Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/03/1996 02:23 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                              
                         April 3, 1996                                         
                           2:23 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 CURRENT RESOLUTION 30                                                   
 "Relating to rights of public school students."                               
                                                                               
      - HCR 30 PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                         
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL 349                                                                
 "An Act relating to elections; relating to the division of                    
 elections; relating to voter registration procedures; and providing           
 for an effective date."                                                       
                                                                               
      - CSHB 349(STA) PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                  
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL 312                                                               
 "An Act relating to purchase of an alcoholic beverage from a                  
 package store."                                                               
                                                                               
      - SB 312 PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                         
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 211                                                           
 "An Act relating to sexual assault; and relating to endangering the           
 welfare of vulnerable adults and neglect of vulnerable adults."               
                                                                               
      - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                
                                                                               
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
                                                                               
 BILL:  HCR 30                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: STUDENT RIGHTS                                                   
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) GREEN                                           
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG             ACTION                                        
 02/12/96      2722    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/12/96      2722    (H)   HES, JUDICIARY, FINANCE                           
 03/19/96              (H)   HES AT  2:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/19/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/21/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/21/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/22/96      3265    (H)   HES RPT  CS(HES) 3DP 2NR 1AM                      
 03/22/96      3265    (H)   DP: TOOHEY, ROBINSON, BRICE                       
 03/22/96      3265    (H)   NR: ROKEBERG, BUNDE                               
 03/22/96      3265    (H)   AM: VEZEY                                         
 03/22/96      3266    (H)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DOE)                            
 03/22/96      3266    (H)   REFERRED TO JUDICIARY                             
 04/03/96              (H)   JUD AT  1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 349                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: ELECTIONS ADMINISTRATION & VOTER REG'N                           
 SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                  
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG             ACTION                                        
 05/13/95      2174    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 05/13/95      2174    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY, FINANCE                 
 05/13/95      2174    (H)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (GOV)                            
 05/13/95      2174    (H)   GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER                     
 03/28/96              (H)   STA AT  8:15 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 03/29/96      3471    (H)   STA RPT  CS(STA) NT 7DP                           
 03/29/96      3472    (H)   DP: JAMES, PORTER, GREEN, IVAN,                   
                             ROBINSON                                          
 03/29/96      3472    (H)   DP: WILLIS, OGAN                                  
 03/29/96      3472    (H)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (GOV)                            
 03/29/96      3472    (H)   REFERRED TO JUDICIARY                             
 04/03/96              (H)   JUD AT  1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  SB 312                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: LICENSEE BUYING LIQUOR FROM PACKAGE STORE                        
 SPONSOR(S): JUDICIARY                                                         
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG             ACTION                                        
 03/18/96      2775    (S)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/18/96      2775    (S)   JUDICIARY                                         
 03/25/96              (S)   JUD AT  1:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211                    
 03/26/96              (S)   RLS AT 12:00 PM FAHRENKAMP RM 203                 
 03/26/96      2902    (S)   JUD RPT  1DP 4NR                                  
 03/26/96      2902    (S)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (REV)                            
 03/27/96      2924    (S)   RULES TO CALENDAR & 1NR   3/27/96                 
 03/27/96      2926    (S)   READ THE SECOND TIME                              
 03/27/96      2926    (S)   HELD IN SECOND READING                            
 03/28/96      2946    (S)   MOVED TO BOTTOM OF CALENDAR                       
 03/28/96      2948    (S)   AM NO  1     MOVED BY DONLEY                      
 03/28/96      2948    (S)   AM NO  1     FAILED  Y6 N13 E1                    
 03/28/96      2949    (S)   ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT            
 03/28/96      2949    (S)   READ THE THIRD TIME  SB 312                       
 03/28/96      2950    (S)   PASSED Y19 N- E1                                  
 03/28/96      2950    (S)   DONLEY  NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION                 
 03/29/96      2972    (S)   RECONSIDERATION NOT TAKEN UP TODAY                
 03/29/96      2973    (S)   TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                
 04/01/96      3508    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 04/01/96      3508    (H)   JUDICIARY                                         
 04/03/96              (H)   JUD AT  1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                       
                                                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
                                                                               
 KRISTY TIBBLES, Legislative Aide                                              
 Representative Joseph Green                                                   
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 24                                                        
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-1182                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4931                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HCR 30                                      
                                                                               
 THOMAS H. DAHL, Assistant Attorney General                                    
 Department of Law                                                             
 P.O. Box 110300                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0300                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3600                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HCR 30                                      
                                                                               
 MIKE FORD, Attorney                                                           
 Legislative Legal and Research Services                                       
 Legislative Affairs Agency                                                    
 130 Seward Street, Suite 409                                                  
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-2105                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2450                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HCR 30                                      
                                                                               
 DIANE SHRINER, Elections Outreach Coordinator                                 
 Division of Elections                                                         
 P.O. Box 110017                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0017                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3051                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 349                                      
                                                                               
 KATHLEEN STRASBAUGH, Assistant Attorney General                               
 Department of Law                                                             
 P.O. Box 110300                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0300                                                    
 Telephone:  (907)465-3600                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 349                                      
                                                                               
 JOE AMBROSE, Legislative Assistant                                            
 Senator Robin Taylor                                                          
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 30                                                        
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-1182                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3873                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on SB 312                                      
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-47, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 017                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN BRIAN PORTER called the House Judiciary committee meeting            
 to order at 2:23 p.m.  Members present at the call to order were              
 Representatives Green, Bunde, and Toohey.  Representatives                    
 Finkelstein and Vezey arrived at their respective times; 2:26 p.m.            
 and 3:00 p.m.  Representative Bettye Davis was absent.                        
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER introduced the first bill to be considered as HCR             
 30 and invited Kristy Tibbles forward to present the sponsor                  
 statement regarding this legislation.                                         
                                                                               
 HCR 30 - STUDENT RIGHTS                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 077                                                                    
                                                                               
 KRISTY TIBBLES, Legislative Aide, Representative Joe Green read the           
 sponsor statement regarding HCR 30 into the record.                           
                                                                               
 "House Concurrent Resolution 30 was introduced to send a strong               
 message to students, parents and schools that education and school            
 safety are top priorities with the 19th Legislature.  Education               
 should be the key concern of a parent sending a child to school,              
 yet the issue of safety has surpassed this concern.  In 1940, the             
 major problems in public schools identified by teachers were                  
 talking out of turn, chewing gum, making noise in the classroom,              
 running in the halls, cutting in line, littering, and disobeying              
 the dress code.  Educators now consider the top problems to be                
 assaults by students on teachers and other students, weapons in               
 school, racial or ethnic attacks, gang disruptions, shootings and             
 knifings.                                                                     
                                                                               
 While these problems do not occur as often as they do in schools in           
 other states, violence in Alaska schools is increasing.  For                  
 example, at Bartlett High School in Anchorage a trial policy was              
 enacted to prevent weapons from being brought to school.  The                 
 policy states that all backpacks, book bags, and large purses must            
 remain in the student's hall lockers from 7:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.           
                                                                               
 School should be a safe haven for learning and our students should            
 not be burdened with intimidation and fear of violence.  Children             
 are one of the state's most valuable resources for the future                 
 economic and social well-being of the state.  This resolution                 
 declares that our children have a right to be provided with a safe,           
 orderly, and drug free environment in which they can learn, and               
 that they have a right to high academic standards in order to                 
 prepare them to meet the challenges they will encounter in the                
 future.                                                                       
                                                                               
 The conditions that allow students to become disenfranchised need             
 to be identified and reworked.  Parents, teachers, and                        
 administrators are taking positive action throughout the state to             
 address these issues and the passage of HCR 30 would demonstrate              
 the full support of the Legislature towards these efforts.  With              
 the cooperation of parents, educators, and elected officials, we              
 can all work together to provide our children the quality education           
 they need and deserve."                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 298                                                                    
                                                                               
 THOMAS H. DAHL, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law                 
 testified that they have reviewed HCR 30 and have been in                     
 conversation with Representative Green's staff about some of their            
 concerns.  Even though this is only a resolution and as such does             
 not have the force of law, the courts have construed resolutions              
 from legislatures as a demonstration of the intent of the state.              
 Their concern is that this catalogue of "rights" which are asserted           
 by the legislature in this resolution and availed to students                 
 implies that if these rights are made available to them, a remedy             
 is also available.  It's a maxim in the law that every right                  
 implies a remedy.  The remedy which the Department of Law is                  
 concerned about is that the state is setting itself up as a target            
 defendant for students which may have some grievance against a                
 school that might be enumerated in the catalogue of "rights"                  
 included in HCR 30.                                                           
                                                                               
 MR. DAHL stated that there is a regulation which exists now under             
 4 AAC 07.010 through .090 and this regulation deals with the rights           
 and responsibilities of students.  It's not nearly as specific as             
 this resolution.  Their preference would be to take some of the               
 language included in this existing regulation and if the                      
 legislature wants to express it's will to school districts and that           
 they take responsibility to search for ways by which students might           
 attain the goals as set forth quite well in the resolution, they              
 could still do so.  He pointed out that there were some clear                 
 objectives and goals in the resolution that were noble and need to            
 be honored.  The department did not want to denigrate the                     
 importance of these goals.  Their concern was that the objectives             
 are couched in terms of "rights" that the state confers, albeit               
 obliquely through a resolution, upon students and that this "sets"            
 the state up and possibly school districts up as defendants.                  
                                                                               
 Number 536                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN asked if Mr. Dahl had been in contact with           
 the attorney which helped his office draft the bill.  The reason he           
 asked this was that it is this attorney's opinion that the                    
 resolution doesn't set the state up as a target for litigation, but           
 they are sending a strong message of what they would like to see              
 for schools and their students.  Alaska is one of many states that            
 will enact student rights resolutions and to his knowledge none of            
 these states have been taken to court thus far.                               
                                                                               
 MR. DAHL said he had not been in contact with their counsel and he            
 has also not seen the written opinion drafted by this same                    
 attorney.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 618                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CYNTHIA TOOHEY thought that a simple solution to               
 this "rights" problem would be to substitute the word "wish"                  
 instead of "right."                                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN felt as though this change would make the                
 resolution so weak that it wouldn't be of any value.  He added that           
 if they could resolve the issue of liability exposure, the                    
 Department of Law has submitted a recommended alternative to this             
 resolution with very minor alterations.  He said he would prefer              
 the resolution as written, but if this resolution does expose the             
 state, he said he'd like to see what the Department suggests.                 
                                                                               
 Number 729                                                                    
                                                                               
 MIKE FORD, Attorney, Legislative Legal Counsel stated that he had             
 prepared a written opinion regarding this resolution and the                  
 department's position is that liability doesn't flow from the                 
 passage of a resolution.  He said he couldn't tell them that it               
 isn't possible that a court in the future would use this resolution           
 as some part of it's decision process, certainly this could happen,           
 but to say that there is exposure as a result of this resolution is           
 stretching this point.  Liability flows from a number of things, it           
 flows from statute, court decisions which expand the common law,              
 but usually it is based on a reasoned analysis of a number of                 
 complex factors.                                                              
                                                                               
 MR. FORD noted that one question which this resolution raises is              
 what rights exactly do students have.  Do they have the right to a            
 certain environment?  He felt a resolution such as this one did not           
 expose the legislature or the state to any liability.  He felt that           
 there was a distinct difference of the process between a resolution           
 being adopted and the adoption of a law.  There are reasons for               
 this difference.  There is not the three readings requirement for             
 a resolution, it doesn't have to be referred to a committee and it            
 doesn't have to go to the governor.  The governor can't veto it.              
 There are another number of formal steps which someone has to go              
 through to adopt a law which does not have to be preformed for a              
 resolution.  The legislature passes hundreds of resolutions every             
 year.  To say that these are going to trigger an expansion of the             
 law in some direction, while at least in this particular case, it             
 is their opinion that it does not.  He understood the concern of              
 the Department of Law and again he couldn't tell them for certain             
 that this resolution wouldn't be a part of some expansion of the              
 law in this direction.                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 865                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER stated that his first reading of the bill set off             
 a "siren" in his head that while they have passed hundreds of                 
 resolutions, this was the first one that he has seen which says,              
 "you citizen have a right," a right which he felt doesn't exist               
 currently.  He said he had concerns about the word "right."                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN offered that Chairman Porter had read this               
 resolution as imparting a right to a student, rather than a                   
 resolution which says the student "should" have this right.  This             
 is all resolutions ever do is suggest this is the desire of the               
 legislature to do whatever the resolution says, yet no where in any           
 of the resolutions passed thus far has it imparted or suggested               
 that the legislature is granting this right.  A resolution is just            
 a position statement and they have no force in law.                           
                                                                               
 Number 965                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER noted that he agreed with Mr. Ford that this                  
 resolution doesn't establish a right as if it were in the                     
 constitution, but what they have in the constitution are state                
 obligations now for education and if the legislature passes a                 
 resolution it certainly could be used as an indication of                     
 legislative intent on how they think the existing constitutional              
 rights should be interpreted.  Quite frankly, the right to a drug-            
 free school is an impossible goal in a free society.  As much as he           
 would love this to be true, it is an unreachable goal and he didn't           
 want to see a school district or the Department of Education in               
 court trying to defend this position.                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said that this is exactly what this resolution           
 will do, it says that "you as part of this legislation would love             
 to have a drug-free school and to the best of our ability we should           
 try and encourage that.  We may never get there, but that doesn't             
 make it not a resolution saying that this is the feeling of the               
 people that are right now manning the Senate and the House of this            
 state."                                                                       
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER said he wouldn't have any objection saying it that            
 way, but what's written in the resolution is the "right" to these             
 goals.  He said he would be relieved if the word "right" was                  
 completely taken out of the resolution, but in terms of goals,                
 objectives, etc. that's another thing.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 1124                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CYNTHIA TOOHEY mentioned an example of a "patient              
 rights" document posted in nursing homes.                                     
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER noted that if they grant the right to a drug-free             
 school this might be interpreted to mean unannounced locker                   
 searchers.                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. FORD said that they could speak in terms of goals, say for                
 example, a drug-free school, rather than a right.                             
                                                                               
 Number 1200                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN noted that this suggestion ran parallel to the           
 draft of legislation submitted by the Department of Law, which                
 addresses "desires", doing away with the word "right."                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE said he favored the insertion of the word            
 responsibilities after the word student on line 2 of the Department           
 of Law's version, since the student's are responsible for a drug              
 free school environment as well.  A lengthy discussion regarding              
 changes to this legislation followed.                                         
                                                                               
 Number 1284                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN proposed changes to the Department of Law's              
 version in the first paragraph as noted in the following amendment            
 as outlined.  He said that this language would turn the whole                 
 concept of the intent around which refers to student rights by                
 deleting the phrase, "with specific attention to standards of" from           
 the first paragraph and adding the word "including."  He suggested            
 also as part of amendment number 1, the adoption of the Department            
 of Law's version of this legislation.                                         
                                                                               
 Number 1560                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY made a motion to adopt amendment number 1               
 based on Representative Green's suggested change as follows:                  
                                                                               
 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature encourages all               
 school districts in Alaska to develop and adopt operating                     
 guidelines and procedures relating to student rights and                      
 responsibilities, including student behavior, treatment, and                  
 discipline.  In developing these operating guidelines and                     
 procedures, the school district should consider:                              
                                                                               
 (1)  ways to maintain schools that are safe, orderly and drug free;           
                                                                               
 (2)  ways to develop clear discipline codes with fair and                     
 consistently enforced consequences for misbehavior;                           
                                                                               
 (3)  ways to make resources available to encourage and maintain a             
 physically and mentally healthy lifestyle;                                    
 (4)  ways to create and maintain a learning environment that is               
 free of violent and chronically disruptive behavior;                          
                                                                               
 (5)  ways to develop and encourage courtesy and mutual respect                
 among students, teachers and staff;                                           
                                                                               
 (6)  ways to create and maintain classrooms with clearly stated and           
 rigorous academic standards;                                                  
                                                                               
 (7)  ways to equip and maintain classrooms with all instructional             
 materials needed to carry out a rigorous academic program;                    
                                                                               
 (8)  ways to employ, nurture, and keep teachers who know their                
 subject matter and how to teach it;                                           
                                                                               
 (9)  ways to create a learning environment in schools and                     
 classrooms where high grades stand for high achievement and                   
 promotion is earned;                                                          
                                                                               
 (10) ways to create and maintain schools where the award of a high            
 school diploma communicates the perception that the student has the           
 knowledge and skills essential for college or a good job; and                 
                                                                               
 (11) ways to generate and maintain the support of parents, the                
 community, public officials, and business in a mutual effort to               
 uphold high standards of conduct and achievement.                             
                                                                               
 There being no objection, amendment number 1 was so moved.                    
                                                                               
 Number 1615                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made a motion to move amendment number 2 which           
 entailed deleting the words "the perception" from clause 10 as                
 noted above and add "and responsibilities" to the title of the                
 resolution after the word "rights."  There being no objection, it             
 was so moved.                                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 1719                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY made a motion to move House Concurrent                  
 Resolution 30 from committee with individual recommendations and a            
 zero fiscal note.  There being no objection, it was so moved.                 
                                                                               
 HB 349 - ELECTIONS ADMINISTRATION & VOTER REG'N                             
                                                                               
 Number 1744                                                                   
                                                                               
 DIANE SHRINER, Elections Outreach Coordinator, Division of                    
 Elections testified on HB 349.  She stated that this legislation              
 would do two things, the first would be to adjust current state               
 elections law to assure pre-clearance by the U.S. Justice                     
 Department and it would make further adjustments to meet the                  
 requirements of the National Voter Registration Act.  Currently in            
 Alaska law, there is the perception that the division purges or               
 take a voter off the active rolls too early, before the time set in           
 federal law.  The other perception, which the division would like             
 to clear up is that a voter must vote a "counted ballot" to avoid             
 removal from the rolls, rather than just voting regardless of                 
 whether their ballot is counted or not.  The third objective is               
 that the department presently requires an oath on registration                
 materials which the federal government no longer requires.  They              
 merely ask for an assertion or a declaration.                                 
                                                                               
 MS. SHRINER noted that Kathleen Strasbaugh from the Department of             
 Law was in attendance.  She has been trying to get Alaska's                   
 election laws pre-cleared with the Department of Justice.  Ms.                
 Strasbaugh would be the best person to ask questions of regarding             
 those particular sections.                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. SHRINER stated that in State Affairs they took out Section 20             
 which dealt with voting by personal representative, as well as,               
 Section 40 which that committee and the Division of Elections                 
 agreed could use more work and study.  This section dealt with, by            
 mail elections, and doesn't show in the current Committee                     
 Substitute.  The Division felt as though Ms. Shriner wasn't as                
 prepared as she should have been to discuss with the State Affairs            
 Committee why the personal representative section would be helpful            
 to this legislation and why it's supported by the National and                
 State Association of Retired Persons.  She brought additional                 
 information with her which shows the Judiciary Committee what the             
 differences are.   She noted that changes to the other sections of            
 the bill primarily are housekeeping measures which better describe            
 modern ballots, the protection of ballot secrecy, current ballot              
 tabulation and computer processing in elections to conform with the           
 way they actually do business.  She was forthright with the State             
 Affairs Committee, she really didn't believe that these are                   
 substantive changes to this legislation other than the two sections           
 mentioned previously, one of which she would like the Judiciary               
 Committee to consider returning to the bill.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 1968                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVID FINKELSTEIN had two questions, one was on                
 Section 7 and the other was on Section 16.  He noted that in                  
 Section 7 he understood the intention of conforming to federal law,           
 but they were setting up an odd situation where the individual who            
 votes in local municipal elections and primary elections, but has             
 a pattern of not voting in general elections would be inactivated.            
 It seemed that this was unnecessary.  It seemed they were moving              
 from current law that allows any vote, in any election to qualify             
 someone as a voter, to apparently only allowing people to qualify             
 to stay on the list with votes in the general election.                       
                                                                               
 Number 2024                                                                   
                                                                               
 KATHLEEN STRASBAUGH, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law            
 offered that the choice of language was strictly to track the                 
 federal law.  The problem with Alaska's past law had to do with the           
 two years provided and they hoped that by taking two general                  
 elections they'd have a full four year cycle.  She didn't see any             
 difficulty in mentioning all of those elections again, provided               
 that they covered two full election cycles.  Ms. Strasbaugh noted             
 that one of the problems they discussed in the State Affairs                  
 Committee was that the word "appeared" was too vague.  Mr.                    
 Chenoweth from Legislative Legal said he had worked on a way to               
 deal with this and she provided him some language which defined               
 this word.   Mr. Chenoweth drafted this language for the senate               
 version of this legislation.                                                  
                                                                               
 MS. STRASBAUGH continued that the Justice Department wasn't really            
 suppose to talk about interpreting the National Voter Act, but                
 instead the Voting Rights Act, however, anything which might be               
 deemed to inhibit the ability or discourage someone to vote is                
 subject to their scrutiny.  Someone might consider that Alaska's              
 inactive list does this because someone has to vote under a                   
 question ballot if they are on the inactive list.  The federal                
 government sent the division a long letter with a list of things              
 which they wanted the state to consider and asked for information             
 on certain issues.  The state then withdrew their request for pre-            
 clearance.  There is a way in the law to purge voters, but they               
 thought they would get a better pre-clearance if they had a two               
 general election cycle, which encompasses four years.                         
                                                                               
 Number 2138                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said he would work on a suggestion for             
 Section 7.                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE understood that Section 7 dealt with                     
 individuals on the inactive list.  The legislation just passed                
 required that the inactive voter be maintained on a list that goes            
 to the polls.  He asked if they viewed this section as repealing              
 this.                                                                         
                                                                               
 MS. STRASBAUGH assumed Representative Bunde was referring to HB               
 211.  She didn't read this legislation to accomplish all the                  
 objectives it set out to address.  She wanted voters to be on the             
 active list to get past this problem.  She noted that is was too              
 bad they were kept together in a way, but she didn't see them in              
 conflict or HB 211 being completely responsive to this concern.               
 She added that it was a good idea, but she wasn't sure that the way           
 she read it that it would prevent question voting.  If this was               
 it's intent she said she should probably have another look at it.             
 The purpose was to make sure someone is not questioned until                  
 they've been through two election cycles.                                     
 Number 2203                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE followed up with an additional question.  He             
 noted that current practice is to put someone on an inactive list             
 after missing one election cycle.  HB 211 said that even though               
 someone was on an inactive list, this list would be available to              
 candidates and at the polls.  He asked Ms. Strasbaugh is she did              
 not feel that Section 7 would change this policy.                             
                                                                               
 MS. STRASBAUGH said that, no, she felt as though they needed to do            
 this in order to get by the federal law.  She didn't think that               
 this would help them.                                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE noted that he didn't think this would meet the           
 federal laws, he just wanted to make sure that this Section 7                 
 doesn't countermand what they just passed which says that the list            
 at the polls will contain the inactive voters, as well as, the                
 active voters.                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 2238                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. STRASBAUGH said that this doesn't address whether the register            
 is at the polls, it doesn't talk about the master register, but her           
 recollection was that HB 211 addresses some other things about the            
 register that HB 349 doesn't conflict with.  She said that there              
 could be an interpretative question when they begin to operate, but           
 she hesitated to say, since she does not do the hands on type of              
 work to make this determination.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 2267                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked about Section 16, on page 7, and             
 said he understood removing the word "daily" on line 9, but why               
 would they want to go from 11 days after the election to 16 days              
 after the election to count ballots.  He assumed that this group              
 doing the state ballot counting review would this to include all              
 ballots, regular, absentee and question.                                      
                                                                               
 MS. SHRINER stated that currently many types of elections, such as            
 Rural Education Attendance Area (REAA) elections and smaller                  
 elections do not take that long to certify and it's not necessary             
 to have people beginning to be paid on the eleventh day.  They                
 still have to get all the ballots in and do the processing so it              
 might just take a few hours or a day near the sixteenth day.  To              
 have these people on the payroll from the eleventh day on doesn't             
 make any sense.  This is for the Review Boards.  They won't start             
 their work any earlier than the eleventh day or any later than 16             
 days shall continue daily until completed.  She noted that this               
 change was a housekeeping measure.                                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN stated that he didn't see anything that            
 would preclude them from doing this in two days and cited the                 
 language.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 2373                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. SHRINER explained that they are not always ready to start on              
 the eleventh day because ballots are still coming in or there are             
 only a few to do so there is no need to do this by the eleventh               
 day.  There are other statutes which talk about the requirements to           
 wait or to allow for ballots to come in.  If the ballots are still            
 coming in they can start on the eleventh even though all the                  
 ballots have not been returned.                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN stated that his only concern is that               
 this precludes them being appointed prior to the eleventh day and             
 he cited some examples of where this would apply.  He also added              
 that anyone who's been in a close election that goes on forever is            
 very sensitive to this subject.  He noted that there was a separate           
 statute which addressed those ballots which speak to the validity             
 of a ballot and said he'd like to hear it.  The clause they've been           
 discussing addresses when the ballot counting review team will                
 meet.                                                                         
                                                                               
 MS. SHRINER then read a segment from Barbara Whiting's sectional              
 analysis of this legislation.  Ms. Whiting is an elections                    
 coordinator.                                                                  
                                                                               
 "The current statute refers to all elections when specifying that             
 the State Review Board must convene at least 11 days after an                 
 election.  Elections other than primary, general, REAA and Coastal            
 Resource Service Areas (CRSA) elections, for example, incorporation           
 or liquor option elections involve usually only one or very few               
 precincts.  Before completing the certification of absentee ballots           
 the Division of Elections must wait 15 days after an election to              
 make sure all eligible ballots have been received.  In addition,              
 before certifying an election, the director may wait 15 days to               
 receive (end of tape)... gives the director the option of having              
 the state review board to begin no earlier than 11 days and no                
 later than 16 days after an election."                                        
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-47, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. SHRINER said she was not opposed to allow for them to start               
 this process earlier.                                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER pointed out that this wouldn't get to this issue of           
 Representative Finkelstein's concerns about getting the results as            
 soon as possible.  They have to wait 16 days for absentee ballots             
 to return.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 035                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said that this means that in major                 
 elections, for instance governor's elections, when there are plenty           
 of materials to be counted that they can start earlier.  This would           
 preclude them from starting on the counting process any earlier.              
 Right now some absentee results come in three and four days after             
 the election.  His reading of this language is that if they can't             
 meet, then there wouldn't be any results of this election for 11              
 days.                                                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER suggested language as follows, "the state ballot              
 counting review shall begin as soon as practicable and no later               
 than 16 days after an election."                                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE noted that this will probably change the                 
 fiscal note because the way it exists now is they can't begin until           
 11 days, now if it's changed to the day after the election, these             
 people would be on the payroll for 16 days.                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER disagreed because it says no later than.  This                
 process could start earlier.  He also added that the language as              
 soon as practicable gives them more flexibility.                              
                                                                               
 Number 112                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN suggested not using the word                       
 "practicable," but "shall begin after the election is completed" so           
 there isn't any issue of someone saying that the process should               
 have been started earlier.  The committee members continued to                
 hammer out additional language.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 171                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY made a motion to move amendment number 1 on             
 page 7, line 7 that the last two words of this sentence "no                   
 earlier" and the language on line 8 be deleted through and                    
 including the word "election" be deleted and in it's place "as soon           
 as practicable after the election is completed," be inserted.  The            
 amendment would read as follows:                                              
                                                                               
 "The state ballot counting review shall begin as soon as                      
 practicable after the election is completed and shall be continued            
 until completed."                                                             
                                                                               
 There being on objection, amendment number 1 passed.                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN made another language suggestion to the            
 legislation on page 4, line 4, he would insert before the phrase              
 "last two general elections," the words "either of."                          
                                                                               
 Number 235                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. STRASBAUGH conceptually suggested that in order to address the            
 other concerns Representative Finkelstein had, they could say that            
 in the preceding four calendar years including the last two general           
 elections and get rid of the language, "in the last two general               
 elections."  She added that what they need is a four year period,             
 she didn't see limiting this to the general elections, but to all             
 other types of elections as well.                                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN withdrew his previous amendment and                
 offered Ms. Strasbaugh's suggestion and to change the language to             
 reflect any type of election in the last four years.  The                     
 participants then hammered out reflective language to this effect.            
 Essentially they would take out the phrase on line 4, page 4, "the            
 last two general elections" and reinsert the language, "a local,              
 regional school board, primary, special or general election" and              
 add to this sentence, "during the last 4 calendar years."                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN offered as amendment number 2 on page 4,           
 line 4 as follows:                                                            
                                                                               
 "...voted or appeared to vote in a local, regional school board,              
 primary, special, or general election during the last four calendar           
 years,..."                                                                    
                                                                               
 There being no objection, amendment number 2 was so moved.                    
                                                                               
 Number 463                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER then referred to Section 20.  In the State Affairs            
 Committee meeting there were two Sections with substantive changes            
 and Section 20 is one of them. After reviewing this Chairman Porter           
 stated that this section was not substantive, but just an                     
 efficiency in existing procedure.  He said he didn't have a problem           
 reinserting this section from the original legislation which dealt            
 with absentee voting by personal representative.  There being no              
 objection to this proposal it was so moved, that the reinsertion of           
 Section 20 would be reflected as amendment number 3.                          
                                                                               
 Number 585                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY made a motion to move CSHB 349(STA) from the            
 Judiciary Committee with individual recommendations and a zero                
 fiscal note.  There being no objection, it was so moved.                      
                                                                               
 SB 312 - LICENSEE BUYING LIQUOR FROM PACKAGE STORE                          
                                                                               
 Number 636                                                                    
                                                                               
 JOE AMBROSE, Legislative Assistant to Robin Taylor testified on SB            
 312.  He stated that this legislation encompassed the re-visitation           
 of an issue from last year.  He read the sponsor statement.                   
                                                                               
 "Senate Bill 312 was introduced to correct an error made in the               
 drafting of last year's SB 87, an omnibus bill dealing with the               
 Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and local option elections.                  
                                                                               
 One provision in SB 87 was intended to stop so-called 'gray market'           
 goods from entering Alaska without paying the state excise tax.               
 This language, known as the 'primary source' provision, appeared as           
 section 11 of last year's legislation.                                        
                                                                               
 While the language passed last year does address the gray market              
 issue, it also has the unintended effect of banning a practice                
 common among retailers.  Bars and restaurants often purchase                  
 alcohol from businesses such as Costco because of better pricing or           
 from a package store when wholesaler delivery is not on a daily               
 basis."                                                                       
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE used the example of someone operating a bar and they              
 run out of a particular brand of wine and they send someone out to            
 a package store to replenish.  The legislation passed last year               
 would prohibit this practice.  This was not intended.                         
                                                                               
 "SB 312 amends last year's bill to allow a person holding a                   
 dispensary, restaurant, club or package store license to purchase             
 from a package store, as long as the package store obtained its               
 product from a wholesaler.                                                    
                                                                               
 SB 312 retains the protections against gray market goods while                
 restoring the ability of bars and restaurants to purchase from                
 package stores and discount outlets."                                         
                                                                               
 Number 738                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY stated that he thought they had addressed             
 this issue last year.                                                         
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE stated that along with the language adopted in the                
 Senate Judiciary Committee last year they were given assurances               
 that this would not have the affect as outlined, but essentially it           
 does.  The interpretation from the ABC Board is that this does                
 indeed prohibit a dispensary license from purchasing from a package           
 store.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 769                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY recollected a discussion from last year that             
 it was illegal for a dispensary operator to go to a retail outlet             
 to buy alcohol and he thought this was changed last year.                     
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE stated that the provision adopted last year addressed             
 only the wholesale license, that they have to buy from a                      
 wholesaler, but it was never intended to restrict only to                     
 wholesalers as long as the product originally came into the state             
 through wholesale.  This would give Alaska their tax money.                   
                                                                               
 Number 850                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made a motion to move SB 312 from the House              
 Judiciary Committee with individual recommendations and zero fiscal           
 notes.  There being no objection, it was so moved.                            
                                                                               
 ADJOURNMENT                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER adjourned the House Judiciary Committee meeting at            
 3:30 p.m.                                                                     
                                                                               

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