Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/08/1994 01:15 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                              
                          April 8, 1994                                        
                            1:15 p.m.                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
                                                                               
  Rep. Brian Porter, Chairman                                                  
  Rep. Jeannette James, Vice-Chair (1:40)                                      
  Rep. Pete Kott                                                               
  Rep. Gail Phillips                                                           
  Rep. Joe Green                                                               
  Rep. Cliff Davidson                                                          
  Rep. Jim Nordlund (1:45)                                                     
                                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
                                                                               
  None                                                                         
                                                                               
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
  HB 360:        "An Act relating to civil liability for guest                 
                 passengers on an aircraft or watercraft; and                  
                 providing for an effective date."                             
                                                                               
                 HEARD AND MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE AS AMENDED,                  
                 WITH INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS AND ZERO                      
                 FISCAL NOTE.                                                  
                                                                               
  HJR 60:        Relating to an amendment to the Constitution                  
                 of the United States prohibiting federal                      
                 courts from ordering a state or a political                   
                 subdivision of a state to increase or impose                  
                 taxes.                                                        
                                                                               
                 HEARD AND MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE                              
                                                                               
  SB 321:        "An Act relating to the taking of a legible                   
                 set of fingerprints when a person is                          
                 arrested, upon initial appearance or                          
                 arraignment, upon the conviction of the                       
                 person, and when the person is received at a                  
                 correctional facility, and providing that the                 
                 set of fingerprints shall be provided to the                  
                 Department of Public Safety; relating to                      
                 criminal and crime records and information;                   
                 requiring the reporting of information                        
                 concerning homicides and suspected homicides                  
                 to the Department of Public Safety for                        
                 analysis; requiring the Department of Public                  
                 Safety to participate in the Federal Bureau                   
                 of Investigation, Violent Criminals                           
                 Apprehension Program."                                        
                                                                               
                 HEARD AND HELD                                                
                                                                               
  HB 362:        "An Act relating to the statute of                            
                 limitations for actions brought upon a child                  
                 support judgment; and establishing the crime                  
                 of aiding the nonpayment of child support."                   
                                                                               
                 HEARD AND MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE WITH                         
                 INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS AND ZERO FISCAL                    
                 NOTE                                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
                                                                               
  REP. CON BUNDE, Sponsor, HB 360                                              
  Alaska State Legislature                                                     
  Room 112, State Capitol                                                      
  Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                       
  Phone: 465-4843                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 360.                         
                                                                               
  MIKE SCHNEIDER                                                               
  Alaska Academy of Trial Lawyers                                              
  540 L Street, Suite 206                                                      
  Anchorage, AK 99501                                                          
  Phone:  258-4040                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT: Testified via teleconference from                        
                      Anchorage with analysis and                              
                      recommendations concerning of HB 360.                    
                                                                               
  JOHN GEORGE, Lobbyist                                                        
  National Association of Independent Insurers                                 
  9515 Moraine Way                                                             
  Juneau, AK  99801                                                            
  Phone:  789-0172                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in regard to HB 360.                           
                                                                               
  DEAN J. GUANELI, Chief                                                       
  Legal Services Section                                                       
  Assistant Attorney General                                                   
  Criminal Division, Department of Law                                         
  P.O. Box 110300                                                              
  Juneau, AK  99811-0300                                                       
  Phone: 465-3428                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in regard to HB 321.                          
                                                                               
  REP. AL VEZEY, Sponsor, HJR 60                                               
  Alaska State Legislature                                                     
  Room 102, State Capitol                                                      
  Juneau, Alaska  99801-11182                                                  
  Phone:  465-3719                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HJR 60.                          
                                                                               
  DANIELLA LOPER, Committee Counsel                                            
  House Judiciary Committee                                                    
  Alaska State Legislature                                                     
  Capitol Building, Room 118                                                   
  Juneau, Alaska  99811                                                        
  Telephone: 465-6841                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT: Testified regarding HJR 60 and HB 362                    
                                                                               
  MARY GAY, Director                                                           
  Child Support Enforcement Division                                           
  550 W. 7th Street, Suite 312                                                 
  Anchorage, AK  99501-3556                                                    
  Phone: 269-6800                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 362.                         
                                                                               
  PHILLIP PETRIE, Operations Manager                                           
  Child Support Enforcement Division                                           
  550 W. 7th Street                                                            
  Anchorage, AK  99501-3556                                                    
  Phone: 269-6800                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 362.                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS ACTION                                                              
                                                                               
  BILL:  HB 360                                                                
  SHORT TITLE: AIRCRAFT/WATERCRAFT GUEST PASSENGER LAW                         
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BUNDE                                          
                                                                               
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  01/11/94      2032    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/11/94      2032    (H)   LABOR & COMMERCE, JUDICIARY                      
  03/24/94              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                       
  03/24/94              (H)   MINUTE(L&C)                                      
  03/28/94      2994    (H)   L&C RPT  CS(L&C) 2DP 2NR                         
  03/28/94      2994    (H)   DP:  PORTER, MULDER                              
  03/28/94      2994    (H)   NR:  HUDSON, SITTON                              
  03/28/94      2994    (H)   -ZERO FISCAL NOTE (LAW)                          
                              3/28/94                                          
  04/08/94              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                      
                                                                               
  BILL:  HJR 60                                                                
  SHORT TITLE: AMEND US CONSTIT. TO LIMIT FED. COURTS                          
  SPONSOR(S): STATE AFFAIRS                                                    
                                                                               
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  02/28/94      2550    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  02/28/94      2550    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY                         
  03/08/94              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                      
  03/08/94              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                      
  03/09/94      2671    (H)   STA RPT  6DP                                     
  03/09/94      2671    (H)   DP:VEZEY,KOTT,SANDERS,G.DAVIS                    
  03/09/94      2671    (H)   DP:OLBERG, B.DAVIS                               
  03/09/94      2671    (H)   -ZERO FISCAL NOTE (GOV) 3/9/94                   
  04/08/94      3215    (H)   JUD RPT  3DP 3NR                                 
  04/08/94      3215    (H)   DP:  KOTT, JAMES, PORTER                         
  04/08/94      3215    (H)   NR:  GREEN, NORDLUND, DAVIDSON                   
  04/08/94      3215    (H)   -PREVIOUS ZERO FISCAL NOTE                       
                              (GOV) 3/9/94                                     
  04/08/94              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                      
                                                                               
  BILL:  SB 321                                                                
  SHORT TITLE: FINGERPRINTING AND CRIME RECORDS                                
  SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S)HALFORD,Phillips,Kerttula,Taylor,                      
  Pearce,Donley,Leman,Little,Miller,Sharp                                      
                                                                               
