Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/01/2004 01:10 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 1, 2004                                                                                          
                           1:10 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Lesil McGuire, Chair                                                                                             
Representative Tom Anderson, Vice Chair                                                                                         
Representative Jim Holm                                                                                                         
Representative Dan Ogg                                                                                                          
Representative Ralph Samuels                                                                                                    
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 451                                                                                                              
"An  Act relating  to therapeutic  courts; and  providing for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 451 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 29                                                                                              
Relating  to support  for therapeutic  courts for  repeat driving                                                               
while under the influence offenders.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HCR 29 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 468                                                                                                              
"An  Act relating  to the  amount of  the bond  required to  stay                                                               
execution  of   a  judgment  in  civil   litigation  involving  a                                                               
signatory,  a successor  of a  signatory,  or an  affiliate of  a                                                               
signatory  to the  tobacco  product  Master Settlement  Agreement                                                               
during an  appeal; amending  Rules 204 and  205, Alaska  Rules of                                                               
Appellate Procedure; and providing for an effective date."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 385                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to awarding  child custody; and providing for an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 385(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 342                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to driving while intoxicated; and providing for                                                                
an effective date."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 342(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 334                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to unlawful exploitation of a minor."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - BILL HEARING POSTPONED TO 3/3/04                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 451                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: THERAPEUTIC COURTS                                                                                                 
SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/16/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/16/04       (H)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
03/01/04       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HCR 29                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SUPPORT THERAPEUTIC COURTS                                                                                         
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) HEINZE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
02/16/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/16/04       (H)       JUD                                                                                                    
03/01/04       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 468                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: APPEAL BONDS: TOBACCO SETTLEMENT PARTIES                                                                           
SPONSOR(S): LABOR & COMMERCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/16/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/16/04       (H)       JUD                                                                                                    
03/01/04       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 385                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: AWARDING CHILD CUSTODY                                                                                             
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MCGUIRE                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
01/20/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/20/04       (H)       JUD                                                                                                    
02/25/04       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/25/04       (H)       <Bill Hearing Postponed>                                                                               
02/27/04       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/27/04       (H)       <Bill Hearing Postponed>                                                                               
03/01/04       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 342                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: INCREASE DRIVING UNDER INFLUENCE PENALTY                                                                           
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) GATTO                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
01/12/04       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/2/04                                                                                
01/12/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/12/04       (H)       JUD                                                                                                    
02/02/04       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/02/04       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/02/04       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/04/04       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/04/04       (H)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
02/09/04       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/09/04       (H)       <Bill Hearing Postponed>                                                                               
02/20/04       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/20/04       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/20/04       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/27/04       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/27/04       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/27/04       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/01/04       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DOUG WOOLIVER, Administrative Attorney                                                                                          
Administrative Staff                                                                                                            
Office of the Administrative Director                                                                                           
Alaska Court System (ACS)                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 451 on behalf of the ACS.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LEONARD R. DEVANEY III, Judge                                                                                                   
4th Judicial District Bethel                                                                                                    
Superior Court                                                                                                                  
Alaska Court System (ACS)                                                                                                       
Bethel, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  During discussion of HB 451, encouraged the                                                                
committee to support continued funding of therapeutic courts.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
STEPHANIE E. JOANNIDES, Judge                                                                                                   
3rd Judicial District Anchorage                                                                                                 
Superior Court                                                                                                                  
Alaska Court System (ACS)                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  During discussion of HB 451, related the                                                                   
success she has observed in Anchorage's therapeutic court.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
LINDA WILSON, Deputy Director                                                                                                   
Public Defender Agency (PDA)                                                                                                    
Department of Administration (DOA)                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 451.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JON BITTNER, Staff                                                                                                              
to Representative Cheryll Heinze                                                                                                
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HCR 29 on behalf of the sponsor,                                                                 
Representative Heinze.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
JANET McCABE, Chair                                                                                                             
Partners for Progress                                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  During discussion of HCR 29, reviewed the                                                                  
success of the Anchorage Wellness Court.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
KEITH A. TEEL, Attorney                                                                                                         
Co-Chair, Legislative Practice Group                                                                                            
and Chair, Tobacco Practice Group                                                                                               
Covington & Burling                                                                                                             
Washington, DC                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Assisted with the presentation of HB 468                                                                   
and responded to questions.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER APP, Alaska Advocacy Director                                                                                          
American Heart Association                                                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 468,                                                                         
suggested some alternative language, and responded to questions.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
EMILY NENON, Alaska Advocacy Director                                                                                           
American Cancer Society (ACS)                                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  During discussion of HB 468 provided                                                                       
comments and responded to a question.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PAIGE HODSON                                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   During  discussion of  HB 385,  related her                                                               
personal experience  which led her  to bring this issue  to Chair                                                               
McGuire, sponsor.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ALLEN M. BAILEY, Attorney at Law                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Speaking as  a family law attorney  and the                                                               
Vice-Chair of  the American Bar Association's  Family Law Section                                                               
Domestic  Violence   Committee,  urged  the  committee   to  pass                                                               
[Version Q of HB 385].                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
TRACY GOULD                                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified that  HB 385  would be  valuable                                                               
toward changing these [friendly parent] laws.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
KIMBERLEE VANDERHOOF, Program Director                                                                                          
Careline Crisis Intervention                                                                                                    
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Urged the committee to pass HB 385.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
GIGI PILCHER                                                                                                                    
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Requested that the committee pass HB 385.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ROSITA TWAIM                                                                                                                    
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   During discussion  of HB 385,  relayed that                                                               
the laws should be changed to protect children.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
DENNIS L. McCARTY, Attorney at Law                                                                                              
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 385.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
KERRY RASMUSSEN                                                                                                                 
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Expressed hope that HB 385 would pass.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LANETTA LUNDBURG                                                                                                                
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Her testimony  that HB 385 is very important                                                               
and needs to be closely reviewed was read by Jessica Stone.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTINE McLEOD PATE, Mentoring Attorney                                                                                       
Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (ANDVSA)                                                                 
Sitka, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:   Thanked the  committee for allowing  her to                                                               
speak in favor of HB 385.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ALVIN CARR                                                                                                                      
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Congratulated  the committee for its efforts                                                               
on HB 385.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
LAURIE BROWNLEE, court-appointed special advocate (CASA)                                                                        
(No address provided)                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 385.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CODY RICE, Staff                                                                                                                
to Representative Carl Gatto                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Offered comments  and responded to questions                                                               
during  discussion   of  HB  342   on  behalf  of   the  sponsor,                                                               
Representative Gatto.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-30, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LESIL   McGUIRE  called   the  House   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee  meeting  to  order  at   1:10  p.m.    Representatives                                                               
McGuire, Anderson,  Holm, Ogg, Samuels, Gara,  and Gruenberg were                                                               
present at the call to order.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HB 451 - THERAPEUTIC COURTS                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0088                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  announced that the  first order of  business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO. 451,  "An Act relating to  therapeutic courts;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0092                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DOUG  WOOLIVER,  Administrative Attorney,  Administrative  Staff,                                                               
Office  of  the  Administrative  Director,  Alaska  Court  System                                                               
(ACS), explained  that HB 451  was introduced by the  House Rules                                                               
Standing  Committee  by  request  of   the  ACS.    Mr.  Wooliver                                                               
paraphrased  portions of  the  written  sponsor statement,  which                                                               
read in part [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     HB  451 extends  the  termination dates  for two  pilot                                                                    
     therapeutic court programs until  after a planned study                                                                    
     of those courts has been  completed and reviewed by the                                                                    
     legislature.  The bill also  removes a sunset clause on                                                                    
     the Anchorage  superior court  judge position  that was                                                                    
     added, in part, to  administer one of those therapeutic                                                                    
     courts.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     In   2001  the   legislature  passed   HB  172,   which                                                                    
     established   felony-level    therapeutic   courts   in                                                                    
     Anchorage  and Bethel.   Each  court  was set  up as  a                                                                    
     pilot program  scheduled to run  for three years.   The                                                                    
     Anchorage court  admits those with a  felony conviction                                                                    
     for  driving  under  the   influence  of  an  alcoholic                                                                    
     beverage,  inhalant,  or  controlled  substance  (DUI).                                                                    
     The  Bethel  court  admits those  convicted  of  either                                                                    
     felony  DUI  or  certain  felony drug  offenses.    The                                                                    
     findings section  of HB 172  explained the  purposes of                                                                    
     these courts:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
          The purposes of therapeutic courts are lasting                                                                        
          sobriety of offenders, protection of society from                                                                     
          alcohol-related and drug-related crime, prompt                                                                        
          payment of restitution to victims of crimes,                                                                          
          effective interaction and use of resources among                                                                      
          criminal justice and community agencies, and                                                                          
          long-term reduction of costs relating to arrest,                                                                      
          trial, and incarceration.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOLIVER  pointed out that  these two felony DUI  courts were                                                               
largely modeled after the pioneering  work done by Judge James N.                                                               
Wanamaker,  Anchorage  District  Court,  who  has  a  misdemeanor                                                               
wellness court  that deals  with misdemeanant  alcohol defenders.                                                               
This therapeutic  court grew out  of a trial  judge's frustration                                                               
with  a  system that  doesn't  work  for those  with  significant                                                               
alcohol abuse problems.   Mr. Wooliver said  that Judge Wanamaker                                                               
has had a  great deal of success with his  wellness court, adding                                                               
that  the desire  of  Judge Wanamaker  and  Brian Porter,  former                                                               
Speaker  of  the  House  of  Representatives,  was  to  determine                                                               
whether  the   success  at  the   misdemeanant  level   could  be                                                               
replicated at the felony level.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0301                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOLIVER  returned to the  sponsor statement  and paraphrased                                                               
the following portions of it [original punctuation provided]:                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     In  order  to  determine  the  effectiveness  of  these                                                                    
     courts   the   Judicial   Council  was   charged   with                                                                    
     evaluating them and publishing  a study for legislative                                                                    
     review.   Unfortunately, both the Anchorage  and Bethel                                                                    
     programs   sunset  long   before   the  evaluation   is                                                                    
     scheduled to  be completed and,  because the  report is                                                                    
     to be  published in July,  many months more  before the                                                                    
     legislature   has  an   opportunity   to  review   that                                                                    
     evaluation.     If   the  legislature   looks  at   the                                                                    
     evaluation study  and decides that the  programs should                                                                    
     continue,  it will  be too  late;  both programs  would                                                                    
     have ended more than a year earlier.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     In  order  to fix  this  problem,  HB 451  extends  the                                                                    
     termination date of the pilot  programs until after the                                                                    
     legislature  has had  an  opportunity  to review  their                                                                    
     effectiveness.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     House Bill 451  also removes a sunset clause  in HB 172                                                                    
     that will terminate the  Anchorage superior court judge                                                                    
     position that  was added by  that bill.  The  new judge                                                                    
     was  necessary  not   only  to  do  the   work  of  the                                                                    
     therapeutic court  but also to help  absorb the growing                                                                    
     felony caseload  in Anchorage.  The  sunset clause will                                                                    
     take  effect   this  summer  at   the  same   time  the                                                                    
     therapeutic  court program  is scheduled  to end.   Not                                                                    
     only will that  mean the end of  the felony therapeutic                                                                    
     court, it will  also mean that Anchorage  will have one                                                                    
     less  judge  for  other  superior   court  work.    The                                                                    
     therapeutic  court judge  in Anchorage  spends most  of                                                                    
     her time  on general  superior court work  unrelated to                                                                    
     therapeutic  court  cases.   If  we  lose the  judicial                                                                    
     position  it will  impact all  superior court  cases in                                                                    
     Anchorage.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     The loss  of a superior  court judge in  Anchorage will                                                                    
     return   us  to   the   number   of  judges   initially                                                                    
     established  in  1984.   Since  that  time  the  felony                                                                    
     caseload  in  Anchorage   has  increased  approximately                                                                    
     100%.   We  simply  cannot afford  to  lose a  superior                                                                    
     court position  in Anchorage and  to return to  a level                                                                    
     of  judicial coverage  that  was  appropriate 20  years                                                                    
     ago.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0540                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LEONARD  R. DEVANEY  III, Judge,  4th  Judicial District  Bethel,                                                               
Superior  Court,   Alaska  Court   System  (ACS),   informed  the                                                               
committee that  he spends  approximately 80  percent of  his time                                                               
dealing with the general superior  court caseload.  He noted that                                                               
the Bethel  judicial district is  the third highest in  the state                                                               
with regard  to the number of  trials.  Judge Devaney  noted that                                                               
his court,  which started in June  2002, has had 55  people enter                                                               
the program,  seven of which  are to graduate [soon]  and another                                                               
seven  are  expected  to  graduate  June  1st.    The  court  has                                                               
experienced wonderful  success.  About  100 percent of  the cases                                                               
involve alcohol  or drugs, he  noted.  Judge Devaney  showcased a                                                               
recent 65-year-old  graduate who  had 11 DUIs,  three misdemeanor                                                               
assaults, one  felony assault, a  couple of  criminal trespasses,                                                               
and  a few  disorderly  conducts.   This  gentleman has  remained                                                               
sober for two years now and  is working.  Judge Devaney concluded                                                               
by  encouraging the  committee to  support  continued funding  so                                                               
that the courts can determine  whether the therapeutic courts are                                                               
as successful as is believed.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0716                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
STEPHANIE E.  JOANNIDES, Judge, 3rd Judicial  District Anchorage,                                                               
Superior Court,  Alaska Court System (ACS),  encouraged committee                                                               
members  to observe  these therapeutic  courts.   She highlighted                                                               
that  judges,  prosecutors,   and  defense  attorneys  throughout                                                               
Alaska are constantly frustrated  by recidivism.  The therapeutic                                                               
courts are  actually working,  she related.   Across  the country                                                               
there are  over 1,000  drug courts,  after which  the therapeutic                                                               
courts  are modeled,  in operation.   The  results in  Alaska are                                                               
consistent with those  in the Lower 48.   Judge Joannides related                                                               
that  in  Anchorage's therapeutic  court,  she  has seen  mothers                                                               
reunited  with their  children and  pregnant  women not  drinking                                                               
during their  pregnancy.  She  recalled that about  two-thirds of                                                               
those in  her program are repeat  felony offenders.  "I  could go                                                               
on and on about the successes  and the fact that these courts are                                                               
really  rebuilding  the lives  of  people  who have  very  little                                                               
hope," she said.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0934                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LINDA  WILSON, Deputy  Director,  Public  Defender Agency  (PDA),                                                               
Department  of Administration  (DOA),  announced  support for  HB                                                               
451.   She said she believes  it's important to continue  the two                                                               
[therapeutic  courts]   until  the  results  of   the  study  are                                                               
available.   Ms.  Wilson assured  the committee  that therapeutic                                                               
courts aren't  an easy way for  defendants because a lot  of work                                                               
and  commitment  is  required  of  the  defendant.    Ms.  Wilson                                                               
reiterated support  for HB  451, adding  that [the  PDA] supports                                                               
therapeutic courts in general.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1030                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ANDERSON moved  to report HB 451  out of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
note.   There being no  objection, HB  451 was reported  from the                                                               
House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HCR 29 - SUPPORT THERAPEUTIC COURTS                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1055                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE announced that the  next order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  CONCURRENT  RESOLUTION NO.  29,  Relating  to support  for                                                               
therapeutic courts  for repeat driving while  under the influence                                                               
offenders.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1067                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JON  BITTNER,  Staff  to Representative  Cheryll  Heinze,  Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  presented HCR  29 on  behalf of  the sponsor,                                                               
Representative Heinze, as follows:                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Alcoholism  in  Alaska  is   a  serious  and  immediate                                                                    
     problem.   Conventional methods of dealing  with repeat                                                                    
     offenders  under   the  influence  of   alcohol  aren't                                                                    
     effective and are prohibitively expensive.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     The largest  supplier of mental health  care in America                                                                    
     today  is  the  correctional  system.    This  is  both                                                                    
     ineffective  and  expensive.    People  with  substance                                                                    
     abuse problems  aren't going to  be cured or  helped by                                                                    
     locking  them away  with few  if any  treatment options                                                                    
     and  then releasing  them  after  they've served  their                                                                    
     time.   The average  cost of  traditional incarceration                                                                    
     is roughly $113  per person per day.   Over an 18-month                                                                    
     period,  which is  the length  of the  wellness court's                                                                    
     treatment  program,  that  adds  up  to  over  $60,000.                                                                    
     Compare that with the daily  cost of the wellness court                                                                    
     which is about $22 per  day or roughly $11,000 over the                                                                    
