Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/13/1996 01:14 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                              
                         March 13, 1996                                        
                           1:14 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Representative Brian Porter, Chairman                                         
 Representative Joe Green, Vice Chairman                                       
 Representative Con Bunde                                                      
 Representative Al Vezey                                                       
 Representative Cynthia Toohey                                                 
 Representative David Finkelstein                                              
                                                                               
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
                                                                               
 Representative Bettye Davis                                                   
                                                                               
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 364                                                            
 "An Act amending the definition of the offense of unlawful                    
 interference with voting in the first degree, a class C felony, to            
 include conduct related to inducing a person to vote or to refrain            
 from voting at an election and conduct related to acceptance of               
 something offered or given to vote or to refrain from voting in an            
 election."                                                                    
                                                                               
      - MOVED CSHB 364(JUD) FROM COMMITTEE                                     
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 311                                                            
 "An Act repealing the limitation on the hours a person may be                 
 employed in a mine; and making a related technical amendment to               
 avoid changing the penalties for failing to make payments into an             
 employee benefit fund."                                                       
                                                                               
      - MOVED 311(JUD) FROM COMMITTEE                                          
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 365                                                            
 "An Act relating to the offense of possession of tobacco by a                 
 minor."                                                                       
                                                                               
      - MOVED HB 365 FROM COMMITTEE                                            
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 517                                                            
 "An Act relating to records and hearings of the Department of                 
 Public Safety; relating to a temporary permit to drive a motor                
 vehicle; relating to regulation of motor vehicles and commercial              
 motor vehicles; relating to renewal of a driver's license by mail;            
 increasing the property damage amounts for proof of financial                 
 responsibility and proof of motor vehicle eligibility in order to             
 lawfully operate a motor vehicle in the state; relating to certain            
 notifications in accidents involving property damage; relating to             
 motor vehicle registration procedures; and providing for an                   
 effective date."                                                              
                                                                               
      - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                
                                                                               
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 364                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: UNLAWFUL INTERFERENCE WITH VOTING                                
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BUNDE                                           
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG          ACTION                                          
 12/29/95      2361    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/08/96      2361    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/08/96      2361    (H)   STA, JUDICIARY, FINANCE                           
 03/11/96      3078    (H)   STA REFERRAL WAIVED                               
 03/13/96              (H)   JUD AT  1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 311                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: REPEAL LIMIT ON HOURS EMPLOYED IN MINES                          
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) VEZEY,Toohey,Martin                             
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG          ACTION                                          
 04/18/95      1351    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 04/18/95      1351    (H)   LABOR & COMMERCE, JUDICIARY                       
 01/24/96              (H)   L&C AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 01/24/96              (H)   MINUTE(L&C)                                       
 02/07/96              (H)   L&C AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 02/07/96              (H)   MINUTE(L&C)                                       
 02/14/96              (H)   L&C AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 02/14/96              (H)   MINUTE(L&C)                                       
 02/28/96              (H)   L&C AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 02/28/96              (H)   MINUTE(L&C)                                       
 03/06/96              (H)   L&C AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 03/06/96              (H)   MINUTE(L&C)                                       
 03/08/96      3020    (H)   L&C RPT  CS(L&C) NT 3NR 1AM                       
 03/08/96      3020    (H)   NR: SANDERS, ROKEBERG, KOTT                       
 03/08/96      3020    (H)   AM: PORTER                                        
 03/08/96      3020    (H)   2 ZERO FISCAL NOTES (DNR, LABOR)                  
 03/11/96              (H)   JUD AT  1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
 03/11/96              (H)   MINUTE(JUD)                                       
 03/13/96              (H)   JUD AT  1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 365                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: MINOR IN POSSESSION OF TOBACCO                                   
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BUNDE,James                                     
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG          ACTION                                          
 12/29/95      2361    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/08/96      2361    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/08/96      2361    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY                          
 02/19/96      2812    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): JAMES                               
 02/27/96              (H)   STA AT  8:30 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/27/96              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 03/05/96              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 03/06/96      2989    (H)   STA RPT  4DP                                      
 03/06/96      2990    (H)   DP: JAMES, PORTER, OGAN, ROBINSON                 
 03/06/96      2990    (H)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DPS)                            
 03/13/96              (H)   JUD AT  1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
                                                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
                                                                               
 WEVLEY WILLIAM SHEA                                                           
 Attorney at Law                                                               
 329 F Street, Suite 222                                                       
 Anchorage, Alaska  99501                                                      
 Telephone:  (907)                                                             
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 364.                          
                                                                               
 DIANE SHRINER                                                                 
 Election Outreach and Training Coordinator                                    
 Division of Elections                                                         
 State of Alaska                                                               
 P.O. Box 110017                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0017                                                    
 Telephone:  (907)465-4611                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Represented Division of Elections regarding              
                      HB 364.                                                  
                                                                               
 ED FLANAGAN, Deputy Commissioner                                              
 Department of Labor                                                           
 State of Alaska                                                               
 P.O. Box 21149                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska  99802-1149                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2700                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on behalf of the Department of                 
                      Labor, with regard to HB 311.                            
                                                                               
 DON ETHERIDGE                                                                 
 Alaska State District Council of Laborers                                     
 709 West 9th Street                                                           
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)586-3707                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on behalf of the Alaska State                  
                      District Council of Laborers, with regard                
                      to HB 311.                                               
                                                                               
 CLYNT NAUMAN, General Manager                                                 
 Kennecott Green's Creek Mine                                                  
 Juneau, Alaska                                                                
 Telephone:  (907)789-8110                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on behalf of Green's Creek                     
                      Mining Company, regarding HB 311.                        
                                                                               
 REED R. STOOPS, Lobbyist                                                      
 240 Main Street, Suite 600                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)463-3223                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on behalf of Green's Creek                     
                      Mining Company, with regard to HB 311.                   
                                                                               
 JAMES F. CLARK                                                                
 Attorney at Law                                                               
 801 West 10th Street, Suite 300                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907)586-3340                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on behalf of Green's Creek                     
                      Mining Company, with regard to HB 311.                   
                                                                               
 STACY GOADE                                                                   
 2154-C Lawson Creek Road                                                      
 Douglas, Alaska  99824                                                        
 Telephone:  (907)364-3418                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Representing the Juneau Tobacco Prevention               
                      Network and the Seven Circles Coalition,                 
                      with regard to HB 365.                                   
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-34, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BRIAN PORTER called the House Judiciary Committee meeting            
 to order at 1:14 p.m..  Members present at the call to order were             
 Representatives Porter, Bunde, Toohey, and Green.  Representatives            
 Vezey and Finkelstein arrived late.  Representative Davis was                 
 absent.                                                                       
                                                                               
 HB 364 - UNLAWFUL INTERFERENCE WITH VOTING                                  
                                                                               
 Number 0015                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BRIAN PORTER announced that the sponsor, Representative              
 Con Bunde, would read the sponsor statement.                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE read the sponsor statement for HB 364, as                
 follows:  "As United States citizens, we have the right to vote no            
 matter who we are or where we live.  In Alaska our election process           
 covers such a vast area that many people must travel great                    
 distances to vote.  Despite some inconveniences we have a civic               
 duty to vote for or against the candidates, propositions and                  
 questions on our state ballot and nobody has the right to interfere           
 with the voting process.                                                      
                                                                               
 "The impetus for HB 364 is Dansereau v. Ulmer, which deals in part          
 with unlawful interference with voting in the first degree.  This             
 case occurred after the 1994 Gubernatorial election and has yet to            
 be completely resolved.  (The complete case is available in the               
 committee packet.)                                                            
                                                                               
 "The purpose of HB 364 is to align our state election law regarding           
 unlawful interference with voting in the first degree with the                
 federal election law.  Alaska statute defines the crime of unlawful           
 interference with voting in the first degree by requiring proof               
 that a person was paid to vote for or against a particular                    
 candidate, proposition, or question.  Whereas, federal election         
 only requires proof that a person first was offered a prohibited              
 incentive and then voted.                                                     
                                                                               
 "HB 364 amends AS 15.56.030 (a) by removing the requirement to                
 prove that an incentive to vote must be for a particular candidate,         
 proposition, or question.  This proposed legislation only requires        
 proof that a person first was offered a prohibited incentive and              
 then voted.  This change strengthens the prohibition against the              
 use of some incentives for voting.                                            
                                                                               
 "This proposed legislation is an important change to our election             
 statutes.  It clarifies that voters in Alaska cannot be paid for              
 their vote.  I urge the support of all legislators."                          
                                                                               
 Representative Bunde then invited questions from the committee.               
                                                                               
 Number 0369                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER announced that Wevley Shea would testify via                  
 telephone, from his office in Anchorage.                                      
                                                                               
 WEVLEY WILLIAM SHEA, Attorney at Law, stated he wished to testify             
 because of the gross inequities which occurred in the 1994                    
 gubernatorial election.  He explained that the suit which prompted            
 the legislation was brought by ten voters.  The lawsuit itself did            
 not allege wrongdoing by any of the candidates, but rather by third           
 parties.  Mr. Shea read from the court's decision in the Dansereau           
 v. Ulmer lawsuit, as follows:  "The right to vote encompasses the            
 right to express one's opinion, and is the way to declare one's               
 full membership in the political community.  Thus, it is                      
 fundamental to our concept of democratic government.  Moreover, a             
 true democracy must seek to make each citizen's vote as meaningful            
 as every other vote, to ensure the equality of all people under the           
 law."  Mr. Shea further explained that the decision states it is              
 the legislature's responsibility to address the parameters of                 
 voting in the state of Alaska.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 0623                                                                   
 MR. SHEA further explained that, according to the decision, "In               
 stark contrast with federal law, Alaska election law does not                 
 prohibit paying voters."  He proposed several wording changes to              
 the bill, as follows:  On page 2, line 3, change the word "at" to             
 "in".  On line 11, begin the sentence with "Offers of", rather than           
 "offers to".  Delete Section D 2, subsection (2).  He also pointed            
 out that the Attorney General has never admitted there were any               
 problems at all with the election.  Mr. Shea commented that he                
 personally spent 1,235 hours working on the Dansereau v. Ulmer              
 case.  He stated that the legislature would be doing a grave                  
 disservice to the citizens if it did not examine the conduct of the           
 Attorney General with regard to this case.                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1134                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVID FINKELSTEIN commented that he was sorry that             
 Mr. Shea lost his case.                                                       
                                                                               
 MR. SHEA responded that he did not lose his case, as Representative           
 Finkelstein was well aware.                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER interjected that all conversation in the committee            
 must go through the Chair.                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN observed that much of Mr. Shea's                   
 testimony was unrelated to the bill.  He stated that the                      
 administration has a responsibility to assure that elections are              
 not overturned for relatively minor matters.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 1206                                                                   
                                                                               
 DIANE SHRINER, Election Outreach and Training Coordinator, Division           
 of Elections, stated that the division supports HB 365, including             
 the amendments in the CSHB 365(JUD) draft.  She explained that the            
 Division of Elections frequently receives calls concerning the                
 legality of certain procedures, and the proposed legislation                  
 clarifies the intent of the law.                                              
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if the division supported the idea of                   
 removing Subsection (d)(2) from Section 2.                                    
                                                                               
 MS. SHRINER responded that the administration does support the                
 language changes proposed by Mr. Shea, including removing Section             
 2(d)(2).  She thanked Representative Bunde for introducing the                
 bill.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 1325                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked for clarification.  On page 2, line 3, would            
 the division object to changing the word "at" to "in"?  Or, on line           
 11, beginning the sentence with "Offers of"?                                  
                                                                               
 MS. SHRINER responded that she had not studied the bill in detail,            
 and was not prepared for Mr. Shea's comments.  She stated that she            
 would trust the committee's expertise.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 1360                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN noted that the phrase "offers to" was              
 already included as a qualifier, prior to the term "other valuable            
 things."  He stated that the phrase "offers of" was not necessary.            
                                                                               
 Number 1360                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE stated that he had distributed an amendment              
 with proposed wording changes.  He noted that the phrase "offers to           
 pay" was not the same as "offers for a game of chance."  He                   
 therefore encouraged the committee to accept the proposed changes.            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN reiterated that the bill drafter had               
 suggested removing the phrase "offers of," in order to avoid a                
 compound reference.                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 1431                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if there were any further questions.                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made a motion to insert the word "in" to                 
 replace the word "at" on page 2, line 3.                                      
                                                                               
 Number 1520                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CYNTHIA TOOHEY noted that the committee had not                
 adopted the draft CSHB 364C.  She moved that the House Judiciary              
 Committee adopt CSHB 364, version C, as the working draft.  There             
 being no objection, CSHB 364C was adopted as the working draft.               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE renewed his previous motion.                             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER noted the motion would be amendment number 1.                 
 There being no objection, the amendment was passed.                           
                                                                               
 Number 1575                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE moved that the House Judiciary Committee pass            
 amendment number 2 to CSHB 364C.                                              
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER noted the amendment would delete page 2, line 18              
 page 2 line 21, and page 2 lines 22 - 24.                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE stated that he had separated the issue of                
 lines 22 - 24 from the first half of the proposed amendment                   
                                                                               
 Number 1524                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN PORTER noted for the record that amendment number 2 would            
 change page 2, line 11 after (A) to insert "offers of" and on page            
 2, line 14, after (B) to insert "promises or offers of.                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN pointed out that the proposed wording              
 was redundant.                                                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE replied that he read the wording differently.            
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER concurred that the phrase "offer" in Section A did            
 not also apply to Section D.                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 1760                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN noted that Section D was only a                    
 definitions section.                                                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE concurred that the phrase "offer to pay" could           
 be removed from page 1.                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 1810                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if Representative Bunde would then be willing           
 to withdraw his amendment.  Amendment number 2 was withdrawn.                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN stated he had an amendment relating to             
 Section 2 B, page 2, lines 19 - 21.  He explained that he agreed              
 with the intent of the bill, but was afraid the language was too              
 limiting.  He did not believe the bill intended to prohibit post-             
 election parties which were non-partisan in nature, but rather were           
 sponsored by civic groups in an effort to encourage voting.                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE replied that he believed the bill as worded              
 did not exclude those types of events.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 1906                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN reiterated that he believed the phrase             
 did need to be broadened.  He suggested asking the bill drafter to            
 reword the phrase "gathering in support of or in opposition to a              
 candidate."                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER suggested adding the phrase "in support or                    
 opposition to an election."                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN suggested adding the phrase "encouraging           
 voting."  He stated he had no problem with the word "incidental,"             
 but wanted to specify the types of activities allowed.                        
                                                                               
 Number 2025                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN asked if the members were discussing                 
 something other than voting.                                                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER responded that they were not.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 2036                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN reiterated that the wording should make            
 it clear that encouraging voting in general was not disallowed.               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if the committee would consider adding on               
 line 21, page 2, changing the semicolon to a comma, and adding the            
 phrase "or that generally encourages voting;".                                
                                                                               
 Number 2090                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN moved that the House Judiciary Committee           
 adopt amendment number 2 to CSHB 364.                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER noted for the record that since the previous                  
 Amendment Number 2 had been withdrawn, this would in fact be                  
 considered Amendment Number 2.  He further noted that the proposed            
 amendment would make the following changes:  on page 2, line 21,              
 adding the phrase "or that generally encourages voting;".  The                
 Chairman asked if there were any objections.                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE stated that he would object, only because he             
 felt the Division of Elections should be consulted.                           
                                                                               
 Number 2135                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. SHRINER expressed her opinion that the committee should not               
 start down a slippery slope.  Since the bill is dealing with the              
 issue of offering items of value in return for voting, the word               
 "incidental" is a key word.  She further stated that the Division             
 of Election would not have a problem with after election                      
 gatherings, so long as prizes were not offered.                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN commented that he felt the witness                 
 misunderstood the proposed amendment.  He explained that the phrase           
 "purpose of the gathering" was being clarified.                               
                                                                               
 Number 2240                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY urged the members to be cautious.  He                 
 stated that the proposed amendment was not as innocuous as it might           
 appear, and that it would actually open a window regarding what               
 incentives could be offered at a meeting to encourage voting.                 
                                                                               
 Number 2254                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN noted for the record that the bill                 
 drafter needed to clarify that the phrase "that generally                     
 encourages voting" only modifies "gathering."  He explained that              
 the concern being expressed was that the phrase could modify "food            
 and refreshments."                                                            
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER responded that he felt the record clearly described           
 the committee's intent.  He reiterated that the amendment only                
 related to the fact that the purpose of the gathering was to                  
 generally encourage voting, and did not modify what incentives                
 could be offered to that end.                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 2270                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if the committee's intent was that the             
 amendment would include a banquet located near a polling place.               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN responded that the question was a good             
 one, but that it did not relate to the proposed amendment.                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER agreed that the question did not relate to the                
 proposed amendment.                                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY responded that he did believe the committee              
 was changing the intent of the bill.                                          
                                                                               
 Number 2315                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN reiterated that the bill's intent was              
 not to discourage events held only for the purpose of encouraging             
 people to vote.                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 2331                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE responded that he would sustain his objection.           
                                                                               
 Number 2364                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked for a roll call vote on Amendment Number 2 to           
 CSHB 364C.  Representatives Bunde, Toohey, Vezey, and Green voted             
 No.  Representatives Finkelstein and Porter voted Yes.  Therefore,            
 Amendment Number 2 failed.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 2370                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE moved that CSHB 364C as amended with attached            
 fiscal notes and individual recommendations be moved from the House           
 Judiciary Committee.                                                          
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER announced that, there being no objection, CSHB 364C           
 with attached fiscal notes and individual recommendations was                 
 passed out of the House Judiciary Committee.                                  
                                                                               
 HB 311 REPEAL LIMIT ON HOURS EMPLOYED IN MINES                              
                                                                               
 Number 2419                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER announced that the next order of business to come             
 before the committee was House Bill 311.                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY introduced the bill, and explained that                  
 current laws regulating underground mining have been rendered                 
 obsolete by mechanization and new health and safety standards.                
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-34, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 2396                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY further explained that most states have                  
 already repealed their 8 hour underground mining laws.  He asked              
 that the sponsor statement be entered into the record, as follows:            
 "HB 311  "An Act repealing the limitation on the hours a person may           
 be employed in a mine," ... was introduced to correct the current             
 statutes that contemporary, advanced underground mining technology            
 have made obsolete.  The source of the original legislation is                
 found in 43-2-1,2&3 ACLA 1949.                                                
                                                                               
 "At the time this legislation was introduced, underground mining              
 was performed by people using hand tools, pneumatic drills and push           
 cars.  There were no state or federal safety or health laws like we           
 have today.  There were also no wage and hours laws in those days.            
 The explosives used in those days produced large amounts of noxious           
 fumes and ventilation was almost non existent.  Air operated drills           
 used without water and wetting agents produced large amounts of               
 dust.  Silicosis was a serious occupational hazard.  The methods              
 used to prevent cave-ins and inhalation of foreign material were              
 primitive, at best.                                                           
                                                                               
 "Times have changed and so have the methods used to mine                      
 underground.  Today's underground mining activities are performed             
 by machines with the operator supervising the operation.  The                 
 health safety standards are among the highest in the world.                   
 Accident and injury rate are among the lowest for any industrial              
 occupation in Alaska.  They are almost half that of the norm for              
 the construction industry.  The engineering methods of insuring               
 safety have also dramatically improved.                                       
                                                                               
 "HB-311 will result in increased wages for miners, increased                  
 profits for mining companies and more miners working in more mines            
 for all Alaskans."                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 2354                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY noted that while reasonable restraints on                
 mining operations are needed, the industry has great economic                 
 potential, and should not be subject to unreasonable regulation.              
 He further noted that miners themselves do not oppose the bill.  He           
 reiterated that the mining industry is one of the safest in the               
 United States.  He stated that in the past five years, there has              
 only been one fatality related to underground mining in the state             
 of Alaska.  He emphasized that the fishing, logging, and                      
 construction industries are not subject to any similar constraints            
 on number of hours worked.  He further emphasized that the jobs               
 provided by the mining industry are high paying jobs.  He stated              
 that last year, many of the committee members toured the Green's              
 Creek mine, and observed the working conditions.  He reiterated               
 that there has been no opposition to speak of from the miners                 
 themselves, and that various surveys indicate people working in               
 mines overwhelmingly support working more than 8 hours per day.  He           
 noted that while the original HB 311 totally repealed the work hour           
 limitations, the Labor and Commerce Committee substitute does not             
 give the industry due credit.  Representative Vezey stated that he            
 would propose an amendment to CSHB 311.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 2308                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER announced that three witnesses were present to                
 testify regarding HB 311.  He also noted the presence in the                  
 committee room of Ramona L. Barnes, former Speaker of the House.              
 Former Speaker Barnes declined Chairman Porter's invitation to                
 testify.  Chairman Porter then invited Ed Flanagan, of the                    
 Department of Labor, to testify.                                              
                                                                               
 ED FLANAGAN, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Labor, testified              
 that the Department of Labor opposes HB 311.  He stated that the              
 long and productive mining history of the state of Alaska was                 
 accomplished under the present law.  He recognized that there is              
 always some part of the world where an industry can work with less            
 regulation, or with no regulation, but the state of Alaska is                 
 fortunate that the productivity of our workers and the wealth of              
 our resources has allowed us to counteract those forces.  Mr.                 
 Flanagan noted that none of the mining projects coming on line have           
 been recognized as being contingent upon this change in the law.              
 He further stated that the Commissioner of the Department of Labor            
 was opposed to the original HB 311.  The department does appreciate           
 the considerable amount of time the House Labor and Commerce                  
 Committee spent on the bill.  Because CSHB 311(L&C) addresses the             
 concerns raised by the department, the department has removed its             
 opposition to CSHB 311(L&C).  Mr. Flanagan further noted that                 
 Commissioner Cashen's father and grandfather were both employed               
 during the 1920's in the Alaska Juneau Mine, so he was well                   
 acquainted with the issue.  He emphasized that the commissioner and           
 the department both support the mining industry.  However, both the           
 commissioner and the department feel it is critical that any                  
 expansion beyond an 8 hour work day be allowed only on a case by              
 case basis.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 2045                                                                   
 MR. FLANAGAN further noted that in the seven years since 1989,                
 three underground miners have been killed in Juneau.  He explained            
 that sub-contractors must be required to adhere to the same                   
 standards as mine operators.  Therefore, the Department of Labor &            
 Commerce adopted a provision which would allow up to 10 hours of              
 work per day, in the event that a variance was granted by the                 
 commissioner, or a bona fide collective bargaining agreement was in           
 place.  He stated that, in his testimony before the Labor &                   
 Commerce Committee, the representative of Green's Creek Mine                  
 explained that their schedule basically entails 6 hours of travel,            
 beyond the work at the face.  With a blanket 10 hour allowance,               
 those miners would be facing a 16 hour work day.  The department              
 feels that would be cause for concern.  He further stated that                
 Green's Creek would like to get a camp on-site, for the convenience           
 of its workers, and the department supports this.  However, a                 
 federal permit is required, which may not happen.                             
                                                                               
 Number 1970                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. FLANAGAN reiterated that variances to the 8 hour work day must            
 be granted on a case by case basis.  He referred to the "so-called"           
 expert testimony delivered in the Labor & Commerce Committee by Mr.           
 Duchon, a psychologist who had a contract with the Bureau of Mines.           
 According to Mr. Duchon's testimony, extended work days were no               
 problem.  Mr. Flanagan quoted from the summary of Mr. Duchon's                
 study, as follows:  "The Bureau of Mines reviewed the literature              
 studies related to safety and performance issues of extended work             
 days.  The report presents a study of those findings.  Studies                
 examined in this review are divided into three sections:                      
 laboratory, field, and accident and injury analysis.  In general,             
 results are inconclusive.  Studies have shown both positive and               
 negative effects.  It is concluded, therefore, that in an industry            
 such as mining where accidents are a serious concern, special                 
 measures and evaluation in the use of extended work days be                   
 considered."  He explained that such consideration was exactly what           
 the variance procedure adopted by the House Labor & Commerce                  
 Committee would allow for.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1909                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. FLANAGAN further stated that the Department of Labor was                  
 opposed to the proposed CSHB 311(JUD).  The department does support           
 CSHB 311(L&C).  He did note, however, that allowing an exclusion              
 from the provision for mechanics, warehousemen, and electricians              
 was ill-advised.  He stated that the current language, which refers           
 only to a person employed underground, is preferable, because there           
 could be situations where a mechanic or electrician could be                  
 involved in work at the face.  Mr. Flanagan then invited questions            
 from the committee.  He urged the members of the House Judiciary              
 Committee to seriously consider CSHB 311(L&C).                                
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER commented that the bill presently before the House            
 Judiciary Committee was CSHB 311(L&C).  The committee has not yet             
 adopted the proposed CSHB 311(JUD), which mandates that the work              
 day limit be raised to 10 hours, with a variance to 12 hours.                 
                                                                               
 Number 1838                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asked about the three miners who have been              
 killed in Juneau since 1989.  What part of their shift were they              
 killed in, and were they killed underground?                                  
                                                                               
 MR. FLANAGAN responded that the miners were killed during a                   
 regular, 8 hour shift.  One fell down a shaft at the Kensington               
 Mine, one was wrapped up in a drill underground, and the other was            
 crushed by a falling slab.                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY then asked if the prohibitions of the bill              
 would include locations underground, such as the electrical shop,             
 that were not involved in actual mining.                                      
                                                                               
 MR. FLANAGAN replied that the 8 hour limitation applied to work at            
 the face only.                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 1724                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if the law actually included the term              
 "at the face."  It was his understanding that the law only referred           
 to "underground."                                                             
                                                                               
 MR. FLANAGAN responded that the existing law does reference work              
 "at the face."  He read from AS 2310.410, subsection B, as follows:           
 "It is the purpose of this section to limit the hours of employment           
 in 24 hours to 8 hours of actual labor at the face, or other place            
 where the work or labor to be done is actually performed."                    
                                                                               
 Number 1672                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY then stated, the statute reads:  "A person may           
 not be employed in an underground coal mine, underground lode mine,           
 underground placer mine, underground coal lode or placer workings,            
 or other underground mine or workings, for more than 8 hours in               
 24."  He further noted that current Department of Labor regulations           
 define the work hours as being portal to portal.                              
                                                                               
 MR. FLANAGAN responded that the regulation being referred to was a            
 clarification of the term "labor performed," in a different section           
 of the statute.   It relates to what is time worked for purposes of           
 pay.  He stated that Section A, which Representative Vezey quoted             
 from, goes on to say:  "Except on a day when a change of shift is             
 made, excluding an intermission of time for meals or otherwise                
 going to or from the place where the work is actually carried on,             
 whether in going on or off shift or in going to or returning from             
 meals."  Mr. Flanagan said it was his understanding that "B"                  
 clarified that section.                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 1614                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY then asked if it was Representative Flanagan's           
 interpretation of the current law that miners could work at the               
 face for 8 hours, excluding travel time.                                      
                                                                               
 MR. FLANAGAN responded that was correct, so long as there was not             
 another location where work was actually carried on.  The actual              
 time worked could not exceed 8 hours.                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked about work outside the mine.                       
                                                                               
 MR. FLANAGAN replied that work outside the mine was irrelevant to             
 the section in question.                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY commented that people in the industry believed           
 they were restricted to 8 hours of work per day including travel              
 time within the mine.                                                         
                                                                               
 MR. FLANAGAN responded that they had not asked the department.                
                                                                               
 Number 1588                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY commented that the mining industry in Alaska             
 has been all but dormant for the last 30 years.  He asked if Mr.              
 Flanagan would consider it to be robust.                                      
                                                                               
 MR. FLANAGAN responded that the economics of underground mining,              
 rather than time worked underground, was responsible for the                  
 situation.                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY reiterated that mining has been a very small             
 industry in the state for the past 20 or 30 years.  He stated that            
 this past year the mining industry has probably tripled in size.              
                                                                               
 MR. FLANAGAN responded that the tripling referred to had occurred             
 under present law.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 1522                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated that most of the mining presently                 
 occurring is surface mining, not underground.  He then asked why              
 Mr. Flanagan felt that the state needs to regulate mining more                
 closely than industries such as logging, fishing, aviation, or                
 construction.  He stated that during construction of the tunnels at           
 Bradley Lake and Snettisham, the crews worked underground 12 and 14           
 hours per day.                                                                
                                                                               
 MR. FLANAGAN responded that he was associated with the Bradley Lake           
 project, on site, for approximately 17 months, and that he was not            
 aware of any regularly scheduled shift that exceeded 10 hours.  The           
 tunneling crew worked 8 hour shifts.  The shaft crews occasionally            
 worked 10 hour shifts.  He stated that, at Snettisham, anything in            
 excess of 10 hours was rare.  He further stated that the state                
 actually regulates the construction industry more heavily than it             
 does the mining industry, since mining is primarily the purview of            
 the Mining Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).  The state has            
 also worked closely with the logging industry to reduce fatalities.           
                                                                               
 Number 1358                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asked if the proposed legislation applied to            
 mines other than underground mines.                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY responded that the legislation applied to any            
 underground mine, but not to open pit or other types of mines.                
                                                                               
 Number 1315                                                                   
                                                                               
 DON ETHERIDGE, Alaska State District Council of Laborers, testified           
 that the district council supports CSHB 311(L&C).  He stated the              
 district council cannot justify jeopardizing lives in order to                
 increase company profits.  In the Labor & Commerce Committee,                 
 miners testified about the dangers of the mining industry.  He                
 further stated the district council can not understand why the                
 mining industry is opposed to the Department of Labor's variance              
 proposal.  If the company can prove that conditions are safe                  
 enough, than the variance would be granted.  He pointed out that              
 even the fishing industry has begun regulating itself, in order to            
 increase safety.  He reiterated that the district council cannot              
 justify risking working people's lives simply to increase profits.            
                                                                               
 Number 1214                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE commented that extra hours worked would also             
 translate into extra pay for the miners.                                      
                                                                               
 MR. ETHERIDGE responded that this was why miners would not                    
 voluntarily enforce the 8 hour day themselves.                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY stated that she believed the legislation had            
 been proposed at the suggestion of the miners.                                
                                                                               
 MR. ETHERIDGE replied that workers will often work under unsafe               
 conditions, because they need the money.  He stated that is why               
 regulations are needed.                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 1144                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if the fatigue factor was discussed in             
 the House Labor & Commerce Committee testimony.                               
                                                                               
 MR. FLANAGAN responded that it was discussed.  He stated that                 
 Andrew J. "Bear" Piekarski, who worked in the mines, and was                  
 injured in a cave-in, testified that an 8 hour shift was all that             
 could safely be worked.                                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if there were statistics which showed              
 the relationship between hours worked and number of accidents.                
                                                                               
 MR. FLANAGAN stated that there were no new, specific statistics               
 related to mining.  Data collected in 1987 shows that accidents do            
 increase after the 8th hour of work.                                          
                                                                               
 Number 1038                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER called on the next witness, Clynt Nauman.                     
                                                                               
 CLYNT NAUMAN, General Manager, Green's Creek Mine, stated that the            
 discussions in the House Labor & Commerce Committee did not include           
 the statement that people would be working 16 hour shifts at                  
 Green's Creek.  He stated that Green's Creek supports a change in             
 the number of hours a person can spend underground from 8 to 10               
 hours, and that they do appreciate Representative Vezey's efforts.            
 If longer shifts were permitted at Green's Creek, they would                  
 encourage employees to stay on the island.  At the present time,              
 Green's Creek employees are away from home 12 hours per day.  In              
 those 12 hours, a miner works 5.7 hours at the face.  The remainder           
 of the time is commuting and travel within the mine itself.  He               
 explained that this is the real issue.  Mr. Nauman further stated             
 that, so far as Dr. Duchon's testimony was concerned, it was his              
 recollection that the studies concerned 12 hour shifts, not the 10            
 hour shifts proposed by Green's Creek.  He stated that Dr. Duchon's           
 testimony also showed a change from 8 to 10 hours was not a safety            
 issue.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 0863                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. NAUMAN went on to say he was confused about which version of              
 the bill was being considered.  He stated that the variance system            
 proposed in CSHB 311(L&C) was not supported by Green's Creek,                 
 because the extension of work hours would then be at the discretion           
 of the Commissioner of Labor.  If substantial sums of money were              
 invested in an operation, and the variance was disallowed, then the           
 operation would not be economically feasible.  He further stated              
 that Green's Creek anticipates restarting its mining operation                
 later in 1996.  At that time they will have 250 employees.  They              
 presently have 150 employees, of which 80 percent are Alaskans.  He           
 stated Green's Creek intends to implement a strong policy of local            
 hire.  If the work day could be extended from 8 to 10 hours, then             
 employment could be offered to appropriately qualified Alaskans.              
 He stated that workers from other communities cannot afford to move           
 to Juneau.  He further stated that Green's Creek has to complete in           
 a global marketplace.  In order for capital dollars to be invested            
 in the mining industry in Alaska, the law needs to be changed.  He            
 pointed out that when Green's Creek originally went into                      
 production, the mine's profitability depended upon keeping costs              
 below net revenue realized.  In 1993, when Green's Creek shut down,           
 the costs were relatively high.  He stated the company wants to               
 achieve as many efficiencies as possible, so that the people                  
 working there can remain employed for the next 15 years.  Finally,            
 Mr. Nauman stated that he was prepared to offer amendments to the             
 various versions of the bill.                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 0463                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked Mr. Nauman if he had ever worked             
 an 8 hour shift underground, and if so could he describe his                  
 experience.                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. NAUMAN replied that he had managed mines, working 8 hours and             
 longer underground.  He stated he had not personally noted, nor had           
 he managed any mines where the safety record had been any different           
 after 8 hours and up to 10.  He stated he had managed a deep                  
 underground gold mine in the Northwest Territories of Canada, where           
 provisions were in place to extend shifts under special                       
 circumstances.                                                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN stated that he had toured the Green's              
 Creek mine, and that after 50 minutes underground he was ready to             
 climb the walls.                                                              
                                                                               
 MR. NAUMAN responded that one of the major issues for Green's Creek           
 workers was time off with family.  He stated that an underground              
 employee would earn approximately 20 days more time off with his              
 family, if working 10 hours underground at the face, versus working           
 8 hours underground at the face.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 0345                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN then asked if the miners would not then            
 want to pursue the issue themselves, as part of the collective                
 bargaining process.  He asked if the real issue was extending the             
 allowable work day from 10 hours to 12.                                       
                                                                               
 MR. NAUMAN replied that he did not understand why the table should            
 be tilted for or against organized labor.  He stated that the real            
 issue was jobs, and the extension of the work day.                            
                                                                               
 Number 0225                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked if the 10 hour work day could not            
 be achieved under CSHB 311(L&C).                                              
                                                                               
 MR. NAUMAN responded that Green's Creek is not happy with the                 
 proposed bill, because a variance or permit procedure is not                  
 substantive enough to encourage investment necessary for the                  
 facilities to be put in place.  He stated the second issue is that            
 the proposed legislation contains no procedure for the variance to            
 be granted.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 0152                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if it would be in order for the                    
 committee to adopt CSHB 311, version O.                                       
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if there were any further questions for Mr.             
 Nauman.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 0030                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked if the extended shifts were put in                 
 place, how would the schedule work.                                           
                                                                               
 MR. NAUMAN replied that his proposal would be to place the ferry on           
 a twelve hour rotating basis.  (gap due to changing tape)                     
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-35, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 0018                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN pointed out that the proposed                      
 legislation was no different from the way the state regulates other           
 occupations.  He stated that if extended shifts can be worked                 
 safely, then the Department of Labor would grant a variance.  He              
 further stated that CSHB 311(L&C) was a reasonable bill, and                  
 recommended that the committee not adopt the proposed Judiciary               
 Committee substitute.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 0111                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked Mr. Finkelstein if he thought it was fair to            
 ask investors to make substantial investments, when an operation's            
 profitability depended on the granting of a variance.                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN responded that the proposed legislation            
 would allow an extension under certain circumstances.  He stated              
 that the only issue was 8 to 10 hours, versus 10 to 12.  He further           
 stated that a case had not been made that 12 hour shifts would ever           
 be safe.  He also observed that human beings were not evolved to              
 work underground for long periods of time.                                    
                                                                               
 Number 0193                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY commented it was a shame that no miners were            
 present, as they would totally disagree.                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN observed that workers on the North Slope often           
 work 12 hour shifts.  He stated that he believed human beings are             
 resilient, and that if employees want to work safely, and are                 
 trained to work safely, then the accident rate will be minimal.               
                                                                               
 Number 0259                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE commented that coal miners he had talked to              
 loved working underground.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 0259                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if there was any further discussion on the              
 adoption of CSHB 311, version O.  There being no further                      
 discussion, a roll call vote was taken.  Representatives Toohey,              
 Vezey, Green, Bunde, and Porter voted Yes.  Representative                    
 Finkelstein voted no.  CSHB 311(JUD), version O, was adopted.                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE announced that Amendment Number 1 was being              
 passed out to committee members.  He made a motion that the                   
 amendment be adopted.                                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN objected.                                          
                                                                               
 Number 0329                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE called on Reed Stoops to testify.                        
                                                                               
 Number 0332                                                                   
                                                                               
 REED STOOPS, lobbyist, stated he would testify on behalf of Green's           
 Creek Mining Company.  He stated that Mr. Jim Clark, who actually             
 drafted the proposed amendments, was also present.  He further                
 stated that Mr. Flanagan's testimony may have negated the need for            
 the proposed amendment.  He asked if Representative Vezey would               
 agree that the change was no longer necessary.                                
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER stated he was under the impression that Mr.                   
 Flanagan's interpretation of the law was correct, in that the 8               
 hour day related to time actually worked.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 0429                                                                   
                                                                               
 JAMES F. CLARK, attorney for Green's Creek Mining Company, stated             
 that there is a regulation which does limit the time underground to           
 8 hours, as opposed to actual time at the face excluding travel               
 time.  He further stated that workers would be paid for all time              
 actually spent underground.                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if a copy of the regulation was available.              
 He then asked if the proposed bill would solve the problem created            
 by the regulation.                                                            
                                                                               
 MR. CLARK replied that it would.                                              
 Number 0549                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if Green's Creek still desired the proposed             
 amendment.                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. STOOPS replied that they did not.                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER noted for the record that Amendment Number 1 was              
 withdrawn.                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY made a motion that CSHB 311(JUD) be passed out           
 of the House Judiciary Committee, with individual recommendations             
 and attached zero fiscal note.                                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN announced that he would not object.                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked the record to reflect that he invited              
 Representative Finkelstein to visit Fairbanks, and to work in a               
 mine.                                                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN declined.                                          
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER announced that CSHB 311(JUD) with individual                  
 recommendations and attached zero fiscal note, was passed out of              
 the House Judiciary Committee.                                                
                                                                               
 HB 365 MINOR IN POSSESSION OF TOBACCO                                       
                                                                               
 Number 0615                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER announced that the next order of business to come             
 before the House Judiciary Committee was HB 365.                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE paraphrased his Sponsor Statement, as follows:           
 "House Bill 365 plugs a loophole.  We have a pervasive problem of             
 tobacco use among our young people throughout the United States,              
 and especially in Alaska.  In 1992, the federal government passed             
 what is called the Synar Amendment.  This requires that states do             
 random, unannounced inspections of locations where tobacco is sold,           
 and try to reduce illegal sales or sales to minors.  Currently,               
 Alaska is not able to comply with this federal requirement for                
 compliance checks.  Current law would indicate that the young                 
 people who are used to achieve these compliance checks could                  
 conceivably be charged with Minor in Possession, and adults who               
 work with them could be charged with Contributing to the                      
 Delinquency of A Minor.  I introduced HB 365 to ensure our state's            
 ability to conform with the compliance checks that are required by            
 the Synar Amendment.  It allows young people to work in tandem with           
 law enforcement agencies to complete compliance checks regarding              
 the sale of tobacco to young people.  If there are no compliance              
 checks, we do stand to lose some federal support.  This legislation           
 would eliminate current obstacles to carrying out compliance                  
 checks, and would then reduce the illegal sale of tobacco to our              
 young people."                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 0729                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER announced the first witness would be Annette                  
 Marley, of the Alaska Native Health Board.  He then announced that            
 her testimony would be in letter form only.  Chairman Porter then             
 called on Stacy Goade.                                                        
                                                                               
 STACY GOADE announced that she would read a statement on behalf of            
 the Juneau Tobacco Prevention Network and the Seven Circles                   
 Coalition.  She read from a prepared statement, as follows:  "The             
 Juneau Tobacco Prevention Network and the Seven Circles Coalition             
 have been working during the past year to conduct underage                    
 compliance checks as part of an effort to reduce youth access to              
 tobacco products in Juneau.                                                   
                                                                               
 "The Juneau Tobacco Prevention Network is a grass-roots group                 
 working to reduce the harmful effects of tobacco usage, especially            
 among youth.  The Network takes a comprehensive approach to tobacco           
 issues, and is focused on four strategies.  The Network believes              
 all four strategies are necessary and important if we are going to            
 protect children from tobacco addiction.  The first strategy is               
 education and cessation programs.  The second is addressing tobacco           
 advertising to youth.  The third is tobacco tax increases.  Fourth            
 is youth access to tobacco products, which is what HB 365 will help           
 us with.                                                                      
                                                                               
 "The Seven Circles Coalition is a regional coalition which seeks to           
 assist communities in creating effective strategies, with youth               
 involvement, to prevent the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other                
 drugs and violence among youth.  Seven Circles has provided staff             
 and financial support to help the Tobacco Network achieve its                 
 goals, especially around issues involving youth access to tobacco.            
                                                                               
 "The Juneau Tobacco Prevention Network became involved during the             
 past year in trying to limit illegal tobacco sales to underage                
 youth in Juneau.  This project was initiated due to concerns that             
 educational efforts in the schools, churches, and at home were not            
 working, but in fact were undermined when children were able to               
 walk into a store and easily buy an illegal tobacco product.                  
                                                                               
 "We began our compliance checks last May, using 8th grade 14 and 15           
 year old youth.  During the first series of compliance checks, we             
 found that out of 42 purchase attempts, 17 resulted in an illegal             
 sale to a minor.  This is an underage purchase rate of 40 percent.            
 We found also that youth have an even easier time purchasing                  
 tobacco products at locations in the Mendenhall Valley, where the             
 majority of the youth in this community live, with an underage                
 purchase rate of 55 percent.                                                  
 "It was disturbing how easy it was for these 14 and 15 year old               
 youth, who are all well below the age of 19, which is the legal               
 age, how easy it was for them to buy tobacco from our local                   
 retailers.  Following the compliance checks, we educated the                  
 community and the retailers about the problem of youth access to              
 tobacco products.  Managers at all establishments were contacted              
 and alerted to concerns about illegal sales to minors, as well as             
 the clerks, and provided with materials to educate the clerks and             
 signs to post at every check-out stating the law regarding sales to           
 minors.  The retailers were encouraged to talk with us and help us            
 ensure that underage youth were not able to purchase tobacco                  
 products at their store.                                                      
                                                                               
 "During the follow-up compliance checks two months later, during              
 November and December of 1995, we found clerks were more                      
 conscientious about preventing illegal sales to minors.  This time            
 we made 45 purchase attempts, with only 9 resulting in illegal                
 sales.  The purchase rate for underage minors was then reduced to             
 20 percent.  Again, managers of establishments were contacted, and            
 the names of those retailers continuing to sell tobacco products to           
 underage youth were publicly released.                                        
                                                                               
 "Additional educational support was offered to retailers, and in              
 the future we hope to conduct a final series of compliance checks             
 which provide immediate feedback to the clerk and the store                   
 manager, through either working with the Police Department to issue           
 citations, having youth notify the clerk after the sale has been              
 made that it was an illegal sale, and by contacting the store                 
 manager immediately following the purchase attempt.                           
                                                                               
 "The legislation being considered today will help to provide legal            
 police support in conducting our follow-up compliance checks and              
 enforcing state law.  Up to this point, because it isn't allowed,             
 the police have been very reluctant to be involved with the so-               
 called sting operations.                                                      
                                                                               
 "Although our efforts demonstrated a significant reduction in                 
 illegal sales of tobacco to youth, the problem of youth smoking in            
 Juneau has not gone away.  In our compliance checks we primarily              
 used younger teenagers, and the youth participating were instructed           
 not to lie about their age directly, and to lie if asked for ID.              
 In real life youth attempting to buy cigarettes and chewing tobacco           
 will lie about their age, and they will use fake ID.  They also               
 will get older teenagers to purchase for them.                                
                                                                               
 "For these reasons, although we strongly believe in compliance                
 checks as an excellent way to encourage merchant compliance, they             
 are only one piece of the puzzle, and must be used in combination             
 with other strategies to prevent tobacco addiction among youth."              
                                                                               
 Number 1037                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if there were any other witnesses.  Seeing              
 none, he announced the public hearing was closed.                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made a motion to move HB 365 from the House              
 Judiciary Committee, with individual recommendations.                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked the bill sponsor's permission to             
 amend on the tobacco tax.                                                     
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER announced that, hearing no objections, HB 365 was             
 passed out of the House Judiciary Committee.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 1143                                                                   
                                                                               
 ADJOURNMENT                                                                   
                                                                               
 There being no further business to come before the committee, the             
 meeting of the House Judiciary Committee was adjourned at 3:20 p.m.           
                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects