Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/07/2004 06:40 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                          May 7, 2004                                                                                           
                           6:40 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                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 338(STA)                                                                                                 
"An Act  relating to actionable  claims against  state employees;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSB 338(STA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 179(FIN)                                                                                                 
"An  Act  relating to  criminal  history  records and  background                                                               
checks; allowing  persons to teach  in the public schools  for up                                                               
to five months  without a teaching certificate if  the person has                                                               
applied for a certificate and  the application has not been acted                                                               
upon by the Department of  Education and Early Development due to                                                               
a delay  in receiving criminal history  records; allowing teacher                                                               
certification  for certain  persons based  on a  criminal history                                                               
background  check  without  fingerprints; and  providing  for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HCS CSSB 179(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE; ADOPTED A HOUSE                                                                
       CONCURRENT RESOLUTION ALLOWING THE TITLE CHANGE                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 217(JUD)                                                                                                 
"An Act relating to genetic privacy."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 284(FIN) am                                                                                              
"An  Act   making  information  on  a   permanent  fund  dividend                                                               
application, other  than the applicant's name,  confidential, and                                                               
relating  to disclosure  of  that  confidential information;  and                                                               
relating  to  confidential   information  in  voter  registration                                                               
records."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HCS CSSB 284(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 219(JUD) am                                                                                              
"An Act relating to offenses against unborn children."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 269(CRA)                                                                                                 
"An Act relating  to access to library  records, including access                                                               
to the library records of a child by a parent or guardian."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 354(STA) am(efd fld)                                                                                     
"An Act  relating to complaints  filed with,  and investigations,                                                               
hearings, and orders  of, the State Commission  for Human Rights;                                                               
and making conforming amendments."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 338                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CLAIMS AGAINST STATE EMPLOYEES                                                                                     
SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/16/04       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/16/04       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
03/11/04       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
03/11/04       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/11/04       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/18/04       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
03/18/04       (S)       Moved CSSB 338(STA) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/18/04       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/19/04       (S)       STA RPT CS  4NR  NEW TITLE                                                                             
03/19/04       (S)       NR: STEVENS G, HOFFMAN, COWDERY, GUESS                                                                 
03/24/04       (S)       JUD AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/24/04       (S)       Moved CSSB 338(STA) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/24/04       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/24/04       (S)       JUD RPT CS(STA)  3DP 2NR                                                                               
03/24/04       (S)       DP: SEEKINS, THERRIAULT, ELLIS;                                                                        
03/24/04       (S)       NR: FRENCH, OGAN                                                                                       
04/13/04       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
04/13/04       (S)       VERSION: CSSB 338(STA)                                                                                 
04/14/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/14/04       (H)       JUD                                                                                                    
04/26/04       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
04/26/04       (H)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
04/28/04       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
04/28/04       (H)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
05/03/04       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
05/03/04       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
05/05/04       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
05/05/04       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
05/06/04       (H)       JUD AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
05/06/04       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
05/07/04       (H)       JUD AT 6:15 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 179                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS/TEACHERS                                                                                
SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) THERRIAULT                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
04/08/03       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/08/03       (S)       HES, FIN                                                                                               
04/16/03       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/16/03       (S)       Moved CSSB 179(HES) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/16/03       (S)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
05/10/03       (S)       HES RPT CS 2DP 1NR  NEW TITLE                                                                          
05/10/03       (S)       DP: DYSON, WILKEN; NR: DAVIS                                                                           
05/13/03       (S)       FIN AT 8:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                      
05/13/03       (S)       <Above Item Removed from Agenda>                                                                       
03/08/04       (S)       FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                      
03/08/04       (S)       Moved CSSB 179(FIN) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/08/04       (S)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
03/08/04       (S)       FIN RPT CS  5DP 2NR  NEW TITLE                                                                         
03/08/04       (S)       DP: GREEN, WILKEN, DYSON, BUNDE,                                                                       
03/08/04       (S)       STEVENS B; NR: HOFFMAN, OLSON                                                                          
03/15/04       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
03/15/04       (S)       VERSION: CSSB 179(FIN)                                                                                 
03/16/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/16/04       (H)       EDU, HES, JUD                                                                                          
03/23/04       (H)       EDU AT 11:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                            
03/23/04       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
03/23/04       (H)       MINUTE(EDU)                                                                                            