     18-month treatment period, about  half of which is paid                                                                    
     by the state.  You see  a savings of around $50,000 per                                                                    
     offender.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     The  best   way  we  have   of  treating   people  with                                                                    
     addictions are therapeutic courts.   While the alcohol-                                                                    
     related    recidivism   rate    for   a    conventional                                                                    
     incarceration of alcohol and  drug abusers is somewhere                                                                    
     around 67  percent nationwide,  the recidivism  rate of                                                                    
     wellness  court graduates  is about  25 percent.   This                                                                    
     disparity in success rates is  attributed to the use of                                                                    
     Naltrexone,  a  drug  that inhibits  alcohol  cravings,                                                                    
     coupled  with  community-based treatment  programs  and                                                                    
     cognitive-behavioral  therapy.     In  order  to  treat                                                                    
     someone  with  an  addiction, you  have  to  treat  the                                                                    
     cause.  To be most  effective, the community as a whole                                                                    
     must be involved.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     House   Concurrent   Resolution   29  asks   that   the                                                                    
     legislature  show its  support for  therapeutic courts'                                                                    
     effectiveness  in  dealing   with  [driving  under  the                                                                    
     influence (DUI)]  crime.  It  also asks  the Department                                                                    
     of  Law  and the  Public  Defender  Agency to  actively                                                                    
     participate  in the  startup of  therapeutic courts  in                                                                    
     areas with high instances  of DUI offenders where there                                                                    
     is local  support for therapeutic courts.   Therapeutic                                                                    
     courts  are effective,  comparatively inexpensive,  and                                                                    
     easy to implement.  I urge your support of HCR 29.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1175                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JANET  McCABE, Chair,  Partners for  Progress, announced  support                                                               
for HCR  29 as  well as  for all therapeutic  courts.   She noted                                                               
that the committee  packet should include the 2003  update on the                                                               
Anchorage wellness court run by  Judge James N. Wanamaker.  There                                                               
is three  years of data  compiled by the Justice  Center [College                                                               
of  Health  &  Social  Welfare]   at  the  University  of  Alaska                                                               
Anchorage.   This data illustrates that  the [Anchorage] wellness                                                               
court reverses the pattern typical of  those who are sent to jail                                                               
or treated in  the traditional manner.  In  Anchorage, 75 percent                                                               
of the  those [charged with]  felony driving under  the influence                                                               
(DUI)  are  likely   to  reoffend  and  return  to   jail.    The                                                               
aforementioned is  an expensive  cycle.   However, 75  percent of                                                               
those  who have  graduated three  years ago  from the  [Anchorage                                                               
wellness court]  have been  successful with  avoiding recidivism.                                                               
Furthermore, of the  13 graduates in 2003,  none have reoffended.                                                               
Ms. McCabe  noted that  those [who  participate in  the Anchorage                                                               
wellness court] are the core repeat offenders for DUI.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  McCABE informed  the committee  that the  Anchorage wellness                                                               
court is  a tough program.   Participants in the program  have to                                                               
remain alcohol-  and drug-free  for 18  months, during  which the                                                               
Anchorage Police  Department (APD) monitors them  with a bracelet                                                               
that  tests the  blood  for alcohol.   Furthermore,  participants                                                               
take Naltrexone, which quells the  craving for alcohol initially.                                                               
Therefore, participants are able  to stop thinking about drinking                                                               
and  actively participate  in treatment.    The participants  are                                                               
kept busy  with the Alcoholics Anonymous  (AA) meetings, meetings                                                               
with others taking  Naltrexone, and various other  meetings.  "By                                                               
the end  of 18  months, they are  genuinely changed  people," she                                                               
said.  Ms. McCabe said  this program produces better citizens and                                                               
saves the public money.   She noted that half of  the cost of the                                                               
program is paid  for by the participant, which is  viewed as part                                                               
of the therapy.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1488                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ANDERSON moved  to report HCR 29  out of committee                                                               
with individual recommendations and  the accompanying zero fiscal                                                               
note.   There being no  objection, HCR  29 was reported  from the                                                               
House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HB 468 - APPEAL BONDS: TOBACCO SETTLEMENT PARTIES                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1524                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE announced that the  next order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 468, "An Act  relating to the amount  of the bond                                                               
required  to stay  execution of  a judgment  in civil  litigation                                                               
involving  a  signatory,  a  successor  of  a  signatory,  or  an                                                               
affiliate  of   a  signatory  to   the  tobacco   product  Master                                                               
Settlement  Agreement during  an appeal;  amending Rules  204 and                                                               
205, Alaska  Rules of Appellate  Procedure; and providing  for an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1528                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ANDERSON, speaking  as chair  of the  House Labor                                                               
and Commerce  Standing Committee,  sponsor of  HB 468,  said that                                                               
the  tobacco  Master  Settlement  Agreement  ("MSA")  is  vitally                                                               
important to  Alaska and to the  other 45 states who  are parties                                                               
to that settlement.  It  delivers millions of dollars in revenues                                                               
to  Alaska annually,  and will  continue to  do so  for years  to                                                               
come.    However,  the  continued   receipt  of  these  funds  is                                                               
threatened  by  the  huge judgments  being  awarded  against  the                                                               
tobacco  companies funding  the  settlement.   Defendants  facing                                                               
such judgments almost  always have a right to appeal  and, in may                                                               
cases,  their  appeals  are successful  in  obtaining  a  reduced                                                               
judgment or in  overturning the judgment entirely.   But in order                                                               
to stay the execution of a  money judgment on appeal, a defendant                                                               
must  post a  supersedeas -  or "appeal"  - bond,  which, in  the                                                               
diminishing number of  states not having limits  on appeal bonds,                                                               
usually equals the  amount of the judgment.  In  Alaska, the bond                                                               
required  is  ordinarily the  amount  of  the judgment  remaining                                                               
unsatisfied, plus appeal  costs and interest.   But Alaska courts                                                               
are permitted  to set  the bond  in a  different amount  for good                                                               
cause  shown,  meaning judges  may  set  the  bond at  an  amount                                                               
exceeding the total judgment.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ANDERSON went  on to say that if  a company cannot                                                               
afford to  post a bond  in the amount set  by the court,  the end                                                               
result is that  the company may be forced to  file for bankruptcy                                                               
-  which  carries with  it  an  automatic  stay of  the  debtor's                                                               
obligation to pay its creditors -  in order to stop the plaintiff                                                               
from taking  its assets  during the  appeal.   Such a  stay could                                                               
disrupt  payments by  the company,  including payments  to Alaska                                                               
and the other  states under the MSA.  This  problem has been most                                                               
vividly  demonstrated  by the  ongoing  [Engle  v. R.J.  Reynolds                                                             
Tobacco Company]  case in  Florida, in which  a class  of smokers                                                             
was  awarded $145  billion in  punitive damages.   Had  there not                                                               
been  an appeal-bond  cap in  place at  that time,  the defendant                                                               
tobacco companies would clearly  have gone bankrupt, resulting in                                                               
the termination  of all MSA  settlement payments  nationwide, and                                                               
precluding  the ability  to  pursue a  fair  and orderly  appeal.                                                               
However,   because  Florida   had  previously   enacted  bond-cap                                                               
legislation,  the   settlement  payments  continued   during  the                                                               
appeal, and the appellate court  ultimately rejected and reversed                                                               
the verdict in its entirety.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1669                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ANDERSON remarked  that to  date, 26  states have                                                               
recognized  the  possibility  of enormous  appeal  bonds  causing                                                               
signatory companies  to be  unable to  meet their  obligations to                                                               
the  states  under   the  MSA,  and  these   states  have  passed                                                               
legislation  or amended  court rules  to  limit the  size of  the                                                               
required bond in  cases involving large judgments.   In addition,                                                               
5 other states do  not require a defendant to post  a bond at all                                                               
during an appeal.   Some states have  passed legislation applying                                                               
broadly to  all litigants,  while other  states have  passed more                                                               
limited   legislation   applying   only   to   MSA   signatories,                                                               
successors,  and  affiliates.   The  bond  limits range  from  $1                                                               
million to  $150 million.  Nearly  all of the statutes  include a                                                               
provision  allowing for  a higher  bond  amount, up  to the  full                                                               
value  of  the  judgment,  if   the  court  determines  that  the                                                               
appellant is dissipating assets to avoid paying a judgment.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ANDERSON said  that HB 468 imposes a  limit of $25                                                               
million   on  the   supersedeas   bond   that  MSA   signatories,                                                               
successors, and affiliates  must post to stay the  execution of a                                                               
judgment in Alaska.   This bond limit would not  change any other                                                               
aspect of the law - for example,  the rules by which the trial is                                                               
conducted,  or who  ultimately wins  or  loses the  lawsuit -  or                                                               
affect the rights  of the plaintiffs to recover  the full damages                                                               
to which they  are entitled if the judgment is  upheld on appeal.                                                               
Plaintiffs are  also protected by  the provision in  the proposed                                                               
legislation that allows the court to  require a bond amount up to                                                               
the value  of the  judgment if the  appellant is  dissipating its                                                               
assets to  avoid paying a  judgment.   House Bill 468  would not,                                                               
therefore, injure  plaintiffs in  any way,  and it  would protect                                                               
the  state  by ensuring  it  will  continue  to receive  its  MSA                                                               
payments  while the  tobacco companies  fully appeal  any adverse                                                               
judgment.   In  conclusion, he  noted that  the Senate  Judiciary                                                               
Standing  Committee  has  reported  the  companion  bill  out  of                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG noted the presence  of a typo on page 1,                                                               
line 7;  it currently refers  to AS  43.53 but it  should instead                                                               
refer to  AS 45.53.  He  suggested that the drafter  correct that                                                               
error.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE   indicated  that  there  would   be  a  technical                                                               
amendment to fix that error.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1801                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KEITH A.  TEEL, Attorney,  Co-Chair, Legislative  Practice Group,                                                               
and  Chair, Tobacco  Practice Group,  Covington &  Burling, noted                                                               
that he  has been  involved "in this  effort around  the country"                                                               
for the last three or four years.  He said:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     I represent  the four  original tobacco  companies that                                                                    
     signed the Master Settlement  Agreement with Alaska and                                                                    
     the  other  states.   And  those  companies are  Philip                                                                    
     Morris   [Incorporated];  Lorillard   Tobacco  Company;                                                                    
     Brown  &  Williamson   Tobacco  Corporation;  and  R.J.                                                                    
     Reynolds Tobacco  Company.   Those companies  are quite                                                                    
     interested  in  trying  to ensure  that  the  MSA,  the                                                                    
     Master Settlement Agreement, continues  in force - that                                                                    
     nothing happens to  mess it up, frankly.   And that may                                                                    
     sound a little strange because  they were sued by a lot                                                                    
     of  states  and,  ...  under  this  agreement,  they're                                                                    
     required to  pay a lot  of money.  But  frankly, having                                                                    
     lived  through  the  experience, the  companies  really                                                                    
     believe ...  it's a better  world, with  these payments                                                                    
     being  made and  the  obligations they  made under  the                                                                    
     [MSA] being honored, than a  situation where the states                                                                    
     are all suing the industry.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     And so ...  my clients would very much like  to live up                                                                    
     to their obligations under the  [MSA]. ... For us, this                                                                    
     is about  the catastrophic  situation where a  piece of                                                                    
     litigation  just gets  so ...  out of  control that  it                                                                    
     produces a verdict that is  impossible or at least next                                                                    
     to impossible  to bond,  to post an  appeal bond.   And                                                                    
     while  that  sounds  a  little  farfetched,  it  indeed                                                                    
     (indisc. -  coughing) in  the last  four years  of this                                                                    
     industry.   Once was  in a case  called Engle,  down in                                                                  
     Florida, in  2000, that resulted  in a verdict  of $145                                                                    
     billion, and  under the  then-existing law  in Florida,                                                                    
     the  companies  would have  been  required  to post  an                                                                    
     appeal  bond  of  $181 billion,  which  is  simply  not                                                                    
     possible; there  is not a  commercial market  more than                                                                    
     about  $10  billion in  the  world,  total, for  appeal                                                                    
     bonds, and  the most any  one company could get  in the                                                                    
     way of a commercial appeal bond is perhaps $2 billion.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1925                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. TEEL continued:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     So  there's simply  not a  market for  appeal bonds  of                                                                    
     [this] size.   (Indisc.)  that judgment, as  was noted,                                                                    
     was  completely reversed  last May  and went  away, but                                                                    
     had the companies been required  to post an appeal bond                                                                    
     under the  previously existing Florida law,  they would                                                                    
     have  been forced  to seek  a stay  through some  other                                                                    
     means than posting  a bond.  And the only  other way we                                                                    
     know of is to declare  bankruptcy, and the problem with                                                                    
     a  bankruptcy  filing  is  that   it  does  produce  an                                                                    
     automatic  stay of  all  payment  obligations but  it's                                                                    
     indiscriminate;  it  wouldn't   just  prevent  us  from                                                                    
     having  to pay  a judgment  while we  appeal, it  would                                                                    
     prevent us from  being able to make  payments under the                                                                    
     [MSA].   And that would  ... present a  serious problem                                                                    
     for all  the states  in this country  that rely,  for a                                                                    
     lot of different budgetary reasons, on these funds.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     As a  result of  that concern, the  Florida legislature                                                                    
     chose to  (indisc. -  paper rustling)  limit of  a $100                                                                    
     million, and that allowed the  companies to post a bond                                                                    
     and to go ahead and appeal.   Last year, the other case                                                                    
     arose, which  was in Illinois,  and that  case resulted                                                                    
     in  a judgment  of $10.1  billion.   It was  a consumer                                                                    
     fraud case;  there was all  sorts of evidence  that was                                                                    
     put  into the  case that  suggested that  the companies                                                                    
     had  mislead the  public in  saying that  ... so-called                                                                    
     "light" cigarettes - low tar  and nicotine cigarettes -                                                                    
     are  safe, and  the  contention of  the plaintiffs  was                                                                    
     that  they were  not,  or not  any  safer than  regular                                                                    
     cigarettes.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     And in that case, which was  tried not to a jury but to                                                                    
     a  judge,  the judge  ordered  $10.1  billion and  then                                                                    
     ordered  that  a  $12 billion  bond  be  posted,  under                                                                    
     Illinois law,  in order to prevent  the plaintiffs from                                                                    
     executing  while the  defendants sought  to appeal  the                                                                    
     judgment.   What  happened next  was a  lengthy dispute                                                                    
     that at  one point  involved 37 attorneys  general from                                                                    
     other states, including Alaska,  filing a petition with                                                                    
     the courts  in Illinois  saying, "Please allow  a lower                                                                    
     bond."   And  it ultimately  got to  the state  supreme                                                                    
     court  before  the  supreme court  allowed  (indisc.  -                                                                    
     coughing)  $6.8 billion.   Still  a mammoth  amount and                                                                    
     something that  could not be  repeated.  So  that's the                                                                    
     history here.   There are  two cases, that but  for, in                                                                    
     the  one, the  legislature reducing  the bond,  and, in                                                                    
     the other,  the company  somehow scraping  together the                                                                    
     ability to post  a $6.8 billion bond,  there would have                                                                    
     been a bankruptcy situation.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2021                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. TEEL went on to say:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
       And that  bankruptcy would  have stopped  payments in                                                                    
     those states under  the [MSA] and in  every other state                                                                    
     under   the  [MSA].      The  stay,   as   I  say,   is                                                                    
     indiscriminate.   This  background ...  probably should                                                                    
     be augmented  by just talking  for a minute  about what                                                                    
     appeal  bonds  are for  anyway.    Appeal bonds  are  a                                                                    
     creature  of,  really, a  long  history  in the  United                                                                    
     States; they've been around, in  some states, since the                                                                    
     early 1800s.   And ... frankly, when I  think of appeal                                                                    
     bonds,  I think  of  a time  when  Abraham Lincoln  was                                                                    
     practicing law  and a defendant could  literally hop on                                                                    
     his horse  and ride  out of town  without ...  paying a                                                                    
     judgment. ...  Class actions  did not  exist in  a time                                                                    
     when  appeal bonds  (indisc. -  paper rustling);  these                                                                    
     massive punitive  damage judgments  didn't exist.   And                                                                    
     the result  was that  nobody contemplated the  kinds of                                                                    
     massive judgments that you now  see, that the two cases                                                                    
     I've  just  described  are,  ...  when  thinking  about                                                                    
     appeal bonds.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     We  now  have that  situation,  and  we also  have  the                                                                    
     rather odd situation, the only  one I'm aware of, where                                                                    
     states  around  the  country  are  dependant  on  [MSA]                                                                    
     revenues.   For that reason,  ... 26 states  have acted                                                                    
     to limit the appeal bond.   In addition, 5 other states                                                                    
     don't require a  bond at all, just  the (indisc.) stays                                                                    
     of a judgment while it's on  appeal.  So you've now got                                                                    
     31 states  in this country  that do not  require appeal                                                                    
     bonds; that covers  about 70 to 75 percent  of the U.S.                                                                    
     population.  Frankly,  our desire, our goal,  is to try                                                                    
     to  pass this  everywhere because,  as these  two cases                                                                    
     I've described  have shown,  one bad  judgment anywhere                                                                    
     can  prevent the  companies from  being  able to  honor                                                                    
     their obligations under the [MSA],  and we would rather                                                                    
     not see that happen.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2111                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. TEEL concluded:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Just  a couple  of  final points.    First, there's  no                                                                    
     change in  this bill in  the substantive law.  ... What                                                                    
     this bill basically does is  allow the companies to get                                                                    
     through the appeal process  without having their assets                                                                    
     taken or  being forced  [into a]  bankruptcy situation.                                                                    
     ...  If  under the  law  they  should lose  the  trial,                                                                    
     presumably that  verdict will  be sustained  on appeal,                                                                    
     but at least it will  let them get through the [appeal]                                                                    
     process.   Second,  this is  not  a fix  for some  case                                                                    
     that's hanging  out there right  now; we are  not aware                                                                    
     of a  case in Alaska  ... that currently  presents this                                                                    
     kind of risk.  This is not  an effort to try to mess up                                                                    
     an ongoing  piece of litigation for  somebody else, but                                                                    
     we  feel that  we have  to do  this in  every state  in                                                                    
     order to protect the MSA.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Third,  the dissipation-of-assets  provision ...  is in                                                                    
     this bill as it has been in  most of the bills.  One of                                                                    
     the comments  I've occasionally  heard made  about this                                                                    
     is,  "How does  anybody know  whether that's  going on,                                                                    
     whether assets  are being dissipated," and  I think the                                                                    
     answer to that is [that]  in some industries maybe that                                                                    
     would be  hard to  see, [but]  there's probably  not an                                                                    
     industry  in the  United States  that  is more  closely                                                                    
     watched by all  sorts of people -  including 50 state's                                                                    
     attorneys  general  -  right   now,  than  the  tobacco                                                                    
     industry:  the  four companies I represent.   There's a                                                                    
     ton of  public information available, there's  a ton of                                                                    
     analysts out  there who follow  this, and I  (indisc. -                                                                    
     coughing) pretty easy to  see whether a dissipation-of-                                                                    
