Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/24/1995 01:12 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                              
                         April 24, 1995                                        
                           1:12 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Representative Brian Porter, Chairman                                         
 Representative Joe Green, Vice Chairman                                       
 Representative Con Bunde                                                      
 Representative Bettye Davis                                                   
 Representative Al Vezey                                                       
 Representative Cynthia Toohey                                                 
 Representative David Finkelstein                                              
                                                                               
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
                                                                               
 None                                                                          
                                                                               
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
                                                                               
 HB 226:    "An Act permitting the provision of different retirement           
            and health benefits to employees based on marital                  
            status."                                                           
                                                                               
            PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                            
                                                                               
 SB 3:      "An Act relating to an antitrust exemption for persons             
            engaged in the fishing industry."                                  
                                                                               
            PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                            
                                                                               
 HJR 40:    Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State            
            of Alaska repealing provisions establishing and relating           
            to the budget reserve fund.                                        
                                                                               
            PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                            
                                                                               
 HB 35:     "An Act relating to sexual misconduct as grounds for               
            imposing disciplinary sanctions on persons licensed by             
            the State Medical Board."                                          
                                                                               
            PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                            
                                                                               
 HB 307:    "An Act prohibiting the sale of pull-tabs; and providing           
            for an effective date."                                            
                                                                               
            SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                            
                                                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PETE KELLY                                                     
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 513                                                       
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-2327                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsored HB 226                                         
                                                                               
 MARSHA BUCK, President                                                        
 Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)                    
 8445 Kimberly Street                                                          
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
 Telephone:  (907)  789-6167                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of CSHB 226                           
                                                                               
 PATRICIA DOUGLAS, Member                                                      
 Pharmacy Board                                                                
 Chugiak, AK  99567                                                            
 Telephone:  (907)  688-6933                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 226                             
                                                                               
 TYSON NEVIL                                                                   
 P.O. Box 82176                                                                
 Fairbanks, AK 99708                                                           
 Telephone:  (907)  474-4655                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of CSHB 226                           
                                                                               
 MARGARET BERCK, Attorney                                                      
 Alaska Chapter, American Civil Liberties Union                                
 227 7th Street                                                                
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
 Telephone:  (907)  586-3309                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of CSHB 226                           
                                                                               
 MARK TUMEO                                                                    
 1324 Summit                                                                   
 Fairbanks, AK 99712                                                           
 Telephone:  (907)  474-6090                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of CSHB 226                           
                                                                               
 JAN SIEBERTS                                                                  
 Alaska Bankers Association                                                    
 P.O. Box 100600                                                               
 Anchorage, AK 99510                                                           
 Telephone:  (907)  265-2991                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed HB 226                                           
                                                                               
 ANNE CARPENETI, Committee Aide                                                
 House Judiciary Committee                                                     
 State Capitol, Room 120                                                       
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-4990                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information on HB 226                           
                                                                               
 PAM NEAL, President                                                           
 Alaska State Chamber of Commerce                                              
 217 - 2nd Street, Suite 201                                                   
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
 Telephone:  (907)  586-2323                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed HB 226                                           
                                                                               
 THOMAS OWENS                                                                  
 1500 West 33rd, No. 200                                                       
 Anchorage, AK 99503                                                           
 Telephone:  (907)  276-3963                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information on HB 226                           
                                                                               
 FRANK DILLON, Executive Director                                              
 Alaska Trucking Association                                                   
 3443 Minnesota Drive                                                          
 Anchorage, AK 99501                                                           
 Telephone:  (907)  276-1149                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 226                             
                                                                               
 DANIEL COLLISON, Vice President                                               
 Southeast Alaska Gay and Lesbian Association                                  
 P.O. Box 21466                                                                
 Juneau, AK 99803                                                              
 Telephone:  (907)  789-5001                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed CSHB 226                                         
                                                                               
 KATE WATTUM, Professor                                                        
 University of Alaska Fairbanks                                                
 P.O. Box 84397                                                                
 Fairbanks, AK 99708                                                           
 Telephone:  (907)  455-6639                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 226                             
                                                                               
 MARK NEUMAYR, Attorney                                                        
 University of Fairbanks                                                       
 P.O. Box 82876                                                                
 Fairbanks, AK 99708                                                           
 Telephone:  (907)  474-7259                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 226                             
                                                                               
 SCHOEN PARNELL, Director                                                      
 Christian Coalition                                                           
 3142 Princeton                                                                
 Anchorage, AK 99508                                                           
 Telephone;  (907)  562-1776                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 226                             
                                                                               
 BEVERLY MCCLENDON                                                             
 P.O. Box 84397                                                                
 Fairbanks, AK 99708                                                           
 Telephone:  (907)  455-6639                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of CSHB 226                           
                                                                               
 SARAH BOESSER, Representative                                                 
 Committee for Equality                                                        
 P.O. Box 34202                                                                
 Juneau, AK 99803                                                              
 Telephone:  (907)  789-9604                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of CSHB 226                           
                                                                               
 TALMADGE BAILEY                                                               
 P.O. Box 34542                                                                
 Juneau, AK 99803                                                              
 Telephone:  (907)  790-2519                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of CSHB 226                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR JIM DUNCAN                                                            
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 119                                                       
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-4767                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced SB 3                                          
                                                                               
 KRIS NOROSZ, Executive Director                                               
 Southeast Alaska Seiners Association                                          
 P.O. Box 805                                                                  
 Petersburg, AK 99833                                                          
 Telephone:  (907)  772-4446                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of SB 3                               
                                                                               
 ED CRANE, President                                                           
 Commercial Fishing Agriculture Bank                                           
 2550 Denali Street, Number 1201                                               
 Anchorage, AK 99503                                                           
 Telephone:  (907)  276-2007                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of SB 3                               
                                                                               
 RICHARD W. ISETT, Commercial Fisherman                                        
 P.O. Box 33773                                                                
 Juneau, AK 99803                                                              
 Telephone:  (907)  789-5714                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 3                                         
                                                                               
 DONNA PARKER, Fisheries Specialist                                            
 Department of Commerce and Economic Development                               
 P.O. Box 110800                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99811-0800                                                         
 Telephone;  (907)  465-5464                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of SB 3                               
                                                                               
 JERRY MCCUNE, President                                                       
 United Fishermen of Alaska                                                    
 211  4th Street, No. 112                                                      
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
 Telephone:  (907)  586-2820                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of SB 3                               
                                                                               
 DWIGHT PERKINS, Special Assistant                                             
 Office of the Commissioner                                                    
 Department of Labor                                                           
 P. O. Box 110700                                                              
 Juneau, AK 99811-0700                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-2700                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 3                             
                                                                               
 JOHN BITNEY, Legislative Assistant                                            
   to Representative Terry Martin                                              
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 502                                                       
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-3783                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HJR 40                                        
                                                                               
 JACK FARGNOLI, Senior Policy Analyst                                          
 Office of Management and Budget                                               
 Office of the Governor                                                        
 P.O. Box 110001                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99811-0001                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-4678                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed HJR 40                                           
                                                                               
 NEIL SLOTNICK                                                                 
 Department of Law                                                             
 P.O. Box 110300                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99811-0300                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-6735                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information on HJR 40                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE SEAN PARNELL                                                   
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 515                                                       
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-2995                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HB 35                                         
                                                                               
 CATHERINE REARDON, Director                                                   
 Division of Occupational Licensing                                            
 Department of Commerce                                                        
 P.O. Box 110800                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99811-0800                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)  465-2538                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information on HB 35                            
                                                                               
 JAYNE ANDREEN, Executive Director                                             
 Council on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault                                 
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 P.O. Box 111200                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
 Telephone:  (907)  465-4356                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 35                              
                                                                               
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 226                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: MARITAL STATUS AND RETIREMENT BENEFITS                           
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KELLY,Rokeberg                                  
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG              ACTION                                      
 03/03/95       565    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/03/95       565    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, HES, JUDICIARY                     
 03/18/95              (H)   STA AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 03/18/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 03/20/95       808    (H)   STA RPT 4DP 1AM                                   
 03/20/95       808    (H)   DP: JAMES, PORTER, GREEN, IVAN                    
 03/20/95       808    (H)   AM: ROBINSON                                      
 03/20/95       808    (H)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (ADMIN/ALL DEPTS)                
 03/28/95              (H)   HES AT 02:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/28/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 04/06/95              (H)   HES AT 02:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 04/11/95              (H)   HES AT 02:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 04/18/95              (H)   HES AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 106                       
 04/18/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 04/21/95      1422    (H)   HES RPT  CS(HES) NT 1DP 4NR 1AM                   
 04/21/95      1422    (H)   DP: TOOHEY                                        
 04/21/95      1422    (H)   NR: G.DAVIS,BUNDE,ROBINSON,BRICE                  
 04/21/95      1422    (H)   AM: VEZEY                                         
 04/21/95      1423    (H)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (ADM) 3/20/95                    
 04/24/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
                                                                              