03/24/04       (H)       EDU RPT 4DP 1NR 1AM                                                                                    
03/24/04       (H)       DP: WILSON, OGG, SEATON, GATTO;                                                                        
03/24/04       (H)       NR: KAPSNER; AM: WOLF                                                                                  
04/20/04       (H)       HES AT 2:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
04/20/04       (H)       Moved   HCS   CSSB   179(HES)   Out   of                                                               
                         Committee                                                                                              
04/20/04       (H)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
04/27/04       (H)       HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
04/27/04       (H)       Moved CSSB 179(FIN) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/27/04       (H)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
04/28/04       (H)       HES RPT 2DP 3NR                                                                                        
04/28/04       (H)       DP: SEATON, GATTO; NR: COGHILL, WOLF,                                                                  
04/28/04       (H)       WILSON                                                                                                 
05/03/04       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
05/03/04       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
05/03/04       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
05/05/04       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
05/05/04       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
05/06/04       (H)       JUD AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
05/06/04       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
05/07/04       (H)       JUD AT 6:15 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 217                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: GENETIC PRIVACY                                                                                                    
SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) OLSON                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
05/09/03       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/09/03       (S)       HES, JUD                                                                                               
01/28/04       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
01/28/04       (S)       Moved CSSB 217 (HES) Out of Committee                                                                  
01/28/04       (S)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
01/30/04       (S)       HES RPT CS  1DP  1NR 2AM  NEW TITLE                                                                    
01/30/04       (S)       DP: DYSON; NR: GUESS;                                                                                  
01/30/04       (S)       AM: GREEN, WILKEN                                                                                      
02/06/04       (S)       JUD AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/06/04       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/06/04       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/18/04       (S)       JUD AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/18/04       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
02/25/04       (S)       JUD AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/25/04       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/25/04       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/03/04       (S)       JUD AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/03/04       (S)       Moved CSSB 217(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/03/04       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/04/04       (S)       JUD RPT CS  1DP 3NR  NEW TITLE                                                                         
03/04/04       (S)       LETTER OF INTENT WITH JUD REPORT                                                                       
03/04/04       (S)       NR: SEEKINS, THERRIAULT, OGAN;                                                                         
03/04/04       (S)       DP: FRENCH                                                                                             
05/03/04       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
05/03/04       (S)       VERSION: CSSB 217(JUD)                                                                                 
05/04/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/04/04       (H)       JUD                                                                                                    
05/05/04       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
05/05/04       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
05/06/04       (H)       JUD AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
05/06/04       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
05/07/04       (H)       JUD AT 6:15 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 284                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: VOTER AND PERM FUND APP RECORDS PRIVATE                                                                            
SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) GUESS                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
01/28/04       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/28/04       (S)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
02/17/04       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
02/17/04       (S)       Moved CSSB 284(STA) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/17/04       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
02/18/04       (S)       STA RPT CS 3DP  NEW TITLE                                                                              
02/18/04       (S)       DP: STEVENS G, GUESS, HOFFMAN                                                                          
04/29/04       (S)       FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                      
04/29/04       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/29/04       (S)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
05/02/04       (S)       FIN AT 12:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                     
05/02/04       (S)       Moved CSSB 284(FIN) Out of Committee                                                                   
05/02/04       (S)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
05/02/04       (S)       FIN RPT CS 5DP  NEW TITLE                                                                              
05/02/04       (S)       DP: GREEN, WILKEN, DYSON,                                                                              
05/02/04       (S)       BUNDE, STEVENS B                                                                                       
05/05/04       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
05/05/04       (S)       VERSION: CSSB 284(FIN) AM                                                                              
05/05/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/05/04       (H)       JUD                                                                                                    
05/05/04       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
05/05/04       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
05/06/04       (H)       JUD AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
05/06/04       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
05/07/04       (H)       JUD AT 6:15 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
GAIL VOIGTLANDER, Chief Assistant Attorney General                                                                              
Statewide Section Supervisor                                                                                                    
Torts and Worker's Compensation Section                                                                                         
Civil Division (Anchorage)                                                                                                      
Department of Law (DOL)                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:     Presented  SB  338  on   behalf  of  the                                                               
administration.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
ZACH WARWICK, Staff                                                                                                             
to Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   During discussion  of SB 179,  responded to                                                               
questions on behalf of the sponsor, Senator Therriault.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DONNY OLSON                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of SB 217.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GRETCHEN GUESS                                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of SB 284.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
LORI DAVEY, President                                                                                                           
Motznik Information Services, Inc.                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to SB 284.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-80, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LESIL   McGUIRE  called   the  House   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting,  which had  been recessed  on 5/6/04,  back to                                                               
order  at [6:40  p.m.,  stated as  6:50  p.m.].   Representatives                                                               
McGuire, Ogg, Samuels, and Gara were  present at the call back to                                                               
order.  Representatives Anderson,  Holm, and Gruenberg arrived as                                                               
the meeting was in progress.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SB 338 - CLAIMS AGAINST STATE EMPLOYEES                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0039                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  announced that the  first order of  business would                                                               
be  CS  FOR  SENATE  BILL  NO.  338(STA),  "An  Act  relating  to                                                               
actionable claims  against state employees; and  providing for an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0073                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
GAIL  VOIGTLANDER, Chief  Assistant  Attorney General,  Statewide                                                               
Section  Supervisor,  Torts  and Worker's  Compensation  Section,                                                               
Civil Division  (Anchorage), Department  of Law  (DOL), explained                                                               
that  CSSB 338(STA)  provides  [the state]  the  ability, at  the                                                               
start  of   a  lawsuit,  to  dismiss   individually  named  state                                                               
employees  and substitute  the  state  as the  defendant.   As  a                                                               
result, individual state employees  would no longer be defendants                                                               
in an action,  and so they won't have to  be concerned that their                                                               
personal assets will be placed  in jeopardy because of litigation                                                               
that arises  out of  the scope  of their  employment.   She noted                                                               
that the Public Safety Employees  Association (PSEA) has provided                                                               
a letter of support for CSSB 338(STA).                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. VOIGTLANDER  offered her  belief that  CSSB 338(STA)  will be                                                               
good for state government because  it allows lawsuits to be filed                                                               
against  the  state  for  injuries   allegedly  caused  by  state                                                               
employees  in the  scope of  their employment,  but ensures  that                                                               
state government is  less bogged down by  the litigation process.                                                               
She used  as an example a  situation wherein a claim  filed by an                                                               
inmate  arises out  of some  action  taken by  the Department  of                                                               
Corrections  (DOC).   Typically,  the  inmate  might sue  several                                                               
state employees as well as the  DOC, and claim that the employees                                                               
were  negligent.   Under CSSB  338(STA), once  such a  lawsuit is                                                               
filed, the state can substitute  itself as the defendant in place                                                               
of  the  individually named  employees  if  the attorney  general                                                               
certifies  that  they   were  acting  in  the   course  of  their                                                               
employment.   The  individual  employees  would be  automatically                                                               
dismissed from  the lawsuit, they would  no longer be a  party in                                                               
the lawsuit, and  they could instead resume  their duties without                                                               
fear of repercussions stemming from that lawsuit.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. VOIGTLANDER  opined that  the public will  be well  served by                                                               
the  change proposed  via CSSB  338(STA) because  state employees                                                               
will  no longer  be distracted  by any  such pending  litigation.                                                               
She mentioned  that currently,  at any given  point in  time, the                                                               
DOL  is  defending in  excess  of  100  state employees  who  are                                                               
individually named in lawsuits [against  the state] stemming from                                                               
actions  they  took  in  the  course of  their  employment.    In                                                               
addition to DOC  employees, other state employees  that have been                                                               
individually   named   in    lawsuits   include   Department   of                                                               
Transportation  & Public  Facilities (DOT&PF)  employees, various                                                               
divisional  managers on  up  through  commissioners, and  retired                                                               
state employees.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0580                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  offered his belief, though,  that when state                                                               
employees are named  in such lawsuits, they are  "covered" by the                                                               
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  VOIGTLANDER acknowledged  that that  is typically  the case,                                                               
sometimes  through  the   employee's  bargaining  unit;  however,                                                               
notwithstanding this  point, currently an employee  named in such                                                               
a  lawsuit  remains  an  individually  sued  state  employee  and                                                               
retains the burden of such.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
[Following  was a  brief discussion  regarding which  version was                                                               
before the  committee, and in  which committees it and  the House                                                               
companion bill were amended.]                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  said that according  to his reading  of CSSB                                                               
338(STA), it  doesn't change the  scope of the  state's liability                                                               
to the public in a tort action.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.    VOIGTLANDER   concurred    with   Representative    Gara's                                                               
understanding.  Once  the state is substituted  as the defendant,                                                               
whatever defense  the state  has can  be pled in  the case.   She                                                               
noted that  there is a category  of cases that do  not go through                                                               
the  aforementioned  certification  process,  and  those  include                                                               
cases  involving  civil rights  claims  pursuant  to federal  law                                                               
under [42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983].                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA said he thinks  CSSB 338(STA) is a good bill.                                                               
He mentioned that he is  considering offering an amendment on the                                                               
House  floor that  would  reinstate the  right  of U.S.  military                                                               
personnel to recovery against state employees.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE, after  ascertaining that  no one  else wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on the bill.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0910                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  moved  to   report  CSSB  338(STA)  out  of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
zero fiscal  note.  There  being no objection, CSSB  338(STA) was                                                               
reported from the House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 6:55 p.m. to 6:59 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SB 179 - CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS/TEACHERS                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
[Contains adoption of  what would become known as HCR  42 for the                                                               
purpose of changing the title of SB 179.]                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0950                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE announced that the  next order of business would be                                                               
CS FOR  SENATE BILL  NO. 179(FIN), "An  Act relating  to criminal                                                               
history records and background checks;  allowing persons to teach                                                               
in the  public schools for up  to five months without  a teaching                                                               
certificate if the  person has applied for a  certificate and the                                                               
application  has  not  been  acted  upon  by  the  Department  of                                                               
Education  and Early  Development  due to  a  delay in  receiving                                                               
criminal  history  records;  allowing teacher  certification  for                                                               
certain  persons based  on a  criminal  history background  check                                                               
without fingerprints; and providing for an effective date."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE noted  that the  bill  has already  been heard  in                                                               
committee  and   was  being   held  over   for  the   purpose  of                                                               
investigating some issues that had  been raised during the bill's                                                               
last hearing.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0988                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ZACH  WARWICK, Staff  to Senator  Gene  Therriault, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  sponsor,  on  behalf   of  Senator  Therriault,  in                                                               
response  to a  comment, said  that rather  than simply  altering                                                               
statute such  that a  person who  has made  an application  for a                                                               
teaching   certificate   can   teach  five   months   without   a                                                               
certificate,  the bill  was  changed so  that  the statute  would                                                               
maintain  the  original  three-month  period and  provide  for  a                                                               
possible 60-day  extension.  This  change came at  the suggestion                                                               
of  the Department  of Education  and  Early Development  (DEED).                                                               
The way  the bill is  currently written, if  there is a  delay in                                                               
getting back the  results of a criminal  history background check                                                               
within  three   months,  the  DEED  may   consider  granting  the                                                               
aforementioned  extension.    He  mentioned  that  the  DEED  has                                                               
indicated to  him that  this extension would  only be  granted in                                                               
extreme circumstances.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. WARWICK said  that without this provision,  what is currently                                                               
happening  is  that  once the  three-month  period  has  elapsed,                                                               
either teachers are laid off  and rehired as substitute teachers,                                                               
which requires no  background check, or they  must resubmit their                                                               
application and  be granted another  three-month period  in which                                                               
to  teach  without  a  certificate.    He  acknowledged  members'                                                               
concerns expressed  at the bill's  last hearing that  perhaps the                                                               
law should be changed so that  no one may teach until the results                                                               
of  the  criminal history  background  check  are received.    He                                                               
indicated  that  [the  sponsor]   is  willing  to  research  that                                                               
possibility during the interim.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  said she is  not yet convinced that  the timeframe                                                               
in which  the results of  criminal history background  checks are                                                               
returned  has  been  shortened  to  six or  seven  weeks  as  was                                                               
testified  to at  the  bill's  last hearing.    She relayed  that                                                               
according to her understanding of  discussions she's had with the                                                               
DEED, because  of liability issues  it is very unlikely  that the                                                               
DEED would  ever grant the 60-day  extension.  In light  of this,                                                               
she said,  she doesn't see any  reason to put language  in a bill                                                               
that gives  the DEED  discretion that  won't be  utilized, adding                                                               
that she would  rather see folks work during the  interim to see,                                                               
first of  all, what the  problem is, and  second, how to  fix it.                                                               
She  remarked that  electronic fingerprint  scanners  might be  a                                                               
worthwhile investment  in the  future, but  relayed that  at this                                                               
point, she is  not comfortable including the  60-day extension in                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. WARWICK remarked that it  is not yet known whether electronic                                                               
fingerprint scanners  have approval  from the U.S.  Department of                                                               
Justice   (DOJ)  such   that  they   could  fulfill   the  DEED's                                                               
requirements.   He reiterated his  belief that Section 8  will be                                                               
of  assistance in  situations  where the  results  of a  criminal                                                               
history background  check are  delayed simply  because of  a work                                                               
backlog.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLM  indicated  that  his main  concern  is  the                                                               
safety of  the children, and thus  allowing someone to be  in the                                                               
classroom  before the  results of  a criminal  history background                                                               
check are known doesn't satisfy his concern.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. WARWICK  ventured that  Section 8  would ensure  that someone                                                               
who's results are  delayed by just a few days  wouldn't simply be                                                               
allowed in the classroom as a substitute teacher.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1354                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  made a  motion  to  adopt Amendment  1,  to                                                               
delete  the proposed  new language  in Section  8 -  the language                                                               
beginning  on page  5, line  1, through  page 5,  line 7.   There                                                               
being no objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  pondered  whether  a  title  amendment  would  be                                                               
necessary.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. WARWICK  [suggested adopting]  a House  Concurrent Resolution                                                               
(HCR) for that purpose.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1479                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MCGUIRE moved  to report CSSB 179(FIN), as  amended, out of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal notes.   There being  no objection, HCS CSSB  179(JUD) was                                                               
reported from House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1488                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS  [although no  motion  had  been made  to                                                               
adopt  the  following  as  a  work draft]  moved  to  report  the                                                               
proposed House Concurrent  Resolution (HCR), Version 23-LS1942\A,                                                               
Luckhaupt,   4/16/04,   out    of   committee   with   individual                                                               
recommendations.  There being no  objection, the House Concurrent                                                               
Resolution  [which later  became HCR  42] was  reported from  the                                                               
House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SB 217 - GENETIC PRIVACY                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1520                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE indicated that the  next order of business would be                                                               
CS  FOR SENATE  BILL NO.  217(JUD), "An  Act relating  to genetic                                                               
privacy."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1539                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DONNY OLSON, Alaska State  Legislator, sponsor, by way of                                                               
presenting SB  217, surmised that  everyone is familiar  with how                                                               
useful DNA  (deoxyribonucleic acid)  identification has  been for                                                               
law enforcement and in paternity  disputes.  He remarked, though,                                                               
that  he  is  very  concerned   about  genetic  privacy  because,                                                               
currently, state laws restrict access  to medical records but not                                                               
to genetic information;  SB 217 seeks to  curtail exploitation of                                                               
valuable  genetic information.    Although there  are no  federal                                                               
statutes regarding  genetic privacy,  15 states  require informed                                                               
consent before a third party  performs or requires a genetic test                                                               
or obtains  genetic information,  and 23 states  require informed                                                               
consent before  disclosing genetic  information.   In conclusion,                                                               
he   said  that   SB  217   gives   consideration  to   advancing                                                               
biotechnology  in DNA  analysis  while also  giving Alaskans  the                                                               
right to keep their genetic information private.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS asked  Senator Olson  whether there  were                                                               
any possible  exceptions that he  considered but did  not include                                                               
in the bill.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  indicated that there weren't,  and highlighted the                                                               
exceptions currently  listed in the bill.   He noted that  SB 217                                                               
requires   informed   consent   before   someone   can   collect,                                                               
distribute, or use a person's genetic information.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG asked  whether  SB 217  prevents  the use  of                                                               
samples collected from public places such as bathrooms.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON reiterated  that under the bill, unless  one of the                                                               
listed exceptions  applies, informed  consent is  required before                                                               
someone  can  collect,  distribute,  or use  a  person's  genetic                                                               
information.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1862                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA asked  under what  circumstances, currently,                                                               
might someone unknowingly have his/her DNA taken.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON ventured that such  might occur when a person gives                                                               
a blood sample or a semen sample.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  said he would  not want  someone to go  to a                                                               
private medical clinic, for example,  sign several large, complex                                                               
release forms without  knowing that one of the  forms includes an                                                               
informed  consent  release  pertaining  to  the  use  of  genetic                                                               
information.   He  suggested  that  perhaps future  consideration                                                               
might  be given  to requiring  that an  informed consent  release                                                               
regarding  genetic  information be  provided  for  in a  separate                                                               
document.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  said he  has given  that issue  consideration, and                                                               
noted that  page 2,  line 14,  states:  "A  person may  revoke or                                                               
amend their informed and written consent at any time".                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 7:20 p.m. to 7:21 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG  complimented Senator Olson on  a well-crafted                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA concurred.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  indicated that SB 217  would be held over  for the                                                               
purpose  of considering  a proposed  amendment  submitted by  the                                                               
insurance industry.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SB 284 - VOTER AND PERM FUND APP RECORDS PRIVATE                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 2021                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  announced that the  final order of  business would                                                               
be  CS  FOR   SENATE  BILL  NO.  284(FIN)  am,   "An  Act  making                                                               
information on a permanent fund  dividend application, other than                                                               
the applicant's  name, confidential,  and relating  to disclosure                                                               
of that  confidential information;  and relating  to confidential                                                               
information in voter registration records."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2048                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GRETCHEN  GUESS,   Alaska  State  Legislature,  sponsor,                                                               
indicated that SB 284 ensures  that permanent fund dividend (PFD)                                                               
application information, except for  an applicant's name, is kept                                                               
private with certain exceptions:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     (1)  to a local, state, or federal government agency;                                                                      
     (2)  in compliance with a court order;                                                                                     
         (3)  to the individual or agency who files an                                                                          
     application on behalf of another;                                                                                          
       (4)  to a banking institution to verify the direct                                                                       
       deposit of a permanent fund dividend or correct an                                                                       
     error in that deposit; and                                                                                                 
     (5)  as directed to do so by the applicant                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS relayed that through  the committee process, SB 284                                                               
was changed such that the current  version also makes much of the                                                               
information   on   voter   registration   records   confidential,                                                               
information such as:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     (1)  the voter's age or date of birth;                                                                                     
      (2)  the voter's social security number, or any part                                                                      
     of that number;                                                                                                            
     (3)  the voter's driver's license number;                                                                                  
     (4)  the voter's voter identification number;                                                                              
     (5)  the voter's place of birth;                                                                                           
     (6)  the voter's signature                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 7:25 p.m. to 7:26 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS pointed  out that  the current  version of  SB 284                                                               
also allows a person to  request that his/her residential address                                                               
be  kept  confidential if  he/she  provides  a different  mailing                                                               
address.    The  latter  will  accommodate  victims  of  domestic                                                               
violence   who   wish   to   keep   their   residential   address                                                               
confidential.   She noted, however,  that the bill  also contains                                                               
exceptions  wherein confidential  voter registration  information                                                               
may be disclosed, such as in situations involving elections.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS offered her belief that  when people fill out a PFD                                                               
application, they do not realize  that their name and address may                                                               
be  disclosed to  the public.   Although  there are  instances in                                                               
which such  information should be  disclosed, it would  be better                                                               
public  policy,  she  opined,   if  this  information  were  kept                                                               
confidential  with  only few  exceptions.    She noted  that  the                                                               
provisions pertaining  to PFD application information  will apply                                                               
to applications for  the 2005 PFD.  She mentioned  that she would                                                               
be willing  to work during the  interim with the people  who have                                                               
concerns  with the  bill, so  long as  its intent  is maintained,                                                               
that  intent  being that  this  information  shouldn't be  public                                                               
except  that  access  to  it  may be  part  of  the  governmental                                                               
process.  She  indicated that she doesn't have  any problems with                                                               
a proposed amendment that members have before them.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 2194                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SAMUELS  directed   attention   to  Section   1,                                                               
subsection  (b), and  asked whether  it  could generate  problems                                                               
such as allowing  people to vote in one district  though they are                                                               
registered in another.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS said  she  did  not think  so  because although  a                                                               
person has the option of  keeping residential address information                                                               
from the public,  it is still required on  the voter registration                                                               
form.   The  Division of  Elections is  still going  to have  the                                                               
residential  addresses  of voters,  and  it  will still  have  to                                                               
verify where voters live.   She mentioned, however, that the bill                                                               
might impact  the information  a candidate  gets about  voters in                                                               
his/her district.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA mentioned  that he'd  provided members  with                                                               
information from  the Division of  Elections which  confirms that                                                               
there is a  difference between a voter  identification number and                                                               
a voter ascension number, which  many candidates use to correlate                                                               
voting  lists  and  which  is  not  used  to  identify  a  voter.                                                               
Currently and under the bill,  the voter identification number is                                                               
and  will  be  kept  confidential,  but it  may  be  helpful,  he                                                               
suggested,  to clarify  that a  voter's ascension  number may  be                                                               
released to the  public.  He indicated that he  would be offering                                                               
an amendment to that effect.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-80, SIDE B                                                                                                            
Number 2354                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS confirmed  that the  ascension number  is randomly                                                               
generated and is not a unique identifier.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  directed attention to page  2, line 10,                                                               
which says,  "(3) the subject of  a recall election if  the voter                                                               
voted in the recall election".                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS  indicated that this  language addresses  a concern                                                               
raised on the Senate floor.   Currently, it is a requirement that                                                               
a person voting in a recall  election must reside in the district                                                               
that is holding the recall  election; the aforementioned language                                                               
enables the subject of a recall  election to check on whether the                                                               
voters who voted  in the recall election actually  resided in the                                                               
district.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS,   in  response   to  a  question   regarding  PFD                                                               
applications,  said that  under  the bill,  the only  information                                                               
that the  public will still have  access to will be  the names of                                                               
those who submit  PFD applications.  One reason for  this is that                                                               
a PFD  payment is an  expenditure, and  there should be  a public                                                               
accounting of expenditures.   Another reason is to  assist in the                                                               
prevention  of  fraud.   In  response  to another  question,  she                                                               
reiterated  that local,  state,  or  federal government  agencies                                                               
would  still have  access to  the confidential  information on  a                                                               
person's PFD  application, and that that  information could still                                                               
be released in compliance with a court order.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG,  returning  to  the  issue  of  recall                                                               
elections,  offered his  belief  that current  statute says  that                                                               
where a voter  should vote is conclusively  determined by his/her                                                               
voter  registration card.   In  other words,  if a  person moves,                                                               
he/she  is still  considered a  member  of the  district that  is                                                               
listed on his/her voter registration  card until he/she submits a                                                               
change  to  the division  of  elections.    Because of  this,  he                                                               
opined,  the  language  on  page  2,  line  10,  isn't  relevant.                                                               
Additionally, he questioned why the  subject of a recall election                                                               
should  be treated  differently  than the  subject  of a  regular                                                               
election;  in other  words, shouldn't  any candidate  be able  to                                                               
verify that only  voters registered in his/her  district voted at                                                               
an election.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS   opined,  however,  that  recall   elections  are                                                               
different than  regular elections, since they  come about because                                                               
the  people of  a district  sign a  petition that  says a  person                                                               
holding office  should be recalled;  therefore, it  is reasonable                                                               
to  allow the  subject of  a recall  election to  have access  to                                                               
residential address information.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG remarked  that perhaps  the stipulation                                                               
should be  that the person signing  such a petition must  live in                                                               
the district.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS mentioned  that the language currently  in the bill                                                               
pertaining to this issue is what the drafter recommended.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2048                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LORI DAVEY,  President, Motznik Information Services,  Inc., said                                                               
she would be testifying in opposition to  SB 284.  She went on to                                                               
say that  although she  can sympathize  with victims  of domestic                                                               
violence  who want  to keep  their addresses  confidential, there                                                               
are  a lot  of legitimate  businesses  that utilize  the PFD  and                                                               
voter registration files to verify  a person's last know address,                                                               
for  example,  for  use  in   process  serving,  and  to  provide                                                               
notification  of  property   foreclosures.    Additionally,  many                                                               
private  and  governmental  organizations  that  utilize  address                                                               
information get it  from private databases such  as that compiled                                                               
by Motznik Information  Services.  As currently  worded, the bill                                                               
precludes  companies such  as Motznik  Information Services  from                                                               
obtaining   address   information   from  the   PFD   and   voter                                                               
registration  files,  and  so  her company  would  be  unable  to                                                               
fulfill  its current  contractual  obligations,  for example,  to                                                               
attorneys, process servers, and title companies.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. DAVEY,  with regard to  voter ascension numbers,  offered her                                                               
belief that such numbers are  unique identifiers that stay with a                                                               
person,  and asked  that the  public still  be allowed  to access                                                               
ascension numbers.  She suggested that  more could be done to the                                                               
bill  to satisfy  everyone's concerns,  and recommended  that the                                                               
legislature  wait  until  next session  before  adopting  such  a                                                               
measure.   She said  that several of  her customers  were shocked                                                               
that this legislation exists, and  suggested that there should be                                                               
time to do a full impact study and  come up with fair way for the                                                               
people that legitimately use these  files to still have access to                                                               
them, while  still protecting  peoples' privacy.   Characterizing                                                               
the goals  of SB 284 as  noble, she said she  agrees that address                                                               
information from  PFD applications  should not be  something that                                                               
can simply be  downloaded from the division's  web site; however,                                                               
she remarked, "I would encourage you  to oppose this bill at this                                                               
point, and  give us  a chance  to work  it out  and come  up with                                                               
language  that's more  favorable and  fair for  everybody."   She                                                               
thanked the committee for the opportunity to testify.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1892                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  directed  attention   to  what  became  known  as                                                               
Amendment 1, labeled 23-LS1596\VA.1, Kurtz, 5/6/04, which read:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 1:                                                                                                            
          Delete "and"                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 2:                                                                                                            
          Delete "."                                                                                                            
          Insert "; and"                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, following line 2:                                                                                                  
          Insert a new paragraph to read:                                                                                       
               "(6)  to a contractor who has a contract                                                                         
     with a person entitled  to obtain the information under                                                                    
     (1) - (5) of this  section to receive, store, or manage                                                                    
     the information  on that person's behalf;  a contractor                                                                    
     receiving data  under this paragraph  may only  use the                                                                    
     data as directed by and  for the purposes of the person                                                                    
     entitled to obtain the information."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE   indicated  that  [Amendment  1]   would  add  an                                                               
exception to the  list of those that could still  access and make                                                               
use of confidential PFD application information.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  DAVEY  offered  her  belief,   however,  that  [adoption  of                                                               
Amendment 1] would  require that her company  maintain a separate                                                               
database for  local, state, and federal  government agencies, but                                                               
doing so  would not be  feasible or cost  effective; furthermore,                                                               
banks,  attorneys,  title  companies, and  process  servers,  for                                                               
example,  would not  have  access to  information  that they  can                                                               
currently get from her company.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  acknowledged that  a  few  extra steps  might  be                                                               
necessary.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. DAVEY  noted that  title companies  are required  by [federal                                                               
law] to  use a  person's last known  address when  foreclosing on                                                               
property;  as currently  written,  SB 284  will  take away  their                                                               
access to  what might  possibly be  the most  recent information.                                                               
She  also offered  her  belief that  birth,  death, and  marriage                                                               
statistics can be gleaned from the PFD application information.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS indicated that [Amendment  1] clarifies her intent,                                                               
and  reiterated that  she would  be  willing to  work during  the                                                               
interim  to  address the  concerns  of  interested parties.    It                                                               
becomes a policy call, she  remarked, one that will determine who                                                               
the government  can share information with  when that information                                                               
has been  given to it  by its  citizens.  Acknowledging  that the                                                               
PFD information  database is  by far  one of  the best,  she said                                                               
that she is  concerned with keeping victims  of domestic violence                                                               
safe, and so it could be  that some entities might no longer have                                                               
access to this information via that database.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE asked  Senator  Guess whether  she  would have  an                                                               
objection to  changing the effective  date to either  February 1,                                                               
2005,  or  March  1,  2005.   Such  a  change  would  enable  the                                                               
legislature to address any problems that arise.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS said  she  wouldn't  have a  problem  with such  a                                                               
change, and noted  that Section 1 pertains  to voter registration                                                               
information and  that Section 2  pertains to the  PFD application                                                               
information, which would entail  information provided on the 2005                                                               
PFD application.   She opined  that any potential  problems could                                                               
be   fixed  by   the  next   legislature  before   any  requested                                                               
information is made available.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1677                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS made  a motion to adopt  Amendment 1 [text                                                               
provided previously].  There being  no objection, Amendment 1 was                                                               
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS, in response to  a question, indicated that she has                                                               
no  problem with  adding  language that  clarifies  that a  voter                                                               
ascension number [may be released].                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1621                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  made  a  motion to  adopt  Amendment  2,  a                                                               
handwritten  amendment, which,  with corrections,  read [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Insert at p. 2 line 23                                                                                                     
          "(d)  Nothing in this section shall prohibit the                                                                      
     release of  a voter's voter ascension  number, provided                                                                    
     that information may be  released under other provision                                                                    
     of law."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1614                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  asked  whether   there  were  any  objections  to                                                               
Amendment 2.  There being none, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ANDERSON, after declaring  a potential conflict in                                                               
that  he has  used Motznik  Information Services,  Inc., said  he                                                               
agrees with  the concept  of trying to  keep victims  of domestic                                                               
violence safe, and that he supports SB 284.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA and CHAIR McGUIRE  suggested that all members                                                               
might have the same potential conflict.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1579                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  moved  to   report  CSSB  284(FIN)  am,  as                                                               
amended,  out of  committee with  individual recommendations  and                                                               
the accompanying  fiscal notes.   There  being no  objection, HCS                                                               
CSSB  284(JUD) was  reported from  the  House Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1550                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
The House  Judiciary Standing Committee  meeting was  recessed at                                                               
7:55 p.m., to  be continued at 9:00  a.m. on May 8,  2004.  [This                                                               
meeting  did  not  reconvene  before  the  next  scheduled  House                                                               
Judiciary Standing Committee meeting.]                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects