings before  and after implementation of                                                                    
     the 4 day week.                                                                                                            
     This bill  is specific for  a 3 year pilot  program; at                                                                    
     the  end  of  that  time period,  the  State  Board  of                                                                    
     Education will  evaluate the  program and  determine if                                                                    
     it is beneficial to the district.                                                                                          
Representative  Wilson  added  that   the  bill  would  help                                                                    
schools to continue to evolve  and assist rural districts in                                                                    
achieving  academic  excellence,  while  responding  to  the                                                                    
changing needs of the 21st  century. She said the bill would                                                                    
help  students work,  if necessary,  to help  their families                                                                    
and to travel for sports  and other activities. She asserted                                                                    
that  the  bill  would  allow   time  for  people  in  rural                                                                    
communities  to  travel  for   medical  procedures  and  for                                                                    
teachers  to receive  professional  development without  the                                                                    
loss  of  student teacher  contact  hours.  She shared  that                                                                    
there  were 120  school districts  in 22  states across  the                                                                    
nation  that had  implemented a  four-day  school week.  She                                                                    
cited Colorado where  the change had resulted  in savings on                                                                    
fuel and pupil transportation. She  asserted that one of the                                                                    
biggest  documented benefits  of moving  to a  four-day week                                                                    
was the drop  in absenteeism in both  students and teachers.                                                                    
She  reiterated  that  it  would  be  a  trial  program;  an                                                                    
evolving program to gather data  to assess its effectiveness                                                                    
in Alaska.                                                                                                                      
3:05:30 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Peggy Wilson  pointed out  to the  committee                                                                    
that the state  Board of Education met on  a quarterly basis                                                                    
and would not  be meet again in time to  approve the program                                                                    
for   the   coming   school  year.   She   said   that   the                                                                    
recommendation had  been to change  the governing  body back                                                                    
to  the commissioner's  office; in  this vein,  it was  also                                                                    
suggested  that the  timeline for  the commissioner  to make                                                                    
the decision be short so that  the program could be put into                                                                    
effect for  the coming school  year. She relayed  that there                                                                    
would be no  comparative data the first year  of the program                                                                    
because  tests  were  administered  in the  spring  and  the                                                                    
result would not be returned by  the end of the school year.                                                                    
She  suggested  that reports  to  the  legislature be  given                                                                    
after the second and third years  of the program in order to                                                                    
ensure   accurate  results.   She  mentioned   that  teacher                                                                    
retirements could  be jeopardized because they  are based on                                                                    
the number  of days  that a  teacher worked.  She understood                                                                    
that  teachers  were required  to  work  180 days  per-year,                                                                    
which could be  easily met by using  an approved alternative                                                                    
schedule that met the hours  necessary and could replace the                                                                    
day requirement.                                                                                                                
3:08:46 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Costello noted that  often the state would do                                                                    
a  pilot  program  in  order  to  determine  the  return  on                                                                    
investment. She noted the lack  of a fiscal note attached to                                                                    
the legislation  and wondered  why the  bill was  limited on                                                                    
one  rural   school  district,  rather  than   allowing  all                                                                    
interested parties to participate.                                                                                              
Representative  Peggy Wilson  responded  that  she would  be                                                                    
open to including more than one school district.                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  hoped  that  the  commissioner  from  the                                                                    
Department of Education and  Early development would comment                                                                    
on the program.                                                                                                                 
3:09:33 PM                                                                                                                    
MICHAEL  HANLEY, COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT OF  EDUCATION AND                                                                    
EARLY DEVELOPMENT,  replied that  under current  statute the                                                                    
commissioner could  allow for  a four day  week. He  was not                                                                    
concerned about the pilot program.                                                                                              
3:10:34 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Costello  understood  that  the  legislature                                                                    
would receive  information on the pilot  program which would                                                                    
help to determine the program's success.                                                                                        
Representative Peggy Wilson replied  yes. She added that one                                                                    
of the  school districts that she  represented had requested                                                                    
the  program in  2012,  which the  commissioner denied.  She                                                                    
said  that the  parents  of those  students  and the  school                                                                    
board approached  her to sponsor the  legislation. She hoped                                                                    
that positive  data would  pave the way  for the  program in                                                                    
other schools.                                                                                                                  
3:12:29 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Costello pointed  to  the report,  "Four-Day                                                                    
School Week  Report in Montana  Public Schools  October 2011                                                                    
(copy on  file). She noted  that Page  9 listed the  some of                                                                    
the  states that  had gone  to a  four-day school  week. She                                                                    
relayed that  the results had shown  improved attendance and                                                                    
drop-out  rates,  but  no   marked  improvement  in  student                                                                    
Representative  Peggy  Wilson  hoped  the  state  would  see                                                                    
academic   improvement.  She   believed  that   the  program                                                                    
required  proper  planning  and  execution in  order  to  be                                                                    
3:13:41 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze stated that time was running short.                                                                            
3:14:00 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Costello wondered  if community  support for                                                                    
the program  was limited to  the school community, or  if it                                                                    
included the voting public.                                                                                                     
Representative  Peggy  Wilson   replied  that  the  parents,                                                                    
teachers,  community,   and  the  school  board   needed  be                                                                    
invested in the program.                                                                                                        
3:14:47 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative   Thompson   wondered  about   the   academic                                                                    
possibilities of a six-day school week.                                                                                         
Representative  Peggy  Wilson  replied   that  she  had  not                                                                    
researched a six-day school week.                                                                                               
3:15:28 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara wondered  if  language  could be  added                                                                    
that  allow  one or  more  schools  within the  district  to                                                                    
implement the pilot respective of class levels.                                                                                 
Representative  Peggy Wilson  replied  that  the bill  would                                                                    
work better in rural areas  because the rural areas children                                                                    
came home to an adult in the house.                                                                                             
3:16:50 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Austerman understood  that the commissioner already                                                                    
retained the authority to implement the program.                                                                                
Commissioner  Hanley replied  in  the  affirmative. He  said                                                                    
that the  bill allowed for  a 30  day window for  the school                                                                    
board to make the decision, rather than the commissioner.                                                                       
3:17:46 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Austerman  queried   if  Commissioner  Hanley  had                                                                    
turned  down any  school district  requests for  a four  day                                                                    
Commissioner  Hanley  responded  yes. He  relayed  that  the                                                                    
district's proposal had not met all of the requirements.                                                                        
3:18:52 PM                                                                                                                    
RON FUHRER,  PRESIDENT, NEA-ALASKA, testified in  support of                                                                    
HB 21.  He provided  his background  in the  state education                                                                    
system.  He   believed  that  the  pilot program  should  be                                                                    
implemented in  order for the  state to assess  the probable                                                                    
3:21:04 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stoltze acknowledged  the  prime  sponsors of  the                                                                    
3:21:26 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stoltze queried  whether  the  shorter week  could                                                                    
result in over-time or other negotiable issues.                                                                                 
Mr. Fuhrer believed  that it would be a  local control issue                                                                    
and that  it would  require a  collaborative effort  for all                                                                    
parties involved. He thought that  if people worked together                                                                    
it would return positive results.                                                                                               
3:22:18 PM                                                                                                                    
LAUREN  BURCH,   SUPERINTENDENT,  SOUTHEAST   ISLAND  SCHOOL                                                                    
DISTRICT,  THORNE  BAY  (via teleconference),  testified  in                                                                    
support of HB  21. He shared that the  local school advisory                                                                    
councils  that  had been  set  up  for the  district's  nine                                                                    
different  schools   were  set   up  to  allow   for  public                                                                    
involvement.  He said  that anyone  who  attended a  meeting                                                                    
could vote on the issues, including students.                                                                                   
3:23:55 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Wilson  inquired   whether  districts  could                                                                    
customize the  school year schedule around  what worked best                                                                    
for the students in the community.                                                                                              
Mr.  Burch thought  so.  He warned  that  altering days  and                                                                    
hours could result in some union pushback.                                                                                      
3:24:36 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson  wondered if more weeks  in the school                                                                    
year, rather  than longer school  day hours, could  help the                                                                    
four-day school week concept.                                                                                                   
3:24:47 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze  expressed that  the negotiations  would be                                                                    
at the  local level but the  funding would still be  a state                                                                    
3:25:24 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson believed that  a school district could                                                                    
add  weeks to  the  school  year in  order  to maintain  the                                                                    
shorter week.                                                                                                                   
3:25:55 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stoltze suggested  that the  sponsors explore  the                                                                    
financial ramifications  of contract involving a  shift from                                                                    
a four-day  work week to  a five-day  work week for  the law                                                                    
enforcement union.                                                                                                              
3:26:57 PM                                                                                                                    
BRUCE JOHNSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,  ALASKA COUNCIL OF SCHOOL                                                                    
ADMINISTRATORS,  testified to  the council's  support of  HB
21. He related that the  council embraced the idea of school                                                                    
choice.  He  stated  that  the   council  would  follow  the                                                                    
evolution of the legislation closely.                                                                                           
3:27:53 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stoltze probed  any trepidation  that the  council                                                                    
might have in implementing the program.                                                                                         
Mr. Johnson  replied that problems  would be handled  at the                                                                    
local level and within the parameters of current law.                                                                           
3:28:11 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze  asked if Mr. Johnson,  as a representative                                                                    
of  school  administrators,  could  speak  to  any  concerns                                                                    
regarding negotiations or bargaining issues.                                                                                    
Mr. Johnson replied  that all negotiations would  have to be                                                                    
in writing.                                                                                                                     
3:28:57 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Wilson commented  that  the four-day  school                                                                    
week was still  available whether the bill  moved forward or                                                                    
Mr. Johnson replied that the  council had been supportive of                                                                    
the commissioner retaining the  ability to establish a four-                                                                    
day  school  week.  He  shared that  the  council  had  been                                                                    
involved  with  the  district  that   had  made  the  failed                                                                    
proposal to the commissioner.                                                                                                   
3:29:30 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gara  thought that it was  important that the                                                                    
bill would  not limit  the board  of education's  ability to                                                                    
allow the program in more than one district.                                                                                    
3:30:29 PM                                                                                                                    
HB  21 was  held and  was HEARD  and HELD  in committee  for                                                                    
further consideration.                                                                                                          
3:30:40 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Austerman discussed housekeeping.                                                                                      
3:31:14 PM                                                                                                                    
The meeting was adjourned at 3:31 p.m.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 19 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 2/28/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 19
HB 19 Supporting DMV Registration Classes.pdf HFIN 2/28/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 19
HB19 AML Document.pdf HFIN 2/28/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 19
HB19 Support Motor Vehicle Registration Taxes Rates.pdf HFIN 2/28/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 19
HB21 Idaho Research.pdf HFIN 2/28/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 21
HB21 Montana 2011.pdf HFIN 2/28/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 21
HB21 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 2/28/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 21
HB21 SREB 4 Day.pdf HFIN 2/28/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 21
HB21 Univ Maine Research.pdf HFIN 2/28/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 21
HB21 UnivGA & Maine.pdf HFIN 2/28/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 21
HB 56 Backup - Statute AS 43.52.010 Vehicle Rental Taxes.pdf HFIN 2/28/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 56
HB 56 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 2/28/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 56
HB019NEWFNCS(TRA)-DOA-DMV-2-23-13.pdf HFIN 2/28/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 19
HB 19 Mat-Su Borough Resolution.pdf HFIN 2/28/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 19