 BILL:  SB   3                                                                
 SHORT TITLE: ANTITRUST EXEMPTION FOR FISHERMEN                                
 SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S)DUNCAN, Zharoff, Hoffman, Taylor, Halford,              
 Lincoln, Pearce, Donley, Salo, Leman; REPRESENTATIVE(S) Ivan,                 
 Grussendorf                                                                   
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG              ACTION                                      
 01/06/95        13    (S)   PREFILE RELEASED - 1/6/95                         
 01/16/95        13    (S)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/16/95        13    (S)   RES, JUD                                          
 01/17/95        35    (S)   COSPONSOR:  ZHAROFF                               
 01/25/95              (S)   RES AT 03:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205                
 01/25/95              (S)   MINUTE(RES)                                       
 01/27/95              (S)   RES AT 03:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205                
 01/27/95              (S)   MINUTE(RES)                                       
 02/01/95       133    (S)   COSPONSOR:  HOFFMAN                               
 02/03/95              (S)   RES AT 03:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205                
 02/03/95              (S)   MINUTE(RES)                                       
 02/06/95       180    (S)   RES RPT  5DP                                      
 02/06/95       180    (S)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (LABOR #1)                       
 02/22/95              (S)   JUD AT 01:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211                    
 02/27/95              (S)   JUD AT 01:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211                    
 02/27/95              (S)   MINUTE(JUD)                                       
 02/28/95       417    (S)   JUD RPT  3DP 2NR                                  
 02/28/95       417    (S)   ZERO FN (LABOR #1)                                
 02/28/95       425    (S)   COSPONSOR(S): TAYLOR                              
 03/02/95              (S)   RLS AT 11:25 AM FAHRENKAMP ROOM 203               
 03/02/95              (S)   MINUTE(RLS)                                       
 03/07/95       516    (S)   RULES TO CALENDAR  3/7/95                         
 03/07/95       521    (S)   READ THE SECOND TIME                              
 03/07/95       522    (S)   COSPONSOR(S):HALFORD,LINCOLN,PEARCE,              
 03/07/95       522    (S)   DONLEY, SALO, LEMAN                               
 03/07/95       521    (S)   ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN                    
                             CONSENT                                           
 03/07/95       522    (S)   READ THE THIRD TIME  SB 3                         
 03/07/95       522    (S)   PASSED Y18 E2                                     
 03/07/95       525    (S)   TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                
 03/08/95       632    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/08/95       632    (H)   FISHERIES, RESOURCES, JUDICIARY                   
 03/08/95       666    (H)   CROSS SPONSOR(S): GRUSSENDORF, IVAN               
 03/20/95              (H)   FSH AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 124                       
 03/20/95              (H)   MINUTE(FSH)                                       
 03/22/95       851    (H)   FSH RPT  2DP 1NR                                  
 03/22/95       851    (H)   DP: ELTON, MOSES                                  
 03/22/95       851    (H)   NR: AUSTERMAN                                     
 03/22/95       851    (H)   SENATE ZERO FISCAL NOTE (LABOR)                   
                             2/6/95                                            
 04/12/95              (H)   RES AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 124                       
 04/12/95              (H)   MINUTE(RES)                                       
 04/13/95      1315    (H)   RES RPT  6DP 1NR                                  
 04/13/95      1316    (H)   DP: NICHOLIA,DAVIES,OGAN,AUSTERMAN                
 04/13/95      1316    (H)   DP: GREEN, WILLIAMS                               
 04/13/95      1316    (H)   NR: KOTT                                          
 04/13/95      1316    (H)   SENATE ZERO FISCAL NOTE (LABOR)                   
                             2/6/95                                            
 04/24/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
                                                                              
 BILL:  HJR 40                                                                
 SHORT TITLE: REPEAL BUDGET RESERVE FUND(ART IX SEC 17)                        
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MARTIN                                          
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 04/05/95      1025    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 04/05/95      1025    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY, FINANCE                 
 04/18/95      1341    (H)   STA RPT   3DP 4NR                                 
 04/18/95      1341    (H)   DP: JAMES, PORTER, GREEN                          
 04/18/95      1341    (H)   NR: IVAN, ROBINSON, WILLIS, OGAN                  
 04/18/95      1341    (H)   FISCAL NOTE (GOV)                                 
 04/18/95              (H)   STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 04/18/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 04/24/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
                                                                              
 BILL:  HB  35                                                                
 SHORT TITLE: SEXUAL MISCONDUCT BY MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL                        
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) PARNELL,Bunde,Robinson,Toohey                   
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG              ACTION                                      
 01/06/95        29    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/16/95        29    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/16/95        29    (H)   HES, JUD, FIN                                     
 01/19/95        90    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): BUNDE                               
 02/06/95       256    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): ROBINSON                            
 04/13/95              (H)   HES AT 02:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 04/13/95              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 04/18/95      1342    (H)   HES RPT  CS(HES) NEW TITLE 4DP                    
 04/18/95      1343    (H)   DP: G.DAVIS,BUNDE,TOOHEY,ROBINSON                 
 04/18/95      1343    (H)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DCED)                           
 04/24/95      1485    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): TOOHEY                              
 04/24/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
                                                                              
 BILL:  HB 307                                                                
 SHORT TITLE: PULL-TABS PROHIBITED                                             
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) TOOHEY,Phillips,James,Martin                    
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 04/12/95      1284    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 04/12/95      1284    (H)   JUDICIARY, FINANCE                                
 04/19/95      1391    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): MARTIN                              
 04/24/95              (H)   JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
                                                                               
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-50, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 The House Judiciary Standing Committee was called to order at 1:12            
 p.m. on Monday, April 24, 1995.  All members were present.  The               
 hearing was teleconferenced to Petersburg, Anchorage, Fairbanks and           
 Chugiak.  CHAIRMAN BRIAN PORTER stated that the following bills               
 would be heard:  CSHB 226(HES), SB 3, HJR 40, and CSHB 35.                    
                                                                               
 CSHB 226(HES) - MARITAL STATUS AND RETIREMENT BENEFITS                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PETE KELLY, bill sponsor, introduced HB 226.  The              
 superior court has recently decided that unmarried couples are                
 entitled to the same employment benefits as married couples.  This            
 decision was a result of a broad interpretation of the language               
 found in the Human Rights Act which prohibits discrimination based            
 on marital status.  The court concluded the human rights directive            
 was violated when the University of Alaska refused health benefits            
 to the unmarried partners of university employees.  It is feared              
 this decision will have a far-reaching impact, and that the trickle           
 of grievances at the University of Alaska will become a flood in              
 other state agencies and finally to private industry as well.  It             
 is not a stretch to imagine Alascom, NBA and AFL-CIO, being sued in           
 the near future for failing to recognize domestic partners in their           
 benefits packages.  Because of the definition of "domestic partner"           
 it is not grounded in contract and tradition, as is marriage.  It             
 is a moving target and therefore impossible to predict what future            
 relationships would qualify under this umbrella.  The superior                
 court decision targets worker benefits to an unknown panoply of               
 partners who are able to attach themselves to state employees.  HB            
 226 intends to reduce the uncertainty employees face as a result of           
 a decision in planning their compensation packages, and to pre-empt           
 the possible onslaught of domestic partner relationships, created             
 solely to gain potential benefits.  He added that this is a fairly            
 typical change throughout statute.  What HB 226 in its original               
 form attempted to do is found throughout statute.  A  judge said              
 there was lacking legislative intent in a particular case.  Because           
 of that lack of legislative intent, the plaintiff was forced to               
 assume that the prohibition on discrimination based on marital                
 status was absolute.  In fact, there are plenty of other examples,            
 placed in the packets, five that we could find immediately.                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY said the other thing is that he has had a lot            
 of comments about this bill.  A lot of people consider it a hate              
 bill.  The fact is if discrimination exists, he is not necessarily            
 convinced, but maybe that is something we need to address.  It                
 cannot be done in this fashion, as the judge has done it, because             
 of the broad sweeping impact it will have on businesses and state             
 employees.  We are setting up businesses to put a big target on               
 them that says, "sue me."  It will be a lawyer's dream and an                 
 administrator's nightmare, as lawyers take companies and state                
 agencies to task, based on perceived discrimination, and an                   
 administrator's nightmare as they decide which domestic partner               
 relationship they should cover, and which they should not -                   
 basically whose boyfriend or girlfriend gets to come in under the             
 umbrella.  If they do not do it just right, they are going to be              
 sued big time.  Some lawyers have said they could go back six years           
 because of the statute of limitations and pull class action suits             
 out of the hat because of this bill.  He felt it was important not            
 to address discrimination against domestic partners in this manner,           
 and that we should adopt the original HB 226 before it was amended            
 in the HESS Committee.  That was his request.                                 
                                                                               
 MARCIA BUCK, President, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians             
 and Gays (PFLAG), testified in favor of the CS for HB 226.  PFLAG,            
 Juneau, was opposed to the original HB 226 because we believe it              
 discriminated against our sons and daughters, and friends on the              
 basis of marital status.  At that time, we felt that to have                  
 proceeded in this legislature with that bill that was openly                  
 discriminatory and flew in the face of the Alaska Constitution,               
 appeared to us to be unthinkable and reminiscent of governments in            
 some other countries, past and present, where there was                       
 discrimination against the people that the government intended to             
 serve.  We are pleased with the CS which removes that discriminator           
 language, and allows our sons and daughters and family members who            
 enter into committed long term relationships and domestic                     
 partnerships to accept benefits equal to those for other                      
 partnerships such as marriage.  We would not come to you for PFLAG,           
 asking for special rights for our family members, but we would come           
 to you for equal rights for family members who are gay and lesbian.           
                                                                               
 MS. BUCK said the sponsors of the bill have stated that it was                
 financially motivated, but we believe the CS as it now reads,                 
 defines and places reasonable parameters on the couples for whom              
 benefits would be available, and does so in a manner that does not            
 discriminate against people simply because they are homosexual.  We           
 believe the CS limits frivolous partnerships.                                 
                                                                               
 MS. BUCK explained that her daughter lives near Corvalis, and her             
 partner is employed by Oregon State University.  She is covered               
 under her partner's health insurance.  When they first moved to               
 Corvalis, they had no other health coverage, and it became crucial            
 that this coverage was crucial for her since she had severe allergy           
 problems when they first moved there.  The criteria in Oregon is              
 less stringent than the criteria proposed in this CS.  Even though            
 Oregon has financial difficulties, they have not found that to be             
 a burden on the state of Oregon.  In summary, PFLAG would like to             
 go on the record of being in support of the HESS CS for HB 226, and           
 in opposition to HB 226, as originally written.                               
                                                                               
 PATRICIA DOUGLAS, Member, Pharmacy Board, said this bill, working             
 with HB 227, will ensure that there is no misunderstanding on what            
 the law is in reference to health care for spouses only.  The                 
 impact is not fiscally sound for businesses in the private or                 
 public sectors.  She urged passage of these bills as originally               
 presented.  If we allow these to be forgotten, simply because it is           
 an uncomfortable issue, Alaskan voters will see that you are                  
 drawing a line as a political statement.  We need to address all              
 issues that affect the traditional family.  We need people in                 
 Juneau that are not afraid to stand up for all that is right,                 
 supporting traditional family values.  She urged the committee's              
 support of the original version of HB 226.                                    
                                                                               
 TYSON NEVIL spoke in support of HB 226 via teleconference.  He                
 urged this protection of families that would otherwise be denied              
 health benefits.  Representative Kelly is asking that the bill be             
 changed to eliminate the partnership clauses added in the HESS                
 committee.  If the partnership clause is dropped, the bill will be            
 an attempt to economically punish individuals who choose not to               
 marry into traditional families.  Economically and emotionally                
 committed families come in all shapes and sizes in today's                    
 culturally diverse America.  He believed the current CS for HB 226            
 reflects that diversity.  He urged the committee to support the CS.           
 The original version is an effort to impose moral values and                  
 prejudices on all of us.  The CS includes Alaskans who only want              
 equal protection under the law.                                               
                                                                               
 MARGARET BERCK, Attorney, Alaska Chapter of the American Civil                
 Liberties Union, spoke in support of the CS adopted by the House              
 HESS Committee.  We believe the definition of domestic partnership            
 as set out in that bill, would fair it out, frivolous                         
 relationships, and at the same time, would meet the constitutional            
 concerns that we believe were at issue in this bill.  From                    
 listening to other testimony that was presented before the House              
 HESS Committee, there was a considerable concern regarding some of            
 the impact that the legislation might have on private employers.              
 The bill will not impact private employers.  There is a federal law           
 that essentially deals with private employers, and the state                  
 provisions in this legislation would not turn that federal law and            
 the requirements that are set out in it.                                      
                                                                               
 MS. BERCK understood that when you are an employee at the                     
 university, and you choose to cover your partner, that money comes            
 out of your paycheck.  You get less money, and that virtually the             
 cost to the university is an administrative cost for adding on                
 those individual people.  The employee also bears the cost with               
 respect to adding these individuals to the pool of insured                    
 individuals that are related to or somehow associated with                    
 employees at the university.                                                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER did not think that was correct, that the employee             
 was the one bearing the cost to add another person to the insurance           
 policy.  He understood that while the employee would contribute to            
 this cost, there is an equal contribution by the employer, so that            
 costs proportionately go up with the amount of people covered, but            
 such a cost is above and beyond the administrative cost.                      
                                                                               
 MS. BERCK mentioned that studies have been done in other states               
 where domestic partnerships are recognized and the affects that has           
 had on insurance costs.  She felt that on the larger scheme, the              
 affect has not been significant.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 400                                                                    
                                                                               
 MARK TUMEO, Professor, University of Alaska Fairbanks, testified              
 via teleconference in favor of the CS.  He is a litigant in the               
 case mentioned about the cost of health care.  The expense to a               
 university per employee for health care insurance is approximately            
 $100 to $150 per month.  He urged passage of the CS.  The CS will             
 save the state money by allowing benefits for long term domestic              
 partners.  It will allow currently uninsured individuals to access            
 insurance.  The state will save money when uninsured individuals              
 get injured in public facilities.  For example, an uninsured woman            
 who miscarries, can run up over $100,000 in medical bills.  These             
 costs will end up being paid by Medicaid.  This bill will not                 
 affect private companies.  It is clear from a recent United States            
 Supreme Court ruling that the Employment Retirement Income Security           
 Act passed in 1974, pre-empts state law as the court ruled on                 
 benefit issues.                                                               
                                                                               
 JAN SIEBERTS, National Bankers Association (NBA), was confused                
 about the language on the second page, "Not withstanding the                  
 prohibition against employment discrimination on the basis of                 
 marital status under (a) of this section, an employer may refuse to           
 provide benefits to a person because the person is not legally                
 married to an employee of the employer without violating this                 
 chapter;"  Does that mean we have to apply these insurance benefits           
 to married people just because they are married to an employee?               
 That is what it sounds like.                                                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER thought that on line 30, "the employer may" is the            
 operative provision.  In other words, we are not saying that the              
 employer provision is saying that an employer may not provide                 
 insurance for a traditional spouse, without violating this chapter,           
 unless ... no, you are right.                                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said you can refuse it unless it is (a) or               
 (b).                                                                          
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER said you may have hit on something.  He did not               
 know if it was the original intent, but we do have the Co-Chairs of           
 HESS here.  One could read this, very strongly, that this says,               
 "employers will provide insurance to spouses or domestic partners."           
 He thought that was a contract that is within the power of the                
 employer to provide it or not to provide it, based on their own               
 agreement with their own employees.                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asked if we have an attorney present.                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER answered that yes, we do.                                     
                                                                               
 ANNE CARPENETI, Committee Aide, House Judiciary Committee, stated             
 that the language was awkwardly drafted, but thought the purpose of           
 it was to say that an employer may make a choice for giving                   
 employee benefits based on marital status if there is a marriage or           
 domestic partnership.                                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER understood the law right now to allow an employer             
 to engage in negotiations, and not get any insurance benefits, if             
 that is the case.                                                             
                                                                               
 MS. CARPENETI added that at a certain point when an employer gives            
 spousal benefits, then you run into the problem of the Title 18.80,           
 which prohibits discrimination based on marital status.  This is              
 kind of an exception to that, the way it is drafted.  It follows              
 the way the statute is drafted, which is a little bit awkward to              
 understand.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 525                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER said this then would provide that if that decision            
 is made, that you are going to provide health care benefits to an             
 employee that has a family package with it, that you are not                  
 violating the statutory provisions of this chapter against marital            
 or sex discrimination, unless you say we will not provide them to             
 a legally married person, which is obviously contrary to the                  
 agreement was that you already established.  Also, you won't refuse           
 to provide them for a domestic partner as defined throughout this             
 section.  So it does not take away the ability of an employer to              
 negotiate a health package.  Basically, what the court decision               
 says is that if you give benefits to a spouse, you must give                  
 benefits to a nonspouse.  What we are saying is that a nonspouse              
 means a domestic partner as defined by this, so that if you have a            
 nonmarried relationship other than this domestic partnership, you             
 may discriminate against them, and not provide them with health               
 insurance, and you would not be violating the anti-discrimination             
 statute.                                                                      
                                                                               
 MR. SIEBERTS clarified that the way he understands it is that if we           
 give insurance to our employees under this bill, we are not                   
 required to give the benefits to their spouses or their families.             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER said that is correct.                                         
                                                                               
 MR. SIEBERTS said they feel this will increase insurance rates to             
 the banks.  Our institution has 1,200 employees and provides                  
 insurance for spouses and families.  Even though the employee has             
 to contribute partially to that additional expense, our institution           
 contributes substantially.  If it substantially increased the cost            
 of providing this benefit to our employees, we will likely                    
 eliminate the benefit to all of our employees, which, in our case             
 would mean an additional 2,500 people that would be uninsured.                
 Even for us, it is a pretty competitive world out there, and we               
 have to keep our pencils sharp to compete with much larger and                
 tougher institutions than we are, and he thought that little                  
 businesses throughout the state would be in the same boat.  You               
 should be aware that this could have negative repercussions on                
 people who are insured today.  We do not want to kick those people            
 out of our plan; that is not the purpose.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 600                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked how substantial the increase would be.             
 Would it be 15 percent, or 5 percent?                                         
                                                                               