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  02/14/94      2832    (S)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  02/14/94      2832    (S)   JUD, FIN                                         
  03/02/94              (S)   JUD AT 01:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211                   
  03/02/94              (S)   MINUTE(JUD)                                      
  03/07/94      3087    (S)   JUD RPT CS  4DP  NEW TITLE                       
  03/07/94      3088    (S)   ZERO FNS TO SB & CS PUBLISHED                    
                              (DPS-2)                                          
  03/15/94              (S)   FIN AT 08:30 AM SENATE FIN 518                   
  03/15/94              (S)   MINUTE(FIN)                                      
  03/16/94      3240    (S)   FIN RPT CS 5DP 1NR  NEW TITLE                    
  03/16/94      3241    (S)   PREVIOUS ZERO FNS APPLY (DPS-2)                  
  03/16/94              (S)   RLS AT 00:00 AM FAHRENKAMP                       
                              ROOM 203                                         
  03/16/94              (S)   MINUTE(RLS)                                      
  03/16/94              (S)   FIN AT 09:00 AM SENATE FIN 518                   
  03/21/94      3293    (S)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE PUBLISHED                       
                              (CORR)                                           
  03/22/94      3317    (S)   RULES TO CALENDAR  4CAL 1NR                      
                              3/22/94                                          
  03/22/94      3319    (S)   READ THE SECOND TIME                             
  03/22/94      3320    (S)   COSPONSOR(S): KERTTULA, TAYLOR,                  
                              PEARCE,                                          
  03/22/94      3320    (S)   DONLEY, LEMAN, LITTLE, MILLER,                   
                              SHARP                                            
  03/22/94      3320    (S)   FIN  CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT                     
  03/22/94      3320    (S)   ADVANCED TO THIRD READING                        
                              UNAN CONSENT                                     
  03/22/94      3320    (S)   READ THE THIRD TIME                              
                              CSSB 321(FIN)                                    
  03/22/94      3321    (S)   PASSED Y20 N-                                    
  03/22/94      3324    (S)   TRANSMITTED TO (H)                               
  03/23/94      2924    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  03/23/94      2924    (H)   FINANCE                                          
  03/25/94      2980    (H)   FIN REFERRAL WAIVED                              
  03/25/94      2980    (H)   JUD REFERRAL ADDED                               
  03/28/94              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                      
  04/08/94              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                      
                                                                               
  BILL:  HB 362                                                                
  SHORT TITLE: CHILD SUPPORT:CRIMINAL/CIVIL REMEDIES                           
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MARTIN,B.Davis                                 
                                                                               
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  01/11/94      2033    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/11/94      2033    (H)   HES, JUDICIARY                                   
  01/13/94      2056    (H)   COSPONSOR(S):  B. DAVIS                          
  02/22/94              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                      
  02/22/94              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                      
  03/25/94              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                      
  03/25/94              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                      
  03/28/94      2994    (H)   HES RPT  CS(HES) NEW TITLE                       
                              4DP 3NR 2AM                                      
  03/28/94      2995    (H)   DP:  BUNDE, TOOHEY, B.DAVIS,                     
                              BRICE                                            
  03/28/94      2995    (H)   NR:  G.DAVIS, OLBERG, NICHOLIA                   
  03/28/94      2995    (H)   AM:  KOTT, VEZEY                                 
  03/28/94      2995    (H)   -ZERO FISCAL NOTE (REV) 3/28/94                  
  04/08/94              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
                                                                               
  The House Judiciary Standing Committee was called to order                   
  at 1:30 p.m. on April 8, 1994.  A quorum was present.                        
  Chairman Brian Porter announced that the committee would                     
  begin with HB 360.                                                           
  TAPE 94-58, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
                                                                               
  Chairman Porter welcomed the sponsor of HB 360, Rep. Con                     
  Bunde.                                                                       
                                                                               
  HB 360 - AIRCRAFT/WATERCRAFT GUEST PASSENGER LAW                             
                                                                               
  Number 031                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. CON BUNDE:  "This bill concerns the liability and the                   
  presumed shared liability in travelling in Alaska on both                    
  light aircraft or by small boat, that limits the civil                       
  liability that an owner or an operator of an aircraft or a                   
  watercraft would have for injuries to passengers when these                  
  aircraft or watercraft are not paid forms of transportation.                 
  This limited liability does not, however, cover gross                        
  negligence or reckless or intentional misconduct.  It's                      
  simply an attempt to encourage folks to be able to take                      
  passengers along and share their recreational opportunities                  
  without jeopardizing their entire estate over what could be                  
  I guess called `Act of God' accidents.  Though, certainly,                   
  as I have indicated, it does not disallow recovery for gross                 
  negligence or intentional misconduct."                                       
                                                                               
  Number 064                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. JIM NORDLUND requested a definition of compensation in                  
  this context; would it include, say, a token payment                         
  contributed up front for gas?                                                
                                                                               
  REP. BUNDE replied that such a contribution would not be                     
  compensation, that is, would not be paying for                               
  transportation; rather, it would be sharing in expenses.                     
                                                                               
  REP. NORDLUND wondered if a definition of a token payment                    
  might be arrived at and concluded that would be up to the                    
  court.                                                                       
                                                                               
  REP. BUNDE responded that, while he was not a lawyer, he                     
  would interpret it as there being no profit involved.                        
                                                                               
  REP. NORDLUND:  "Okay."                                                      
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "And there might not be anyway...but no                    
  intention of a profit."  Chairman Porter invited the next                    
  person to testify.                                                           
                                                                               
  Number 094                                                                   
                                                                               
  MIKE SCHNEIDER, Alaska Academy of Trial Lawyers, testified                   
  via teleconference in Anchorage with regard to HB 360.                       
  "Looking at this bill, I think you have a clear choice                       
  between attempting to encourage people to take passengers in                 
  their vehicles for free versus encouraging people to operate                 
  aircraft and watercraft safely, and I would encourage the                    
  latter, not the former.  I would discourage support for this                 
  bill.                                                                        
                                                                               
  "The rest of my comments, though, are going to assume that                   
  this bill is going to move forward, and they are going to be                 
  directed to how I think this bill could be improved to                       
  address concerns of the very constituency that I assume Rep.                 
  Bunde is interested in dealing with.  I happen to operate                    
  watercraft very occasionally, and aircraft, regularly.                       
  Under this bill I cannot, because nobody makes a market for                  
  this kind of coverage.  There is no nonfault based coverage                  
  out there for anything except possibly medical expenses.  I                  
  can't protect my family, and I can't protect my guest                        
  passengers, even if I want to, under this bill, if you pass                  
  it the way it is.                                                            
                                                                               
  "If you amend it such that I can be liable but only up to                    
  the extent of available insurance coverage, then I still get                 
  the immunity that Rep. Bunde is interested in.  In other                     
  words, I don't subject my entire estate or any part of my                    
  estate to liability, I only subject my insurance carrier to                  
  exposure to the extent of that which I contracted for and                    
  paid a premium for.  And then I can protect my family and my                 
  friends at least up to some minimal limit.  And at the same                  
  time by this bill the balance of my estate will be                           
  protected.  So if you pass this bill the way it is, not only                 
  are you discouraging people from being as careful as they                    
  possibly can when operating dangerous vehicles, but you're                   
  absolutely eliminating the ability of aircraft and                           
  watercraft operators to go out and protect their passengers,                 
  whom some of us would sure like to protect.                                  
                                                                               
  "My other concern is, I think people should appreciate that                  
  this bill may be a trap for the unwary."                                     
                                                                               
  Number  174                                                                  
                                                                               
  MR. JOHN GEORGE, lobbyist, National Association of                           
  Independent Insurers, testified regarding HB 360.  Mr.                       
  George said he felt Mr. Schneider offered "an interesting                    
  idea, sort of a voluntary liability system...."  He said he                  
  did not foresee objections to such a system.  Mr. George                     
  discussed the overt and more subtle pressures on boat and                    
  plane owners from people wishing to just come along, or                      
  catch a ride... "And," Mr. George remarked,  "you're just                    
  crazy to take someone along if you don't have specific                       
  insurance to cover that.  Because in airplanes and boats,                    
  the potential for a serious accident is always there.                        
  Hypothermia and hitting the ground from 5,000 feet generally                 
  are fairly serious events.  And so, you just can't take the                  
  chance.  So you either have to go out and buy insurance -                    
  and then the question is, how much do I buy?  If I buy                       
  $100,000 and they sue me for $500,000, I'm still $400,000 in                 
  the hole."                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. GEORGE concluded, "I think Mr. Schneider has an                          
  interesting and innovative idea, and I think we would have                   
  no objection to that concept... where, if you want to buy                    
  the coverage, you certainly can, but if you fail to, or you                  
  only buy, say, $25,000 worth, then that's the amount that                    
  you're exposed to.  So you can protect your passengers if                    
  you deem that appropriate.  If you don't, then tell them you                 
  don't have any and they take their own risk."                                
                                                                               
  REP. NORDLUND said he had prepared an amendment after                        
  speaking the previous day with Mr. Schneider and was                         
  prepared to pass it out when amendments were being                           
  entertained.                                                                 
                                                                               
  REP. BUNDE:  "I think Mike presents a reasonable alternative                 
  to all-or-nothing, and I believe the amendment would                         
  strengthen the bill."                                                        
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "If there are no further questions, let's                  
  hear the amendment.  For the purposes of identification                      
  let's mark this Amendment #1."                                               
                                                                               
  Number 237                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. NORDLUND:  "Mr. Chairman, I move Amendment #1."                         
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "Amendment #1 has been moved.                              
  Discussion?"                                                                 
                                                                               
  REP. NORDLUND presented his amendment, which imposed a limit                 
  on the liability of private individuals with regard to                       
  accidents that might occur on their planes or boats.  If the                 
  individual chose to buy insurance to cover guests or family                  
  members he would not be liable for civil damages exceeding                   
  the amount of insurance he had voluntarily purchased.                        
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "Mike, are you still on the line?  I'm a                   
  little confused.  I thought that I heard you say that there                  
  was not insurance available."                                                
                                                                               
  MR. SCHNEIDER explained that if HB 360 were to be passed as                  
  is, without Rep. Nordlund's amendment, there would be no                     
  appropriate insurance available to these boat or plane                       
  owners, because with the exception of medical insurance,                     
  coverage was fault-based.  "But," he said, "with the                         
  amendment, I could still go buy my identical policy that                     
  gives me $200,000 a seat, inadequate though it may be; I                     
  could provide my passengers with that much protection and my                 
  estate would be immune from anything beyond that."                           
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "Any further discussion on Amendment #1?                   
  Is there objection?  Seeing none, Amendment #1 is adopted.                   
  What is the wish of the committee?"                                          
                                                                               
  REP. JEANNETTE JAMES:  "I would move that we pass out the                    
  Labor and Commerce committee substitute, as amended, which                   
  will then be the Judiciary CS, with zero fiscal note and                     
  individual recommendations."                                                 
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "We have a motion to move, as amended, the                 
  bill with individual recommendation and zero fiscal note.                    
  Is there discussion?  Objection?  The bill is moved."                        
                                                                               
  REP. BUNDE thanked the committee.                                            
                                                                               
  There was a brief discussion on how long it would take to                    
  prepare the CS and transmit the bill to the next committee;                  
  Chairman Porter assured Rep. Bunde this would be                             
  accomplished as soon as possible.                                            
                                                                               
  Number 345                                                                   
                                                                               
  The next bill to have been considered was HJR 60; however,                   
  the sponsor, Rep. Vezey, was not yet present to present his                  
  testimony.  The committee continued with SB 321.                             
  CSSB 321 - FINGERPRINTING AND CRIME RECORDS                                  
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "The next bill to be considered, and we'll                 
  be considering this, not moving it, is CS for SB 321."  Rep.                 
  James asked if a similar bill had not already been passed.                   
  Chairman Porter acknowledged this and recognized DEAN J.                     
  GUANELI, DEPARTMENT OF LAW, to speak on SB 321 and its                       
  origins, but first he presented some background himself.                     
                                                                               
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "Let me see if I can track why we're                       
  hearing this bill, for the information of the committee.                     
  Dean, if I am misspeaking, or this doesn't sound correct to                  
  you, let me know.  The bill that we heard had part of this                   
  bill in it, and part of this bill was not in it.  This bill                  
  basically contains two sections:  (1) addressing the                         
  fingerprint part of the criminal records bill that we heard;                 
  (2) participation by the state in a VICAP (Violent Criminals                 
  Apprehension Program) program which I'm sure Dean will tell                  
  us about.  The portion that we are in effect rehearing was                   
  deleted from the bill that we sent to the Senate for some                    
  reason.  Consequently, this bill with the new section and                    
  the other bill as it now remains if both passed would meet                   
  and surpass the goals of the original bill we have heard."                   
                                                                               
  REP. NORDLUND:  "It would surpass?  It wouldn't be equal to                  
  the original bill?"                                                          
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "It would be more than the bill that we                    
  heard originally because within this is this participation                   
  in the VICAP program which isn't in that other bill and                      
  wasn't in that other bill.  Was that fair?"                                  
                                                                               
                                                                               
  DEAN J. GUANELI, Chief, Legal Services Section, Assistant                    
  Attorney General, testified regarding CS HB 321.  He said,                   
  "Almost.  The bill that passed the House, I think it was                     
  close to unanimously, if not unanimously, is working its way                 
  through the Senate and it still is intact.  The fingerprint                  
  provision (is) in this bill, because of Senator Halford's                    
  fear that the APSIN bill would not make it all the way                       
  through the Senate, and it was his feeling, and I agree,                     
  that kind of the linch pin of that whole program is the                      
  mandatory fingerprinting provision.  And so he said, `Well,                  
  I'll throw that into this bill, as well, so that we can make                 
  sure that if nothing else happens, at least the mandatory                    
  fingerprinting provision will get through.'                                  
                                                                               