     assets situation was occurring.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Finally,  a comment  was made  in previous  hearings on                                                                    
     the Senate bill  ... [regarding] what happens  if ... a                                                                    
     truck driven by  a Philip Morris employee  plows into a                                                                    
     school bus  in Alaska.  There  may be a lot  of answers                                                                    
     one could  give to that  ..., but the basic  answer is:                                                                    
     Philip  Morris doesn't  have any  employees in  Alaska;                                                                    
     its  parent company,  Altria  [Group,  Inc.], does  not                                                                    
     have  any  employees  in Alaska;  its  sister  company,                                                                    
     Kraft [Foods],  does not have any  employees in Alaska.                                                                    
     That's not how the chain  of distribution works, and so                                                                    
     while it's  an interesting hypothetical, it's  just not                                                                    
     something  that's likely  to happen  in  Alaska.   With                                                                    
     that, I will stop, and I'd  ... be very happy to answer                                                                    
     any questions.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 2203                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG turned  attention  to page  2, line  5,                                                               
which read in  part, "is dissipating assets  outside the ordinary                                                               
course of  business to avoid  payment", and said he  is concerned                                                               
about  a possible  loophole.    He remarked,  "I  don't want  the                                                               
defendant to  be able to  say, 'Well,  we're trying to  avoid the                                                               
payment  of the  judgment, but  it's  in the  ordinary course  of                                                               
business';  so I'd  like to  eliminate the  phrase, 'outside  the                                                               
ordinary  course of  business".   Representative Gruenberg  asked                                                               
Mr. Teel if he would be opposed to eliminating that phrase.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. TEEL replied:                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     That  language  is  in virtually  every  one  of  these                                                                    
     dissipation-of-assets  sections, and  the reason  it is                                                                    
     there  is  to  try  to  recognize  that  the  companies                                                                    
     involved  here  are  pretty  huge  companies  that  are                                                                    
     constantly  moving  money  around   for  all  sorts  of                                                                    
     purposes.  What we were  trying to get at was something                                                                    
     where   a   pattern   emerges  of   something   unusual                                                                    
     happening, like ... moving the  company out of New York                                                                    
     City and into  Mexico or something.  So  we were trying                                                                    
     to set up the comparison  between what's the normal ...                                                                    
     pattern  of behavior  for these  specific companies  in                                                                    
     their  ordinary  course.   It  was  not an  attempt  to                                                                    
     create some  sort of loophole;  it was just  an attempt                                                                    
     to recognize  that there's  got to  be some  ability to                                                                    
     move money.  If the  committee really wants to do that,                                                                    
     I recognize that is not  the most important language in                                                                    
     the  bill, but  it is  language that's  in every  other                                                                    
     state's dissipation section.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  remarked that he  did not want  to wind                                                               
up going  before the  supreme court on  the construction  of that                                                               
particular phrase.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. TEEL  said that although he  would prefer that the  phrase be                                                               
retained, he understands if the  committee would prefer to remove                                                               
it.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 2297                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG asked  whether anyone  else has  raised                                                               
this issue.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. TEEL  replied that from  time to  time, during the  course of                                                               
similar discussion in  other states, it has been  raised, but the                                                               
end result  for the most part  has been to retain  that language.                                                               
He  noted, however,  that  there  are two  or  three states  that                                                               
decided  not to  include  "this  provision."   In  response to  a                                                               
question,  he   said  that  although   there  have   been  slight                                                               
variations of  the provision,  it has pretty  much said  the same                                                               
thing and included the "outside  the ordinary course of business"                                                               
language.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  asked  Mr.  Teel if  he  helped  draft  the                                                               
language in HB 468.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. TEEL said yes.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  asked what  the phrase,  "an affiliate  of a                                                               
signatory" means.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. TEEL  said that  typically, the way  affiliate is  defined in                                                               
the law, it includes parent corporations and sibling companies.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-30, SIDE B                                                                                                            
Number 2393                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TEEL went  on  to say  that  what he  and  his clients  were                                                               
concerned  about  were  situations  in which  somebody  throws  a                                                               
parent company into litigation against  the party that signed the                                                               
MSA.   In such a situation,  a judgment against a  parent company                                                               
could  sufficiently  weaken  the  whole  enterprise  because  the                                                               
parent company  would have  to seek a  stay under  the bankruptcy                                                               
laws and this  in turn could potentially result in  a stay of its                                                               
subsidiary enterprises.  He went on to say:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     We're really trying to prevent  that sort of situation.                                                                    
     There  was [a]  little  bit of  concern  ... about  the                                                                    
     situation  where  you  might   have  a  retailer  or  a                                                                    
     distributor who is named in  a lawsuit and goes all the                                                                    
     way through  judgment ..., and  ... for that  reason we                                                                    
     also put  in some  language in  this bill  dealing with                                                                    
     appellants collectively.  We  were trying to keep those                                                                    
     people from having to post their own bond.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  offered his  understanding  that  a lot  of                                                               
cigarette companies produce other  products as well, for example,                                                               
cheese.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. TEEL  acknowledged that the  parent company of  Philip Morris                                                               
[Incorporated], Altria [Group, Inc.], also owns Kraft [Foods].                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA said  that he  wants to  make sure  that the                                                               
legislation  is as  narrow as  possible because  he is  concerned                                                               
about extending  "this protection" to  any case that  involves an                                                               
affiliate  of  a  tobacco  company even  if  it  doesn't  involve                                                               
tobacco   specifically.     If  the   real  concern   is  tobacco                                                               
litigation, he  asked, then why  is this bond rule  applicable to                                                               
non-tobacco litigation  too?   Why not limit  it to  just tobacco                                                               
litigation?                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. TEEL replied:                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Let's  imagine  you  had   something  that  ...  didn't                                                                    
     involve  tobacco  per se,  say  a  big derivative  suit                                                                    
     brought  against  the  parent company,  Altria  [Group,                                                                    
     Inc.],  that  somehow  dealt  with  ...  some  sort  of                                                                    
     corporate action  that had nothing in  particular to do                                                                    
     with the  sale of  cigarettes.  If  that resulted  in a                                                                    
     massive judgment,  ... you'd  still have to  bond that,                                                                    
     and  the  process of  having  to  bond it  could  cause                                                                    
     Altria [Group,  Inc.,] to  have problems  continuing to                                                                    
     make its obligations under the  MSA.  It really doesn't                                                                    
     have much  to do at all  with cigarettes; it has  to do                                                                    
     with  the  financial health  of  the  company, and  any                                                                    
     large  judgment could  weaken the  financial health  of                                                                    
     the company.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2258                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  asked why  the  amount  of $25  million  is                                                               
proposed.  Why  is that the appropriate amount as  opposed to $60                                                               
million or $80 million?                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. TEEL replied:                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     We start  with $25 million.   I will tell you  there is                                                                    
     one state  - Idaho  - that went  with $1  million; they                                                                    
     thought $25 [million]  was outlandish.  The  way it has                                                                    
     worked out  around the country,  it's really kind  of a                                                                    
     question of  what the legislature is  comfortable with,                                                                    
     and I think  the bill that came out of  the Senate side                                                                    
     this  morning ...  [now has  an] amount  [of] ...  $100                                                                    
     million.   And with that,  I think some of  these other                                                                    
     concerns ...  they were okay  with. ... About 10  to 13                                                                    
     ... states  have the $25-million number;  about another                                                                    
     5 or 6  have $50 million; 1 has $75  [million]; about 5                                                                    
     or 6 have $100 million; and 2 have $150 million.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG asked  whether  it would  be  possible for  a                                                               
company  like ExxonMobil  Corporation to  become an  affiliate of                                                               
one  of  the  signatories  to  the MSA  and,  under  the  current                                                               
language in HB 468, thereby "get out of their $5 billion bond."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TEEL  said no,  adding  that  although it  is  theoretically                                                               
possible that any  company could make a corporate  bid on another                                                               
company, as  a practically matter,  there are very  few companies                                                               
in  the  world  that  are  looking  to  enter  into  the  tobacco                                                               
industry,   particularly  given   the   recent  settlements   and                                                               
litigation.  He offered his  understanding that much of the Exxon                                                               
Valdez litigation was taking place  in the federal courts, and HB                                                               
468  establishes  a rule  that  it  would  not apply  in  federal                                                               
courts.  He  mentioned that [his firm] had been  advised to limit                                                               
the legislation  proposed for Alaska  to just  tobacco litigation                                                               
specifically because of the Exxon Valdez litigation.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  noted  that  AS 45.53,  which  HB  468                                                               
proposes to alter, pertains only to cigarette sales.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. TEEL pointed out that some  of the other states "have broadly                                                               
applicable caps that they've adopted  to these appeal bonds," and                                                               
so their  legislation applies  to more  than just  the MSA.   The                                                               
legislation before the committee, however, is "MSA-specific."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2107                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER   APP,   Alaska   Advocacy  Director,   American   Heart                                                               
Association,  said   that  the  American  Heart   Association  is                                                               
concerned about  HB 468  because it fails  to protect  the public                                                               
health  of all  Alaskans and  is not  needed to  protect the  MSA                                                               
payments  that  Alaska  receives  every year.    She  noted  that                                                               
because  the use  of  cigarettes is  the  number one  preventable                                                               
cause of heart  disease, the American Heart  Association spends a                                                               
lot of  time and energy  ensuring that the appropriate  amount of                                                               
the  MSA  funds actually  gets  spent  on tobacco  education  and                                                               
cessation  programs.   The American  Heart  Association does  not                                                               
support  HB  468.   Notwithstanding  that  the MSA  payments  are                                                               
incredibly  important  to  the American  Heart  Association,  the                                                               
appeal  bond limit  proposed  via  HB 468  is  nothing more  than                                                               
special legislation  for tobacco companies  that wish to  get out                                                               
of the  current appeal bonds  which apply to all  companies doing                                                               
business  in  Alaska.   "This  bill  essentially would  give  the                                                               
tobacco companies  a bit of  a free  ride here, letting  them cap                                                               
the appeal bond limit at $25 million," she added.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  APP  said that  appeal  bonds  serve  an important  role  in                                                               
protecting  plaintiffs  that  have legitimately  prevailed  in  a                                                               
lower court.   This mechanism  ensures that defendants  don't use                                                               
repeated  frivolous appeals,  and  also  ensures that  defendants                                                               
don't lose their  assets or hide them during  the appeal process.                                                               
She noted  that Representative Gruenberg  has already  touched on                                                               
the  American Heart  Association's  concern regarding  subsection                                                               
(b)  of  Section  1,  specifically  the  language,  "outside  the                                                               
ordinary course of  business".  She opined that it  would be very                                                               
difficult, perhaps close  to impossible, for a  plaintiff to show                                                               
that  a  company  was dissipating  assets  outside  the  ordinary                                                               
course  of business,  especially  in  complex litigation  against                                                               
large tobacco companies with widely dispersed assets.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. APP  predicted that if  there ever were  to be a  large class                                                               
action  lawsuit in  Alaska that  prevails  in a  lower court,  it                                                               
could result  in a damage award  in the billions of  dollars, for                                                               
example, in a case in  which cigarette companies are found guilty                                                               
of  marketing  cigarettes under  false  pretenses,  such as  what                                                               
happened with the  so-called "light" cigarettes, or  if a company                                                               
is found to be directing its  marketing toward children.  In such                                                               
a situation, a  tobacco company could get away with  paying a $25                                                               
million bond  on a multi-billion  dollar judgment.  Even  if such                                                               
is not  likely to occur  in Alaska, she  remarked, it does  set a                                                               
dangerous  precedent without  necessarily offering  protection to                                                               
those that are harmed by cigarettes,  which is the goal of having                                                               
an appeal bond.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1955                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  APP  offered  her  belief   that  provisions  ensuring  that                                                               
companies don't go bankrupt are already  in place.  First of all,                                                               
companies can file  a motion with the court to  reduce the amount                                                               
of the  appeal bond, as  occurred in the  aforementioned Illinois                                                               
case.   The defendant  can also  work out  an agreement  with the                                                               
prevailing plaintiffs  to post  a smaller bond.   She  noted that                                                               
the signatory companies are very  big companies; for example, the                                                               
parent company of Philip Morris  Incorporated has total assets of                                                               
$87.5 billion,  net revenues of  $80.4 billion, and  U.S. tobacco                                                               
revenues  of $18.9  billion.    She said  she  finds it  somewhat                                                               
ironic that  the amount of $25  million was chosen for  Alaska as                                                               
an appeal  bond limit,  since that  is also  the amount  of money                                                               
that tobacco  companies spend annually in  Alaska marketing their                                                               
"deadly products."   Tobacco  companies do  have money  to spend,                                                               
she remarked, they just don't want to post it on appeal bonds.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. APP  opined that by  lowering nonessential  spending, tobacco                                                               
companies could raise  the money to post on  appeal bonds without                                                               
impacting their  MSA payments.   In conclusion, she said  that if                                                               
[the legislature] is truly concerned  about the future of the MSA                                                               
payments,  there are  some alternatives  to the  concept proposed                                                               
via  HB  468  that  the   American  Heart  Association  would  be                                                               
satisfied with, for  example, using language that  sets an appeal                                                               
bond  limit at  no  greater  than the  total  value  of a  losing                                                               
defendant's assets,  or at no  greater than a  losing defendant's                                                               
total  revenues for  the prior  fiscal year.   Such  alternatives                                                               
would be legitimate  ways of ensuring that  tobacco companies are                                                               
not forced  into bankruptcy,  while also  ensuring that  they are                                                               
not  let off  the  hook too  easily.   House  Bill  468 is  being                                                               
proposed  specifically for  future large  class action  lawsuits,                                                               
and $25  million is  very small  in terms of  an appeal  bond for                                                               
such suits.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE noted that the  American Heart Association has also                                                               
provided written testimony.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA asked  what standards the court  would use to                                                               
lower an appeal bond amount.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. APP  said she  did not  know what  they are  specifically but                                                               
posited that  the courts do  a balancing test between  the amount                                                               
of the judgment and the amount of the bond.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1741                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM raised the issue  of perhaps having an appeal                                                               
bond limit of 10 percent.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TEEL said  that  such  has been  discussed  in  a number  of                                                               
states, but  has not been  adopted except  in a couple  of states                                                               
and then  only in conjunction  with a  "hard dollar cap"  and for                                                               
all defendants,  not just  to the MSA  signatories.   He surmised                                                               
that the  reason a 10 percent  limit has not been  more favorably                                                               
received  is  because no  one  is  "very enthusiastic  about  the                                                               
inevitable  post-judgment  proceeding  to   figure  out  what  10                                                               
percent of net worth is."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  noted  that  in  members'  packets  are  handouts                                                               
provided by Covington & Burling  detailing the appeal bond limits                                                               
enacted by different states; for  example, California has a limit                                                               
of the  lesser of 100  percent of  the judgment of  $150 million,                                                               
and  Texas  has a  limit  of  the lesser  of  50  percent of  the                                                               
judgment debtor's  net worth or  $25 million.  She  remarked that                                                               
some states  have opted for having  an appeal bond limit  that is                                                               
only applicable to the punitive damages portion of a judgment.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TEEL surmised  that  those were  states  that enacted  their                                                               
appeal bond limits at the  time of the aforementioned Engle case,                                                             
and so the focus was very  much on the punitive damages aspect of                                                               
that case.  Since that time,  he remarked, a couple of states set                                                               
appeal bond limits applicable to "damages of all kinds."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE asked  how the punitive damages  have compared with                                                               
compensatory damages in these cases.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. TEEL said that although there  is no "average" case, in every                                                               
complaint against tobacco  companies that he's seen,  there is an                                                               
assertion of "a  punitive damages claim."  He  mentioned that the                                                               
tobacco industry  probably prevails  in most  individual personal                                                               
injury cases,  though not  all.   And in some  of the  cases that                                                               
have been lost, there have  been punitive damages ranging between                                                               
1,000 times more  than the compensatory damages to  less than the                                                               
compensatory damages.  He added:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     I  think the  world of  "compensatories" has  changed a                                                                    
     little  bit,  though,  in light  of  the  U.S.  Supreme                                                                    
     Court's decision in  2003 in the State  Farm (ph) case,                                                                  
     which  added a  sort of  constitutional overlay  to the                                                                    
     relationship   between    compensatory   and   punitive                                                                    
     damages.   And that has  resulted in, not only  for the                                                                    
     tobacco industry  but for other companies,  cases being                                                                    
     sent  back  to trial  courts  to  have the  "punitives"                                                                    
     reexamined.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1498                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. TEEL  remarked that generally,  the truly massive  portion of                                                               
these verdicts  tends to be  punitive damages, adding that  he is                                                               
not aware  of an  individual "smoking and  health case  ... where                                                               
the  ultimately awarded  compensatory  damages  to the  plaintiff                                                               
exceeded  the $25  million  that's the  cap in  this  bill."   In                                                               
response  to a  question, he  relayed  that he  practices law  in                                                               
Washington DC.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG opined  that  in  addition to  amending                                                               
Rules 204 and 205 of the  Alaska Rules of Appellate Procedure, HB                                                               
468 may  also have the effect  of amending Rule 62  of the Alaska                                                               
Rules  of  Civil Procedure.    He  asked  the committee  aide  to                                                               
investigate  that issue  so that  if  necessary, he  can offer  a                                                               
technical amendment to that effect.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  noted that 25  states do not have  limits on                                                               
appeal bonds.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. TEEL indicated that some  of those states do have legislation                                                               
pending, adding  that in  a few  states, the  legislature doesn't                                                               
have the  authority to  make such  a change  - instead  the court                                                               
must do it.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  asked whether any states  have simply turned                                                               
down this proposal.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. TEEL  relayed that in  Iowa, although the  legislature passed                                                               
an appeal  bond limit  twice, the legislation  was vetoed  by the                                                               
governor both  times.   He also offered  his belief  that similar                                                               
legislation  didn't  pass  in  New   Mexico  simply  because  the                                                               
legislature ran out of time.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1225                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
EMILY NENON,  Alaska Advocacy  Director, American  Cancer Society                                                               
(ACS), said  that one of the  things about HB 468  that she takes                                                               
issue with is the proposition that  it is in the best interest of                                                               
Alaska  to protect  the  health  of the  tobacco  industry.   She                                                               
elaborated:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     We  know that  here in  Alaska, tobacco  annually costs                                                                    
     the  state $132  million  in annual  health care  costs                                                                    
     directly  related to  smoking, and  an additional  $129                                                                    
     million  in lost  productivity.   What  we  bring in  -                                                                    
     that's  supposedly in  jeopardy, as  the argument  goes                                                                    
     here -  is between $22  [million] and $27  million from                                                                    
     the [MSA].   And I  will remind  you all that  like ...                                                                    
     the  American Heart  Association,  the American  Cancer                                                                    
     Society  is  active  in lobbying  to  get  ...  tobacco                                                                    
     settlement  monies spent  on tobacco  control programs;                                                                    
     that fits right into  our mission of eliminating cancer                                                                    
     as a major health problem.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     But  ultimately,  the  [MSA]   was  about  the  tobacco                                                                    
     industry repaying  the states  for the damage  [it has]                                                                    
     inflicted,  not  about  being   a  windfall  for  state                                                                    
     budgets.   And so around  the country, the  position of                                                                    
     the [ACS]  is, and I'm  reading this right off  the web                                                                    
     site, "We  believe tobacco companies should  be held to                                                                    
     the same  standard as other  industries and  should not                                                                    
     receive  special protection  from state  legislatures."                                                                    
     That is  the basis  that I'm coming  from; I  have been                                                                    
     looking  at this  [and] a  lot of  the other  arguments                                                                    
     have been brought up, but  that's one that I think that                                                                    
     we're  really  missing  and  that   I  would  like  the                                                                    
     committee to  take seriously  in consideration  of this                                                                    
     bill.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE asked  what would  the  ACS's position  be if  the                                                               
legislation before the  committee set appeal bond  limits for all                                                               
types of litigation, not just tobacco litigation.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. NENON replied:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     I  have a  personal argument  about that,  and I  would                                                                    
     have to  ... do  some more  checking with  our national                                                                    
     government relations  department to  find out  what the                                                                    
     [ACS's] position  is on that,  [but] the  research that                                                                    
     I've done  shows that the  court system is  designed to                                                                    
     be  able to  handle  setting [appeal]  bonds.   In  the                                                                    
     Illinois  case  last summer,  when  the  judge set  the                                                                    
     [appeal]  bond  level at  $12  billion,  the court  did                                                                    
     reduce that  ... bond  amount ...  down to  $6 billion,                                                                    
     and I will point  out that Philip Morris [Incorporated]                                                                    
     was able to post a $6  billion bond.  So my thinking is                                                                    
     that the courts have been  able to handle this in other                                                                    
     cases, ... [and]  the courts are uniquely set  up to be                                                                    
     able to handle these kinds of issues.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1042                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG remarked that  the statute pertaining to                                                               
the  MSA   stems  from  one-of-a-kind  litigation,   and  that  a                                                               
supersedeas bond  is generally  the amount  of the  judgment plus                                                               
interest.   Such  an amount,  he opined,  could "easily  bust the                                                               
bank," particularly given that bankruptcy  is sometimes used as a                                                               
form  of  corporate strategy  and  that  "we've already  sold  80                                                               
percent of  the tobacco settlement."   "So it's not as  simple as                                                               
all that," he concluded.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE asked  Ms. Nenon to provide the  committee with the                                                               
ACS's position on  an alternative:  making the  appeal bond limit                                                               
apply  to all  litigation.   Chair McGuire  said she  agrees with                                                               
Representative  Gruenberg  that  the [MSA]  presents  an  unusual                                                               
situation.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM asked what it  costs to purchase a $1 billion                                                               
bond.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. TEEL relayed  that a $10 million bond could  be purchased for                                                               
perhaps 1 to 2 percent of  that amount, whereas a $1 billion bond                                                               
could perhaps be purchased for  an amount ranging between tens of                                                               
millions  of dollars  and  $100 million,  depending  on "who  you                                                               
are."   He  noted that  companies that  have "a  higher perceived                                                               
risk  in the  litigation market  place" have  a hard  time buying                                                               
bonds, adding  that the tobacco  industry has  a little bit  of a                                                               
history in  attempting to  buy such bonds  and has  typically not                                                               
been able  to buy them.   Instead, the tobacco companies  that he                                                               
represents have had to put money  into a bank account in order to                                                               
get a  letter of credit from  the bank; that letter  of credit is                                                               
then given  to the  surety company, which  then issues  the bond.                                                               
"If you can buy them, they're a relatively small percentage of                                                                  
the judgment, but it's not clear everybody can buy them," he                                                                    
concluded.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0813                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA asked Ms. Nenon for a copy of the statement                                                                 
she'd read from earlier.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. NENON agreed to provide a copy of that to him, adding that                                                                  
the language on the ACS's web site is a lot stronger than her                                                                   
spoken testimony.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA asked of Mr. Teel:                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     If we're trying  to protect the assets  of a particular                                                                    
     company and  we're going  to do it  with a  $25 million                                                                    
     limit or a  $100 million limit, whatever  the limit is,                                                                    
     why do  we also  have this provision  in the  bill that                                                                    
     says collectively  it can't exceed $25  million ... [or                                                                    
     whatever   the  limit   is],  collectively   among  all                                                                    
     defendants put together?                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. TEEL replied:                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     What we  were worried about there  was small defendants                                                                    
     being  sued with  large defendants.    In these  cases,                                                                    
     sometimes   ...  you   get   the   retailers  and   the                                                                    
     distributors who  get named in  the lawsuit,  and often                                                                    
     they  are   just  there   for  purposes   of  defeating                                                                    
     diversity and  keeping a case  in state court.  ... And                                                                    
     ... sometimes  they're carried all  the way  through to                                                                    
     the judgment.  We just thought  it was a little much to                                                                    
     ask some of those ...  smaller [businesses] ... in this                                                                    
     litigation, who are not really  the target, to have to,                                                                    
     themselves, post the  larger bond.  And so  this was an                                                                    
     effort to kind  of sweep everybody in on  the one bond.                                                                    
     Most  states  that  have passed  this  have  kept  that                                                                    
     "collectively" language, [but] not every state has.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE indicated that HB 468 would be held over.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HB 385 - AWARDING CHILD CUSTODY                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0698                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE announced that the  next order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO.  385, "An Act relating to  awarding child custody;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0622                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLM  moved  to   adopt  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for  HB   385,  Version  23-LS1273\Q,  Mischel,                                                               
2/27/04, as the work draft.   There being no objection, Version Q                                                               
was before the committee.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE, speaking as the  sponsor of HB 385, explained that                                                               
this legislation  would have Alaska  adopt the model code  of the                                                               
Family Violence Project  of the National Council  of Juvenile and                                                               
Family Court  Judges.   The legislation attempts  to deal  with a                                                               
child custody award when there  has been domestic violence in the                                                               
home prior  to the split  and eventual  award of custody.   Chair                                                               
McGuire opined that the current law  is unfair to the parent that                                                               
has been  the subject of abuse.   She directed attention  to page                                                               
2, line 22,  and explained that under the current  law, the court                                                               
is required  to review  which parent is  more likely  to continue                                                               
frequent and continuing contact with  the other parent.  She then                                                               
directed attention to page 3,  line 17, and [explained that under                                                               
the  current  law]  the  court  has  to  review  the  desire  and                                                               
willingness of each to allow  an open and loving relationship, on                                                               
a  frequent  basis,  between  the child  and  the  other  parent.                                                               
However, if  the child or one  of the parents has  been abused by                                                               
the  other parent,  the [abused]  parent or  [non-abusive parent]                                                               
probably   doesn't  feel   like  encouraging   a  close,   loving                                                               
relationship.  Chair McGuire opined  that the court's standard is                                                               
wholly  unfair  and, in  many  cases,  places the  abused  parent                                                               
and/or abused child in jeopardy.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  explained that this legislation  shifts the burden                                                               
and thus:  "We will ask the  court to continue to say that unless                                                               
it's  shown  to be  detrimental  to  the  welfare of  the  child,                                                               
considering the  factors that are  in [AS] 25.24.150(c),  ... but                                                               
we're  also  saying that  you  have  to consider  the  rebuttable                                                               
presumption that's now going to be  present in what will be a new                                                               
subsection  (g)."   The rebuttable  presumption specifies  that a                                                               
child will not be placed in  partial or sole custody if there are                                                               
proven  incidents  of  serious  bodily  injury  and/or  a  proven                                                               
pattern  of domestic  violence.   She noted  that she  has worked                                                               
closely with Representative Gruenberg,  who practices family law.                                                               
Although there  have been some  compromises, she stated  that she                                                               
is unwilling to remove the  rebuttable presumption language.  She                                                               
emphasized that  the overarching  goal is  the protection  of the                                                               
child.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  pointed out that  the committee packet  should now                                                               
include an article  entitled, "Man suspected in  death of toddler                                                               
also  faces  child porn  charges";  the  article relates  a  real                                                               
situation that occurred in Ketchikan.   The committee packet also                                                               
includes a petition from adults  in Ketchikan who support HB 385.                                                               
The committee  packet also now  contains a zero fiscal  note from                                                               
the Alaska Court System.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0179                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE mentioned  that there  are statistics  that review                                                               
the long-term psychological effects of  abuse on children as well                                                               
as in  cases of  observing it  between parents.   In  many cases,                                                               
these  children  go  on  to  face  adverse  physical  and  mental                                                               
development.    In  some cases,  these  children  become  abusers                                                               
themselves.  Therefore,  Chair McGuire said that  she didn't want                                                               
to punish a battered co-parent  by awarding custody to the parent                                                               
who  has been  the abuser.   Reading  a quote  from the  American                                                               
Judges Association,  Chair McGuire said, "Studies  show batterers                                                               
are  able to  convince authorities  that the  victim is  unfit or                                                               
undeserving of  sole custody in  approximately 70%  of challenged                                                               
cases."   "Friendly parent"  statutes are  often used  by abusive                                                               
parents  against the  protective parent,  she noted.   Therefore,                                                               
this  legislation attempts  to better  protect children  from the                                                               
effects  of domestic  violence by  achieving consistency  between                                                               
Alaska child protection statutes and child custody statutes.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE informed the committee of the following:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska ranks in the top five states in the nation for                                                                      
      per capita rates of domestic violence.  The rate of                                                                       
      Alaskan women being killed by a partner is one-and-a-                                                                     
     half times the national average.   Alaska has six times                                                                    
     the national average of  reported child sexual assault.                                                                    
     And in  three out  of four  reported cases,  the victim                                                                    
     knew the offender.  The  most commonly reported type of                                                                    
     sexual abuse [is a father who commits] ...                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-31, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE continued:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
      ... incest with his daughter.  And those statistics                                                                       
      are reported out of the Alaska Department of Health                                                                       
     and Social Services.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE opined  that there are sufficient  tools within the                                                               
court system  that have  been maintained  in this  legislation to                                                               
allow for a  person to complete a substance abuse  program and an                                                               
intervention program for batterers,  if applicable, the landscape                                                               
of the case may change.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0091                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PAIGE HODSON  informed the  committee that she  is the  woman who                                                               
brought this issue  to Chair McGuire.  She explained  that she is                                                               
a single mother of two children,  ages thirteen and six, a court-                                                               
appointed  special  advocate  (CASA)  volunteer  for  abused  and                                                               
neglected children in  Alaska, as well as a  survivor of domestic                                                               
violence.   Ms.  Hodson  explained  that she  was  in an  abusive                                                               
marriage for  11 years.  The  physical abuse would happen  one to                                                               
two times  a year while the  remainder of the time  was permeated                                                               
by a  high level of  cruelty, emotional abuse, and  verbal abuse.                                                               
She related some of the events  that happened, most of which, she                                                               
said, happened in front of her oldest daughter.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. HODSON pointed out that she  struggled to obtain help for her                                                               
family  and  tried  to  get  her  husband  to  various  types  of                                                               
programs, and  he did attend  four years of  marriage counseling.                                                               
After that four years, she  said she realized that things weren't                                                               
going to  change.  When  the child abuse starting  happening, she                                                               
knew  she  had  to  get  out [of  the  relationship].    She  was                                                               
eventually able  to file for  divorce.  Although she  thought she                                                               
was  doing all  the  right  things, when  she  entered the  court                                                               
system she  found her  world turned upside  down.   She explained                                                               
that  she thought  she and  her children  would be  protected and                                                               
that reasonable visitation would be  put forth.  However, she was                                                               
blamed for  the violence  equally and her  fears of  the violence                                                               
and his parenting were "pathologized."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HODSON  said  that  furthermore,  she  discovered  that  [an                                                               
incident  of]  domestic violence  was  used  to characterize  the                                                               
divorce as  a high-conflict divorce.   Moreover, the  child abuse                                                               
was minimized to  be a difference in parenting styles.   The toll                                                               
on her  eldest child  was enormous and  she almost  failed fourth                                                               
grade.   Ms.  Hodson  informed the  committee  that although  she                                                               
ultimately prevailed, it was only  after two full custody trials.                                                               
She  said  she  has  full  legal  custody  and  primary  physical                                                               
custody, but  her ex-husband is  allowed visitation and  thus her                                                               
children are still not protected, she said.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 0420                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ALLEN M. BAILEY, Attorney at  Law, informed the committee that he                                                               
is  a   family  law  attorney   who  was  the   [Municipality  of                                                               
Anchorage's]  prosecutor for  over 10  years.   For  the last  30                                                               
years,  he  said  he  has  prosecuted  batterers  or  represented                                                               
victims  of domestic  violence  in  his practice.    "This is  an                                                               
important  issue because  it  deals with  the  protection of  our                                                               
children," he said.   As mentioned earlier,  the National Council                                                               
of  Juvenile  and  Family  Court   Judges  has  recommended  this                                                               
presumption as  has the  American Psychological  Association, the                                                               
American Bar  Association's Commission on Domestic  Violence, the                                                               
American  Medical Association,  and the  United States  Congress.                                                               
Mr. Bailey  stated that this  proposal isn't gender  biased since                                                               
both  men  and  women  commit domestic  violence.    However,  he                                                               
acknowledged  that there  is  a  predomination of  male-initiated                                                               
domestic  violence.   He  relayed the  experience  he'd had  with                                                               
domestic violence  through his practice.   Mr.  Bailey emphasized                                                               
the need to protect the children whenever possible.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. BAILEY turned  to the presumption provision,  which was taken                                                               
from Louisiana's state  statutes.  He pointed out  that there are                                                               
about  23 other  states  that have  some  version of  presumption                                                               
language, adding  that at  least 20 of  those states  have strong                                                               
presumption [language].   Mr.  Bailey, speaking  as a  family law                                                               
attorney  and the  vice-chair of  the American  Bar Association's                                                               
Family Law  Section Domestic  Violence Committee,  strongly urged                                                               
the committee to pass this legislation.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE turned attention to  the first U.S. national policy                                                               
statement  supporting   a  rebuttable  presumption   in  domestic                                                               
violence cases,  which is  H.R. 172.   She  said, "They  passed a                                                               
sense  of  Congress  that  for   purposes  of  determining  child                                                               
custody, credible evidence  of physical abuse of  a spouse should                                                               
create  a  statutory presumption  that  it's  detrimental to  the                                                               
child to  be placed in the  custody of the abusive  spouse."  She                                                               
reiterated that  in 1994,  the National  Council of  Juvenile and                                                               
Family Court Judges  released the model code,  which included the                                                               
rebuttable   presumption.     Additionally,   the  American   Bar                                                               
Association (ABA)  passed a resolution in  August 1989 specifying                                                               
that joint custody is inappropriate  in cases in which spousal or                                                               
child abuse or parental kidnapping is  likely to occur.  In 1994,                                                               
the ABA  published a report  to its president  that [recommended]                                                               
the adoption of statutes that  would create a presumption against                                                               
custody  to batterers.   From  the William  Mitchell Law  Review,                                                               
Chair McGuire  related that  some of  the reasons  these policies                                                               
were  implemented  is  because  of the  growing  body  of  social                                                               
science  literature showing  the  often  severe and  long-lasting                                                               
effects that domestic violence has on children.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0747                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TRACY  GOULD  informed the  committee  that  this legislation  is                                                               
important to her because her best  friend was murdered by her ex-                                                               
husband four  days after being  granted a divorce.   She recalled                                                               
that  during  the  course  of  the  divorce  hearing,  the  judge                                                               
reviewed   testimony   of    eyewitnesses,   professionals,   and                                                               
counselors who  testified to the ex-husband's  abusive nature and                                                               
obsessive  need for  his wife.   Even  when one  of the  children                                                               
decided to poison  the father, the judge still  decided to "throw                                                               
all that out."   The judge also viewed  the husband's "excessive"                                                               
nature with the children to  be a difference in parenting styles.                                                               
The  wife repeatedly  requested safety  measures for  herself and                                                               
her children.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. GOULD  said, however,  that the judge  felt that  the husband                                                               
and wife should  still be able to co-parent,  regardless of their                                                               
personal  feelings and  the husband's  behavior toward  the wife.                                                               
Consequently,  after the  divorce  was granted,  the husband  was                                                               
allowed visitation  and it  was on those  grounds that  he forced                                                               
entry into the  wife's house where he stabbed her  over 56 times.                                                               
The children  saw their  father leave  with a  knife in  his hand                                                               
covered with their mother's blood.   Ms. Gould said that her best                                                               
friend wasn't the only person  that died because of the "friendly                                                               
parent" provision and she wasn't the  last.  Three other women in                                                               
the Fairbanks  area were  killed during the  same time  period in                                                               
which the  trial was taking  place.  Ms.  Gould said that  HB 385                                                               
would be invaluable toward changing  these [friendly parent] laws                                                               
so that these situations don't ever happen again.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0995                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KIMBERLEE   VANDERHOOF,   Program   Director,   Careline   Crisis                                                               
Intervention, informed  the committee  that prior to  her current                                                               
position,  she  worked as  the  legal  advocate for  the  women's                                                               
shelter in Fairbanks for five years.   During the time she worked                                                               
with the women's  shelter, she said she worked  with thousands of                                                               
victims, most  of who  had children and  were intimidated  by the                                                               
court system.   Ms. Vanderhoof stated that she was  honored to be                                                               
the legal  advocate for Lisana Burch.   In the months  before Ms.                                                               
Burch's custody  trial, she requested and  was granted protective                                                               
orders  against her  husband.   Ms. Burch  had expressed  concern                                                               
that  she would  be viewed  as not  complying with  the "friendly                                                               
parent"  provision   of  Alaska   Statutes  if  she   obtained  a                                                               
protective  order  during  her divorce.    Therefore,  Ms.  Burch                                                               
decided not  to obtain  a protective order.   Ms.  Burch strongly                                                               
and  courageously represented  herself  through  her divorce  and                                                               
custody hearing  and throughout the  trial she  expressed concern                                                               
for her safety and the safety of her child.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  VANDERHOOF said  that during  Ms.  Burch's trial,  witnesses                                                               
testified that Ms.  Burch's abuser had a problem  with anger, had                                                               
been diagnosed with a mental  health disorder, had been suicidal,                                                               
self medicated,  and could  pose a  threat to  the safety  of his                                                               
children.  However, toward the end  of the trial, the trial court                                                               
judge  commented that  he had  heard little  that would  help him                                                               
make  a decision.    In the  end, the  court  concluded that  the                                                               
parties should be  flexible and admonished the  parties that they                                                               
needed to  agree on  important decisions  in their  child's life.                                                               
Ms.  Burch was  granted  primary custody,  but  three days  later                                                               
during a visitation  exchange "the spider lured her  to his web."                                                               
If  this legislation  had been  enacted  in 2001,  it would  have                                                               
provided another tool to enhance  the safety of domestic violence                                                               
victims.   Ms.  Vanderhoof urged  the  committee to  pass HB  385                                                               
because it  will eliminate a  victim's fear  of being seen  in an                                                               
unfavorable  light if  the  victim chooses  to  use a  protective                                                               
order to enhance his/her safety.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1170                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
GIGI PILCHER  began by thanking  the sponsor [for  introducing HB                                                               
385].   She said  it's now  time to  talk about  protecting lives                                                               
rather  than assets.   Ms.  Pilcher related  that on  February 2,                                                               
2004, a young woman, Nannaput Paul,  who had been in the U.S. for                                                               
a  little  over three  years,  placed  her  trust in  the  Alaska                                                               
justice  system to  protect her  child and  herself.   This woman                                                               
petitioned the court  on behalf of her  22-month-old daughter for                                                               
a domestic violence  restraining order against her  husband.  Her                                                               
husband had  told her  that if  she left him,  she would  be sent                                                               
back to Thailand and never see her daughter again.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. PILCHER  said that Ms.  Paul wanted  her daughter to  be safe                                                               
and thus she placed her trust in  the system and "we all told her                                                               
she  was doing  the  right  thing and  that  everything would  be                                                               
alright."    However, on  Friday,  February  20, 2004,  during  a                                                               
hearing,  the  judge  modified  the  order,  based  on  a  court-                                                               
appointed  guardian ad  litem, to  allow for  unsupervised visits                                                               
between father  and daughter.   When Ms. Paul's daughter  was not                                                               
returned  to  her  on  time,  she called  the  police  [and]  the                                                               
guardian ad  litem; her daughter  was found dead at  the father's                                                               
residence.  Ms.  Pilcher said that Ms. Paul  did everything right                                                               
to  protect her  daughter,  but  the system  failed  her and  her                                                               
daughter.   Although it's too  late to save Ms.  Paul's daughter,                                                               
it's Ms.  Paul's wish that  no other  parent will have  to suffer                                                               
such a  great loss.  In  closing, Ms. Pilcher requested  that the                                                               
committee pass HB 385.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1382                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ROSITA  TWAIM  opined  that this  legislation  should  be  passed                                                               
because children  are being killed.   Ms. Twaim  highlighted that                                                               
when domestic violence is involved,  the most dangerous period of                                                               
time  is when  the  woman  decides to  leave  her  husband.   She                                                               
expressed the  need for a  mother to  be able to  protect herself                                                               
and her  children.  If the  father has a criminal  background and                                                               
has shown  violence toward  the mother  and children,  the father                                                               
shouldn't be  allowed to see  either the mother or  the children.                                                               
Exchanging the  children between the  parents while the  court is                                                               
determining  which  parent  should   have  custody  shouldn't  be                                                               
allowed unless the mother filing  the restraining order agrees to                                                               
the visitation.  Ms. Twaim  acknowledged that starting over for a                                                               
mother and  her children can be  difficult, but she knows  it can                                                               
be  done  since  she  managed  to  come  out  of  a  relationship                                                               
involving  domestic  violence.    The  children  are  really  the                                                               
victims and the law needs to be changed to protect the children.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1491                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DENNIS L. McCARTY,  Attorney at Law, informed  the committee that                                                               
he has been an attorney for over  30 years.  He also informed the                                                               
committee that he was the  attorney in the earlier mentioned case                                                               
of Ms. Paul.   Mr. McCarty explained that he  has always taken on                                                               
domestic   violence  cases   thinking  that   he  could   make  a                                                               
difference.   He said, "I'm  always hesitant ... to  rush forward                                                               
with a particular instance to  [state] ... a reason why something                                                               
should happen, but  this is a law that does  need to be changed."                                                               
The statute  proposed in  HB 385 would  make the  presumption not                                                               
just one  of nine factors  to be considered  by the court.   It's                                                               
most  important,  he  opined,  to have  this  definition  in  the                                                               
domestic violence petition area.   In a custody [case], the judge                                                               
seems to  be able to more  completely explore areas, as  it's not                                                               
an expedited  process.  Furthermore,  this proposed  change would                                                               
be a major  factor in how these hearings  are handled, especially                                                               
in rural areas where the  magistrate doesn't have extensive legal                                                               
experience or experience dealing with domestic violence.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  McCARTY  said  he  believes  there  is  a  conflict  between                                                               
encouraging the parent  that's willing to be  cooperative and the                                                               
one that isn't.  He pointed out  that there is a means of proving                                                               
domestic violence,  and in many  cases the definitions  come from                                                               
Title 18,  which refer  back to criminal  statutes.   He remarked                                                               
that  the committee  may want  to consider  whether some  changes                                                               
have  to  be made  to  Title  18 or  whether  to  refer to  other                                                               
statutes.   In the  case of  Ms. Paul,  the involvement  of child                                                               
pornography might  be evidence  of domestic  violence.   He noted                                                               
that there  are other statutes  that explicitly speak  to hitting                                                               
and threatening.   In Ms.  Paul's case, the  magistrate concluded                                                               
that there was  domestic violence and the  long-term order should                                                               
continue.    However,  the  [difficulty]   is  in  balancing  the                                                               
directive  to  maximize  the  contact of  each  parent  with  the                                                               
children while maintaining safety for  the children.  Mr. McCarty                                                               
emphasized that [the  courts] are driven by the  best interest of                                                               
the children.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  McCARTY relayed  his understanding  that [HB  385] makes  it                                                               
abundantly clear  that if  there is  a determination  of domestic                                                               
violence,  it becomes  a strong  factor in  driving the  ultimate                                                               
decision regarding custody.  Mr.  McCarty said he viewed [HB 385]                                                               
as a  tool, noting that  he hoped  that those dealing  with these                                                               
type  cases  are  already  using   [what  is  laid  out  in  this                                                               
legislation].  He reiterated that  this should be very beneficial                                                               
in rural  areas where the  only resource available is  a domestic                                                               
violence petition before a magistrate.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1752                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KERRY RASMUSSEN informed the committee  she is the grandmother of                                                               
an eight-year-old  whom she feels  this legislation  will greatly                                                               
help.  She said she hoped HB 385 would pass.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1762                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LANETTA  LUNDBURG  had  her  testimony   read  by  Jessica  Stone                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The reason for my presence  today for public comment on                                                                    
     House Bill  385 is  very interesting.   If  asked about                                                                    
     this bill one  week ago I wouldn't  have known anything                                                                    
     about  it,  or  interest  in  participating  in  public                                                                    
     comment.   The  events of  last week  and a  tragedy we                                                                    
     have experience has  caused pause for thought.   HB 385                                                                    
     is very  important and needs  to be closely  looked at.                                                                    
     After a  brief review of  House Bill 385 I  continue to                                                                    
     wonder if there is a truly  fail-safe way to be a voice                                                                    
     for the silent  and be a bo8ice for  the young innocent                                                                    
     victims.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     One item that comes vividly to  my mind is the need for                                                                    
     a "cooling off" period, post  ruling in a custody case.                                                                    
     As  you  are  aware,  cases brought  forth  always  are                                                                    
     ridden with emotion.  Even  though a cooling off period                                                                    
     (suggest 30 days) isn't an  absolute guarantee, it does                                                                    
     provide   time  for   improvement   or  more   thorough                                                                    
     assessment.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Cooling-off period means that for  a minimum of 30 days                                                                    
     any  consideration  for  visitation by  the  nonawarded                                                                    
     custodian  parent will  only  be  allowed a  visitation                                                                    
     with  a child  under  the supervision  by  a 3rd  party                                                                    
     court-appointed custodian.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     What  our   community  has  recently   experienced  had                                                                    
     decisions of  tragic consequence.  We  cannot afford to                                                                    
     compromise  defending   the  voice  of  the   silent  &                                                                    
     innocent young.  Thank you.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1847                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTINE  McLEOD PATE,  Mentoring  Attorney,  Alaska Network  on                                                               
Domestic  Violence  and  Sexual  Assault  (ANDVSA),  thanked  the                                                               
committee for  allowing her  to speak  in favor of  HB 385.   She                                                               
informed the  committee that she  has been an attorney  in Alaska                                                               
for  10 years  and  has been  working in  the  field of  domestic                                                               
violence for  the past 12 years.   She reviewed her  work in this                                                               
area,  which includes  about 2.5  years as  a staff  attorney for                                                               
Alaska  Legal  Services  in  Fairbanks   and  2.5  years  as  the                                                               
executive director  of the domestic  violence and  sexual assault                                                               
program in  Sitka.  For  the past five  years, she has  been with                                                               
ANDVSA  running  a  pro  bono program  for  victims  of  domestic                                                               
violence and sexual  assault.  She explained that  in her current                                                               
position,  she  screens  cases   statewide;  these  victims  need                                                               
representation  primarily  in  divorce, custody,  and  protective                                                               
orders.     She  further  explained  that   she  finds  volunteer                                                               
attorneys, whom  she trains and  mentors, for  the aforementioned                                                               
clients.   She  noted  that  she also  handles  a small  caseload                                                               
herself.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. PATE said that once a  victim has made the difficult decision                                                               
to leave the  batterer, custody litigation often  becomes the new                                                               
front  for the  batterer  to exercise  control  over the  victim.                                                               
Batterers threaten  victims that they  will lose custody  if they                                                               
leave the relationship.   She relayed that Richard  D. Cody (ph),                                                               
a nationally  known family law  attorney, has summarized  this as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     After 20 years in  the family law courtrooms throughout                                                                    
     this  country, I  can confidently  say  that no  woman,                                                                    
     despite very abundant evidence that  her child has been                                                                    
     molested  by  her  ex-husband  or  that  she  has  been                                                                    
     repeatedly humbled by the violent  father of her child,                                                                    
     can safely  walk into any  family court in  the country                                                                    
     and not  face the grave  risk of losing custody  to the                                                                    
     abuser for  the sole  reason that  she dare  to present                                                                    
     the evidence  to the  judge and ask  that the  child be                                                                    
     protected.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1947                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PATE echoed  that  some studies  show  that abusive  fathers                                                               
contest  custody up  to 70  percent  of the  time.   Furthermore,                                                               
social science  research agrees that  domestic violence  is about                                                               
one  person's exercise  of  power and  control  over the  victim.                                                               
Once the  victim decides  to leave  the relationship,  the family                                                               
court becomes the  new arena to exercise power and  control.  Ms.                                                               
Pate relayed that  there are several reasons  abusive parents are                                                               
winning, the first  being money.  Frequently,  the abusive parent                                                               
has  more control  over family  assets and  has better  access to                                                               
legal  representation.   The  second  reason  is related  to  the                                                               
nature  of domestic  violence.    Characteristics that  batterers                                                               
exhibit, such as confidence,  manipulative behavior, denial about                                                               
battering, can  "come across well in  a family court arena."   In                                                               
contrast,  however, the  victim of  abuse may  be suffering  from                                                               
post traumatic stress disorder or  other psychological effects of                                                               
the  battering,  and so  may  come  across as  irrational,  over-                                                               
emotional, spiteful, and vindictive.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. PATE said  that the third reason abusive  parents are winning                                                               
is  lack of  evidence because  the nature  of domestic  violence,                                                               
along with the shame and  denial that often accompanies it, makes                                                               
it common that there is little  evidence or witnesses.  The final                                                               
reason  abusive parents  are winning  is because  of the  lack of                                                               
training.     Many  judges,  child  custody   investigators,  and                                                               
guardian ad litems are sometimes  the de facto decision-makers in                                                               
these  cases, but  they have  little or  no training  in domestic                                                               
violence.   In fact, there  is no requirement that  child custody                                                               
investigators,  who   are  often   charged  with   making  expert                                                               
determinations  with  regard  to  what   is  in  a  child's  best                                                               
interest,  have training  in domestic  violence  or sexual  abuse                                                               
issues.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. PATE  said that although  society's general  understanding of                                                               
domestic violence has  greatly increased over the  last 20 years,                                                               
the evolution of  state custody laws has moved  away from holding                                                               
the  abusive parent  accountable in  the family  law arena.   For                                                               
example, Alaska's  family courts  are (indisc.)  mediation, joint                                                               
custody,  and friendly  parenting.   The aforementioned  concepts                                                               
are  in  sharp  contrast  to   social  science  literature  about                                                               
domestic  violence and  the recommendations  of several  national                                                               
organizations.    Furthermore,   Alaska's  statutes  outside  the                                                               
family law  context are set up  to protect the safety  of victims                                                               
of  domestic violence  and the  post-separation wellbeing  of the                                                               
children.  Social scientists fear  that the time of separation is                                                               
the  most critical  time for  battered women.   She  informed the                                                               
committee that separated  women are abused at a rate  of 14 times                                                               
higher than women still living with their abuser.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2049                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PATE  recalled  that  the  committee  has  heard  about  the                                                               
devastating  social,  psychological,   and  physical  effects  of                                                               
domestic violence on  children.  She pointed out that  there is a                                                               
strong correlation  between parents who abuse  their partners and                                                               
parents  who  abuse  their  children.   She  mentioned  that  the                                                               
American  Law  Institute, in  its  "2002  Principals of  the  Law                                                               
Family  Disillusion Analysis  and Recommendations",  includes the                                                               
recommendation close to the presumption  included in HB 385.  Ms.                                                               
Pate reiterated that  Alaska's statutes, save the  area of family                                                               
law, take  a strong stance  of protecting children  from domestic                                                               
violence.   In fact, Alaska  law provides an  additional criminal                                                               
charge  if  a  child  is   present  during  a  domestic  assault.                                                               
Furthermore,  domestic violence  between parents  is grounds  for                                                               
the Office of Children's Services to take custody of children.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. PATE  said that  ironically, a battered  mother has  to worry                                                               
that if she  leaves the domestic violence, the  abuser would take                                                               
the children, and  if she doesn't leave, the state  will take the                                                               
children.   Furthermore, there is  court precedent  regarding the                                                               
harmful effects  of domestic violence  on children.   She offered                                                               
that the Alaska  Supreme Court has acknowledged that  it is well-                                                               
documented  that  witnessing  domestic violence  has  a  profound                                                               
effect   upon   children   and   that   there   are   significant                                                               
psychological  problems   with  children  who   witness  domestic                                                               
violence, especially during important developmental stages.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. PATE opined that in  HB 385, the rebuttal presumption against                                                               
a  parent perpetrating  domestic violence  gaining custody  takes                                                               
some  discretion away  from judges,  adding that  that discretion                                                               
has been  very harmful.   She  relayed that  she has  spoken with                                                               
hundreds  of battered  women with  regard to  the custody  awards                                                               
they may receive in court and  she has to explain the great risks                                                               
that exist  under current law.   Ms.  Pate said that  victims are                                                               
baffled by  the court's lack  of focus  on their safety  and thus                                                               
they  lose faith  in the  court system.   Therefore,  the victims                                                               
stop utilizing  the system and  ultimately choose either  to stay                                                               
in  violent   relationships,  which  perpetuates  the   cycle  of                                                               
violence  for future  generations,  or to  take drastic  measures                                                               
such  as going  underground  or  into hiding,  which  is sure  to                                                               
result in the loss of custody  when they eventually return to the                                                               
court system.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2181                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PATE  turned to  joint  legal  custody or  shared  decision-                                                               
making.  She  informed the committee that  courts routinely order                                                               
an abusive  parent to have  joint legal custody of  children with                                                               
parents  they  have  abused.    Currently,  the  law  contains  a                                                               
presumption  that joint  legal  custody is  in  the child's  best                                                               
interest.   However, the  Alaska Supreme Court  has found  that a                                                               
history  of abuse  between the  parties should  make joint  legal                                                               
custody inappropriate.  Despite  the aforementioned precedent and                                                               
the knowledge that it's dangerous  for victims to have continuing                                                               
communication  and  contact  with  their  abusers,  family  court                                                               
judges continue to  award joint legal custody  orders in domestic                                                               
violence and sexual assault cases.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. PATE spoke in support  of amending Alaska's current "friendly                                                               
parent" factor.  She expressed the  need to make an exception for                                                               
victims  of  domestic  violence.    The  harmonious  co-parenting                                                               
envisioned by the friendly parent  factor is impossible and often                                                               
dangerous in  family law cases.   If the court doesn't  "see" the                                                               
domestic  violence  or minimizes  it,  the  protective parent  is                                                               
penalized  under the  theory  that not  awarding  custody to  the                                                               
abusive parent can create "parental  alienation syndrome," a junk                                                               
science that isn't  supposed to be used by  Alaska's family court                                                               
judges.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PATE said  that  under the  current law,  she  is forced  to                                                               
advise clients  that despite concerns regarding  their safety and                                                               
the safety of their children, they  have to appear to be friendly                                                               
to the other parent and  sometimes permit visitation or they risk                                                               
losing their  children.   This isn't the  message that  should be                                                               
sent to victims  of abuse, she said.  In  closing, Ms. Pate urged                                                               
the committee  to move out HB  385, and stated that  the greatest                                                               
beneficiaries of this legislation are the children.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 2282                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ALVIN  CARR informed  the  committee  that he  is  a retired  law                                                               
enforcement  officer  who  is  currently  employed  at  Ketchikan                                                               
General  Hospital.    Mr. Carr  congratulated  the  committee  on                                                               
trying to  get HB 385  passed, as it appears  to be a  good thing                                                               
for  victims of  domestic violence.   He  pointed out  that child                                                               
pornography isn't listed as an  abusive behavior in the [statute]                                                               
being  discussed today.    Furthermore,  child pornography  isn't                                                               
listed  in Title  18, the  domestic violence  statute.   Mr. Carr                                                               
said he  suspected that most  everyone would agree  that coercing                                                               
children by  threat or  monetary means to  engage in  sexual acts                                                               
for the sake of selling or  transmitting those acts is a crime of                                                               
violence.  If the aforementioned  is true, then one would surmise                                                               
that  those   who  buy,  sell,  distribute,   and  possess  child                                                               
pornography  are  included  in  the  crime  of  violence  against                                                               
children.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-31, SIDE B                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CARR  said  that  if  child pornography  was  added  to  the                                                               
domestic violence Act or  to the Title 25 as an  act of abuse, it                                                               
would  go along  way toward  giving the  courts some  leeway with                                                               
regard to providing  a satisfactory parent.   Mr. Carr, returning                                                               
to  the  recent  situation  in Ketchikan,  indicated  that  court                                                               
orders should be  in hand when individuals leave the  court.  Mr.                                                               
Carr   expressed  concern   with  regard   to  the   totality  of                                                               
circumstances surrounding investigatory  methods for placement of                                                               
children when there is to be dual  custody.  He then turned to AS                                                               
25.20.090(10),  which says  "other  factors  the court  considers                                                               
pertinent."   He explained that  there are objective  factors and                                                               
subjective  factors, both  of which  should be  considered.   Mr.                                                               
Carr again  congratulated the committee  for its efforts  to make                                                               
the law  better in this area,  although he said he  believes more                                                               
work  can be  done to  help the  courts and  its agents  in these                                                               
cases.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2212                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LAURIE BROWNLEE,  court-appointed special advocate  (CASA), began                                                               
by noting her support  of HB 385.  As a  CASA volunteer, she said                                                               
she  has seen  first hand  the effects  of domestic  violence and                                                               
abuse  on   children.    More   importantly,  she   informed  the                                                               
committee, she is testifying as  a survivor of childhood domestic                                                               
violence  and  abuse.    She  relayed that  she  grew  up  in  an                                                               
extremely violent home,  and therefore knows how  dangerous it is                                                               
for children to  be in such an environment.   Such situations are                                                               
detrimental to a child's sense of safety, trust, and security.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. BROWNLEE explained  that her mother was abused  by her father                                                               
for more  than 17  years.   She recalled being  16 years  old and                                                               
calling the  police when  her father was  holding her  mother and                                                               
two of her other sisters at  gunpoint.  She noted that her father                                                               
was  taken  away,  no  one  was  harmed,  and  her  parents  were                                                               
eventually  divorced.     She  relayed  that   although  she  has                                                               
recovered from  the psychological  effects of her  situation, her                                                               
youngest  sister  has become  the  victim  of long-term  domestic                                                               
violence by  her now ex-husband.   Her sister struggled  with the                                                               
courts.    Despite having  to  obtain  three separate  protective                                                               
orders against her  husband, her sister ultimately  had to accept                                                               
the   court's  custody   ruling,   which   gave  her   ex-husband                                                               
substantial unsupervised visitation with  her two small children.                                                               
Therefore, Ms.  Brownlee said she  hopes that by passing  HB 385,                                                               
the cycle  can be  broken, because  abused children  often become                                                               
abusers as well  as victims of abuse by the  abuser and the court                                                               
system.    Ms. Brownlee  concluded  by  urging the  committee  to                                                               
support passage of HB 385.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE,  upon determining no  one else wished  to testify,                                                               
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  said he has  heard from people  who are                                                               
concerned that the  judges trying these cases need  to do justice                                                               
and if  many strictures are  placed on the  law, it may  cause as                                                               
much   harm  as   good.     Having   practiced   in  this   area,                                                               
Representative Gruenberg  said that  he has  viewed it  from both                                                               
sides.  He then turned attention to  page 4, line 7 of Version Q,                                                               
which in part  states:  "The presumption may be  overcome only by                                                               
clear and  convincing evidence ...."   He asked if  that language                                                               
is found in any other state other than Louisiana.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. BAILEY answered  that he believes such language  is found [in                                                               
the law] in North Dakota.   In further response to Representative                                                               
Gruenberg,  Mr. Bailey  confirmed that  the clear  and convincing                                                               
evidence  standard  is  just  below  the  standard  of  beyond  a                                                               
reasonable doubt; additionally, clear  and convincing evidence is                                                               
the standard for termination.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  said that  he has difficulty  with [the                                                               
clear  and convincing  evidence] provision  in this  legislation.                                                               
The language refers to the  successful completion of a batterer's                                                               
course  and  that  the individual  doesn't  engage  in  substance                                                               
abuse.   Furthermore,  the legislation  specifies  that the  best                                                               
interests  of  the  child require  that  parents  participate  as                                                               
custodial    parents   under    very   narrow    [circumstances].                                                               
Representative  Gruenberg inquired  as  to Mr.  Bailey's view  of                                                               
changing the  aforementioned to language  to refer to  the normal                                                               
civil standard of preponderance of the evidence.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BAILEY replied  that [the  Alaska Bar  Association] believes                                                               
that the  rebuttable presumption  is appropriate, and  noted that                                                               
the   model  code   contains   a   preponderance  of   rebuttable                                                               
presumptions.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1912                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG related that  there is some concern with                                                               
the current language  because it will make it  difficult, in some                                                               
cases,  for  the  courts  to  determine  an  equitable  solution.                                                               
Therefore, he  said that he  had developed a proposal  that would                                                               
add the  language "The courts  shall [give] additional  weight to                                                               
evidence  that the  domestic violence  was  severe, repeated,  or                                                               
recent" to  AS 25.20.090(8)  and AS  25.24.150(c)(7), as  well as                                                               
language similar to that on page 5,  lines 1-3 of Version Q.  The                                                               
similar language would read as follows:   "The fact that a parent                                                               
who was the victim of  domestic violence suffers from the effects                                                               
of the domestic violence does  not constitute a basis for denying                                                               
custody to  the parent, unless  the court finds that  the effects                                                               
of  the  domestic  violence  are  detrimental  to  the  parenting                                                               
abilities of  the parent."  Representative  Gruenberg inquired as                                                               
to Mr. Bailey's view of such an approach.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BAILEY specified  that  Representative Gruenberg's  proposal                                                               
doesn't  achieve  the  goal  of  protecting  the  children.    He                                                               
explained that  the control dynamic  in abusive  relationships is                                                               
established  over time,  and therefore  it isn't  necessarily the                                                               
recentness  of  the domestic  violence  but  rather the  abuser's                                                               
ability to  do it again and  again in order to  maintain control.                                                               
Many  of these  abusers are  physically abusive  and children  in                                                               
their care  are 15 times more  likely to be abused  than children                                                               
who are not  in abusive homes.  There is  such a significant need                                                               
to  protect  the  safety  [of  the  child]  that  the  rebuttable                                                               
presumption is believed to be appropriate.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1760                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG turned  to  the tactic  of obtaining  a                                                               
domestic violence  order simply  as a way  to more  easily obtain                                                               
custody, and opined that the language  at the top of page 4 would                                                               
seem to  allow such misuse.   Representative Gruenberg  asked how                                                               
this could be guarded against under the current language.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BAILEY  cited  page  380  of  Children  Exposed  to  Marital                                                             
Violence,  which  was  published by  the  American  Psychological                                                             
Association.   He  read  the following:   "There  seems  to be  a                                                               
relatively  low  percentage  of allegations  of  child  abuse  in                                                               
divorce cases; less than 10 percent  of the cases.  And when they                                                               
do  occur,  they are  substantiated  about  as  often as  in  the                                                               
general population."   He said  the aforementioned is  similar to                                                               
the amount of  false domestic violence petitions  that are filed,                                                               
and  opined  that  the  masters  and  judges  who  hear  domestic                                                               
violence petitions do a good  job of fettering out bogus domestic                                                               
violence petitions.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   surmised,  then,  that   the  factual                                                               
determination regarding whether the  individual has, in the past,                                                               
committed  an act  of domestic  violence would  be a  question of                                                               
fact to be determined by the trier of fact.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BAILEY  replied  yes,  the  custody  judge  would  determine                                                               
whether  domestic  violence had  been  committed  and whether  it                                                               
gives rise to  the presumption.  This  wouldn't necessarily hinge                                                               
upon a prior determination by another court.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  also surmised  that the  decision would                                                               
be made  in the case  at bar rather than  as a negligence  per se                                                               
issue for which one simply brings  a certified copy of an offense                                                               
and this  gives rise to  a higher standard.   Therefore, evidence                                                               
of a court order could be brought  in but, in and of itself, that                                                               
wouldn't establish the fact.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BAILEY agreed.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1580                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG made  a motion to adopt  Amendment 1, as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, lines 7,                                                                                                           
          Delete "only"                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, lines 7, after "by"                                                                                                
          Delete "clear and convincing"                                                                                         
          Insert "a preponderance of the evidence"                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  asked  whether   there  were  any  objections  to                                                               
Amendment 1.  There being none, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG turned  to  subsection (k)  on page  5,                                                               
lines 1-2.   He  explained that  he wished  to add  the following                                                               
language to  subsection (k):   "unless the  court finds  that the                                                               
effects  of   the  domestic  violence  are   detrimental  to  the                                                               
parenting  abilities of  the parent."   Representative  Gruenberg                                                               
said  there might  be  a  situation in  which  the  person is  so                                                               
traumatized that  they are  psychologically or  physically unable                                                               
to  parent the  child.   He  clarified that  in such  a case,  he                                                               
wasn't  suggesting that  custody be  given to  the batterer,  but                                                               
rather that  the court be  able to  consider whether a  parent is                                                               
incapable  of caring  for the  child.   Representative  Gruenberg                                                               
inquired as to Mr. Bailey's thoughts on including such language.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BAILEY remarked  that there is a difference  between having a                                                               
person's  parenting  ability  affected  by  abuse  and  having  a                                                               
person's ability to  parent so profoundly affected  that they are                                                               
unable to safely parent.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  specified that he  is trying to  get at                                                               
the latter situation.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. BAILEY suggested,  then, that the language  "safely" would be                                                               
appropriate to  use.  He  further suggested that  the appropriate                                                               
thing would be  to obtain services for the abused  parent so that                                                               
he or she can parent effectively.   He noted that there are cases                                                               
in which  the judge looks at  both parents in order  to determine                                                               
who is worse.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  then suggested the  following language:                                                               
"unless the  court finds that  the domestic violence  renders the                                                               
parent unable to safely parent the  child".  [This was treated as                                                               
a motion to adopt Amendment 2.]                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE interjected  that she  would like  to include  the                                                               
following language:  "so severe".                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG clarified that  [Amendment 2] would then                                                               
read as  follows:  "unless  the court  finds that the  effects of                                                               
the domestic violence  are so severe that they  render the parent                                                               
unable to safely parent the child".                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. BAILEY  said he believes  that language captures  the essence                                                               
of  the  real  problem  in  families  in  which  there  has  been                                                               
significant abuse and problems [stemming from both parents].                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. McCARTY  said [Amendment  2] "is a  bad result"  when reading                                                               
the whole of  the statute, which addresses which  parent is going                                                               
to  have  the  children.    If one  accepts  the  principle  that                                                               
domestic violence is fairly suggestive  of parenting skills, then                                                               
Amendment  2 seems  to say  "if you've  damaged the  other person                                                               
enough, you will get to keep  your kids as the battering person."                                                               
Mr. McCarty opined that  Representative Gruenberg's concern would                                                               
be  more appropriately  addressed in  the context  of actions  by                                                               
child  protection  services.   Therefore,  Mr.  McCarty  said  he                                                               
believes [Amendment 2] could create a dangerous situation.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1239                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG withdrew Amendment 2.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  expressed  concern  because  the  unamended                                                               
subsection (k) would still leave  a circumstance in which a child                                                               
wouldn't be  safely placed with  a parent and the  court couldn't                                                               
consider that.   Domestic  violence aside, the  goal is  to place                                                               
the  child in  the best  situation possible.   However,  domestic                                                               
violence must be considered.   Representative Gara explained that                                                               
the problem  with subsection (k) is  that it says that  the court                                                               
can't  consider that  the remaining  parent is  not able  to take                                                               
care of his or her child because of the abuse.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE relayed her belief that  the court has a variety of                                                               
tools   at  its   disposable,  and   these  are   retained  under                                                               
[subsection] (c) on page 3, Section 4.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. McCARTY said that the  other factors, as specified in Section                                                               
4, clearly  direct the court to  look at the whole  situation for                                                               
the children.   He pointed out that under  [current] statute, the                                                               
courts  have  the ability  to  appoint  a  guardian ad  litem,  a                                                               
visitor, or attorneys to represent  the children's interest.  Mr.                                                               
McCarty noted his fear of  presumptions limiting the abilities of                                                               
judges to make decisions.  The  judge is supposed to be reviewing                                                               
what is  in the best  interest of  the child through  the factors                                                               
listed.   If the court  determines that neither parent  can [have                                                               
custody of  the child], then  there are  other options such  as a                                                               
guardian  ad  litem,   an  attorney,  or  a   referral  to  child                                                               
protective services.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. BAILEY  turned attention to page  4, line 8, and  pointed out                                                               
that [with  the adoption of  Amendment 1],  there is a  burden of                                                               
overcoming the  presumption by a  preponderance of  the evidence.                                                               
There is also a list of  factors that allow the presumption to be                                                               
overcome,  one of  which is  a  diagnosed mental  illness in  the                                                               
victim   as  well   as  the   language  "or   because  of   other                                                               
circumstances  that  affect the  best  interests  of the  child."                                                               
Therefore,  he opined,  everything the  judge needs  is specified                                                               
already.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1019                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE inquired  as to  why  subsection (k)  [on page  5,                                                               
lines 1-2] is necessary.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. BAILEY explained that subsection  (k) is necessary because in                                                               
some cases there has been  an assertion that women suffering from                                                               
posttraumatic  stress  disorder as  a  result  of the  abuse  are                                                               
rendered incapable of safely or  effectively parenting.  However,                                                               
that disorder is treatable.   He further explained, "We're trying                                                               
to avoid ... putting our cases  into that 70 percent of contested                                                               
custody cases involving batterers where  they fair well enough to                                                               
present a safety risk to their children."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  pointed out that since  not many judges                                                               
[in Alaska] are  family law practitioners, there are  a number of                                                               
judges  who don't  have much  experience in  family law  and thus                                                               
tend to read statutes very  literally.  Therefore, Representative                                                               
Gruenberg expressed concern that subsection  (k) could be used as                                                               
an evidentiary rule to exclude  evidence, which he didn't believe                                                               
is the intention.   Representative Gruenberg said  that he wanted                                                               
to be sure  that [subsection (k)] isn't taken out  of context and                                                               
misread.   "I don't want to  reward the batterer; that  is not my                                                               
intent," he said.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  inquired as to  Mr. Bailey's opinion  of inserting                                                               
"sole" on  page 5, line  2, such that  it would read  as follows:                                                               
"does not  constitute the sole  basis for denying custody  to the                                                               
abused parent."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. BAILEY  opined that  such would be  an excellent  solution to                                                               
the problem.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0845                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  announced  that the  committee  [had  before  it]                                                               
Amendment 3, as follows:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 2, after "constitute"                                                                                         
          Delete "a"                                                                                                            
          Insert "the sole"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  said  he  wished  there  was  no  need  for                                                               
subsection  (k)   because  all   the  other  provisions   of  the                                                               
legislation  state the  policy that  domestic  violence can't  be                                                               
used  against one  parent to  the advantage  of the  other parent                                                               
during a custody  proceeding.  By inserting the  word "sole" [via                                                               
Amendment 3], the court is  being allowed to weigh the victimized                                                               
parent's effects  from the  abuse more  heavily than  is probably                                                               
desired.  "By using the word  'sole' you would then allow a court                                                               
that is  on the  fence as  to which parent  to grant  custody to,                                                               
[to] use the fact that  the victimized ... parent suffers effects                                                               
from the victimization as the thing  that tips the scale and then                                                               
denies  custody to  that parent;  I don't  think you  want to  do                                                               
that," he said.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE remarked, "It's the problem."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA   opined  that  in  order   to  prevent  the                                                               
victimization from  benefiting the  party engaging in  the abuse,                                                               
it would  be best to add  the language ", provided  the parent is                                                               
able to safely care for the  child" at the end of subsection (k).                                                               
Therefore,  the victimized  parent  would be  awarded custody  so                                                               
long as he/she is able to take  care of the child.  He reiterated                                                               
concern that use  of the word "sole" would  establish a situation                                                               
in  which  that  factor  would be  used  against  the  victimized                                                               
parent.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE   remarked  that   she  didn't   support  removing                                                               
subsection  (k) in  light  of the  statistics  that specify  that                                                               
about 70  percent of the batterers  use that argument as  a basis                                                               
for obtaining custody.   She said she  agrees with Representative                                                               
Gara and  threw it out as  a compromise by saying  that though it                                                               
may not be  the sole reason, it  could be a reason.   She opined,                                                               
however,  that Mr.  McCarty is  correct  that including  language                                                               
specifying [the victimized parent]  can't parent safely could say                                                               
to  the batterer  to  beat up  the other  parent  enough so  that                                                               
he/she can't parent and thus the batterer would receive custody.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG pointed out  that the remedy for someone                                                               
beating up someone  is in the criminal sphere.   If the intent is                                                               
to look at the best interest of  the child, the child needs to be                                                               
placed with someone who can  safely parent the child rather being                                                               
held as  a reward  for the  innocent person.   Perhaps  the child                                                               
would have to go  to a third party in a  situation in which there                                                               
is a  batterer and a victim  who are unable to  parent the child.                                                               
He informed the committee that Turner  v. Panic (ph) says that to                                                             
give a  child to  a third  party one must  show that  the parents                                                               
have abandoned  the child,  that the parents  are unfit,  or that                                                               
the welfare of  the child clearly requires that a  third party be                                                               
given custody of the child.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  turned attention back to  [Amendment 2]                                                               
and suggested the  inclusion of the following  language:  "unless                                                               
the court  finds that  the domestic  violence renders  the parent                                                               
unable to safely parent the child".                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  opined that [this  latest version of  Amendment 2]                                                               
is probably the best compromise.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0441                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG re-offered Amendment 2, as follows:                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 2, after "parent"                                                                                             
        Insert "unless the court finds that the domestic                                                                        
      violence renders the parent unable to safely parent                                                                       
     the child"                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0432                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE announced  that Amendment 3 was  withdrawn that and                                                               
Amendment 2 was [back before the  committee].  She asked if there                                                               
were any objections to Amendment  2.  There being none, Amendment                                                               
2 was adopted.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 4:20 p.m. to 4:21 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0417                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  moved to  report the  proposed CS  for HB                                                               
385, Version  23-LS1273\Q, Mischel,  2/27/04, as amended,  out of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
zero fiscal  note.  There  being no objection, CSHB  385(JUD) was                                                               
reported from the House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HB 342 - INCREASE DRIVING UNDER INFLUENCE PENALTY                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0388                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  announced that the  final order of  business would                                                               
be  HOUSE  BILL  NO.  342,  "An Act  relating  to  driving  while                                                               
intoxicated; and providing  for an effective date."   [Before the                                                               
committee was Version 23-LS1292\H,  Luckhaupt, 2/23/04, which was                                                               
adopted as a  work draft and amended on 2/27/04;  left pending on                                                               
2/27/04 was  a motion  to adopt a  third amendment  to Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 2  - labeled 23-LS1292\D.1, Luckhaupt,  2/21/04 - which                                                               
had been amended twice on 2/27/04.]                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  noted that new  amendments were  being distributed                                                               
to members.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 0340                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 4:22 p.m. to 4:23 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG turned to  Conceptual Amendment 2 [D.1],                                                               
as amended, which, prior to being amended, read:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 1:                                                                                                            
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
          ""An Act relating to driving while under the                                                                        
     influence  and  to  the issuance  of  limited  drivers'                                                                  
     licenses; and providing for an effective date.""                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, following line 2:                                                                                                  
          Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                    
        "* Section 1.  AS 28.15.201(d) is amended to read:                                                                  
          (d)  A court revoking a driver's license,                                                                             
     privilege to  drive, or privilege  to obtain  a license                                                                    
     under AS 28.15.181(c), or  the department when revoking                                                                    
     a driver's  license, privilege  to drive,  or privilege                                                                    
     to obtain  a license  under AS 28.15.165(c),  may grant                                                                    
     limited  license  privileges  [FOR THE  FINAL  60  DAYS                                                                    
     DURING WHICH THE LICENSE IS REVOKED] if                                                                                    
               (1)  the revocation was for a misdemeanor                                                                        
     conviction   under  AS 28.35.030(a)   and  not   for  a                                                                    
     violation of AS 28.35.032;                                                                                                 
               (2)  the person has not been previously                                                                          
     convicted  or,  if  the   person  has  been  previously                                                                
     convicted,  the court  or the  department requires  the                                                                
     person  to   use  an   ignition  interlock   device  as                                                                
     described  in AS 12.55.102  during  the  period of  the                                                                
     limited   license;  in   this  paragraph,   "previously                                                                
     convicted" has  the meaning  given in  AS 28.35.030 and                                                                    
     also includes convictions based  on laws presuming that                                                                    
     the  person was  under  the  influence of  intoxicating                                                                    
     liquor if there  was 0.08 percent or more  by weight of                                                                    
     alcohol in the person's blood;                                                                                             
               (3)  the court or the department determines                                                                      
     that the  person's ability to  earn a  livelihood would                                                                    
     be severely impaired without a limited license;                                                                            
               (4)  the court or the department determines                                                                      
     that  a limitation  under (a)  of this  section can  be                                                                    
     placed on  the license that  will enable the  person to                                                                    
     earn  a  livelihood  without excessive  danger  to  the                                                                    
     public; and                                                                                                                
               (5)  the court or the department determines                                                                      
     that the  person is  enrolled in  and is  in compliance                                                                    
     with,  or  has  successfully completed  the  alcoholism                                                                    
     screening,    evaluation,    referral,   and    program                                                                    
     requirements  of the  Department of  Health and  Social                                                                    
     Services under AS 28.35.030(h)."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 3:                                                                                                            
          Delete "Section 1"                                                                                                  
          Insert "Sec. 2"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 0332                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  noted that  one of the  amendments that                                                               
was  made to  Conceptual Amendment  2 [D.1]  at the  bill's prior                                                               
hearing involved a title change  to include ", ignition interlock                                                               
devices,".                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE   remarked  that   that  title  change   would  be                                                               
conceptual  in  order   to  allow  the  drafters   to  place  the                                                               
aforementioned language in the most suitable place.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG  noted   that  another   amendment  to                                                               
Conceptual  Amendment  2  [D.1]   that  was  adopted  on  2/27/04                                                               
involved the inclusion of language  in AS 28.15.201(d)(3) and (4)                                                               
that would allow a limited  license to be granted for "compelling                                                               
health or safety reasons".                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  went  on   to  note  that  [these  two                                                               
amendments] that  had been made  to Conceptual Amendment  2 [D.1]                                                               
on 2/27/04 had  not been incorporated into  the amendment labeled                                                               
23-LS1292\H.4,  Luckhaupt, 3/1/04,  which  members  now have  and                                                               
which read:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, lines 1 - 2:                                                                                                       
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
          ""An Act relating to driving while under the                                                                        
     influence,  to  alcohol-related  offenses, and  to  the                                                                  
     issuance  of limited  drivers' licenses;  and providing                                                                  
     for an effective date.""                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, following line 23:                                                                                                 
          Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                    
        "* Sec. 2.  AS 28.15.201(d) is amended to read:                                                                     
          (d)  A court revoking a driver's license,                                                                             
     privilege to  drive, or privilege  to obtain  a license                                                                    
     under AS 28.15.181(c), or  the department when revoking                                                                    
     a driver's  license, privilege  to drive,  or privilege                                                                    
     to obtain  a license  under AS 28.15.165(c),  may grant                                                                    
     limited  license  privileges  [FOR THE  FINAL  60  DAYS                                                                    
     DURING WHICH THE LICENSE IS REVOKED] if                                                                                    
               (1)  the revocation was for a misdemeanor                                                                        
     conviction   under  AS 28.35.030(a)   and  not   for  a                                                                    
     violation of AS 28.35.032;                                                                                                 
               (2)  the person (A) has not been previously                                                                  
     convicted  and the  court  or  department requires  the                                                                
     person  to   use  an   ignition  interlock   device  as                                                                
     described  in AS 12.55.102  during  the  period of  the                                                                
     limited  license  if  a  provider  for  the  device  is                                                                
     located within  100 miles of the  residence or domicile                                                                
     of the  person; or,  (B) has been  previously convicted                                                                
     and the court or the  department requires the person to                                                                
     use  an  ignition  interlock  device  as  described  in                                                                
     AS 12.55.102 during the period  of the limited license;                                                                
     in  this  paragraph,  "previously  convicted"  has  the                                                                    
     meaning  given   in  AS 28.35.030  and   also  includes                                                                    
     convictions  based on  laws presuming  that the  person                                                                    
     was  under  the  influence of  intoxicating  liquor  if                                                                    
     there was 0.08 percent or  more by weight of alcohol in                                                                    
     the person's blood;                                                                                                        
               (3)  the court or the department determines                                                                      
     that the  person's ability to  earn a  livelihood would                                                                    
     be severely impaired without a limited license;                                                                            
               (4)  the court or the department determines                                                                      
     that  a limitation  under (a)  of this  section can  be                                                                    
     placed on  the license that  will enable the  person to                                                                    
     earn  a  livelihood  without excessive  danger  to  the                                                                    
     public; and                                                                                                                
               (5)  the court or the department determines                                                                      
     that the  person is  enrolled in  and is  in compliance                                                                    
     with,  or  has  successfully completed  the  alcoholism                                                                    
     screening,    evaluation,    referral,   and    program                                                                    
      requirements of the Department of Health and Social                                                                       
     Services under AS 28.35.030(h)."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 29, following "Act":                                                                                          
          Insert ", except that references to prior                                                                             
         convictions include those occurring before the                                                                         
     effective date of this Act."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  suggested  to Representative  Gruenberg  that  he                                                               
withdraw [those  two amendments] to Conceptual  Amendment 2 [D.1]                                                               
and offer [them  as new amendments] to the  amendment labeled 23-                                                               
LS1292\H.4, Luckhaupt, 3/1/04,  which was later referred  to as a                                                               
Amendment 2 [H.4].                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG offered  his  recollection that  [those                                                               
amendments]  to Conceptual  Amendment  2 [D.1]  had already  been                                                               
adopted and he  merely wanted [them] to be  included in Amendment                                                               
2 [H.4].   He noted that the change  regarding "compelling health                                                               
or safety reasons" would still go to AS 28.15.201(d)(3) and (4)                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0220                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE moved  that the  committee rescind  its action  in                                                               
adopting  the [amendments]  to Conceptual  Amendment 2  [D.1] for                                                               
the purpose  of addressing new  amendments to Amendment  2 [H.4].                                                               
There being no objection, the committee rescinded its action.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
[Although no  further discussion took place  regarding adding, ",                                                               
ignition interlock devices,"  to the title, and  no formal motion                                                               
was  made to  amend Amendment  2 [H.4]  in this  fashion, such  a                                                               
change was incorporated into CSHB 342(JUD).]                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0150                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  [made a  motion to adopt]  an amendment                                                               
to Amendment  2 [H.4]  such that in  AS 28.15.201(d)(3)  and (4),                                                               
after  the language  pertaining to  "livelihood", the  words, "or                                                               
that there  are other  compelling health  or safety  reasons that                                                               
require the issuance of a limited license" would be added.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0095                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  objected for  the purpose  of discussion.                                                               
He indicated  that he was  concerned with  how far they  would be                                                               
opening  up the  door  for repeat  offenders,  and asked  whether                                                               
health problem would be defined.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG noted that  at the bill's prior hearing,                                                               
during  discussion of  Conceptual Amendment  2 [D.1],  the issues                                                               
surrounding  his  current  amendment  to Amendment  2  [H.4]  had                                                               
already been  debated.   He reminded members  that at  that prior                                                               
meeting,  the  proposed  change  now  before  the  committee  was                                                               
adopted to Conceptual  Amendment 2 [D.1]; he  was merely offering                                                               
the language  again in  the form  of an  amendment as  a courtesy                                                               
because the committee now has before it Amendment 2 [H.4].                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE concurred and recapped  some of the debate from the                                                               
bill's prior hearing.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   OGG   suggested  that   perhaps   Representative                                                               
Samuels's specific  concerns with  this language change  were not                                                               
debated at the bill's prior hearing.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-32, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG acknowledged  that at  the time  of the                                                               
original debate on the language  change now being considered, the                                                               
committee had not  yet began its discussion  regarding first time                                                               
offenders versus repeat  offenders.  He said he would  not have a                                                               
problem if the  committee would like to limit  the application of                                                               
the language in the amendment to  Amendment 2 [H.4] to just first                                                               
time offenders.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS relayed  that he  did not  want to  allow                                                               
judges  too  much discretion  to  give  repeat offenders  limited                                                               
licenses.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE, in  response to  a question,  clarified that  the                                                               
committee was  now considering whether  to adopt an  amendment to                                                               
Amendment  2  [H.4]  regarding   granting  limited  licenses  for                                                               
compelling  health  or  safety  reasons.    She  asked  that  any                                                               
amendments to amendments be conceptual  for the purpose of giving                                                               
the drafter  the latitude  of inserting  them in  the appropriate                                                               
locations.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG said  he  would  consider limiting  the                                                               
application of the  amendment to Amendment 2 [H.4]  to just first                                                               
time offenders to be a friendly amendment.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE ascertained that such  a change to the [conceptual]                                                               
amendment to  Amendment 2 [H.4]  was acceptable to  members; thus                                                               
the conceptual  amendment to Amendment  2 [H.4] would  apply only                                                               
to first time offenders.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0181                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  removed his  objection to  the conceptual                                                               
amendment to Amendment 2 [H.4].                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE,  in  response   to  a  question,  confirmed  that                                                               
Amendment 1 to Version H of  HB 342 involved the deletion of, "or                                                           
by  the commissioner  of administration"  from page  2, line  20.                                                           
[Amendment 1  was adopted  on 2/27/04.]   She clarified  that the                                                               
committee  was  now considering  Amendment  2  [H.4] in  lieu  of                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 2 [D.1].                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0199                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE   relayed  that  the  [conceptual]   amendment  to                                                               
Amendment 2 [H.4] was adopted.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    OGG   turned    attention   to    proposed   AS                                                               
28.15.201(d)(2)(B) - located  in Amendment 2 [H.4],  as amended -                                                               
which  pertains to  repeat offenders.   He  said he  thinks there                                                               
ought to  be a limitation  on the number of  previous convictions                                                               
one may  have during a certain  period of time and  still qualify                                                               
for a limited license under this provision.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 4:35 p.m. to 4:36 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  observed that there are  three criteria                                                               
in  Amendment 2  [H.4], as  amended, to  consider:   "Number one,                                                               
whether this is a first  conviction; number two, whether there is                                                               
an ignition interlock  on the vehicle; and  number three, whether                                                               
the limited license  is going to be allowed only  for the last 60                                                               
days  of  the  suspension."    Under current  law,  there  is  no                                                               
provision for ignition interlocks, a  limited license may only be                                                               
granted  in  instances  of  a first  conviction,  and  a  limited                                                               
license  may only  be  granted  during the  final  60  days of  a                                                               
revocation period.  He noted  that Amendment 2 [H.4], as amended,                                                               
removes  the  60-day  stipulation   and  requires  a  first  time                                                               
offender to  use an  ignition interlock.   He offered  his belief                                                               
that Amendment  2 [H.4], as  amended, should be altered  to allow                                                               
someone without  any prior convictions  to get a  limited license                                                               
during the final 60 days without having an ignition interlock.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE noted that under  Amendment 2 [H.4], as amended, if                                                               
a person does not have any  prior convictions and lives more than                                                               
100 miles from  a provider of ignition  interlock devices, he/she                                                               
does  not have  to  have an  ignition interlock  in  order to  be                                                               
granted  a  limited  license at  anytime  during  the  revocation                                                               
period.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  noted, however, that under  Amendment 2                                                               
[H.4],  as  amended, if  a  person  without previous  convictions                                                               
lives within 100  miles of a ignition  interlock provider, he/she                                                               
will have to have an ignition  interlock in order to be granted a                                                               
limited license.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  offered her  understanding  that  this aspect  of                                                               
Amendment 2 [H.4],  as amended, was a policy  change supported by                                                               
the  committee at  the  bill's last  hearing;  the policy  change                                                               
being that  "even [on]  your first offense,  if you  lived within                                                               
100 miles of  a provider of an interlock, we  would prefer you to                                                               
use the interlock."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0600                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG remarked that  he might have missed that                                                               
point during  their discussion of  Conceptual Amendment  2 [D.1].                                                               
He went on to say:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     I would  like to  see us  retain the  current law  on a                                                                    
     policy basis  and for another  reason also:   because I                                                                    
     think there's a  denial of equal protection.  ... And I                                                                    
     suppose a court could say,  "There's no denial of equal                                                                    
     protection because it's  a rational basis:   if you can                                                                    
     do it,  ... the legislature wants  you to do it."   But                                                                    
     ... my gut feeling is that  it would not be that simple                                                                    
     by the time a court got through with it.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
[Chair McGuire turned the gavel over to Representative Samuels.]                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  offered   a  hypothetical  example  of                                                               
someone who lives on Kodiak  Island with Homer having the nearest                                                               
ignition interlock  device provider.   Although Kodiak  Island is                                                               
technically  within 100  miles of  Homer, it  would be  virtually                                                               
impossible to  comply with this  provision of Amendment  2 [H.4],                                                               
as  amended,  he  remarked.     Therefore,  to  have  to  draw  a                                                               
geographical distinction based on just  a compass radius could be                                                               
problematic.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA remarked  that they  would probably  have to                                                               
change  the language  to  "100  road miles"  just  to avoid  that                                                               
circumstance.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS  agreed  that  that phrase  ought  to  be                                                               
worked on.   He remarked,  however, that the underlying  issue is                                                               
that  they  are changing  the  law  regarding ignition  interlock                                                               
devices  such that  it will  be dependant  on what  an offender's                                                               
blood alcohol concentration [BAC] level is.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  relayed that  his intent  regarding his                                                               
discussion of the  language in Amendment 2 [H.4],  as amended, is                                                               
to focus  on the issue  of those offenders  who don't have  a BAC                                                               
level over .16.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS  remarked,  however, that  according  his                                                               
understanding,  the language  in Amendment  2 [H.4],  as amended,                                                               
won't apply to those that don't have a BAC level over .16.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0766                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CODY  RICE,  Staff to  Representative  Carl  Gatto, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,   sponsor,  offered   his  belief,   on  behalf   of                                                               
Representative   Gatto,   that    Representative   Gruenberg   is                                                               
attempting to  address the  issue of  those individuals  that are                                                               
not required  to use  an ignition  interlock, for  example, first                                                               
time offenders  with a BAC level  lower than .16.   Currently, he                                                               
opined, those  individuals would not  be affected by  Amendment 2                                                               
[H.4], as  amended, and  would thus be  precluded from  seeking a                                                               
limited license.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM asked whether  equal protection clauses apply                                                               
to privileges in the same way they do to rights.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG opined  that they would apply  to even a                                                               
privilege if  the distinction  is on a  geographic basis  that is                                                               
improperly drawn; he  noted, however, that "it's not  as strict a                                                               
standard if it's not a right."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM  pondered whether the  issue is one  of equal                                                               
protection or one of equal access.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG recalled in  that a [U.S.] Supreme Court                                                               
case, Shapiro V. Thompson (ph),  it was ruled that basing whether                                                             
or not  one could obtain welfare  payments on how long  one lived                                                               
in a particular area was a violation of equal protection.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG remarked  that  the language  in Amendment  2                                                               
[H.4], as  amended, pertaining to  multiple offenders  appears to                                                               
be  more  lenient  because  there  is  no  geographical  distance                                                               
limitation.   He opined that  the language in Amendment  2 [H.4],                                                               
as amended, was put together wrong.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. RICE said that according  to his understanding of Amendment 2                                                               
[H.4],  as amended,  the intention  is to  allow those  offenders                                                               
that are  not egregious  offenders to  pursue a  limited license,                                                               
and that was  why the 100-mile distinction was  inserted into the                                                               
provision pertaining  to first  time offenders  and not  into the                                                               
provision pertaining to multiple offenders.   Not having the 100-                                                               
mile  distinction   in  the  provision  pertaining   to  multiple                                                               
offenders  is intended  to prevent  a loophole  that would  allow                                                               
multiple offenders  in rural  areas to  obtain a  limited license                                                               
simply  because  they  hadn't access  to  an  ignition  interlock                                                               
provider.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1000                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG  noted that  in the  provision in  Amendment 2                                                               
[H.4],  as  amended,  pertaining  to first  time  offenders,  the                                                               
language   in   proposed    AS   28.15.201(d)(2)(A),   does   not                                                               
specifically address  those first  time offenders that  live more                                                               
than 100 miles from an ignition interlock provider.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG offered  his  belief  that those  first                                                               
time offenders are addressed by implication.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG opined that addressing  them by implication is                                                               
not sufficient.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  posited that it  is simply a  matter of                                                               
drafting style.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG   offered  his  belief  that   regardless  of                                                               
drafting style,  the language in  Amendment 2 [H.4],  as amended,                                                               
does not clearly state the intent.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
[Representative Samuels returned the gavel to Chair McGuire.]                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG   offered   that  according   to   his                                                               
understanding of  the drafting manual, the  language in Amendment                                                               
2  [H.4], as  amended, sufficiently  outlines by  implication the                                                               
intent  towards  first time  offenders  living  further than  100                                                               
miles from an ignition interlock provider.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE opined  that the language in Amendment  2 [H.4], as                                                               
amended, is  clear and  comports with the  drafting manual.   She                                                               
offered  her interpretation  of  Amendment 2  [H.4], as  amended:                                                               
"If this is your first offense,  you can apply to get a [limited]                                                               
driver's license, but you have to  use an interlock device if ...                                                               
a provider  is within 100 miles."   She again requested  that any                                                               
amendments to Amendment  2 [H.4], as amended,  be conceptual, and                                                               
suggested that  the committee focus  first on the issue  of first                                                               
time  offenders.   She noted  that  Representative Gruenberg  has                                                               
expressed concern with  how first time offenders  will be treated                                                               
under Amendment  2 [H.4], as  amended, and that current  law says                                                               
that first  time offenders may  get a [limited]  license, without                                                               
having  to  have  an  interlock  device,  if  they  meet  certain                                                               
requirements.  In contrast, under  Amendment 2 [H.4], as amended,                                                               
a  first  time  offender  must  have an  interlock  device  if  a                                                               
provider is  located within 100 miles.   She suggested, as  a way                                                               
of  keeping the  process moving,  that members  in opposition  to                                                               
that  provision  offer  a conceptual  amendment  to  Amendment  2                                                               
[H.4], as amended, to change the  language back to how first time                                                               
offenders are treated currently.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1227                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  made  a   motion  to  adopt  a  second                                                               
amendment, which  would be conceptual,  to Amendment 2  [H.4], as                                                               
amended, "To allow a first [time]  offender to be given a limited                                                               
license -  as we've stated,  for livelihood or  compelling health                                                               
and safety  reasons - without  an ignition interlock  only during                                                               
the last 60 days the license  is revoked; in other words, to keep                                                               
that as an option as it is in current law."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG, in response  to a question, offered his                                                               
understanding that the second amendment  to Amendment 2 [H.4], as                                                               
amended,  when  considered in  terms  of  how  it will  fit  into                                                               
Version H  - specifically page  5, line 9  - would only  apply to                                                               
first time offenders who have a BAC limit below .16.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA said  he  thinks Representative  Gruenberg's                                                               
interpretation is incorrect.  He elaborated:                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     These are  two different circumstances.   The main part                                                                    
     of  the bill  that Representative  Gatto brought  to us                                                                    
     applies after your  conviction, after you're sentenced,                                                                    
     after  your license  is returned  to you.   After  your                                                                    
     license is  returned to you,  if you [have a  BAC level                                                                    
     that is]  high, you  have to  use an  interlock device.                                                                    
     [Amendment  2  H.4,  as amended,]  applies  before  the                                                                    
     period [that]  your license  revocation expires  - this                                                                    
     applies if  you want your  license back early -  and so                                                                    
     this,  therefore, applies  to  everybody regardless  of                                                                    
     [their BAC level].                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     This limited  license provision ...  says the  court is                                                                    
     saying  to you,  "I'm going  to give  you your  license                                                                    
     back  in advance  of when  you would  otherwise get  it                                                                    
     back"  for  work-related  reasons  or  whatever.    The                                                                    
     [provision in the  bill that is based  on someone's BAC                                                                    
     level]  only applies  after you  get your  license back                                                                    
     under  the  normal  schedule.   [Amendment  2  H.4,  as                                                                    
     amended]  is  the   early-license  provision,  so  this                                                                    
     applies to everybody.  And  a court, in its discretion,                                                                    
     could deny you the  early limited license because [your                                                                    
     BAC  level] is  .30,  ... but  the  [BAC] levels  don't                                                                    
     apply to this early license.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE noted that the  provisions encompassed in Amendment                                                               
2 [H.4],  as amended, do  contain sidebars:  for  example, before                                                               
the court can  grant a limited license, it has  to determine that                                                               
the person  won't pose excessive  danger to the public;  that the                                                               
license revocation  has to be  for a misdemeanor  conviction; and                                                               
that  the license  revocation cannot  be  for a  violation of  AS                                                               
28.35.032 - refusal to submit to chemical test.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1422                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE asked  whether there  were any  objections to  the                                                               
second amendment to  Amendment 2 [H.4], as amended.   There being                                                               
none, the second amendment to  Amendment 2 [H.4], as amended, was                                                               
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE suggested  that the  committee next  focus on  the                                                               
provisions  of  [Amendment  2  H.4],  as  amended,  that  address                                                               
offenders   with  previous   convictions.      She  offered   her                                                               
understanding  that   as  long  as  an   offender  with  previous                                                               
convictions  meets  all the  criteria  laid  out in  proposed  AS                                                               
28.15.201.(d), then he/she  may be granted a  limited license but                                                               
only if he/she gets an ignition interlock device.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
[Following  was a  brief  discussion of  the  amendments made  to                                                               
Amendment 2  H.4 thus far and  the changes that Amendment  2 H.4,                                                               
as amended, will have to current law.]                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  suggested that  they remove  all reference  to the                                                               
100-mile  stipulation, surmising  that  doing so  would give  the                                                               
courts the  discretion of  whether or not  to require  first time                                                               
offenders to get an ignition interlock  in order to get a limited                                                               
license, but would  require that those with  prior convictions do                                                               
have to get an ignition interlock device.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG remarked  that those  with prior  convictions                                                               
appear  to be  able  to  gain the  same  benefits  as first  time                                                               
offenders.  He opined that there  ought to be "a larger step" for                                                               
those with previous convictions.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1871                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GARA  offered   that   the   provisions  in   AS                                                               
28.15.201(d)(2), located in Amendment 2  [H.4], as amended, could                                                               
be altered to work as follows:                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     If  we want  to delete  the 100-mile  [stipulation], we                                                                    
     say, "If  you have not been  previously convicted," for                                                                    
     the  person whose  first conviction  this  is, "in  the                                                                    
     final 60  days the court  has the discretion to  give a                                                                    
     [limited  license] ...  without  an interlock  device."                                                                    
     That was Representative  Gruenberg's [second] amendment                                                                    
     to the  amendment.  The  court also has  the discretion                                                                    
     to  give it  to you  earlier if  -- and  the court  may                                                                    
     order  that you  have  an interlock  device, and  we're                                                                    
     saying  the   court  "may"  order  that   you  have  an                                                                    
     interlock  device because  you  might live  in a  place                                                                    
     where one's not  available and we're going  to leave it                                                                    
     to  [the] court  to say  whether or  not you  need one.                                                                    
     But   then,  ...   for  the   people  with   the  prior                                                                    
     convictions, you have to have  an interlock device, and                                                                    
     if one's not available, it's  just tough, we just don't                                                                    
     trust you well  enough to let you  drive around without                                                                    
     an interlock device.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   ANDERSON   indicated    that   such   would   be                                                               
satisfactory to him.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA noted again that  the courts would then still                                                               
have the  discretion to grant a  limited license to a  first time                                                               
offender  before  the  last  60 days  of  the  revocation  period                                                               
without requiring an  ignition interlock device.   In contrast, a                                                               
person  with  previous convictions  might  be  granted a  limited                                                               
license before the last 60 days  of a revocation period, but only                                                               
if he/she gets an ignition interlock device.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG suggested also  allowing someone with previous                                                               
convictions  to  get  a  limited   license  without  an  ignition                                                               
interlock  device  but only  during  the  final  60 days  of  the                                                               
revocation period.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ANDERSON opined  that doing  so would  defeat the                                                               
purpose [of  Amendment 2 H.4,  as amended] and indicated  that he                                                               
would  be opposed  to  such a  change to  Amendment  2 [H.4],  as                                                               
amended,  because  ignition  interlock devices  will  afford  the                                                               
public  an extra  measure  of  safety from  those  who have  been                                                               
previously convicted.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG  opined that  those with  previous convictions                                                               
should have some period of time wherein they cannot drive.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   ANDERSON    asked   Chair   McGuire    for   her                                                               
interpretation  of  Representative  Gara's suggested  changes  to                                                               
Amendment 2 [H.4], as amended.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2061                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE   said  she  agrees  with   Representative  Gara's                                                               
suggested   changes:     It   would  incorporate   Representative                                                               
Gruenberg's second  amendment to  Amendment 2 [H.4],  as amended;                                                               
it  would provide  a second  tier for  first time  offenders such                                                               
that  the court  would have  the  discretion to  grant a  limited                                                               
license  and may  or  may  not require  the  use  of an  ignition                                                               
interlock device; and it would  allow the court, if it determines                                                               
that all other requirements of  AS 28.15.201(d) are met, to grant                                                               
a limited license  to those with previous convictions  as long as                                                               
an ignition interlock device is used.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2113                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG turned  attention  to  the phrase,  "as                                                               
described in  AS 12.55.102", which  is used twice in  Amendment 2                                                               
[H.4], as amended.  He made  a motion to amend Amendment 2 [H.4],                                                               
as  amended,  such  that,  "as  described  in  AS  12.55.102"  is                                                               
deleted.  He then withdrew that motion.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 2260                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  made a  motion to adopt  a third  amendment, which                                                               
would be conceptual, to Amendment  2 [H.4], as amended, such that                                                               
Representative Gara's  suggestion be  incorporated:   In addition                                                               
to  including  Representative  Gruenberg's  second  amendment  to                                                               
Amendment 2  [H.4], as  amended, it would  provide a  second tier                                                               
for  first time  offenders such  that  the court  would have  the                                                               
discretion to grant a limited license  before the last 60 days of                                                               
a revocation  period and  may or  may not require  the use  of an                                                               
ignition interlock  device, and it  would allow the court,  if it                                                               
determines  that all  other requirements  of AS  28.15.201(d) are                                                               
met,  to  grant   a  limited  license  to   those  with  previous                                                               
convictions  as long  as an  ignition interlock  device is  used.                                                               
She indicated that this third  amendment to Amendment 2 [H.4], as                                                               
amended, would be applicable to proposed AS 28.15.201(d)(2).                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 2278                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG objected.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[This  third  amendment  to  Amendment 2  H.4,  as  amended,  was                                                               
treated as adopted,  and the issue of whether  to adopt Amendment                                                               
2 H.4, as amended, became the  subject of the following roll call                                                               
vote.]                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2290                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote  was taken.   Representatives  Gara, Gruenberg,                                                               
Anderson, and  McGuire voted  in favor of  Amendment 2  [H.4], as                                                               
amended.   Representatives Samuels,  Ogg, and Holm  voted against                                                               
it.  Therefore,  Amendment 2 [H.4], as amended, was  adopted by a                                                               
vote of 4-3.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 2350                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  made a  motion to  adopt Amendment  3, which                                                               
read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5 line 14-15, after "the person's breath,"                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
       Delete:  "the court shall double the fine imposed                                                                        
     under (b)(1) or (n)(1) of this section"                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
           Insert: "the court shall increase the fine                                                                           
     imposed under (b)(1) or (n)(1) of this section by the                                                                      
     lesser of one-third or $500"                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5 line 21-22, after ""the person's breath,"                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
       Delete:  "the court shall triple the fine imposed                                                                        
     under (b)(1) or (n)(1) of this section"                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
          Insert:  "the court shall increase the fine                                                                           
     imposed under (b)(1) or (n)(1) of this section by the                                                                      
     lesser of one-half or $1,000"                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 2354                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA   said  that   Amendment  3   addresses  the                                                               
provisions in HB 342 related to  doubling and tripling fines.  He                                                               
outlined the changes which have  recently occurred to the current                                                               
schedule of fines.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-32, SIDE B                                                                                                            
Number 2393                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  went  on  to   detail  some  of  the  fines                                                               
currently in place.   Given that the amount someone  may be fined                                                               
varies  depending   upon  aggravators,  he  said   he  is  having                                                               
difficulty  determining just  how  much a  fine might  ultimately                                                               
wind up  being, since the language  in HB 342 merely  talks about                                                               
doubling and tripling fines and  would therefore be requiring the                                                               
court to  double or triple an  indeterminate amount.  He  said he                                                               
thinks it improper  to double and in some cases  triple the fines                                                               
that  are currently  in  place  given that  they  were only  just                                                               
recently raised  to their present  levels, which, he  opined, are                                                               
very high.   He offered  his belief  that the courts  are already                                                               
providing  for higher  fines in  cases where  there are  high BAC                                                               
levels, and characterized  Amendment 3 as a  compromise that will                                                               
provide  for a  modest  increase in  fines for  such  cases.   He                                                               
concluded  by  recapping the  language  in  Amendment 3,  and  by                                                               
relaying that doubling or in  some cases tripling a $50,000 fine,                                                               
for example, seems too extreme to him.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  RICE  surmised  that  the   question  of  whether  to  adopt                                                               
Amendment 3  comes down to  a policy  call.  He  opined, however,                                                               
that the  courts would assign a  $50,000 fine and triple  it only                                                               
in cases where they realistically  thought it could be collected.                                                               
"It seems  fair to assume that  the judges would be  aware of the                                                               
fact that  the fines that  they were assigning could  be tripled,                                                               
and  would possibly  reduce  them  as such,  but  they could  not                                                               
reduce them below the minimums," he added.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM said:                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
      I'm curious as to why we're doing this, and I think                                                                       
     Representative Gara makes a good point.  Are we trying                                                                     
     to penalize?   Are we trying to keep  people from doing                                                                    
     these egregious acts?  Are  we trying to maybe just get                                                                    
     money for  the state?  If  the reason is to  change the                                                                    
     fine based  upon the ability  to pay, I think  it's bad                                                                    
     public policy  because the act has  no relationship, in                                                                    
     my opinion, [with]  whether or not you  have an ability                                                                    
     to pay  ....  If  you perform an egregious  act against                                                                    
     society, [the  penalty] should have nothing  to do with                                                                    
     whether you're rich, poor, or indifferent.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM indicated  that he does not  have any problem                                                               
with  raising the  fines  as  a punitive  measure,  as  a way  of                                                               
telling  people that  if  they  are going  to  act  in a  certain                                                               
fashion then certain penalties will  attach, but he does not want                                                               
to give the court  the discretion to say how much  a fine will be                                                               
based on  its perception of  whether someone has any  assets that                                                               
can be confiscated.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. RICE  said he  was merely trying  to allay  members' concerns                                                               
that doubling or tripling fines might  pose too large a burden on                                                               
working families,  adding that he  believes that the  courts will                                                               
take that sort of thing into account.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS said  he feels that having a  BAC level of                                                               
.08  and having  a  BAC  level of  .30  are completely  different                                                               
crimes,  and opined  that  the fines  ought  to be  significantly                                                               
higher for those individuals who  have a higher BAC level because                                                               
they pose a greater danger.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG suggested  that the language on  page 5, lines                                                               
14-15 and  21-22, after  "breath," ought to  be changed  to read,                                                               
"the minimum fine imposed under  (b)(1) or (n)(1) of this section                                                               
shall be  doubled", and, "the  minimum fine imposed  under (b)(1)                                                               
or (n)(1)  of this section  shall be tripled", respectively.   He                                                               
opined that doing so would  eliminate any ambiguity regarding the                                                               
amount of the fines that are  to be doubled or tripled, and would                                                               
still allow the courts the discretion to impose higher fines.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2062                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG made  a motion  to  adopt the  forgoing as  a                                                               
conceptual amendment.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE announced that that  motion is out of order because                                                               
the  committee still  has before  it the  question of  whether to                                                               
adopt Amendment 3.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA mentioned  that his concern is  not about the                                                               
burden on working families so much  as it is about coming up with                                                               
a fine  that reflects  the crime,  which is  [DUI].   A potential                                                               
$150,000 fine  for a [DUI]  is just way  out of line,  he opined,                                                               
adding that  his main  concern is  whether doubling  and tripling                                                               
fines is [reasonable].                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2034                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote  was taken.   Representatives  Gara, Gruenberg,                                                               
Anderson,  Holm,  and McGuire  voted  in  favor of  Amendment  3.                                                               
Representatives  Ogg and  Samuels voted  against it.   Therefore,                                                               
Amendment 3 was adopted by a vote of 5-2.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  surmised that  it will take  everyone a                                                               
certain amount of  time to conform to the  changes encompassed in                                                               
HB 342,  and suggested that  the bill  ought to have  a different                                                               
effective date.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1939                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG made  a  motion to  adopt Amendment  4,                                                               
which read:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 30:                                                                                                           
          Delete "July 1, 2004"                                                                                                 
          Insert "January 1, 2005"                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1931                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. RICE said  that Amendment 4 mirrors an  amendment provided by                                                               
the sponsor.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1910                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE removed her objection  and asked whether there were                                                               
any  further  objections  to  Amendment 4.    There  being  none,                                                               
Amendment 4 was adopted.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1908                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG  moved to report  the proposed CS for  HB 342,                                                               
Version  23-LS1292\H,  Luckhaupt,  2/23/04, as  amended,  out  of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal notes.  There being no objection, CSHB 342(JUD) was                                                                      
reported from the House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1883                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Judiciary Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 5:30 p.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects