Legislature(1995 - 1996)
04/17/1996 01:12 PM JUD
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE April 17, 1996 1:12 P.M. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Brian Porter, Chairman Representative Joe Green, Vice Chairman Representative Con Bunde Representative Bettye Davis Representative Al Vezey Representative Cynthia Toohey Representative David Finkelstein MEMBERS ABSENT COMMITTEE CALENDAR CS FOR SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 52(JUD) "An Act providing for an advisory vote on the issue of capital punishment." - HEARD AND HELD HOUSE BILL 481 "An Act authorizing capital punishment, classifying murder in the first degree as a capital felony, and allowing the imposition of the death penalty when certain of those murders are committed against children; establishing sentencing procedures for capital felonies; and amending Rules 32, 32.1, and 32.3, Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure, and Rules 204, 209, 210, and 212, Alaska Rules of Appellate Procedure." - HEARD AND HELD HOUSE BILL 414 "An Act requiring conciliation panel review in a civil action against a architect, engineer, or land surveyor; and providing for an effective date." - PASSED CSHB 414(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE BILL 154 "An Act requiring the Department of Law to provide guidelines regarding unconstitutional state and municipal takings of private real property; relating to the taxation of private real property taken unconstitutionally by state or municipal action; establishing a time limit for bringing an action for an unconstitutional state or municipal taking of private real property; and providing for an effective date." - PASSED CSHB 154(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 289(FIN) am "An Act relating to runaways, other minors, and their families or legal custodians; and amending Rule 7, Alaska Delinquency Rules." - PASSED HCSCSSB 289(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: SB 52 SHORT TITLE: ADVISORY VOTE ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT BILL VERSION: CSSSSB 52(JUD) SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) TAYLOR, Pearce; REPRESENTATIVE(S) Rokeberg JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/25/95 83 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/25/95 83 (S) JUD, FIN 02/09/95 222 (S) SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED-REFERRALS 02/09/95 222 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/09/95 222 (S) JUD, FIN 02/07/96 (S) JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211 02/07/96 (S) MINUTE(JUD) 03/06/96 (S) JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211 03/06/96 (S) MINUTE(JUD) 03/12/96 2706 (S) JUD RPT CS 3DP 1DNP NEW TITLE 03/12/96 2707 (S) FISCAL NOTE TO SB & CS (GOV) 03/26/96 (S) FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532 03/28/96 2939 (S) FIN RPT 4DP 2NR (JUD) CS 03/28/96 2939 (S) ZERO FNS (DPS, COURT) 03/28/96 2939 (S) PREVIOUS FN (GOV) 03/29/96 (S) RLS AT 12:05 PM FAHRENKAMP RM 203 03/29/96 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 04/09/96 3092 (S) RULES RPT 3CAL 2NR 4/9/96 04/09/96 3093 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 04/09/96 3093 (S) JUD CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 04/09/96 3093 (S) ADVANCE TO THIRD READING FLD Y11 N5 E4 04/09/96 3094 (S) THIRD READING 4/10 CALENDAR 04/10/96 3123 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME CSSSSB 52(JUD) 04/10/96 3124 (S) MOTION TO RETURN TO 2ND RDG FOR AM 1 04/10/96 3124 (S) RETURN TO SECOND FOR AM 1 Y14 N6 04/10/96 3124 (S) AM NO 1 FAILED Y9 N11 04/10/96 3125 (S) AUTOMATICALLY IN THIRD READING 04/10/96 3126 (S) PASSED Y12 N8 04/10/96 3126 (S) DUNCAN NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION 04/11/96 3175 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 04/12/96 3689 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 04/12/96 3689 (H) JUDICIARY, FINANCE 04/15/96 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 04/15/96 3784 (H) CROSS SPONSOR(S): ROKEBERG BILL: HB 481 SHORT TITLE: CAPITAL PUNISHMENT FOR CHILD MURDER SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MASEK, Kohring, Ogan JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/09/96 2686 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/09/96 2686 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY 02/29/96 2972 (H) STA REFERRAL WAIVED 02/29/96 2972 (H) REFERRED TO JUDICIARY 04/15/96 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 04/15/96 (H) MINUTE(JUD) BILL: HB 414 SHORT TITLE: MANDATORY MEDIATION/DESIGN PROF LAWSUITS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) GREEN JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/12/96 2428 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/12/96 2429 (H) LABOR & COMMERCE, JUDICIARY 01/29/96 (H) L&C AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 17 01/29/96 (H) MINUTE(L&C) 01/31/96 (H) L&C AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 17 01/31/96 (H) MINUTE(L&C) 02/07/96 (H) L&C AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 17 02/07/96 (H) MINUTE(L&C) 02/21/96 (H) L&C AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 17 02/21/96 (H) MINUTE(L&C) 03/06/96 (H) L&C AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 17 03/06/96 (H) MINUTE(L&C) 03/08/96 3023 (H) L&C RPT CS(L&C) NT 4NR 03/08/96 3023 (H) DP: KOTT, SANDERS, PORTER, ROKEBERG 03/08/96 3023 (H) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DCED) 03/22/96 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 03/22/96 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 04/17/96 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 BILL: HB 154 SHORT TITLE: REGULATORY TAKING OF PRIVATE PROPERTY SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KOHRING,Rokeberg,Kott,Kelly,Vezey,Martin,Barnes Ogan,G.Davis,James,Mulder,Foster JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/03/95 237 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/03/95 237 (H) CRA, JUD, FIN 02/16/95 (H) CRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 02/16/95 (H) MINUTE(CRA) 02/21/95 (H) CRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 02/21/95 (H) MINUTE(CRA) 03/01/95 550 (H) COSPONSOR(S): ROKEBERG 03/09/95 (H) CRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 03/09/95 (H) MINUTE(CRA) 03/16/95 (H) CRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 03/16/95 (H) MINUTE(CRA) 03/24/95 919 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KOTT 03/25/95 (H) CRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 03/25/95 (H) MINUTE(CRA) 04/20/95 (H) CRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 04/20/95 (H) MINUTE(CRA) 04/21/95 1421 (H) CRA RPT CS(CRA) NT 1DP 1DNP 2NR 1AM 04/21/95 1421 (H) DP: VEZEY 04/21/95 1422 (H) DNP: ELTON 04/21/95 1422 (H) NR: AUSTERMAN, IVAN 04/21/95 1422 (H) AM: KOTT 04/21/95 1422 (H) INDETERMINATE FISCAL NOTE (LAW) 04/21/95 1422 (H) 2 FISCAL NOTES (CRA, DNR) 04/21/95 1422 (H) REFERRED TO JUDICIARY 11/21/95 (H) JUD AT 10:00 AM JUNEAU LIO 01/08/96 2382 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KELLY, VEZEY, MARTIN 01/09/96 2396 (H) COSPONSOR(S): BARNES 01/10/96 2404 (H) COSPONSOR(S): OGAN, G.DAVIS 01/11/96 2418 (H) COSPONSOR(S): JAMES, MULDER 01/19/96 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 01/19/96 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 01/31/96 2586 (H) COSPONSOR(S): FOSTER 02/02/96 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 02/02/96 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 02/16/96 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 02/16/96 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 04/17/96 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 BILL: SB 289 SHORT TITLE: MINORS, ESP. RUNAWAYS, & THEIR FAMILIES SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) FRANK, Miller, R.Phillips, Halford, Green, Taylor, Leman, Kelly, Torgerson, Hoffman, Pearce, Rieger; REPRESENTATIVE(S) Kelly JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/12/96 2382 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/12/96 2382 (S) JUDICIARY 02/26/96 (S) JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211 02/26/96 (S) MINUTE(JUD) 02/26/96 (S) MINUTE(JUD) 02/28/96 (S) MINUTE(JUD) 02/28/96 2578 (S) COSPONSOR(S): GREEN, TAYLOR 02/29/96 2597 (S) JUD RPT CS 3DP 1NR SAME TITLE 02/29/96 2597 (S) INDETERMINATE FISCAL NOTE SB & CS (DPS) 02/29/96 2597 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTES SB & CS (ADM-2, LAW) 03/06/96 (S) RLS AT 12:45 PM FAHRENKAMP RM 203 03/06/96 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 03/06/96 2636 (S) FIN REFERRAL ADDED-MOVED FROM RLS TO FIN 03/12/96 (S) FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532 03/19/96 (S) FIN AT 9:30 AM SENATE FINANCE 532 03/27/96 (S) FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532 03/28/96 (S) FIN AT 8:30 AM SENATE FINANCE 532 04/03/96 (S) RLS AT 1:15 PM FAHRENKAMP RM 203 04/03/96 3043 (S) FIN RPT CS 5DP 2NR NEW TITLE 04/03/96 3043 (S) FISCAL NOTES TO CS (DHSS-5) 04/03/96 3043 (S) INDETERMINATE FN TO CS (DPS) 04/03/96 3043 (S) ZERO FN TO CS (LAW) 04/03/96 3043 (S) PREVIOUS ZERO FNS (ADM-2) 04/04/96 3065 (S) FN TO FIN CS REPLACES 4/3 ZERO FN (LAW) 04/09/96 3093 (S) FISCAL NOTE (COURT) 04/09/96 3092 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR 4/9/96 04/09/96 