                                                                               
  "I believe that the House bill has a good chance of making                   
  it through the Senate.  And, if it does, then we will have                   
  the fingerprinting provision in that, as well.  But that's                   
  the reason why you have it in here.  The fingerprinting                      
  provision was stripped out of the Senate's version of the                    
  APSIN bill, which I think is still working its way through                   
  the Senate.  I know it's a little confusing, but that's the                  
  situation.                                                                   
                                                                               
  "In any event, the other portion of this bill makes the                      
  state law enforcement agencies a participant in what's known                 
  as the VICAP program: it's the Violent Criminals                             
  Apprehension Program in conjunction with the FBI.  What that                 
  does is, it collects information about solved and even                       
  unsolved murders in states.  The FBI compiles that                           
  information and they keep track of serial killers in that                    
  way.  They've found it very helpful in tracking these people                 
  as they move through the states and trying to put together                   
  little pieces of investigations  - an agency in one state                    
  will do an investigation, an agency in another state will do                 
  an investigation, and the FBI will sort of meld those                        
  together, find out that there are similarities and try to                    
  apprehend the person before he kills again.  So, this                        
  requires, then, the police agencies in Alaska to submit                      
  reports to the FBI, and if the FBI says, `Yes, that's the                    
  report we're interested in,' then some additional                            
  information goes to the FBI that then can help us solve,                     
  perhaps, some unsolved killings.  That's what the second                     
  part of the bill does.  So I hope that that answers the                      
  questions about this procedurally and substantively."                        
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "Is there anyone else that wishes to                       
  testify on SB 321?  Any other questions for Dean?  Seeing                    
  none, what is the wish of the committee?"                                    
                                                                               
  REP. JAMES:  "I thought we don't want to do this."                           
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "I'm sorry, that's right.  We're going to                  
  hold the bill for right now.  Are there any other questions                  
  about the bill before we put it away?"                                       
                                                                               
  REP. CLIFF DAVIDSON:  "Are we waiting for something on the                   
  bill?"                                                                       
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "Yes."                                                     
                                                                               
  REP. DAVIDSON:  "Politics?"                                                  
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "Politics."                                                
                                                                               
  REP. NORDLUND:  "Somebody wants to kill the other bill in                    
  the Senate, is basically what we're saying here, and this                    
  one is hedging our bets; at least, providing for the                         
  important part of the other bill."                                           
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "Fair enough."                                             
                                                                               
  REP. NORDLUND:  "You couldn't say that, but I can say that."                 
  HJR 60 - AMEND US CONSTIT. TO LIMIT FED. COURTS                              
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER invited Rep. Vezey to present HJR 60.                        
                                                                               
  Number 485                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. AL VEZEY:  (Background noises impair sound.)  "HJR 60                   
  is a response to a move that is being coordinated by the                     
  representatives in Missouri to initiate a constitutional                     
  amendment that would provide a ban on the federal courts                     
  mandating that state and local governments impose taxes to                   
  enforce court orders, and things of that nature.  There are                  
  two means of amending the United States Constitution, and                    
  this is requesting that the Congress propose to the states                   
  ratification of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that                   
  would prohibit the courts from imposing taxes upon political                 
  subdivisions of the United States."                                          
                                                                               
  Number 501                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. DAVIDSON:  "Rep. Vezey, are there instances in Alaskan                  
  state history where in fact a federal court has mandated                     
  such a tax issue?  Where are other examples of such  --                      
  Could you put some example language into our focus here so                   
  that we can understand exactly where some of this has                        
  occurred in the past?"                                                       
                                                                               
  Number 512                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. VEZEY:  "In the State of Alaska the courts have never                   
  ordered the state to impose a tax.  The federal government                   
  has mandated many, many things upon the State of Alaska                      
  which have come out of the state's general revenues.  We                     
  have never been in a position of having to impose a tax to                   
  fund those mandates."                                                        
                                                                               
  REP. DAVIDSON:  "So, may I ask you right there, at that                      
  point --This would cover, any federal mandates that would                    
  result in the necessity of the state coming up with more                     
  revenue?"                                                                    
                                                                               
  Number 521                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. VEZEY:  "In my opinion the answer to that is yes.                       
  You're talking a little gray area there.  The federal                        
  government says, do something, other states have told the                    
  federal government we don't have the money, courts have                      
  ordered the states to impose a property tax or a sales tax                   
  or an income tax.  States have been mandated to impose taxes                 
  to carry out federal mandates."                                              
                                                                               
  Number 527                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. DAVIDSON:  "Examples of those?"                                         
                                                                               
  REP. VEZEY:  "I don't have the specific cases.  I happen to                  
  know one of the biggest ones is in Kansas City, Missouri."                   
                                                                               
  REP. NORDLUND:  "Rep. Vezey, in the resolve it says that the                 
  court basically can't order a political subdivision to                       
  increase or impose taxes.  I understand that there are                       
  mandates that we are compelled to do that, as a result,                      
  sometimes make us, or other states, increase taxes.  But                     
  that's not what the resolution says.  I've never heard of a                  
  situation where any court has ordered a state to impose a                    
  tax."                                                                        
                                                                               
  REP. VEZEY:  "They have."                                                    
                                                                               
  REP. NORDLUND:  "They have?"                                                 
                                                                               
  REP. VEZEY:  "That's why this initiative is from Missouri,                   
  one of the most blatant cases occurred in Kansas City,                       
  Missouri."                                                                   
                                                                               
  Number 530                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. NORDLUND:  "Now, how would that affect possible bond                    
  ratings for the state?  When we give our full faith and                      
  credit to make payment on those bonds?  The reason why those                 
  bonds are guaranteed to the bondholders is that, if all else                 
  fails, the state is willing to raise a tax to pay off                        
  bondholders.  And if we didn't have that, it would seem to                   
  me, if we weren't compelled to do that, it seems to me that                  
  it would make the cost of bonds go up and it would be -                      
  (indiscernible - interrupted by Rep. Vezey.)                                 
                                                                               
  REP. VEZEY:  "I fail to see how that question is germane to                  
  this matter that is before us.  The federal government has                   
  never, to my knowledge, entered into a state dead issue.                     
  It's the full faith and credit of the state of Alaska that                   
  we bond on, not the full faith and credit of the United                      
  States government."                                                          
                                                                               
  Number 554                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "I think the jurisdiction for these cases                  
  would be in state court."                                                    
                                                                               
  REP. JAMES:  "Well, I wanted to make a statement about this                  
  resolution, because it certainly is something that I've been                 
  very aware of for a long time.  And that is the separation                   
  of powers.  And I know in other cases there have been a lot                  
  of times, and not necessarily in federal courts, where I see                 
  the courts making rules that really are interfering with the                 
  other powers of the government.  And I don't know how much                   
  more clearly we need to put that in the constitution.  I                     
  would think that we would already have that protection.  But                 
  I know that it's not there, because federal courts seem to                   
  be supreme."                                                                 
                                                                               
  REP. VEZEY:  "Well, the Supreme Court of the United States                   
  has said that the federal courts have the authority to do                    
  this."                                                                       
                                                                               
  REP. JAMES:  "So I really support this resolution, because                   
  it does get to the heart of what I think is one of our                       
  problems."                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. NORDLUND:  "But in this state we don't have a problem,                  
  at least, we don't have a problem yet, in this state.  I'm                   
  not sure if Rep. James is talking about another situation,                   
  but, at least in this state, no federal court has ordered us                 
  to impose taxes."                                                            
                                                                               
  REP. JAMES:  "That is true.  They haven't.  And we want to                   
  be sure they don't.  And I think that we have an obligation                  
  to our sister states, if one state is offended, I think it's                 
  something that we could be subject to, that we have an                       
  obligation to find some support for our sister states."                      
                                                                               
  Number 579                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. JOE GREEN:  "What was the situation in Kansas City?"                    
                                                                               
  REP. VEZEY:  "It's been several years since I read that                      
  case.  I didn't read the case, just read the news around it,                 
  but the federal court ordered the unified municipality of                    
  Kansas City, Missouri, to impose a property tax to fund a                    
  charter school system for the minority students in a certain                 
  part of the city or a certain political subdivision of that                  
  municipality, or something.  The subject was, creating a                     
  school for minority groups in what would typically be called                 
  more of a ghetto area, to act as a magnet to draw other                      
  people into it.  It was a big social experiment.  And the                    
  city of Missouri was ordered to fund it."                                    
                                                                               
  Number 599                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. GREEN:  "This was not a contractual thing, this was a                   
  civil rights issue that had come down from the feds?"                        
                                                                               
  REP. VEZEY:  "I don't remember.  I didn't even read the                      
  case.  What authority the court used to do this, I don't                     
  know.  But it was a brought to the Supreme Court, and it was                 
  upheld that the courts had the right to do that.  It was                     
  under the courts' general authority over civil rights, yes."                 
                                                                               
  REP. GREEN:  "That's what I was getting at.  It wasn't                       
  enforcement of any kind of any kind of a contract, then.  It                 
  was a mandate from the federal government - "                                
                                                                               
  REP. VEZEY:  "To enforce a federal policy."                                  
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "I see no one else signed up to testify on                 
  this bill.  Is there anyone else that wishes to give                         
  testimony on HJR 60?"                                                        
                                                                               
  Number 610                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. PETE KOTT:  "I certainly support this measure.  I don't                 
  think we ought to wait on the sidelines and have some                        
  negative action come about taking some form of preemptive                    
  strike.  I do have a question to the sponsor that was                        
  probably overlooked during the first hearing on this in                      
  State Affairs on the resolve clause.  We're asking                           
  legislators of all the states to join us to secure                           
  ratification of the proposed amendment.  And that's what's                   
  going to happen.  We're going to have to have an amendment                   
  before the states.  The question I guess I have, which I'm                   
  not sure we really addressed in State Affairs, has there                     
  been an amendment proposed by a member of Congress?                          
                                                                               
  REP. VEZEY:  "To my knowledge, the answer to that is no.                     
  But that is not to say there hasn't been one buried in some                  
  committee somewhere."                                                        
                                                                               
  DANIELLA LOPER, Committee Counsel, said that she believed an                 
  amendment had been drafted by one state which was asking                     
  other states to follow suit.                                                 
                                                                               
  REP. VEZEY:  "Well, there are, I believe, 26 states have                     
  already done this, is the information I have.  The states                    
  cannot propose amendments to the Constitution.  Three-                       
  quarters of the states can call for constitutional                           
  convention, which current constitutional law implies there                   
  will be no limit on the subject matter before the                            
  convention; or a majority of Congress can propose for                        
  ratification by, I believe, it's three-quarters of the                       
  states, a constitutional amendment.  And this is merely a                    
  petition to Congress to ask Congress to propose for                          
  ratification to the states, for a constitutional amendment."                 
                                                                               
  MS. LOPER:  "The two major areas that this bill looks at are                 
  the funding of education and the funding of prisons."                        
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "This bill?"                                               
                                                                               
  MS. LOPER replied affirmatively.                                             
                                                                               
  REP. VEZEY:  "I would characterize it as broader than that.                  
  You could say that, but I would characterize it as broader."                 
                                                                               
  Number 644                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. DAVIDSON petitioned the committee to engage the                         
  expertise of constitutional scholars before moving forward a                 
  resolution which could potentially affect the Constitution                   
  of the United States.  Rep. Davidson expressed appreciation                  
  for the intent of the  resolution but encouraged committee                   
  members to be more fully informed before acting on the                       
  resolution.   He asked if Rep. Vezey would be gathering any                  
  further expertise to present a fuller picture of the                         
  legislation.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Number  677                                                                  
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "While I understand that this is no small                  
  area of consideration, I think a general understanding, at                   
  least on my part, has been obtained from listening to Rep.                   
  Vezey explain what it is that we're asking to be done here,                  
  is, as with 26 other states, we are asking the Congress to                   
  initiate an amendment covering this subject that would then                  
  be subject to a requirement of a three-quarters state                        
  ratification.  So this, our action today, is not going to                    
  cause anything to happen tomorrow, believe me, and it is a                   
  long process, and nothing would happen in any event in terms                 
  of affecting the Constitution until the next phase, for this                 
  state, which would be consideration of the ratification of                   
  an actual proposed amendment.  So this is just kind of                       
  sending a letter to our delegation saying, hey, how about                    
  considering this?  I'm comfortable this is isn't going to                    
  cause anything to happen that we're not in control of."                      
                                                                               
  Number 691                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. DAVIDSON:  "I guess that's fine, I guess I'm                            
  uncomfortable with it because of the lack of information                     
  available."                                                                  
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "Sure.  Rep. Kott?"                                        
                                                                               
  Number 703                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. KOTT:  "I think you've pretty much clarified the intent                 
  of the resolution.  We're doing nothing more than asking                     
  Congress to take some action to pass a proposal that would                   
  amend the United States Constitution, and I think we all                     
  know that it's pretty tough to amend the U.S. Constitution.                  
  In each congressional session there are over 1,000                           
  proposals.  But none of them make it out of one house or the                 
  other.  They just kind of die in Congress.  And I think when                 
  you look at the ones that have made it out, it does take a                   
  very lengthy period of time; the average time span for a                     
  constitutional amendment to be ratified is three and a half                  
  years.  It can take as long as seven years, which is                         
  generally the considered time limitation; once the seven                     
  years runs to the end there then the amendment basically                     
  dies, and that's what happened with the last one dealing                     
  with the Equal Rights Amendment.  Just to understand the                     
  intent of it, I think you can recognize that there is                        
  potential violation with the Separation of Powers Act, and                   
  certainly with the concept of Federalism.  And the courts,                   
  perhaps, have gone way overboard since Madison's days in                     
  1801.  How do you overturn a court decision?  This is one of                 
  the ways."                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. DAVIDSON:  "Well, my feeling is still, even a                           
  constitutional journey starts with the first step, and if                    
  this is the first step, but it's the wrong step, then I'm                    
  uncomfortable with it."  Rep. Davidson reiterated his                        
  request for more factual testimony from a legal expert,                      
  particularly on constitutional law.                                          
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "Any further discussion?"                                  
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Number 720                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. JAMES:  "I'd move this resolution out of the committee                  
  with individual recommendations and zero fiscal note, as                     
  attached."                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "We have a motion to move.  Is there                       
  objection?"                                                                  
                                                                               
  REP. DAVIDSON presented objection.                                           
                                                                               
  REP. NORDLUND:  "I'd like to comment that I do support the                   
  intent of the resolution.  I don't think any of us would                     
  want to get into a situation where we would have the court                   
  system taking over legislative powers of taxation.  But I                    
  kind of think that it's a little bit of a Chicken Little                     
  situation here, frankly.  Is there really that much of a                     
  problem?  I don't think so.  And I'm concerned that it might                 
  just be an opportunity to take shots at the federal court.                   
  And maybe they deserve it in some cases, but -- I support                    
  the resolution, but I just, frankly, don't think there's                     
  probably that much need for it."                                             
                                                                               
  REP. DAVIDSON:  "I think, in addition, we heard the comment                  
  that the courts have gone overboard.  Perhaps so, in some                    
  areas.  But maybe not in others.  It's one of these                          
  debatable kinds of things.  So, I would maintain my                          
  objection at this point until we have more information.                      
  And, again, I appreciate the intent here."                                   
                                                                               
  REP. JAMES:  "Just one comment that I would have, on that                    
  point.  That is, that I believe very strongly in a                           
  government of the people.  And I believe that the power of                   
  taxation is the power of the people, either by their own                     
  vote or by the vote of those people who they've authorized                   
  to vote for them.  And that would be their local people that                 
  have opted to let them charge taxes.  And I don't think                      
  anyone else has the right to do that.  And so that's why I                   
  support this resolution."                                                    
                                                                               
  Number 750                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "Objection is maintained.  May we have a                   
  roll call vote please?"                                                      
                                                                               
  A roll call vote was taken by the committee.                                 
  Representatives Green, Kott, Nordlund, James, Phillips and                   
  Porter voted "Yea"; Representative Davidson voted "Nay".                     
  HJR 60 was therefore moved out of committee.                                 
  HB 362 - CHILD SUPPORT:CRIMINAL/CIVIL REMEDIES                               
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER introduced discussion of HB 362, welcoming                   
  first Phillip Petrie.                                                        
                                                                               
  Number 765                                                                   
                                                                               
  PHILLIP PETRIE, Operations Manager, Child Support                            
  Enforcement Division, introduced himself and MARY GAY,                       
  Director, Child Support Enforcement Division, both of whom                   
  were present to testify with regard to HB 362.                               
                                                                               
  MARY GAY, Director, Child Support Enforcement Division,                      
  presented testimony in support of HB 362.  "The Child                        
  Support Enforcement Division supports and requests that you                  
  pass CS HB 362 because this legislation would allow the                      
  division to overcome recent court decisions regarding the                    
  statute of limitations in child support cases.  The current                  
  statute of limitations is ten years.  Without this                           
  legislation it would require that the division send several                  
  thousand cases to law to obtain judgments on the cases in                    
  order to protect the arrears for the children and for the                    
  state of Alaska.  Also, the other section of the legislation                 
  concerning the aiding and abetting in the nonpayment of                      
  child support; this is one of the areas that is most                         
  difficult to collect on.  And it's because of the                            
  intentional transfer of assets to avoid the payment of child                 
  support."                                                                    
                                                                               
  Number 778                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. JAMES:  "I feel very strongly about people who do                       
  fraudulent things to get out of any kind of an obligation.                   
  I feel very strongly about that.  On the flip side of that,                  
  though, I have a lot of sympathy for some child support                      
  cases where a second family is put in jeopardy to protect                    
  the first family.  Not that I think people should walk away                  
  from their obligation, but I've seen some efforts by the                     
  Child Support Enforcement, not only in this state but in                     
  other states, that I believe have - because the law is on                    
  their side, they don't take anything into consideration.                     
  Now, I understand what this is, Phil, and maybe you can                      
  answer for me; is this to hold a second person liable for                    
  giving someone else the freedom to do that?  Say, for                        
  instance, is this if someone were married a second time, and                 
  he put all of his assets in his second wife's name?  And                     
  then he doesn't work someplace, so he doesn't have to pay                    
  child support?  Is that the kind of thing that was                           
  happening?"                                                                  
                                                                               
  MR. PETRIE:  "You're absolutely correct."                                    
                                                                               
  REP. JAMES:  "Does this, then, does this affect anyone else                  
  who wouldn't be doing that, in a negative way?"                              
                                                                               
  Number 800                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. PETRIE:  "No, ma'am, it does not.  It is specifically                    
  designed to affect those individuals - and it's not just                     
  someone who would marry someone, but friends and relatives;                  
  that is, we have demonstrated cases that we're preparing now                 
  for court, where someone either forms corporations,                          
  businesses or transfers all their assets.  There has to be                   
  (1) a support order in place prior, because they have to                     
  know that they have an obligation to pay; and (2) they have                  
  to intentionally do it.  And that's exactly what it's                        
  designed to do.  And there are many instances of transfers                   
  of fishing permits to brothers and other relatives, and then                 
  that person fishes, and the money still goes to the obligor,                 
  but technically, we can't hold the brother responsible for                   
  the payments.                                                                
                                                                               
  "The same way with forming a corporation or a company.                       
  Current spouses in one particular case formed a major                        
  trucking company driving these long haul double-trailer                      
  trucks for construction and gravel.  They do not have CDLs                   
  or commercial drivers licenses.  The business makes money.                   
  It has contracts.  But when you send a withholding order to                  
  the business they say that their husbands are not employed.                  
  Obviously, the husbands are doing the driving and they are                   
  doing the maintenance on the vehicles.  That's the type of                   
  case we're looking for."                                                     
                                                                               
  REP. JAMES:  "Mr. Chairman, if I might follow up just on                     
  that issue.  My next question is:  That's fraud, no matter                   
  who they owe the money to.  Why should we just do this for                   
  child support?  Isn't there already a provision in the law                   
  when there's fraud and there's a debt?   And there's a                       
  judgement?  That you can find these people guilty of fraud?"                 
                                                                               
  Number 816                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. PETRIE:  "There are general provisions for defrauding                    
  anyone, but you have to usually show that you have a                         
  contract; you have to show that you have something to build                  
  (a case around), and that there's an action under the law.                   
  The AGs tell us that we don't have that clearly, in the                      
  current statutes in the law, and that child support -- I                     
  don't know of any other area where someone has had a                         
  judgement, say, because they've owed something to a private                  
  person, and then they started a new business that that                       
  private person has charged them with fraud.  We've run this                  
  particular legislation by the Attorney General's office that                 
  we work with in Anchorage, and they feel it is a valuable                    
  asset because of the nature of how people transfer those                     
  assets.  Probably the only other place that I would know                     
  that something like this takes place regularly is in the                     
  drug industry, and they have the asset seizure and the                       
  forfeiture provisions of the federal statute.  You don't                     
  have anything similar, and I'm not asking for anything                       
  similar, in state statute.  But it's a laundering of money                   
  and assets."                                                                 
                                                                               
  Number 829                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. JAMES:  "I guess that what it generally does in all                     
  other issues, it becomes a matter of economics, as to                        
  whether or not it is worth taking that to court to find out                  
  whether or not they're fraudulent and that sort of thing.                    
  And I'm wondering about the economics in this.  Is this                      
  going to close the gap of the amount of money that it's                      
  going to cost to do that so that it will be financially                      
  feasible to do this?  Or is this opening up something that's                 
  just going to spend more money to get less?"                                 
                                                                               
  Number 837                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. PETRIE:  "It narrows the ability to litigate and to                      
  avoid the allegation that they did that.  Currently, we                      
  could take them to court, and we could fight for years to                    
  try to get the money under the general fraud statute, but                    
  this particularly sets out standards.  It says, if you do                    
  this, and you know this, then this is the statute we can                     
  charge you under.  And it would make it clear, and we                        
  believe would cut costs, and it would substantially increase                 
  collections."                                                                
                                                                               
  Number 844                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. JAMES:  "I am concerned any time that we take the                       
  rights away from someone without having due process for                      
  them.  In other words, it could be assumed that maybe                        
  they're doing this, and maybe there's some legal reason why                  
  they're not?  Is that ever a case?"                                          
                                                                               
  MS. GAY:  "They have to have due process, because it will go                 
  through court."                                                              
                                                                               
  MR. PETRIE:  "It's a criminal charge, so they have the due                   
  process in court.  And if it's a felony, it would go before                  
  a grand jury; if it's a misdemeanor, it would be brought                     
  before the court.  So that the due process issue is clearly                  
  there for them to argue that it was an innocent                              
  misrepresentation, or they didn't know."                                     
                                                                               
  Number 850                                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. GAY:  "Also, in most cases, if you started to bring the                  
  action, people, if they realized the penalty involved, would                 
  probably come to a settlement, and we wouldn't have to have                  
  the expense.  And I also believe that this legislation, when                 
  one or two cases occur, will send a message to society:                      
  That this type of activity is going to be met with penalty.                  
  And they will refrain from doing so."                                        
                                                                               
  REP. JAMES:  "I like that position."                                         
                                                                               
  Number 860                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "I might add that you might want to look                   
  at and perhaps even track it down in the Senate and support                  
  the Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act.  It came through this                  
  committee, and as a matter of fact it was sponsored by this                  
  committee.  It would cover assets that were transferred in                   
  order to evade your obligation also.  Which will give you                    
  the right to go after them even though that boat was                         
  transferred to the brother.  It has a reasonable standard                    
  for establishing that that was the cause of the transfer."                   
                                                                               
  Number 866                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. JAMES:  "I remember that bill going through here, and                   
  that was one of the things I was talking about in the first                  
  place.  Because I'd like to have the law be tight enough                     
  that it's not just child support, but it's all these other                   
  areas that would preclude people from doing these fraudulent                 
  transfers.  That was my first point."                                        
                                                                               
  MR. PETRIE:  "I admit, Mr. Chairman, and Rep. James, I was                   
  unaware that that bill was moving through the House."                        
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "It's out of the House."                                   
                                                                               
  MS. LOPER:  "It's in Senate Labor & Commerce, and - " (Side                  
  A of tape ends abruptly.)                                                    
                                                                               
  TAPE 94-58, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
                                                                               
  (Text at beginning of Side B cut off.)                                       
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "...evidence to support that this was a                    
  transfer to get out of this obligation is in the action of                   
  the transfer itself; in other words, if there were not                       
  adequate compensation passed, or received, or any of those                   
  kinds of considerations that made it a dubious market value                  
  transfer, then the burden shifts to him to prove that he                     
  wasn't doing it in order to get out of that obligation."                     
                                                                               
  Number 023                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. NORDLUND:  "I definitely support the bill, but I would                  
  note that it creates a new class of crime, some of which is                  
  a Class B, Class A, and even a Class C; Class A and B                        
  misdemeanors and Class C felony, and I don't see any fiscal                  
  note here from the Department of Corrections.  If there's                    
  any utility in this I assume that there are people that it                   
  would actually be enforced upon, and that there would be an                  
  impact on the Department of Corrections, and there should be                 
  a fiscal note here."                                                         
                                                                               
  Number 040                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. PETRIE:  "Our experience, at least, in the last five to                  
  six years, is that we're not getting incarceration, and even                 
  in criminal nonsupport cases, that our primary aim is to                     
  recover the money, and not to incarcerate people, and we                     
  wouldn't use this against people that don't have the assets                  
  to pay.  If there is any incarceration, it's been for very                   
  short periods of time, and usually within that short period                  
  of time they come up with the money or a substantial part of                 
  the money.  Most recently, in 1992, two men spent four days                  
  in jail over a weekend until they could come up with the                     
  money, $10,000 and $10,400 each, (before each) could come                    
  out.  And it was a matter of arranging the financing.  I                     
  don't anticipate realistically that even under the Class A                   
  felony that any judge in the state would sentence someone to                 
  a period of incarceration.  It also tracks with current                      
  federal legislation called the Family Support Recovery Act,                  
  which makes it a felony not to pay child support in the                      
  amount of $5,000, a federal felony.  One of the things that                  
  that did, it said states have to exhaust all remedies first,                 
  and this would keep us out of going into the federal court                   
  quite as quickly.  First offense is a federal misdemeanor.                   
                                                                               
  "But this really, as Mary Gay stated, places pressure on                     
  someone that has the assets, to come up with the money to                    
  pay the child support.  It's within the realm of possibility                 
  that a judge could sentence someone, but it's highly                         
  doubtful.  And in all the cases that I've dealt with in the                  
  past three years, one sentence was 120 days; they suspended                  
  110; he never served ten days; we sent it back, and the                      
  judge imposed the ten days.  So.  It really is not a real                    
  burden, I don't believe, on the Department of Corrections.                   
  You're probably looking at maybe 10 to 20 of these cases                     
  prosecuted a year, and we're hoping that the deterrent value                 
  will even not necessitate that."                                             
                                                                               
  Number 091                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. NORDLUND:  "I just want to point out though, that we're                 
  talking about the person who aids in the nonpayment of child                 
  support, not the person who actually didn't pay the support,                 
  who could be put in jail here, so if you were talking about                  
  the individual who actually was supposed to be making the                    
  child support payments, obviously it would be counter-                       
  productive if they were in jail, because they wouldn't even                  
  have the opportunity to make money to pay the child support.                 
  This applies to folks who aid - not the obligors                             
  themselves."                                                                 
                                                                               
  Number 114                                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. GAY:  "The person that aids in doing something like that                 
  does it for a benefit, for them, usually.  For themselves,                   
  or for the person who is close to them.  I believe that this                 
  legislation is like drunk-driving laws.  We have very stiff                  
  drunk-driving laws these days, and it does deter individuals                 
  from driving while intoxicated.   And I should hope that                     
  this legislation would do the same thing; deter individuals                  
  from taking part in activities like this.  And that obligors                 
  would pay their child support."                                              
                                                                               
  REP. NORDLUND:  "I am completely in support of the intent of                 
  the bill."                                                                   
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Number 130                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. KOTT:  "I am going to air my same concerns as I did in                  
  an earlier committee.  Basically, in conjunction with what                   
  Rep. Nordlund has already brought out.  And that is, under                   
  this provision here, aiding and abetting, we have a Class C                  
  felony situation that's there, even though the crime for                     
  nonpayment of support is a Class A misdemeanor.  So we have                  
  placed a higher degree or a higher penalty if you're aiding                  
  and abetting.  And a situation that comes to mind to me                      
  would be, somebody comes knocking on the door, a woman                       
  answers the door, there's some questions about where her                     
  husband's at or what he's doing, and (the person at the                      
  door) identifies himself, and she is reluctant to give him                   
  the information.  Her husband has an ex-wife and some                        
  children that he's supposed to be supporting.   They are                     
  compelling her to provide the information, even though, if                   
  this were in court - now, the court wouldn't have a wife                     
  testify against her husband.  Yet this is more of an                         
  administrative matter, and we're allowing it to occur here,                  
  with a potential penalty of it being a felony, and losing                    
  all the rights associated with felony activities."                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Number 155                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. PETRIE:  "I believe the courts do require a wife to                      
  testify if that wife is also engaged in a criminal act with                  
  the husband.  I'm sure, maybe someone from the Department of                 
  Law can clarify, but I've been in law enforcement 28 years,                  
  and there are instances --it's true that a wife can't be                     
  compelled to testify about a husband's criminal act, but if                  
  that wife is involved in criminal activity, then she can be.                 
  But it's not even a compelling thing in this nature.  We                     
  build a case by going back and researching property records,                 
  researching business records, researching bank account                       
  records, and we can identify a trail of transfers of when                    
  someone transfers the assets.  You can clearly show that                     
  they owe child support because they have a court                             
  administrative order and the obligation.  It's not as simple                 
  as just going up and knocking on the door and asking where                   
  your husband is.  We have to build a case that the grand                     
  jury in a felony case would accept, or that the courts would                 
  accept or that the courts would accept even in a misdemeanor                 
  case, to show that we can prove the intentional and willful                  
  acts of that individual.  And I do believe a wife or any                     
  relative could be held under those circumstances, to come in                 
  and testify or provide the information, if they are a part                   
  of the criminal enterprise.  I'm loosely terming it, but                     
  it's a term that you use, it's a criminal enterprise, when                   
  someone gets together to evade a law.  So, I don't believe                   
  that's a real concern, and I think that the AG's office                      
  would have brought it to our attention at the time, because                  
  they clearly understand that we're talking about current                     
  spouses, friends and relatives when we proposed this                         
  legislation or when this legislation was drafted."                           
                                                                               
  Number 194                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. KOTT:  "I would be a little bit concerned whether or                    
  not they would in fact be guilty by association, or would be                 
  a party to the criminal act, until such time as they failed                  
  to provide the information.  Are they innocent until proven                  
  guilty or are they guilty by association to the husband, who                 
  has failed to render payment?"                                               
                                                                               
  Number 202                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. PETRIE:  "No, it's not guilty by association.  It                        
  they're operating a business, and the business is making                     
  money, and we send a withholding order to the business that                  
  says, we understand that John Jones, your husband, works for                 
  your business and they send us back what we call an answer                   
  to inquiries, that by statute is supposed to be truthful,                    
  and they sign, and it's notarized, and they say, John Jones                  
  doesn't work for me, never has worked for me, yet we can                     
  prove through circumstances that that's his only means of                    
  support; for instance, the people with the CDLs and the                      
  trucks, it's not comprehensible, that these particular                       
  people -- We can show that the husbands are the ones that                    
  are driving the trucks, maintaining the trucks, yet the                      
  business and all of the bank records and in this particular                  
  case the husbands are even signing the wife's names to                       
  checks, that are going through the business accounts.  So,                   
  that's the kind of effort that you have to put into to prove                 
  this case.  I believe the court would just...dismiss a case                  
  if we brought it to it on a basis of association merely                      
  because someone was married to an obligor that owed child                    
  support."                                                                    
                                                                               
  Number 227                                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. GAY: "Rep. Kott, I'd also like to mention that the                       
  division has many court actions, and a limited amount of                     
  funds for the Department of Law, and that we do not                          
  frivolously bring suits.  We make sure that everything is                    
  covered before we initiate an action, and only in the most                   
  severe cases do we initiate that action."                                    
                                                                               
  Number 238                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. NORDLUND:  "I just wanted to make one other comment                     
  that mitigates against my concern that there not being a                     
  fiscal note here from Corrections, and that is that to the                   
  extent the Child Support Enforcement Division is able to                     
  collect payments, will have a direct impact on the payments                  
  we make for AFDC and other forms of welfare payments."  Rep.                 
  Nordlund further observed that it would be difficult to                      
  predict the effect, but an effect there would be.                            
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "That's quite true.  We're always                          
  conscious of things that might cost money but we never take                  
  any money away from those agencies that we've saved a little                 
  for, so...with that in mind, what is the wish of the                         
  committee?"                                                                  
                                                                               
                                                                               
  REP. NORDLUND:  "I would move that we pass out HB 362 with                   
  individual recommendations and a zero fiscal note."                          
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER:  "Is there discussion?  Is there objection?                 
  Seeing none, the bill is moved.  Thank you."                                 
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The House Judiciary Standing Committee adjourned at 2:30                     
  p.m.                                                                         

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