 MR. SIEBERTS said he did not know an exact amount.                            
                                                                               
 PAM NEAL, President, Alaska State Chamber of Commerce, stated that            
 the cost to expanding benefits would increase the cost to the state           
 of Alaska, and we have a concern considering that our number one              
 priority as an organization is that state spending be reduced, not            
 expanded.  Therefore, she felt this could be a problem in that                
 arena.  Secondly, there is confusion coming from the hearing in               
 HESS.  We heard testimony from an attorney that said private                  
 employers would be impacted, and yet we have testimony saying that            
 they will not be.  We fear that private employers would be                    
 impacted, because even if they were not affected initially, as                
 usually follows, there is a court case where someone sues because             
 the state employees would be discriminated against if they were not           
 covered, but private employees are not.  There would be a debate              
 about that in court, and eventually the private employers would               
 come under it.  But even if private employers do not come under it,           
 and even if we are able to continue the practice of not offering              
 benefits to anyone but our employee, and of course we do not even             
 have to offer benefits to our employees.  But those reasons that              
 you offer benefits are all still there.  You certainly like to have           
 employees who are enjoying the benefits of good health care,                  
 because they are going to be better, healthier employees, and the             
 other factor is the loyalty that offering good benefits provides.             
 In this regard, we feel that the private sector is already                    
 handicapped by the benefits that are offered by the state of                  
 Alaska.  It is quite difficult to keep employees in the private               
 sector here in Juneau, if there is a state job open.  They are gone           
 to that state job immediately because we cannot compete with the              
 state on the benefits that they already provide.  With this                   
 expansion of benefits, it just creates a wider gap, and a greater             
 disparity.  We are concerned that the only pool to draw private               
 sector employees from will become the group of those who cannot get           
 state jobs.  She felt it would be too costly for private employers            
 if they tried to participate, and it is too costly for the state.             
                                                                               
 Number 740                                                                    
                                                                               
 THOMAS OWENS, Attorney, testified via teleconference.  He thought             
 it would be worth checking to see if this legislation would be pre-           
 empted by (indiscernible).  He said they represent some of the                
 workers at the University of Alaska.  Judge Greene's analysis was             
 very straight forward.  She simply said that 18.80 prohibits                  
 discrimination based on marital status, change in marital status,             
 or parenthood status, in providing health care benefits.  If                  
 nothing changes, at least all state employees who are childless,              
 for example, could use the law to say that because the state is               
 paying for health care benefits for employees who have children,              
 that discrimination against single employees or childless employees           
 are entitled to the thought that the state would have to pay                  
 compensation to these people who do not have children so that they            
 would be treated the same as the state is treating people who do              
 have children.  The implications of this decision, and the path               
 that is before you are enormous regardless of whether it applies to           
 the private sector or not.                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked Mr. Owens what the affect would be on              
 private employers under the CS version.                                       
                                                                               
 MR. OWENS answered that the change to the bill literally creates a            
 married-like status for those people who are not married, as                  
 regards health care benefits.  There are over 100 provisions in               
 state law that allow or require discrimination based on marital               
 status, and the minute the bill passes, you are going to have to go           
 and change all of those other state laws that require                         
 discrimination based on marital status.  For example, the statutory           
 provisions concerning the teachers' retirement system provides that           
 an employee who is a participant in the teachers' retirement system           
 is allowed to amend their beneficiary designations to designate, as           
 a beneficiary, a dependent or a spouse, and it specifically uses              
 the term "spouse."  If you have this bill creating a "contract                
 spouse" then you are going to have to go through the rest of the              
 law and create that same opportunity for contract spouses, for                
 example, under the teachers' retirement system.  There are also               
 provisions that limit benefits to spouses.  If you eliminate those            
 provisions for spouses in one statute, you will have to go through            
 and eliminate the provision in other related statutes.                        
                                                                               
 Number 830                                                                    
                                                                               
 FRANK DILLON, Executive Director, Alaska Trucking Association,                
 testified via teleconference.  He stated the original intent of the           
 association's board of directors was to support this legislation              
 with the idea that this piece of legislation would limit the                  
 ability for nonmarried couples to enjoy the benefits of that                  
 employee's benefit relationship with the state.  We certainly had             
 not envisioned this analysis of the law being applied to the                  
 private sector and quite frankly it has been frightening.  Our                
 position has been to encourage the legislature not to give people             
 who are not married the benefits of a marriage contract.  The idea            
 of a domestic partner further dilutes the importance of the                   
 marriage status.  We would continue with opposition to this.  It              
 seems to be that the intent of this bill has changed a little.                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN thought that it was intended to NOT                
 include private employers, and if the language was not clear                  
 enough, it could be amended to that effect.                                   
                                                                               
 DANIEL COLLISON, Vice President, Southeast Alaska Gay and Lesbian             
 Association, responded to some of the comments that were raised by            
 Mr. Owens.  First of all, Mr. Owens suggested that if this bill is            
 adopted as it is, an unmarried, childless employee of the                     
 university could come in and justify the same type of reimbursement           
 equivalent to those benefits provided for those employees who are             
 married or who have children.  That is not what the issue would ...           
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-50, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. COLLISON continued...the domestic partner status as a marriage-           
 like status.  He would dispute that.  This domestic partner bill,             
 though it provides for access to health care benefits does not                
 allow for a whole host of other benefits that is automatically                
 assumed when someone is married.  An example of that is if he                 
 entered into a domestic partner arrangement with somebody else,               
 that does not immediately assume that he has responsibility for               
 their children.  It does not automatically assume that given that             
 individual guise, that he has the same access to a third of that              
 individual's estate that a spouse does.  So a domestic partner                
 status is not the equivalency of marriage.                                    
                                                                               
 MR. COLLISON stated that in the continuing discussion of HB 226, it           
 is troubling to note how suppositions and allegations, rather than            
 recent discourse have played in this debate.  Supporters of the               
 original bill, which denies domestic partner benefits to university           
 employees, speculate that such benefits will be a financial burden            
 to the university health care plan, and also put undue pressure on            
 the private sector to adopt domestic partner benefits.  Supporters            
 of the original bill offer no empirical evidence for their ominous            
 predictions.  When he or his friends present studies which refute             
 their positions, the opposition dismisses them as mere statistics             
 tailored to fit a preconceived conclusion.  But these studies are             
 based, not on pie in the sky ideas of a rosy future, but on the               
 concrete experience of actual employers.  For example, prior to the           
 adoption of the domestic partner benefits at the University of                
 Iowa, researchers speculated that enrollment in the university                
 health care plan would increase from a low of 2.6 percent to a high           
 of 8.3 percent.  However, the actual experience of the university,            
 four years after it implemented its domestic partner benefits plan,           
 has been an increase in enrollment of only .2 percent.  In 1985,              
 the city of Berkeley extended domestic partner benefits to its                
 employees.  At that time, the Kaiser Health Maintenance                       
 Organization with whom the city contracted for employee health                
 benefits, imposed a monthly surcharge.  This surcharge was based on           
 estimates that the plan would result in more costly claims of                 
 domestic partners.  After three years of experience it was                    
 established that the claims of domestic partners did not burden the           
 city's health plan.  This monthly surcharge was first reduced, and            
 then eliminated.  The experience of both the University of Iowa,              
 and the city of Berkeley is consistent with nearly 200 other                  
 private businesses, public universities, and governmental employers           
 who have adopted domestic care benefits.  These employers typically           
 find that enrollment edges up by only 2 percent to 5 percent.  The            
 employers see trifling cost increases in their health plans of                
 between 1 percent and 3 percent.  In most cases, health insurance             
 premiums remain the same.  Representative Kelly may continue with             
 his dire warnings that domestic benefits burden health care plans,            
 but the burden of proof remains with him to present this committee            
 with the names of actual businesses, universities, and public                 
 agencies who have thus suffered.  Representatives from the Alaska             
 business community may yet warn of the pernicious influence of                
 domestic partner benefits on private employers, but the CS does not           
 even address the private sector.  Even if it did, the task remains            
 for them to present the names of employers who have discontinued              
 their health plans, laid off employees, or closed their doors                 
 rather than front the extra cost of domestic partner benefits.                
                                                                               
 MR. COLLISON mentioned that in Massachusetts and Virginia states              
 which have extended domestic partner benefits to public employees,            
 he knows of no instance where employers have restricted their                 
 health care benefits only to employees.  If proponents of this                
 amendment are content to cry dire warnings of a calamitous future,            
 they would be better to focus not on domestic partner benefits but            
 on state Medicaid costs.  For if ours is to be a debate of                    
 speculation and supposition, the one area of mystery is how this              
 amendment impacts state Medicaid costs.  When an employer is                  
 refused health care coverage for his or her domestic partner, that            
 partner often goes without insurance.  When the same partner incurs           
 catastrophic health care bills and cannot cover them, the state of            
 Alaska steps in to foot the bill.  Who among you can estimate when            
 such a partner will incur such bills and for how much?  He urged              
 adoption of the HESS CS.                                                      
                                                                               
 KATE WATTUM, Professor, University of Alaska Fairbanks, testified             
 via teleconference in support of HB 226 as currently written.                 
                                                                               
 MARK NEUMAYR, Attorney, University of Alaska Fairbanks, said the              
 university prefers the original bill as opposed to the CS.  The               
 university's position on provisions of the original bill are                  
 consistent with the university's practice and the position taken in           
 the Judge Greene's superior court decision.                                   
                                                                               
 SCHOEN PARNELL, Director, Christian Coalition of Alaska in                    
 Anchorage, testified via teleconference.  We support Representative           
 Kelly's original wording for HB 226.  He asked if there were any              
 people in the hearing with a legal background, and wondered about             
 Judge Greene's decision on creating a like-marital status for                 
 domestic partners.  Can that allow a class action lawsuit against             
 the state of Alaska or against other employers who offer benefits?            
 Would they be able to go after back benefits?                                 
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER said we do have an attorney as an aide to the                 
 Judiciary Committee, but the question you are asking is in a                  
 specific body of law that we have not been able to look at in the             
 last half hour.  There is not anyone here right now who could give            
 you an exact answer, but in his experience, an exact answer would             
 be suspicious in any event, as this is obviously a question that              
 could be argued from either side.                                             
                                                                               
 MR. PARNELL thought that with the original language, a lawsuit of             
 that nature could not be made, so passing the original version of             
 the bill would alleviate the possibility of a lawsuit.                        
                                                                               
 Number 300                                                                    
                                                                               
 BEVERLY MCCLENDON testified via teleconference in support of the CS           
 for HB 226.  This bill allows for protection of employees and their           
 family members.  It is important to remember why the practice has             
 been established for health benefits for dependents.  This is to              
 assist in the financial security of the family, thus allowing the             
 employee to continue being a productive member of the work force.             
 This security is important no matter how a family is defined.                 
                                                                               
 SARAH BOESSER, Representative, Committee for Equality, testified in           
 support of the CS for HB 226.  By incorporating financially                   
 interdependent domestic partners into the university's health                 
 benefit plan, this bill will no longer illegally discriminate on              
 the basis of marital status.  Including domestic partners is one of           
 the recommendations made by superior court Judge Greene, and it is            
 wise of this body to follow nondiscrimination law in this case.               
 This bill will not cost the state a significant amount of money.              
 In fact, it may save significant money, because by allowing                   
 employees to pay for the health care coverage of their financially            
 interdependent partners, more Alaskans will be covered by private             
 health care coverage, and there will be fewer citizens left to seek           
 Medicaid at state expense.  The bill would not increase premium               
 costs to the university.  There are a number of studies done by               
 many businesses that were provided to the HESS Committee.  All find           
 that from 1 percent to 3 percent is the number of increase in                 
 enrollment, with no negligible premium increase.  Aetna found only            
 a 2 percent increase in the first year, and only a 1 percent                  
 increase for each year following.  Aetna sees no increase in                  
 premiums as a result of domestic partners inclusion.                          
                                                                               
 TALMADGE BAILEY testified in support of the CS for HB 226.  We have           
 heard much talk about the cost of this bill.  We have heard that              
 people will turn to sham domestic partnerships and break the state            
 treasury, yet studies do not support this position.                           
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER concluded the public hearing on HB 226.                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN offered amendment one.  It would change            
 "employer" to "public employer" on page 2, line 30, so that it will           
 be clear which employers this applies to.  He would not mind                  
 extending this to private employers, but since that is not the                
 intent of the bill, he chose to change the wording to "public                 
 employer."                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY objected.                                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked if this was intended to include all                
 public employers or only the University of Alaska.                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY felt the amendment makes it much worse,                  
 because we are setting up a standard which would make the                     
 university subject to nondiscrimination guidelines, while allowing            
 other employers a different set of discrimination guidelines.  We             
 are setting up an exclusionary statute.                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN felt the only issue before us is public            
 employers.                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER said it is the intent of the amendment that                   
 whatever it is we are doing here is not meant to affect the private           
 sector.  Whether or not the private sector is vulnerable under that           
 case decision is not clear.  That is something that would have to             
 be argued in court, so it is not reasonable for us to answer that             
 question absolutely.                                                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY mentioned that while he did not disagree with            
 the amendment, in that it did protect private industry, he would              
 only be satisfied with the original version of HB 226.                        
                                                                               
 A roll call vote was taken.  Representative Finkelstein abstained.            
 Representatives Vezey and Green voted no.  Representatives Toohey,            
 Davis, Bunde and Porter voted yes.  Amendment one passed with a               
 four to two vote.                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 640                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said he would like to put his name on                    
 Representative Kelly's amendment and offer it as amendment two:               
                                                                               
      Page 1, line 2:                                                          
                                                                               
           Delete "marital or domestic partners"                               
           Insert "spouses"                                                    
                                                                               
      Page 2, line 30, after "provide":                                        
                                                                             
           Insert "health or retirement"                                       
                                                                               
      Page 2, line 31, after "unless the person":                              
                                                                               
           Insert "is legally married to an employee; and"                     
                                                                               
      Page 3, lines 1 - 3:                                                     
                                                                               
           Delete all material.                                                
                                                                               
      Page 3, line 5, after "provision of":                                    
                                                                               
           Insert "a health or retirement"                                     
                                                                               
      Page 3, line 7, through page 4, line 13:                                 
                                                                               
           Delete all material.                                                
                                                                               
           Insert "is legally married to an employee".                         
                                                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY objected.                                               
                                                                               
 A roll call vote was taken.  Representatives Vezey, Green and                 
 Porter voted yes.  Representatives Bunde, Finkelstein, Toohey and             
 Davis voted no.  Amendment two failed on a four to three vote.                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made a motion to move CSHB 226(HESS) from                
 committee as amended with fiscal notes as attached.                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS objected.  A roll call vote was taken.                   
 Representatives Vezey, Toohey, Bunde, Green and Porter voted yes.             
 Representatives Finkelstein and Davis voted no.  CSHB 226(JUD)                
 passed, five to two.                                                          
                                                                               
 SB 3 - ANTITRUST EXEMPTION FOR FISHERMEN                                    
                                                                               
 Number 850                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR JIM DUNCAN, bill sponsor, introduced SB 3.  This is the               
 first step in stabilizing a very important industry in this state.            
 It will allow fishermen to form associations to collectively                  
 negotiate fish prices with fish processors.  It provides a measure            
 of state anti-trust immunity for the processors when they negotiate           
 with fishermen, in addition.  It does not allow processors to agree           
 among themselves on the prices they will pay fishermen.  Fishermen            
 must always be present during those discussions, so it cannot be              
 one sided.  In order to collectively bargain, fishermen must be               
 allowed to ...                                                                
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-51, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DUNCAN continued...that first of all, this does not provide           
 that fishermen can collectively sell a catch, or fish products,               
 although the corresponding federal law does expressly permit this.            
 SB 3 has a provision that would make state law consistent with the            
 federal law.  Due to the incongruities between state and federal              
 law, some Alaska fishermen's organizations have found themselves in           
 compliance with federal anti-trust law, yet they are breaking state           
 law, or vice versa.                                                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR DUNCAN stated this is only the first step towards                     
 stabilizing the Alaska fishing industry.  Section 2 changes                   
 existing law by allowing fishermen to discuss prices with more than           
 one processor at the same meeting.  After that is done, and while             
 it is only a first step, it will take congressional approval for a            
 federal anti-trust immunity.  The state and the fishing industry              
 together could request a federal exemption.  A federal exemption              
 would be favorable, and passage of SB 3 would put us in a position            
 to request that exemption.                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DUNCAN noted that the fishing industry is Alaska's largest            
 private employer.  It affects every segment of our economy from               
 small coastal villages to the state's general fund.  Long term                
 price agreements, which would result from collective bargaining               
 will help stabilize commercial fishing prices, bolstering local and           
 state economies, as well as consumer prices for seafood.  He had              
 received many letters of support for this legislation, some of                
 which came from the United Fishermen, Cordova District Fishermen              
 United, the Bering Sea Fishermen's Association, the director of the           
 Alaska Commercial Fishing Agricultural Bank, the state Department             
 of Commerce and Economic Development and the Department of Labor.             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked why we would want to go to the trouble             
 of making this a law if there is nothing that specifically                    
 precludes us from doing it in the first place.                                
                                                                               
 SENATOR DUNCAN answered that we cannot exempt ourselves from the              
 federal anti-trust law, only from state anti-trust law.                       
                                                                               
 Number 150                                                                    
                                                                               
 KRIS NOROSZ, Executive Director, Southeast Alaska Seiners                     
 Association, testified via teleconference.  She said they are in              
 full support of SB 3.  It clarifies ambiguities currently found in            
 state law concerning the fishermen's ability to collectively                  
 bargain their catch.  Secondly, the bill will move us closer to               
 obtaining a most needed federal exemption so that fishermen and               
 processors would be allowed to negotiate prices.  Passage of SB 3             
 would put the state and fishing industry in a position to request             
 such an exemption from the federal government.  This type of                  
 progressive action is an important and very critical step towards             
 stabilizing commercial fish processors.  The result would be                  
 greater value for Alaska seafood products which will directly                 
 affect the state and local economies.  We appreciate the forward              
 thinking presented in this bill and urge support of it.                       
                                                                               
 ED CRANE, President, Commercial Fishing Agriculture Bank, (CFAB)              
 testified via teleconference and also submitted written testimony:            
                                                                               
 "I have noted and read Senate Bill 3.  In my view, SB 3 serves a              
 relevant and highly significant purpose.                                      
                                                                               
 "I have been directly or indirectly involved with individual                  
 producers of food and fiber, and with both formal and informal                
 associations of such producers, for nearly 30 years.  That includes           
 almost continuous and intense involvement with producers and                  
 marketers of agricultural commodities of all kinds from 1965                  
 through 1981.                                                                 
                                                                               
 "As contrasted with manufacturers, an individual producer of food             
 and fiber commodities is greatly disadvantaged by his or her                  
 isolated status within what may be huge conformation of economic              
 forces.  The producer is further made vulnerable by the limited-              
 life nature of most commodities and by the pressure to capture                
 whatever value may exist on a timely basis.                                   
                                                                               
 "There has probably been no more positive statutory force affecting           
 commodities producers than the limited anti-trust exemptions in               
 federal and most state statutes.  While a superficial glance may              
 suggest they are merely the extension of privilege to a few, such             
 exemptions are in actuality the cornerstones of the stability which           
 is critical to any food production and distribution system and                
 which provides immeasurable benefits to each of us as consumers.              
                                                                               
 "Senate Bill 3 establishes and clarifies this important exemption             
 for harvesters, producers, and marketers of Alaska's seafood                  
 resources.  While it will solve no problems by itself, its                    
 enactment will provide significant opportunities for the creation             
 of stabilizing forces which will benefit all of Alaska as well as             
 seafood industry participants.                                                
                                                                               
 "I would be most interested in knowing of any opportunities to                
 express support for Senate Bill 3."                                           
                                                                               
 Number 250                                                                    
                                                                               
 RICHARD W. ISETT, Commercial Fisherman, said he fishes in Bristol             
 Bay out of his drift/gillnet boat.  He has fished there since 1986            
 and gave the committee a little background from an individual                 
 fisherman's point of view.  Nobody has time to sit down and                   
 negotiate fish prices in June or July.  We have about 1,700 boats             
 fishing in five districts in Bristol Bay and we sell to a market              
 that is dominated, arguably by less than ten buyers.  We do not               
 have any way of preserving these fish past the 12 hours that we               
 catch them, and so when we deliver these fish, we prepare nets and            
 gear and wait for tenders to deliver these fish to processors.                
 These processors in Bristol Bay will head and gut the fish, take              
 the eggs, freeze them, and often deliver them in very short order             
 to tramp steamers that are tied up next to the processing facility.           
 Most of these fish go to Japan.  In Japan the fish are reprocessed            
 since they are not in retail ready condition when they leave                  
 Bristol Bay.  Prices range from about 60 cents per pound to about             
 $1.20.                                                                        
                                                                               
 MR. ISETT said their relationship to processors is interesting.  He           
 does not hold any particular allegiance, since he does not owe them           
 any money, but a lot of fishermen owe processors money, and he has            
 owed them money in the past.  You can receive financial aid from              
 processors in the form of in-season advances, or if you have a                
 break down, and a new engine is a $15,000 - $20,000 event, you can            
 write this up on a purchase order.  You do not call your banker,              
 you tell the processor you have broken down and need a new engine             
 and they help you get a new engine.  He does not know many                    
 fishermen that are not dependent upon processors during the season.           
 They provide net barges, logistics, helicopters, and it is quite an           
 operation.  There are just not people running around being                    
 independent of processors, so we are all tied to processors to one            
 degree or another.  Furthermore, the processors increase the market           
 for fish, and they may put you on a limit if they cannot process              
 any more fish during a big season when the processors processing              
 capacity is taxed.  Still you want a processor who has an adequate            
 capacity and does not put you on limit during the height of the               
 season.                                                                       
                                                                               
 MR. ISETT explained that there is a fishermen's meeting around June           
 20 in which the processors tell them how terrible the market is.              
 We will have a big carry over on inventory from the prior year.               
 That will not be the case this year, but the dollar is expensive in           
 relation to the yen.  There are other sources of fish that are                
 barely attractive to the buyers, and it goes on and on.  What is              
 established is a price that is a posted price that is put on their            
 fish tickets under law.  Typically it is going to be a low price              
 that nobody worries about meeting.  We are assured every year by              
 these processors.  Every year it is the same script.  They are                
 going to be competitive.  He does not know what competition means             
 to them, but it does not mean the same thing to them that it means            
 to us.  They are going to be competitive.  They want the supply of            
 fish, and they will pay us the least amount that they think is                
 required to keep us fishing for them.  That is basically the way              
 this works.  When we leave Bristol Bay, we will have a settlement             
 at a price that is probably above the posted price, but we are all            
 assured that there is more money coming, maybe.  We just do not               
 really know.  This year, we have had a couple of adjustments from             
 Icicle Seafoods after their preliminary settlement at the time we             
 left the bay.  We need that preliminary settlement because we pay             
 crew shares out of that, boat payments, and so forth.  So we have             
 an investment of maybe a half million dollars in a boat, and it all           
 has to happen within a month.  We have essentially no leverage in             
 this process.  We can either fish or not fish.  If we fish, we have           
 to deliver the fish or we cannot keep them.  Another thing that               
 processors do is have a loyalty bonus.  Loyalty bonuses discourage            
 competition.  They tell you that if you deliver all your fish to              
 us, we will give you a bonus.  It may be ten cents a pound.  They             
 do not tell you in addition to what.  And there may be some breaks            
 if you catch more than 100,000 pounds, but the so-called loyalty              
 bonus is part of this scheme, that they have, and it seems to work            
 very well.  We do not negotiate with processors.  They say we will            
 give you all of these services.  We have barges, helicopters, and             
 all of that, but they do not talk about prices to individual                  
 fishermen, because we need them, when we are talking about one                
 fisherman to processor.  The closest thing he has seen to even                
 coming close to negotiating prices is when they had a strike in               
 1991 in Bristol Bay.                                                          
                                                                               
 DONNA PARKER, Fisheries Specialist, Department of Commerce and                
 Economic Development, testified in support of SB 3.  She stated               
 that the commodity markets stabilize the prices of salmon, by doing           
 all of the buying and selling.  The Japanese would like to do this,           
 as they have with shrimp.  What this bill helps solve is to expand            
 marketing, product development, consistency of price, supply and              
 quality.                                                                      
                                                                               
 JERRY MCCUNE, President, United Fishermen of Alaska, testified in             
 support of SB 3.  Back in 1935, the Cordova District Fishermen                
 United was a union.  Then the federal government told them they               
 could not be a union so they had to collective bargain, because               
 they were a group of individual business people.  This section just           
 gives you the opportunity to bargain, it does not mean anybody is             
 going to bargain with you.  The federal law says that you can only            
 talk to one processor at a time, so in order to collectively                  
 bargain, you have to go talk to individual processors one at a                
 time.  Section 2 would allow us under state law, to go to the                 
 federal government and see if we can get this exemption lifted, and           
 the key thing is that it will allow us to talk to more than one               
 processor at a time in the same room, and maybe come up with some             
 kind of agreement.                                                            
                                                                               
 DWIGHT PERKINS, Special Assistant, Office of the Commissioner,                
 Department of Labor, testified in support of SB 3.  He mentioned              
 that under AS 16.10.280, it provides that the Department of Labor             
 serve as a mediator of disputes between fishers and fish processors           
 on the price to be paid for salmon.  The department's experience              
 has revealed that the inability of fishers to form associations to            
 negotiate with processors has been a primary factor in such                   
 disputes.  This legislation would provide a mechanism to stabilize            
 raw fish prices, thereby protecting Alaskan fishers and processors            
 from the debilitating and fluctuating fish prices.  A stable                  
 fishing industry will have a direct and positive affect on Alaska's           
 economy.  It is only reasonable that Alaska fishers and processors            
 have the legal ability to protect themselves in this important                
 resource from the price setting by outside interest.                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE moved to pass SB 3 on with fiscal notes as             
 attached and individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection, SB            
 3 passed out of committee.                                                    
                                                                               
 HJR 40 - REPEAL BUDGET RESERVE FUND (ART IX SEC 17)                         
                                                                               
 Number 700                                                                    
                                                                               
 JOHN BITNEY, Legislative Assistant, Representative Terry Martin,              
 sponsor of HJR 40, introduced the resolution.  This started off in            
 the Senate as a major fiscal reform package that included other               
 changes to the Constitution as well as various amendments to                  
 statute.  As the package was moving through the body, and through             
 discussions on all facets of the package as a whole, some of the              
 portions became amended and some of them dropped off.  What finally           
 went through the last night of the legislative session in 1990, was           
 the language that we have now in the Constitution which creates the           
 constitutional budget reserve (CBR).  That concept was placed on              
 the ballot last year and was passed by the voters.  Once we                   
 actually tried to apply the language that was in the constitutional           
 budget reserve, it quickly became apparent that there was a lot of            
 ambiguity in the language in terms of how it was to be applied.               
 Immediately, the question came up over Section (a) of the amendment           
 which described which proceeds were to go into the constitutional             
 budget reserve.  There was a key phrase in there called "all                  
 proceeds from an administrative proceeding."  The question                    
 immediately came up as to what exactly an administrative proceeding           
 meant.  This became a matter of contention until we received an               
 Attorney General's Opinion from Charlie Cole which said that we did           
 not take the proceeds from any administrative proceeding until it             
 got to the point of adjudication, where we had to go in front of a            
 hearing officer or the court system to resolve a dispute between              
 the state and a company.  However, within statute, we have a                  
 process by which most claims are settled between the state and a              
 company, called an informal conference.  This was, by far, where              
 most of the settlements that come to the state actually occur.                
 Under the Attorney General's Opinion at the time, he decided that             
 the informal procedures could go into the general fund.  Shortly              
 afterward, we had a lawsuit on that matter, and they construed that           
 term "administrative proceeding" a little bit more liberally than             
 the attorney general had.  The result was that last session, the              
 legislature was faced with returning some substantial sums that had           
 come into the state's treasury under that informal process.                   
                                                                               
 MR. BITNEY said we had a bill last year that attempted to define              
 some of the terms in subsection (b) of the constitutional reserve             
 in regards to what is available for appropriation, and how we                 
 access the CBR under subsection (b) with a majority vote.  The                
 legislature passed a vote trying to define those terms.  Again we             
 were taken to court, and then now we have another decision from the           
 Alaska Supreme Court.  Section (c) of the CBR states that the                 
 legislature may appropriate from the constitutional budget reserve            
 with a three quarters vote for any public purpose.  Subsection (d)            
 states that you have to pay it back.                                          
                                                                               
 MR. BITNEY said that what he was getting at is that Representative            
 Martin feels that we basically have a section of our Constitution             
 that is unworkable, and that what was given to the voters turned              
 out not to be entirely true, in practice.  It is his hope,                    
 realizing that this resolution would require a two thirds vote in             
 both the House and the Senate, as well as approval by the voters.             
 We realize this is an interim project, and will probably take a lot           
 of discussion with the public to present what has happened and what           
 we would like to do.  It is his hope to work on it in the House               
 Finance Committee over the interim to discuss what steps need to be           
 taken to clear up the language within the constitutional budget               
 reserve, and perhaps look at taking a measure to the voters in next           
 fall's election.                                                              
                                                                               
 JACK FARGNOLI, Senior Policy Analyst, Office of Management and                
 Budget, Office of the Governor, opposed HJR 40.  Part of our                  
 concern about the bill is that it would tend to pre-empt a Fiscal             
 Planning Commission which is going to be looking at long-range                
 reserve funds and policies, and this one in particular.  That, of             
 course, would be mitigated by holding it over with the commission             
 trying to complete its charge.  The second concern we have is that            
 a simple repeal would leave us, in the absence of any such                    
 mechanism -- if you recall, the whole intent that is universally              
 accepted about what this fund was supposed to do is to, in some               
 sense, take money off the table to help avoid the shock of putting            
 it on the table in lumps as it came in.  If we were to remove it,             
 we would have that situation again.  That is the other part of our            
 concern about it.                                                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked Mr. Fargnoli if in his opinion has           
 this resulted in money being taken off the table that is coming in            
 from settlements and making it harder to get at that money for use            
 in a current budget.  Have those two goals that were explained to             
 the public been met?                                                          
                                                                               
 MR. FARGNOLI answered that in general those goals have been met.              
 Selective litigation has created complication, but in general, it             
 has kept money off the table and has made it harder to get money              
 out of the fund and make it useful.  To some degree that was the              
 purpose of it, and that has happened.                                         
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-51, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asked if basically our costs are over and               
 above last year, and we do not have the funds.                                
                                                                               
 MR. FARGNOLI answered basically that is correct.                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asked what would happen if we could not pay             
 this money back and the fund goes away.                                       
                                                                               
 MR. FARGNOLI answered that if this were repealed, there would need            
 to be language saying that prior obligations would become void, and           
 that money in the fund would lapse to the general fund.  That would           
 be their proposal.                                                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asked if Mr. Fargnoli had a crystal ball                
 telling him how much money would be coming into this account in the           
 next ten years, in terms of future settlement money.                          
                                                                               
 MR. FARGNOLI had no idea.                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN stated that prior to this previous                 
 settlement, it was up to $4,000,000,000, and now it is around                 
 $3,000,000,000.                                                               
                                                                               
 MR. FARGNOLI said the reason he says he has absolutely no idea is             
 because that number has gone up and down more than one or two                 
 billion a year, in the last couple of years, so it is not like we             
 do not know what settlements are out there, but it is difficult to            
 tell how much there will be from time to time.  The Department of             
 Law also has confidentiality restraints.                                      
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked Mr. Fargnoli if in order to get into this               
 constitutional budget reserve fund, without a three quarters vote,            
 with just a majority vote, would we have to spend the earnings                
 reserve, the permanent fund, and all of those other funds first.              
                                                                               
 MR. FARGNOLI said yes, that is what would be required.                        
                                                                               
 NEIL SLOTNICK, Department of Law, stated he had been asked to come            
 to the hearing in case there were questions for him.  He was also             
 asked to comment on whether they saw any legal problems with this             
 resolution.  The Department of Law does not see any legal problems            
 with this resolution, and that it would do what it purports to do.            
 There are a couple of potential ambiguities that could be clarified           
 by transitional language.  For example, the question of where does            
 the money that is now in the constitutional budget reserve go if              
 this repeal is adopted by the voters.  He would argue that it would           
 lapse into the general fund; that could be stated specifically in             
 a transitional statement.  A similar question is, what happens to             
 the repayment obligation that is specified in Section 17(d)?  In              
 his view, that repayment obligation would be extinguished, and it             
 could be specified in a transitional statement.                               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER closed the public hearing on HJR 40.  He asked John           
 Bitney if the motion of more clear transitional language might be             
 something that the Finance Committee would want to look at.                   
                                                                               
 MR. BITNEY answered that in introducing the bill, the sponsor had             
 preferred not to put that in at this time just for the sake of not            
 trying to get the discussion focused on that at this point.  It is            
 his intent in introducing it, to try to focus in on the CBR                   
 language and the amendment itself, and then, yes, to actually do              
 transitional language as we go through the process.  The question             
 remains out there as to what to do with the general funds and the             
 permanent funds.                                                              
                                                                               
 Number 400                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY moved to pass the resolution out of committee           
 with the zero fiscal note and individual recommendations.                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN objected. A roll call vote was taken.              
 Representative Finkelstein voted no.  Representatives Toohey, Green           
 and Porter voted yes.  HJR 40 passed out of committee with a three            
 to one vote.                                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN moved to rescind the vote.                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER stated that when we have a full committee, we will            
 move to rescind the motion and take another vote.                             
                                                                               
 CSHB 35 - SEXUAL MISCONDUCT BY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS                        
                                                                               
 Number 450                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE SEAN PARNELL, bill sponsor, introduced CSHB 35.  He            
 stated that HB 35 is an act relating to sexual misconduct as                  
 grounds for imposing disciplinary sanctions on persons licensed by            
 the State Medical Board.  Sexual misconduct is not addressed                  
 expressly in statute, but current law permits the Alaska State                
 Medical Board to impose sanctions for medical professionals engaged           
 in unprofessional conduct, or lewd or immoral conduct in connection           
 to the delivery of professional services.  Most of us would                   
 categorize sexual misconduct by a doctor as unprofessional, or lewd           
 or immoral.  These broad categorizations do not send the message              
 that we, as a society, do not want physicians engaging in sexual              
 relations with patients who are under their care and control.  The            
 Alaska State Medical Board shares this sentiment, and according to            
 their representative in a previous committee, doctors should be               
 held to the highest standard in this area.  We all know the                   
 physician/patient relationship is established on mutual trust.                
 Sexual misconduct, in his view, is a breach of that trust.                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PARNELL mentioned that HB 35 would authorize the               
 Medical Board to sanction doctors who engage in sexual misconduct             
 and the bill briefly defines sexual misconduct on page 2.  Granting           
 the Medical Board express authority to sanction doctors who engage            
 in sexual misconduct is critical for several reasons.  The patient            
 is extremely vulnerable, the doctor can use their status as a                 
 medical professional in over-reaching the bounds of professional              
 conduct.  Most importantly, the doctor's objective medical judgment           
 is compromised if that doctor is engaged in sexual misconduct.                
 Both the Alaska State Medical Association and the Network on                  
 Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault support HB 35.                           
                                                                               
 Number 500                                                                    
                                                                               
 CATHERINE REARDON, Director, Division of Occupational Licensing,              
 Department of Commerce and Economic Development, shared the                   
 department's neutral position on this bill.  They feel it will                
 encourage the process that the Medical Board has been going through           
 in trying to develop regulations defining sexual misconduct and               
 unprofessional conduct.  HB 35 will not greatly affect our                    
 disciplinary costs.  The issue of regulating sexual contact outside           
 of the work place is a policy call, and one that the legislature is           
 the appropriate group to make.  Although we have seen activities              
 which involve sexual contact between physicians and patients                  
 outside the work place, which we would all feel inappropriate,                
 however, the point that doctors also need to have opportunities to            
 pursue their romantic lives has also been brought up.                         
                                                                               
 MS. REARDON pointed out that the Attorney General's Office                    
 contacted her indicating there is a definition for sexual contact             
 in statute in Title 11.  If the legislature does not want that                
 definition to be applied to this bill, perhaps it would be helpful            
 to clarify that definition.  That appears in AS 11.81.900.  It                
 defines sexual contact in a more limited way than is intended by              
 the legislature in this bill.                                                 
                                                                               
 MS. REARDON gave an example of the types of complaints they                   
 receive.  A doctor sent a video tape of himself to one of his                 
 patients in which the doctor was nude.  That was a pursuit which              
 was going on outside of the work place, and yet, we would probably            
 feel that was inappropriate.                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 550                                                                    
                                                                               
 JAYNE ANDREEN, Executive Director, Council on Domestic Violence and           
 Sexual Assault, spoke in strong support of HB 35.  They have become           
 increasingly aware of cases where there is sexual misconduct on the           
 part of physicians, both inside and outside of the treatment                  
 setting.  This is a bill that they feel has to take place.  There             
 has to be some sanctions.  The American Medical Association has               
 this kind of standard, and the Medical Ethics Board is interested             
 in doing this also.  This is the type of standard that is place for           
 psychiatrists and attorneys.  We feel physicians need to be                   
 included in that.                                                             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked Representative Parnell if the definition of             
 sexual contact in AS 11.81.900 is what he had in mind for this                
 bill.                                                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PARNELL said different states have done it different           
 ways.  AS 11.81.900 gets pretty specific, but does not include                
 penetration.  That is defined elsewhere.  He did not want the                 
 definition to be limited to AS 11.81.900.  He felt the definition             
 in HB 35 should be more expansive than that.  He felt the Medical             
 Board could address the specifics of the definition.                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN expressed concern over the hundreds of             
 small towns we have in this state.  Oftentimes doctors are in one-            
 doctor towns.  And oftentimes, the doctors who will go to these               
 places are young and single.  In a one-doctor town, everyone is               
 your patient.  They may have not been in that week or that month,             
 but that is who they are going to go to, right?  This would be for            
 immunizations and everything.  He could not imagine how a single              
 doctor would go out and serve in a rural community, because they              
 could not get involved with anyone.  Certainly that was not the               
 sponsor's intent.                                                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PARNELL feared the potential for abuse in a one-               
 doctor town was even greater than in a city.  That is an issue.  He           
 felt that if a doctor was involved with a patient, they ought to              
 terminate the relationship and refer the patient to another doctor,           
 because of the vulnerability aspect.  The care of the patient is              
 the highest priority, not the doctor's sexual necessities.  He felt           
 they should include language that specifies "during the                       
 physician/client relationship."  That is the direction Rhode Island           
 has taken on the issue.                                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN felt that was also unreasonable for a              
 small town, since it is unclear when your physician/client                    
 relationship ends.                                                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY said we are not going to state that doctors             
 in a one-doctor town remain celibate.  There has got to be a way              
 that the State Medical Board can look at these case-by-case.                  
 Otherwise, you are going to have to get very old, or asexual people           
 to work in small towns.                                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY felt this language about sexual contact                  
 outside the treatment center is totally out of line and applicable            
 to a psychiatrist/patient relationship.  The Medical Board is                 
 having extreme difficulty addressing this, and the thought that we            
 could address it is ludicrous.  If you want to write a statute that           
 addresses the bizarre example that was given previously, you could,           
 but people are people, they are sexual creatures.  He felt it                 
 absolutely inappropriate that we try to regulate romantic                     
 relationships between adults.                                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PARNELL said that is where we disagree, based upon             
 his opening statement, and the vulnerabilities.                               
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-52, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN offered amendment one which would                  
 clarify that on page 2, lines 25 and 26, this sexual contact would            
 not be allowed "during the existence of the physician/client                  
 relationship, as defined by the Board."  This replaces the current            
 phrase, "during the course of treatment or outside the treatment              
 setting."  Hearing no objection, amendment one was adopted.                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN offered amendment two.  This would                 
 clarify the definition of "sexual misconduct."  This would include            
 sexual contact or attempted sexual contact as defined by the Board,           
 and regulations adopted under this section.                                   
                                                                               
 ANNE CARPENETI, Committee Aide, House Judiciary Committee,                    
 mentioned that to define sexual misconduct, this amendment would              
 have to be tinkered with, because she did not think this section              
 would give regulatory power.  You would have to define it as                  
 regulations adopted under this chapter in Title 8.                            
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if Representative Finkelstein would be                  
 willing to change "under this section" to "under this chapter."               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN answered that he would be willing to               
 make this whole thing a conceptual amendment to avoid any of these            
 problems.                                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN suggested having the bill drafter come up with           
 the right language, because it is not just sexual contact; it is              
 inappropriate sexual contact.  It includes sexual contact, and                
 sexual contact may be perfectly alright and still not be sexual               
 misconduct; taking a vaginal examination, for example.  This is               
 sexual contact by a licensed physician, but it is not misconduct.             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PARNELL clarified that is why the language was                 
 provided on line 23 that adds, "outside the scope of generally                
 accepted methods of examination or treatment."  Presumably an                 
 obstetrician/gynecologist exam is within that scope.                          
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER said he would feel better if they made it a                   
 conceptual amendment.  He felt they were trying to say that the               
 Board should define "sexual misconduct" and "sexual contact."                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked if he could offer this as a                  
 conceptual amendment that would require the Board to develop                  
 regulations related to sexual contact, and its limits in the                  
 physical realm.  We have the rest of the definition of sexual                 
 misconduct here.  It is only the degree to which contact ranges,              
 that is what we are after here.                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asked him to say that again.                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN restated that they would somehow write             
 in a way that implies the physical side of the limits of sexual               
 contact.  We are not talking here anymore about the term or the               
 existence of the client relationship or the spouse.  That is all in           
 the later stuff.  All we have left here is what is in the range of            
 things starting from what could be determined as sexual contact.              
 They need to have a definition of the physical range.  This would             
 just be a conceptual amendment.                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PARNELL said that was fine.                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER clarified that amendment two is a conceptual                  
 amendment that will allow the Board to write regulations that                 
 extend the definition of sexual contact, as it is within sexual               
 misconduct that they are now attempting to define in any event.               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY felt the area we are trying to address is                
 actually much better covered in the tort liability these health               
 care professionals have.  He did not think the committee could                
 succeed in codifying what our goal is here.                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if there was further discussion on the bill,            
 or objection.  Hearing no objection, amendment two was passed.                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN moved to pass the bill out of committee,           
 as amended, with individual recommendations and zero fiscal notes.            
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER said we would draft a CS with these amendments                
 incorporated, then meet with the sponsor and anyone else who wants            
 to be in the loop.                                                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY said she would like to be in the loop.                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER said if anyone has objections to what they have               
 crafted, then they can let him know, but the bill will be held                
 until that is accomplished.  He asked if there was objection to               
 moving the bill under the conditions stated.  Hearing no objection,           
 under the conditions stated, CSHB 35(JUD) passed out of committee.            
                                                                               
 HJR 40 - REPEAL BUDGET RESERVE FUND (ART IX SEC 17) (CONTINUED)             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER announced they had a motion to rescind their action           
 on failing to adopt HJR 40.  Hearing no objection, that motion                
 passed.                                                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN moved to pass HJR 40 out of committee with               
 individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes.                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN objected and a roll call vote was taken.           
 Representatives Vezey, Toohey, Green and Porter voted yes.                    
 Representative Finkelstein voted no.  HJR 40 moved with a four to             
 one vote.                                                                     
                                                                               
 ADJOURNMENT                                                                   
                                                                               
 The House Judiciary Committee adjourned at 5:00 p.m.                          
                                                                               
                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects