Legislature(1995 - 1996)
04/03/1996 02:23 PM JUD
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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.