3096 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 04/09/96 3096 (S) FIN CS ADOPTED Y11 N5 E4 04/09/96 3096 (S) ADVANCE TO THIRD READING FLD Y11 N5 E4 04/09/96 3097 (S) THIRD READING 4/10 CALENDAR 04/09/96 3096 (S) COSPONSOR(S): LEMAN, KELLY, 04/09/96 3096 (S) TORGERSON, HOFFMAN, PEARCE, RIEGER 04/10/96 3128 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME CSSB 289(FIN) 04/10/96 3128 (S) PASSED Y14 N6 04/10/96 3129 (S) COURT RULE FAILED Y13 N7 04/10/96 3129 (S) DUNCAN NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION 04/11/96 3159 (S) RECON TAKEN UP - IN THIRD READING 04/11/96 3160 (S) RETURN TO SECOND FOR AM 1 UNAN CONSENT 04/11/96 3160 (S) AM NO 1 ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 04/11/96 3160 (S) AUTOMATICALLY IN THIRD READING 04/11/96 3160 (S) PASSED ON RECONSIDERATION Y20 N- 04/11/96 3160 (S) COURT RULE(S) SAME AS PASSAGE 04/11/96 3176 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 04/12/96 3690 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 04/12/96 3690 (H) JUDICIARY, FINANCE 04/12/96 3720 (H) CROSS SPONSOR(S): KELLY 04/17/96 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 WITNESS REGISTER JEFF LOGAN, Legislative Assistant to Representative Joseph Green Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 24 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4931 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified to HB 414 as sponsor STEVE CONN, Executive Director Alaska Public Interest Research Group P.O. Box 101093 Anchorage, Alaska 99510 Telephone: (907) 278-3661 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 414 and HB 154 COLIN MAYNARD Alaska Professional Design Council 510 L Street, Suite 200 Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 27402236 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 414 RUSS WINNER, Trial Lawyer's Representative 900 West 5th, Suite 700 Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 272-9522 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 144 CHRIS CHRISTENSEN, General Counsel Office of Administrative Director Alaska Court System 303 K Street Anchorage, Alaska 99501-2084 Telephone: (907) 264-8228 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 144 MIKE FORD, Attorney Legislative Legal Counsel Legislative Affairs Agency 130 Seward Street, Suite 409 Juneau, Alaska 99801-2105 Telephone: (907) 465-2450 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 144 REPRESENTATIVE VIC KOHRING Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 428 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-2186 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 154 DOUG YATES P.O. Box 221 Ester, Alaska 99725 Telephone: (907) 479-8300 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 154 STAN THOMPSON P.O. Box 217 Kenai, Alaska 99611 Telephone: (907) 776-8721 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 154 ANTHONY CRUPI, Volunteer Alaska Environmental Lobby 4106 MacInnes Street Anchorage, Alaska 99500 Telephone: (907) 463-3366 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 154 TOM BOUTIN, State Forester Division of Forestry Department of Natural Resources 400 Willoughby Avenue, 3rd Floor Juneau, Alaska 99801-1724 Telephone: (907) 465-3379 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 154 PAM LABEAU, President Alaska State Chamber of Commerce 217 Second Street Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 586-2323 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 154 ALLISON GORDON, Legislative Assistant Senator Steve Frank Alaska State Legislature Capital Building, Room 518 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-3709 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 289 L. DIANE WORLEY, Director Division of Family & Youth Services Department of Health & Social Services P.O. Box 110630 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0630 Telephone: (907) 465-3191 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 289 BRUCE RUBLE 1221 Third Avenue Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 Telephone: (907) 452-2345 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 289 SAM HAYWOOD Muldoon Road, Number 561 Anchorage, Alaska 99504 Telephone: (907) 272-9522 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 289 AL NEAR P.O. Box 80847 Fairbanks, Alaska 99708 Telephone: (907) 479-4090 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 289 DEIDRE PHAYER, Executive Director Covenant House Alaska 609 F Street Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 272-1255 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 289 LORI BACKES 1608 Scenic Loop Fairbanks, Alaska 99709 Telephone: (907) 479-4723 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 289 TOM BEGICH, Chairman State Student Justice Legislative Committee and National Coalition of Juvenile Justice 7540 Huckleberry Circle Anchorage, Alaska 99502 Telephone: (907) 243-7713 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 289 LESLIE DRUMHILLER 1906 Southern Fairbanks, Alaska 99709 Telephone: (907) 479-6104 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 289 JUDY SHIFFLER 929 Reindeer Drive Fairbanks, Alaska 99709 Telephone: (907) 479-6104 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 289 CANDY CARROLL 1221 3rd Avenue Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 Telephone: (907) 452-2345 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 289 ROBIN RANDALL 1743 Willow Street Fairbanks, Alaska 99709 Telephone: (907) 479-9123 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 289 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 96-54, SIDE A Number 000 CHAIRMAN BRIAN PORTER called the House Judiciary committee meeting to order at 1:12 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Green, Bunde and Toohey. Representatives Finkelstein and Vezey arrived at their respective times, 1:13 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. Representative Bettye Davis was absent. SB 52 - ADVISORY VOTE ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT HB 481 - CAPITAL PUNISHMENT FOR CHILD MURDER CHAIRMAN PORTER noted that the committee had heard the two bills concerning the death penalty on Monday, April 15, 1996. The public hearing related to this legislation was completed. Chairman Porter said the fiscal notes on both bills were wanting. Neither bill has a fiscal note from the Office of the Public Defender or the Office of Public Advocacy. The fiscal notes on the advisory vote legislation only address the cost of the election. He thought it was the wish of the committee to get a better feel for what the implication would be of the cost to implement the death penalty if the advisory vote was successful. CHAIRMAN PORTER stated that for this reason he had notified Senator Taylor's office and Representative Masek's office and asked them to comply with this request to get complete fiscal notes into the Judiciary Committee before they proceed further. He said they would bring both these bills up again once this information is received. HB 414 - MANDATORY MEDIATION/DESIGN PROF LAWSUITS Number 100 JEFF LOGAN, Legislative Assistant for Representative Green came forward to testify on HB 414. Mr. Logan thanked Chairman Porter for his indulgence with this bill. The original version of this bill, through all it's incantations and presently, has had as it's goal to relieve the burden of design professionals from civil actions. In the Labor and Commerce Committee there were a number of issues raised and Chairman Porter had asked that these issues be addressed before it's referral to the Judiciary Committee. In the meantime, there have been a number of time constraints, both on the sponsor's part and on the parties affected, the trial attorneys and professional designers. Finally, he felt as though they had a committee substitute which could be submitted to the committee, which is version R, dated April 2, 1996. In addition, the trial attorneys and the professional designers have continued to work to come to a compromise. Yesterday at 9:31 a.m. he received a facsimile with four additional points. He took these to the legal division. Mike Ford worked very quickly to put these concerns into amendment form. Mr. Logan disseminated these to committee members and the Anchorage LIO so that witnesses could have them. He wasn't sure the sponsor will move these amendments or not. He felt as though there would be somebody on line to speak to these amendments. MR. LOGAN noted that what the present committee substitute does is use the civil rules of procedure which are already in place and simply stated, makes mediation mandatory for a civil action against a design professional. If a suit is filed against an architect or engineer the parties have to go to mediation. Discovery is allowed under the auspices of a civil rule already in place. This is mandatory and there is a time line to do it. He then outlined amendments R.1,2, & 3. The first one stated that not only are architects, engineers and land surveyors covered under this legislation, but also all design professionals. R.2 allows a waiver option. If both parties agree that mediation will not result in any benefit, they can waive this procedure and go straight to court. R.3 allows that if the costs of mediation are to be born by the defendant because the judge has decided that the plaintiff is indigent, the defendant can waive this process to avoid having to pay for the entire mediation. Number 556 REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPH GREEN added to what Mr. Logan had stated. The first version of this legislation was a little over eight pages long, modeled after Hawaii's version and the present committee substitute is presently only about a page and a half long. He lauded the parties who came together and worked on it. Number 626 STEVE CONN, Executive Director, Alaska Public Interest Research Group, testified on HB 414. He felt as though the consumer should fill a seat, as well as the design professionals and the attorneys in arrangements of re-working legal procedure such as this. He was concerned about this and wanted to talk briefly from the consumer's perspective. He is a proponent of mediation, but he is concerned when certain professionals are given these types of procedural advantages. It's critical to be aware of the relevant power equation such this when it appears to be ideally a situation where people can resolve their differences. Usually these types of situations turn out best when the alternatives to this are relatively equal for both. MR. CONN stated that he was concerned about home owners and consumers who may have a legal claim and have a limited amount of resources, not particularly indigent, but simply middle class people pursuing a legal claim. Certainly they should be encouraged to sit down and settle their differences, but under this legislation they'd would be impelled to move into this situation, akin to the type of thing that some people find fault with in the bureaucratic realm when exhausting one's administrative remedies. Perhaps the only way this thing could be resolved is through litigation, but here a further pressure is placed upon the would be plaintiff. Not in all cases. MR. CONN noted that he was concerned about how the rules of evidence would apply to information of necessity which emerges as this mediation occurs. Is that realm of compromise seeking and the information drawn therefrom going to be in litigation, will a record be kept, many complications arise in this area. He noted that the capacity for waiver is guided and controlled by the defendant who might be in a situation where they're dealing with ordinary, middle-class people and have the "deeper pockets." He wondered if they should consider arbitration instead. Mr. Conn offered that this has been a well discussed, well worked out bill, but the consumers seat at the table has been left empty. Number 900 COLIN MAYNARD, Alaska Professional Design Council testified by teleconference from Anchorage on HB 414. He stated that for over the last three or four months they have attempted to reduce the number of frivolous suits which their profession sees. At most of the hearings the trial attorneys have said they agree with the goal. They finally came to agree with the concept of mandatory mediation. He went into further detail of these negotiations. MR. MAYNARD responded to Mr. Conn's comment. This bill relates to all civil actions, not just design professionals. The trial attorneys did not want to have special interest legislation. Basically this legislation allows for a discovery process to last no more than 60 days, then mediation takes place. Cases could potentially be settled within 60 to 90 days, rather than six months to two years dragging the whole process out. This procedure will cut down on costs and (indisc. - paper shuffling.) Number 1038 RUSS WINNER, Trial Lawyers Representative testified by teleconference from Anchorage on HB 414. He said he had just a few minutes ago been handed the amendments to version R of this legislation. The Trial Lawyer's view is that mandatory mediation shortly after what's required of the new Civil Rule 26 which is an automatic and mandatory exchange of discovery and calling for mediation of the parties after this time would be a good idea. They support this idea and feel that it may help to resolve litigation sooner. If it doesn't resolve the litigation, it may help the parties to focus their thinking and allow for at least a partial settlement of the defendants who might not be significant to the case. MR. WINNER added that the Trial Lawyers feel this is an idea which ought to apply across the board and not just to one type of defendant. They support the idea of mediation occurring after the exchange of discovery rather than before the initiation of a lawsuit because after exchange of discovery the parties will know much of what they need to know in regards to settling the case. What is contemplated here is that mediation will occur before depositions, but after the exchange of written discovery which is required by the rule. This is not an inappropriate time for parties to think about what the case really holds in store. The deposition phase is the next major phase of a lawsuit. If the case can be settled, or partially settled, simplified before depositions start is a good idea. He felt as though all the parties could agree to this. MR. WINNER noted that there were some "what if" questions which he felt needed to be thought through. What if for example, one of the litigants is indigent and can't afford a mediator? This is something which needs to be considered. The procedure for selecting a mediator needs to be considered. He felt as though the bill should be written so that the parties can engage in mediation at any time, as long as they've done so within a specified time period, this would satisfy the requirements. MR. WINNER added that he saw in the amendments that it's allowed for all the parties to waive mediation. His experience with mediation in lawsuits, is that the Rules of Evidence do not play a role. The parties come before a retired judge or sometimes an attorney and information is exchanged to the extent that it already hasn't been done. This "judge" shuttles back and forth between the parties often ensconced in two different rooms. They try to talk the parties towards middle ground. What's said on the record in mediation is not admissible as evidence in a subsequent trial. Number 1339 REPRESENTATIVE CYNTHIA TOOHEY made a motion to adopt the CS for HB 414, version R as the committee's working document. There being no objection it was so moved. Number 1374 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE made a motion to move amendment number one labeled R.1 for consideration by the committee. Chairman Porter objected for the purposes of discussion. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN as sponsor explained. This amendment number one would have a tendency to broaden the title significantly from the original title which dealt primarily with architects, engineers and land surveyors. This amendment would expand to include certain civil actions. The amendment in it's entirety is as follows: Page 1, line 1 - 2: Delete "a civil action against an architect, engineer, or land surveyor" Insert "civil actions" Page 1, line 2, after "Procedure;": Insert "repealing Rule 72.1, Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure;" Page 1, line 6: Delete "AGAINST DESIGN PROFESSIONAL" Page 1, lines 7 - 8: Delete "(a) A civil action against a design professional seeking damages resulting from professional" Insert "A civil action seeking damages resulting from" Page 1, line 11, through page 2, line 4: Delete all material. Page 2, after line 4: Insert new bill sections to read: "*Sec. 2. AS 08.64.326(a)(12); AS 08.68.270(10); AS 09.55.535, 09.55.536, 09.55.560(2), and 09.55.560(3) are repealed. *Sec. 3. Rule 72.1, Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure, is repealed." Renumber the following bill sections accordingly. Page 2, line 7: Delate "against a design professional" Insert "seeking damages resulting from negligence" Number 1431 MIKE FORD, Attorney, Legislative Legal Counsel, Legislative Affairs Agency, testified by speaker phone on HB 414 and offered to run through some of the key points related to this amendment. The change to the title is necessary to reflect the contents of the bill as amended. Lines 4 and 5 reflect the change to the title which indicates the repeal of a court rule, a rule which is one regarding medical malpractice panels. If they were going to require mandatory mediation, this amendment would repeal provisions of law which impose arbitration in medical malpractice actions. Arbitration is not needed in medical malpractice if mandatory mediation is allowed for in all of these civil actions resulting from negligence. MR. FORD continued that these changes are reflected on line 16 and 17 as a series of repealers and these repealers are all related to medical malpractice arbitration. They've made necessary changes whereas necessary to eliminate language that limits the bill to design professionals and to broaden the language to allow it to apply to any civil action where someone is seeking damages resulting from negligence. As a result of this a definition of design professionals is not needed, as in subsection (b) of the CS adopted. He stated that this was it in a nutshell. Number 1555 CHRIS CHRISTENSEN, General Counsel, Alaska Court System testified on HB 414. He noted that he'd only had a brief chance to review these amendments and he was still trying to ascertain what their effect might be. As a general rule, the Alaska Supreme Court does support the concept of alternative dispute resolution. They think that it's generally a good idea to get people together in order to solve their problems in a non-adversarial way. This being said, there are some parts of their civil law in which alternative dispute resolution can be very successful, for example, with contract claims. Many contract claims are resolved by arbitration or mediation and never come to the court system because people seem to only have money at stake rather than tort type problems, such as injuries. MR. CHRISTENSEN stated that another area is family law. Probably the worst use of the adversarial system is to try to divide up children and assets in a divorce. Most people would be better served if they had this handled by a psychologist rather than a judge. One area of the law in which the court does not believe alternative dispute resolution is as effective is in the tort area. Right now better than 95 percent of all tort cases settle without ever going to trial. This is a tremendously high percentage. The court doesn't believe that mandatory arbitration or in this case mediation for tort claims will save the state any money. In the sense that these cases which go to trial are going to go to trial anyway, this smaller percentage is made up of three or four percent. These are the cases where the attorneys just do not flat agree on the issues to be settled. Some other cases might settle earlier, this primarily is an advantage to the litigants, not to the state. Mediation make help litigants, but it won't really save the state money. MR. CHRISTENSEN pointed out that the CS before the committee affects about dozen cases a year. This CS would dramatically expand the case load which the department did not put a cost on when originally proposed. Administrative costs may have to be included. He noted that there was no clear exemption for small claims in this amendment. He pointed out that there are thousands of small claims cases which are tort related. Small claims is an expensive court for the state, it costs the state more to handle a $2000 case in small claims court than it does in District court, because of the extra assistance the state gives to litigants and help with all the forms, etc. The state provides small claim court because a lot of people can't afford general adjudication. The process of mediation will price people out of small claims court. The committee might want to consider this limitation. MR. CHRISTENSEN further stated that a tort reform bill sponsored by Chairman Porter was in the senate which provides for mandatory arbitration. This has produced a fabulously expensive fiscal note because of the state mandating arbitration or mediation. If a person has to do this as a condition of exercising their rights before a judge or jury, the state will have to pay for the cost of the mediator or the arbitrator if one of the parties cannot pay for it. Mediation as it's done is substantially less expensive than the arbitration in the tort reform bill. This does not mandate the use of a retired judge or a lawyer. These individuals normally charge twice as much as a non-attorney mediator in Anchorage. MR. CHRISTENSEN also noted that if it's the legislatures intention that judges be allowed to order a non-indigent party to pay for both the parties involved expenses, it would be well advised for the legislature to specifically say this instead of relying on existing court rules. Number 1767 CHAIRMAN PORTER spoke against the amendment for a number of reasons. The first, as it's been mentioned, this brings into consideration for this process a multitude of additional cases which were not anticipated during the lengthy discussions and crafting of the present Committee Substitute. He felt as though it would be grossly unfair for them to whisk this Committee Substitute out of committee without the input from the professions affected by this amendment, especially the medical profession when they're deleting a practice which they support. Additionally, from a self- serving, political point of view, he would never let this title out of the Judiciary Committee. With this in mind he asked if there was further discussion of this amendment. He noted that the objection was maintained and asked for a roll call vote. Representatives Toohey, Bunde, Green, Vezey and Porter voted no. Representative Finkelstein voted yes. Amendment number one failed. Number 1865 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made a motion to move amendment number two outlined as follows: Page 1, line 9, following "mediation": Insert ", unless all the parties to the civil action agree to waive mediation" CHAIRMAN PORTER explained that this amendment would allow if both parties agree, a waiver of the automatic mediation process. There being no objection it was so moved. Number 1887 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made a motion to move amendment number three outlined as follows: Page, line 10, following "Procedure": Insert ", except that if the court requires the costs of mediation be paid by the party defending against the civil action, the provisions of this section may be waived at the election of the party defending against the civil action. If more than one party is defending against the civil action, waiver of mediation is not allowed unless all defending parties agree to the waiver. For purposes a waiver allowed under this subsection, "civil action" does not include a counterclaim, third-party claim, or cross claim" CHAIRMAN PORTER asked Mr. Christensen if he had any comments concerning this amendment. MR. CHRISTENSEN stated that if this amendment was adopted he would like to see conceptually language added which would generally say if one of the parties to the litigation is indigent the court may order the other party to bear the costs. Arguably the judge can already do this under court rules, but he didn't think most judges would do so quite frankly. Even if the legislature said that this was their intention this doesn't mean the judge will always follow through. CHAIRMAN PORTER reiterated this concept with the following language, "If one of the parties were indigent the court may order the non-indigent party to bear the entire cost of the mediation." This was offered as a friendly amendment. There being no objection, this conceptual amendment to amendment number three passed. The other participants did not have any objections to this change. Amendment number three also passed. Number 2030 REPRESENTATIVE DAVID FINKELSTEIN asked for a brief observation from both Mr. Maynard and Mr. Winter on the bill as amended. Number 2045 MR. MAYNARD felt as though the changes as amended would be fine and would be a good procedure to reduce the length of cases, hence saving money for the courts. Number 2060 MR. WINNER stated that the trial lawyers do object to a bill which is tailored to just architects, engineers and land surveyors. They believe that the court system should be even handed in it's treatment of cases irrespective of the character or type of claim or defendant. He said it would be appropriate to hear testimony from other professions, such as doctors, etc. He urged the committee to consider this alternative to the rejection of expansion of the bill. CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if it would be within the realm of consideration to think of this legislation as perhaps a test program to see if after a couple of years it could then be applied to other professions. Number 2118 MR. WINNER felt as though this might be a worthwhile idea to think about. He submitted that the way to do this would have it apply across the board with a sunset clause. Number 2130 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated that he was going to suggest the same thing. The concern he had though was in the interest of time in this legislature. He didn't think they would be able to adequately address this issue, but were they able to give it at least the interim and as Chairman Porter suggested a year or two and then come back during the interim and talk to the other professions to see if in fact this is what they do want. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made a motion to move CSHB 414, version R as amended with individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes. There being no objection it was so moved. HB 154 - REGULATORY TAKING OF PRIVATE PROPERTY REPRESENTATIVE VIC KOHRING gave a brief overview as reiteration of what this bill encompasses. Generally HB 154 requires that government compensates private property owners if the property owner has experienced a loss in economic value as a result of a restriction imposed on this private property. He referred to a work draft in front of the committee which contains changes which were the result of previous testimony heard. In the spirit of compromise they have tried to work with those parties who expressed concerns. There were numerous points of contention on this bill by individuals, representatives and regulatory agencies. He felt as though these concerns have been sufficiently addressed in the work draft before the committee and asked the committee to adopt it as the new Committee Substitute. Number 2210 REPRESENTATIVE KOHRING outlined nine specific changes to this legislation and reviewed them for the committee. First, they replaced "governmental entities," with "state regulatory agency, which removed boroughs, municipalities and cities from the government agencies to which this legislation would apply. Second, they replaced "government action" and inserted "permit, certification, approval, or other authorization required for proposed land use." The original language was too vague. Third, they changed the "time for bringing action" from five years to three years. Fourth, they changed the compensation value to fair market value. They felt as though determining the issue of property value and the resulting loss of compensation should be settled in the courts, rather than a person simply having an appraisal done. Fifth, they removed "forest products" from the definition of real property. This would remove the annual permitting for timber buffer zones from being affected. They also removed the language, "interest in real property," which dealt with a situation with limited entry permits. This clause wouldn't necessarily deal with an actual, physical piece of property which someone has lost value in. REPRESENTATIVE KOHRING continued. Sixth, they changed the loss in value threshold from 20 percent to 30 percent. Seventh, the section entitled, "Principles for Government Action" was removed. This section said that assertions of threats to public health and safety were not enough to justify a taking. Eighth, the section entitled, "Inaccessible Property" was removed. This section said that compensation had to be paid for a loss of access that created a loss in value of more than 20 percent. Ninth, and lastly, the section entitled, "Adjustment of Value for Property Tax," was removed. This section said that municipalities must adjust the valuation of the property for taxation purposes. Under the new version, a person will be allowed to appeal the tax valuation using existing methods. Number 2499 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY made a motion to move CSHB 154 as the committee's working document. There being no objection it was so moved. TAPE 96-54, SIDE B Number 030 DOUG YATES testified by teleconference from Anchorage on HB 154. He stated that in his opinion this legislation was an effort to dismantle basic community protections, however, the sponsor's wish to (indisc. - poor transmission) with a single purpose to turn back the clock on decades of vital health, safety and environmental protections. The underlying rational for this bill is found in business and private interest who have deemed protection inconvenient with their economic bottom line. He pointed out that this radical interpretation of property rights has been consistently rejected by the courts. He reminded the committee that before a "takings" bill in Colorado went down to defeat, the Denver Post warned that the measure "may appear innocuous, but it's actually an attempt to negate the conduct of health, safety and environmental regulations by saddling the enforcement agencies with untenable costs." MR. YATES stated that this bill is not needed, over-reaching and very costly to implement. He asked the sponsor why there is not a fiscal note attached to it. On the federal side, SB 605, a "takings " proposal has been estimated to cost the public $28 billion dollars over seven years. HB 154 is a crass and nutty attempt which threatens the ability of a community to engage in responsible government and to successfully conserve it's resources, protect it's heritage, develop it's economy and protect it's property. He urged the committee to hold this bill, it's a waste of the legislature's time and an affront to the citizens of Alaska. Number 100 STAN THOMPSON testified by teleconference from Kenai on HB 154. He stated that he came to speak in favor of this legislation and had with him a work copy dated 1/25/96 and he thought this was a great bill. Today, however, he received the work draft dated 4/31/96 now before the committee and found an entirely different bill with most of it's value gone. As he understood it, the bill only relates to state government takings with no effect on municipal takings, in other words no longer affecting takings of cities and boroughs. It has no teeth. He felt as though this legislation should address both these entities. Mr. Thompson said he'd still testify in favor of this legislation since an eighth of a loaf is better than none at all. STEVE CONN, Executive Director, Alaska Public Interest Research Group testified on HB 154. He stated that this group deals with the problems of consumers throughout the state. He did note the substantial work that was done on this legislation from it's original draft. It has moved clearly from a broad ideological statement regarding the subject of "takings" and the fifth amendment to an attempt to drive it's concepts forward in instrumental form. However, this legislation is still loaded with problems. He asked the committee to reflect on these even as they sponsor this legislation. MR. CONN suggested that this legislation will be a fundamental drag on the ability of the state to do the right job, even a job that everybody could agree that they should be doing. On a day to day basis his conception of state government is not that it's overly intrusive, but that it's essentially non-functional when it comes to consumer protection. He suggested that this bill is an error and it should not go forward because largely the fundamental problem with state government is non-functional. This being the case, he went further to say that, words in this draft are left undefined that would be fodder for the attorneys and the board system, such as "substantial evidence." If the bill is an attempt to ham string government in the performance of it's duties he felt as though it will succeed in this. Number 550 ANTHONY CRUPI, Alaska Environmental Lobby testified on HB 154. He stated that the Alaska Environmental Lobby has already presented their testimony in opposition to this legislation. The Lobby feels as though the recent changes to the bill is an attempt to address the important concerns with this legislation, but they still believe that this legislation itself is fatally ill. No matter how big the band-aid they put on it, the Lobby felt as though they wouldn't be able to save the patient. MR. CRUPI noted that instead of improving government, "takings" legislation such as this bill threatens to cost the state of Alaska many millions of dollars by making government less efficient and more costly. There will also be assessment costs, litigation fees and staggering costs of compensating property owners who claim a "taking." Who will fund these costs? The taxpayers money will be used to fund legions of attorneys and pay thousands of claims. Under the fifth amendment of the constitution property owners have the right to seek just compensation through judicial process if they feel as though their property has been unjustly taken by the government. The lobby feels as though courts are the proper places for such claims to be heard on their individual merits. MR. CRUPI added that no legislative blanket can cover the entire spectrum of individual possibilities envisioned by this legislation. Modern Democratic government has protected the rights of property owners throughout time. This bill would destroy the careful balance between rights and responsibilities. It would undermine regulations which protect public health and safety and the environment. For these reasons the lobby opposes HB 154. Number 560 TOM BOUTIN, State Forester, Division of Forestry, Department of Natural Resources testified on HB 154. He stated that he had just had a chance to read the Committee Substitute and noted that it is a much changed bill from the original. Based on this, the fiscal note from the department would be much smaller as well. He said he still had questions of the sponsor, such as the issue with the removal of "forest products," and related language used such as "crop" to describe forest products. He mentioned the Forest Practices Act which the state has the test of "significant harm" incorporated in it. If any part of the act would not cause significant harm the land owner has the right to come to the state and demand that the Forest Practices Act, any part of it be waived if significant harm won't be caused. The State Forester has to grant this if significant harm can't be shown. MR. BOUTIN noted that how this significant harm fits with the phrase in the Committee Substitute of significant, irrefutable harm he truly didn't know. Another question which came to mind in Section 5, "this Act does not apply to statutes, regulations, ordinances in effect, on the date before the effective date of the Act." He noted that this clearly does get to the issue of the Forest Practices Act with it's regulations which have already been enacted, however, the department does having on-going regulations. For instance, the Forest Practices Act exempts land owners including the state, but especially private land owners in having to do re-forestation in the case of a salvage sale. Land owners have now asked the state what this means. They have gone through the public testimony. He explained that they are about ready to finalize some regulations which would define one, what a salvage sale is for purposes of a private land owner not wanting to do re- forestation and two, how in the notification the landowner has to submit to the state that it would have to have substantial evidence submitted to the state to show that it is a salvage sale. It seemed to him that this regulation may run into a problem if this Committee Substitute was already law. He said he would talk to the Department of Law. Number 550 PAM LABEAU, President, Alaska State Chamber of Commerce testified on HB 154. Ms. LaBeau stated that the Chamber supported the original version of this legislation and they are disappointed that it's been weakened to the extent that it has. She stated that they were part of the idealogy that an eighth of a loaf is better than none. She urged the committee to pass this legislation. Number 309 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN made a motion to move amendment number 1 as follows: Page 5, line 5: Delete "30" Insert "60" He explained that this was the threshold where the provision takes affect. Representative Vezey objected for discussion purposes. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN felt as though an individual would have to loose over the majority of the value of some property. "This is only in cases where we're talking about a law that we've passed that we sat and weighed, we, meaning legislative history, which we didn't pass them all. The decisions been made with public input, public testimony on what to be done. The balances of government have already been used. If we find out there that there's, we don't believe that public interest is being served that the public goal being reached is not worthy of any impact it might have on any individual person we can change the law. We can go and re-write the law, we can set it up in some way that impact doesn't exist, but the whole basic point of this kind of governmental action is to try to balance the needs of all people. There is going to be some loss. This is just a matter of you think that loss ought to register. I think that the impact on the community as a whole is much more important than the impact on the individual. This is the 90 percent that gets used sometimes. This is an attempt to be in the middle." Number 700 REPRESENTATIVE KOHRING voiced his objections to what Representative Finkelstein suggested. He felt as though the amount of 60 percent is too large. They went from an initial no threshold to 20 percent and now it's set at 30 percent. He felt as though this was reasonable. He also spoke to the individual who owns the piece of property which is the subject of regulatory restrictions and many times individuals who put their life investment into this property, to extent this was set on a 60 percent loss would be unfair. CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if there was any further discussion regarding this amendment. He then asked for a roll call vote. Representatives Bunde, Green, Vezey, Toohey and Porter voted no. Representative Finkelstein voted yes. Amendment number one failed. Number 750 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN then presented amendment number two as follows: Page 5, line 4 after "property" Insert ", unless the action is necessary to avoid or correct a public or private nuisance" Page 5, line 7 after "property" Insert ", unless the action is necessary to avoid or correct a public or private nuisance" REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN explained that this related to the issue of public and private nuisance. There's been a long history as to what a nuisance is and this standard pre-dates all of the state and federal laws. The concept is that someone's in a neighborhood who's smelting slag iron. This amendment doesn't empower anymore someone to establish a party as a nuisance, but if they're established as a nuisance they shouldn't be awarded for any loss of the use of their property. They've already been found to be a nuisance and one that needs to be abated. He used the example of shutting down someone's drug house and possibly having to compensate them. This type of activity is a nuisance just as ones related to fouling up the smells, sounds or activities in the neighborhood. Number 835 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY objected for purposes of discussion. Number 840 REPRESENTATIVE KOHRING stated that he didn't have any particular opposition to this amendment. CHAIRMAN PORTER spoke against the amendment, especially to the idea that this would provide an avenue for getting rid of crack houses. He stated that there are provisions for this type of thing and it has been enhanced recently by the legislature. About the slag business. If they put an investment on their property and meet all the required permitting, one of the ways they are additionally harassed is for them to receive and deal with nuisance suits. With this in mind he didn't feel as though he could support this amendment. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated that if it's in the public's interest to eliminate any sort of nuisance by requiring the taking of someone's property, he felt as though the public should be willing to compensate the owner for the loss. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN offered that this amendment doesn't affect whether a nuisance suit will be filed or what the outcome of the suit will be. The point Representative Vezey makes is in regards to the existing concept of a nuisance suit. He has never heard of anyone who's been found to be a nuisance and then gets compensated even under existing law. If someone is found to be a nuisance they shouldn't be receiving compensation for this nuisance. CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if there were any other discussion regarding this amendment and then asked for a roll call vote. Representatives Green, Vezey, Toohey, Bunde and Porter voted no. Representative Finkelstein voted yes. Amendment number two failed. Number 1007 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY made a motion to move CSHB 154 for the House Judiciary Committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN objected. To restate his concerns, he pointed out that there was a lot of discussion during the previous hearing. He felt as though the sponsor has made a serious effort to reduce some of the concerns by various parties. Some concerns still exist, but in a slightly smaller arena. Although he appreciated the efforts taken he still felt as though this legislation wouldn't be in the public interest. He felt as though this blanket approach to every law, circumstance and resource is so far reaching they have no idea of what the impacts fiscally would be and no idea what the effect would be on the common good. Number 1115 CHAIRMAN PORTER requested a roll call vote. Representatives Vezey, Toohey, Bunde, Green and Porter voted yes. Representative Finkelstein voted no. CSHB 154 was moved from the House Judiciary Committee as noted. Chairman Porter asked the sponsor in light of the amendments to provide new fiscal notes for presentation to the finance committee. SB 289 - MINORS, ESP. RUNAWAYS, & THEIR FAMILIES Number 1184 ALLISON GORDON, Legislative Assistant, Senator Steve Frank testified on SB 289. She read the sponsor statement into the record. "This legislation was introduced to address the growing concern among parents for the safety of their runaway children. The runaway epidemic is a significant problem in our communities that needs serious consideration. "SB 289 will strengthen the language within AS 11.51.130 regarding contributing to the delinquency of a minor. By discouraging people from harboring runaways, it will compel these children to take advantage of available services that are necessary for assessing the individual's situation and beginning the process of reconciliation with the child's family. "This legislation will also make clear that a police officer's first course of action, after picking up a runaway, will be to take that child back to his or her parents unless the officer believes that there has been abuse to the minor. If that parent will not accept the child, then the second course of action will be to take the minor to a safe place agreed to by the parent. If this cannot be accomplished either, then the police officer must take the child to a semi-secure shelter for assessment of the child's situation and determination of the course of action that is in the best interest of the child. "SB 289 creates a second tier of consequences for those runaways who run from semi-secure shelters after they have been placed there by law enforcement and instructed to remain in that facility. This bill makes it a violation to run from a semi-secure placement, thereby giving discretion to law enforcement officials to pick up the minor and detain him or her in a secure environment pending a detention hearing within 48 hours under AS 47.10.140. If there are no other reasons for detaining the minor, such as a delinquency petition based on violating other laws, the minor would be released to the legal custodian at the detention hearing. If the judge finds probable cause to determine that the minor is a child in need of aid it should proceed under AS 47.10.142 (e). 'I feel this legislation is an important step in dealing with this continuing problem and I would appreciate your support." Number 1350 L. DIANE WORLEY, Director, Division of Family & Youth Services, Department of Health & Social Services testified on SB 289. She stated that the department is certainly concerned with the issue of runaways. They also recognize that this is a serious problem and they deal with these types of issues every day within the work that they do. The department did strongly support the Senate Judiciary version of this legislation. At this point with the current version they do have some concerns. MS. WORLEY stated that they strongly support the sections which increase penalties for those adults who harbor runaways. Many of the problems which they have with youth leaving the runaway facilities is because these youths have some place to go other than the facilities which are available to them. The department felt as if they could strengthen these laws and eliminate the ability for these kids to stay with these adults who in many cases are not always the most healthy role models for these children, they will go a long way to having kids remain in the runaway facilities which currently exist. MS. WORLEY noted the department does not have a problem with semi- secure facilities. Semi-secure means that there would be a system set up so that if a child left a runaway facility the staff would know this immediately and make contact with the parents, the department or law enforcement. They are concerned with a provision in this legislation which allows runaways to be detained in a lock up facility. Currently in the state there are no secure facilities for runaways other than the ones run by the state, which there are five of these run by the division. These facilities are for delinquent youth who have committed some type of offense which has made them delinquent and gotten them into the system to be detained in either detention or a treatment facility. These facilities are at maximum capacity and in most cases are at over capacity. She cited an example of this. MS. WORLEY stated that when keeping this in mind they are going to have to first of all development regulations on how to run these facilities. They would then have to have money available to grant dollars to make these facilities available, go through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process for granting and monitoring. This is a time consuming process. They have concern that if this bill went into effect and these facilities outside the state's jurisdiction are not available, then they would be forced to be housed in the state facilities which are already full. MR. WORLEY stated if these runaway children were housed in these state facilities, they would be housed in the same facilities to mingle with the detention population consisting of experienced street kids who have committed various crimes such as, assault, armed robbery, rape, etc. She also noted that there was a revolving door system with runaways where they go to these shelters and they go right back out the other side. This legislation would just slow this process down. A detention in many cases is only going to be up to 48 hours and these children are released back to their parents and it is still up to the parent to retain their child at home. Many of these children are not going to stay home. MS. WORLEY offered that the department is still concerned that there will still be a revolving door system, it will just be a more expensive and more elaborate one. One of her concerns particularly is that they are going to set up the impression that this bill will solve the problem and the reality is that the runaway problem is always going to exist. The problem of runaways will never be eliminated. MS. WORLEY brought up another concern and that was the on-going debate as to whether detaining kids deter them from running away. The department's fear is that there will be a handful of kids that this will deter, but this will be the handful of kids who have run away once, tested their limits and then gone back home. The other kids might stop using the facilities currently available and go further underground. Instead of avoiding running away, they will avoid getting caught, which will potentially put them in a more dangerous situation. MS. WORLEY presented their final concern which has been discussed in depth. The department currently receives federal dollars from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), which is around $700,000. She admitted that this wasn't a hugh amount of money, but by enacting this legislation the state will loose this money. Personally, it's not so much the dollars as the programs which are served by these dollars. This money funds over 30 local programs, in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Nome, etc. All of these programs are helping these kids they are trying to work with. If they eliminate these funds and programs then they have less resources to begin dealing with the problem with why kids are running away. She stated that the department would continue supporting this legislation in it's Senate Judiciary form. The department cannot support the lock up concept of the newest version and she responded to Chairman Porter's question that yes, this was the primary difference between that version and this present one. Number 1815 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked if it was this provision which would lead to the loss of federal funds. MS. WORLEY stated that yes, this would be correct. The OJJDP funds are available to the state, but one of the conditions is that they cannot lock up (indisc.) offenses. Number 1886 BRUCE RUBLE testified by teleconference from Fairbanks on SB 289. Mr. Ruble stated that he was a student at West Valley with a 3.0 average, he also works and he's a runaway. He stated that this law won't do anything because people like him will hide more and they will try to be prevent being caught. He said he would not voluntarily join a semi-secure facility. Mr. Ruble ran away from an abusive family and said he would not go back. If this meant having to keep running away, he said he would. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asked if he had reported the abuse mentioned to the authorities. MR. RUBLE said he reported it to the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) and the police. They basically said there was nothing they could do. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY suggested he report it again. Number 1983 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said that if either of these agencies did respond, maybe their definition of abuse may not have been the same as Mr. Ruble's, but he stated that Mr. Ruble was obviously going to school which would make him more visible to these agencies. Representative Bunde asked if he had a choice between running away and going to jail, which would he choose. MR. RUBLE said he would run away. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE stated that if this bill passes then Mr. Ruble would go to a lock up. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said that Mr. Ruble would just make sure he wouldn't get caught. MR. RUBLE agreed. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said there are a lot of people in jail who thought the same thing. Number 2046 SAM HAYWOOD testified by teleconference from Anchorage on SB 289. He stated that he was somewhat active in state politics. He and his wife run a small Christian school. He said that he was mainly testifying as a parent with a runaway son. Mr. Haywood appreciated the strong language in the bill concerning reunification of families. He echoed some of the same concerns that Ms. Worley had. Mr. Haywood's son was at McLaughlin Youth Center and became more street wise and alienated once he came out. In regards to semi- secure facilities, he didn't know of one. Mr. Haywood's son walked away from quite a few places. MR. HAYWOOD said that facilities such as McLaughlin were bad places for these types of kids. They don't belong there. He also mentioned the overcrowding in these facilities and noted that the "slap on the wrist" mentality of placing them back in the home when these children don't get any re-direction or change in their purpose. This is something they need to address. If there was a good semi-secure facility to prevent this that would be a good thing. Secondly, as the legislature looks at this problem the idea of money comes to light. He suggested that the legislature look at the options of private industry to operate these types of facilities. Number 2320 AL NEAR testified by teleconference from Fairbanks on SB 289. Mr. Near said he completely supported this bill and he urged that they pass it out of committee. He said he liked how it upheld the authority of parents by directing law enforcement to return run always to their homes. In these instances when a shelter is a necessary choice, this bill would put to an end to the revolving door policy. He mentioned the specific situation with his daughter who was a run away. He was told that run always are a low priority because they will not stay at youth shelters. Mr. Near stated that this was true with his daughter. TAPE 96-55, SIDE A Number 053 DEIDRE PHAYER, Executive Director, Covenant House Alaska testified by teleconference from Anchorage on SB 289. She stated that in it's current form this piece of legislation would put Covenant House Alaska out of business. The definition of semi-secure is quite vague and might be in conflict with their philosophy that voluntary care is the best way to work with kids who are highly at risk. Alaska asked Covenant House to come here back in 1988 to work with run away and homeless youth. There was an obvious respect for their philosophy of voluntary care. MS. PHAYER continued to note that they have had just under 7,000 admissions to their program since 1988 and 72 percent of those admissions have been with kids between 13 and 17 years old. These kids stay at their facility an average of eight days at a time which gives them adequate time to intervene and work with family reunification. She believed that the key to their success is that they are a voluntary program. Kids chose to come in when they need assistance. By locking kids up they will dissuade them from disclosing many of the complex issues which lead them to run away in the first place. These are issues of emotional, sexual and physical abuse. MS. PHAYER stated that this will perpetuate the fear and mistrust that many of these kids have of adults. She added that they do not certainly want to go out of business. Ms. Phayer felt as though they were providing a service for this community. Number 226 CHAIRMAN PORTER noted for Ms. Phayer that while she was testifying the sponsor's staff gave a head nod that they didn't think she should be concerned and DYFS said that she should be concerned. He asked that the sponsor, DYFS and the Department of Law get together to come up with a solution to this before Friday when they could look at this issue again. Number 249 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked Ms. Phayer about the 7,000 young persons they serve, he wondered how many out of this number were repeats. MS. PHAYER said that about 51 percent are recidivists. Very often kids come in, check them out for a night or two, look at staff to see if they can trust them. Very often they need to come back in again. Of this 7,000 this represents 3,329 individuals of un- duplicated use. Number 291 LORI BACKES testified by teleconference from Fairbanks on SB 289. In their efforts to make sure run always are not forced to return to an abusive situation or safe jail, they must not neglect the young people who run away simply to avoid the responsibilities and restrictions of family life. It's clear that children run away from abusive and unsafe homes. They must do everything they can to protect them. Ms. Backes mentioned her young, run away daughter. Under the current law she had no support from the Alaska State Troopers or the Fairbanks city police to protect her daughter. When her daughter was gone there was no method to bring her home. MS. BACKES said that no one wants to lock up kids that have been victimized, but when it comes to run always there are two choices. They can be taken into custody or they can be let go. This bill finally allows a safety officer to take these children into custody, not to prison like a criminal, but into protective custody where their situation will be evaluated. She doesn't ask the state to take care of her children for her, but she needs to protect her children and this must not be interfered with. Number 490 TOM BEGICH, Chairman, State Student Justice Legislative Committee and Chairman, National Coalition of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention testified by teleconference from Anchorage on HB 289. The Juvenile Justice Committee has a position paper which specifically addresses this bill and issue. They were supportive of the earlier version of this legislation. The mission paper reinforces the concern of dealing with those who harbor run always. Secondly, it recognizes that in some instances semi-secure facilities may be the answer and finally it absolutely opposes locking children up. MR. BEGICH stated that if the issue is one of appropriate consequences to use, this is an issue of law enforcement related to any kind of misdemeanor, criminal activity which may be taken. He understood that there have been a number of efforts in Anchorage and other places to provide specific consequences to any criminal activity. If it's a question of more parental involvement then absolutely, the provisions of the earlier version provide this. Finally, if it's an issue of law enforcement not following the law or going after those who perpetrate a crime on a fourteen year old of sexual molestation or sexual statutory rape, then this is an issue which has to be brought up with law enforcement and does not come under the purview of this legislation. MR. BEGICH referred to the cost issue noted by Ms. Worley. The federal $700,000 which would cease coming to the state. This would impact over 30 programs which rely on this money and keep 600 to 700 individuals out of the system. Number 674 LESLIE DRUMHILLER testified by teleconference from Fairbanks on SB 289. She and her husband strongly support SB 289. They are parents of a 16 year old run away. This legislation is strong and it needs to be. They are not the only parents who suffer from weak laws. Too long have their hands been tied. They support the section dealing with semi-security. Fairbanks run always have a very strong underground network since they know they are immune from the law, so they keep running. Number 789 JUDY SHIFFLER testified by teleconference from Fairbanks on SB 289. She was gratified to see the inclusion of the authorization of temporary, secure detention of a minor who has previously left the semi-secure program without permission. She felt as though this was the most viable provision in SB 289. Without it the run away would have no consequence and the revolving door syndrome stays intact. Ms. Shiffler said she too was concerned about the negative influences of places like the McLaughlin facility, but there must be a next consequence after leaving a semi-secure facility. She was pleased with the consistent focus of this bill of immediately informing and consulting with a parent or guardian. She was also pleased with trying to reunited the family unit through counseling. Number 898 CANDY CARROLL testified by teleconference from Fairbanks on SB 289. She stated that Bruce Ruble had been living in her home for the past two years. As a result she was charged under the law and summoned to court. The charges were dismissed once they realized the circumstances. Mr. Ruble continues to go to school, keeps his grades up and holds down a job. She has several run away children who live with her and are allowed to do so with the permission of their parents and that they work for re-unification. All of the run always which have stayed with her have returned to their homes and are currently living there, although these children needed a time out away from their parents. Her philosophy is that the run away problem is not a problem with teenagers, but with families. Usually there are family problems which need to be dealt with as a whole. MS. CARROLL said she didn't believe in locking up children. She didn't have a problem with semi-secure facilities. One of the things which could help these situations, if the bill was extended to allow for these matters to be entered into civil trial and if the judge was given the authority to mandate that there be family counseling. The run always are used as scape goats, although this is a family problem. Rather than semi-secure facilities, have DYFS license safe houses for these children where there is neutrality. Number 1060 ROBIN RANDALL testified by teleconference from Fairbanks on SB 289. She supports this legislation and feels as though it could remedy some of the heart breaking stories of run always. There have to be some concrete consequences to follow, especially to harborers. She thought it was imperative to notify authorities that harborer are accountable to the court and that especially the parents are informed about where their child is. A clause which does concern her regarding this issue is the use of the words, "reasonable efforts." She referred to an instance with her teenage son. She felt as though this legislation would decrease the amounts of run always and supports its passage. Number 1184 MS. GORDON, Legislative Assistant to Senator Frank asked to make one thing clear and that was when discussing the fiscal note from the DYFS with them and the monies provided in their fiscal note regarding the secure facilities. What was conveyed to her was the fact that they didn't want to put these run always in already over- crowded detention centers. These are not appropriate places for children who have not committed a crime. DYFS conveyed that they wanted to use this money as grants for residential treatment facilities who would upgrade some of their beds to a secure environment as opposed to a detention center, keeping in mind that there will have to be some money spent and federal funding might be lost. This legislation deals with those situations where if children are not in school, they're not being educated or receiving the proper care are going to end up being cared for by the state ultimately by welfare, Department of Corrections, or otherwise. This bill passed unanimously in the Senate. Number 1259 CHAIRMAN PORTER stated that they would hold this over until Friday, and it will be the first business on the agenda. He asked that the issues regarding the Covenant House be addressed and presented then. ADJOURNMENT CHAIRMAN PORTER adjourned the meeting at 3:05 p.m.