Legislature(2005 - 2006)

05/09/2005 01:22 PM JUD


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Recessed to a Call of the Chair --
+= SB 132 HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= SB 137 EVICTING INSTITUTIONAL PROPERTY USERS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS SB 137(L&C) Out of Committee
+ SB 172 INITIATIVE/REFERENDUM BALLOT SUMMARY TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
+ SJR 15 BAN LAWSUITS AGAINST FIREARMS INDUSTRY TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
+= SB 20 OFFENSES AGAINST UNBORN CHILDREN TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                          May 9, 2005                                                                                           
                           1:22 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Lesil McGuire, Chair                                                                                             
Representative Tom Anderson                                                                                                     
Representative John Coghill                                                                                                     
Representative Nancy Dahlstrom                                                                                                  
Representative Pete Kott                                                                                                        
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 132(efd fld)                                                                                                    
"An  Act  relating  to  complaints  filed  with,  investigations,                                                               
hearings, and orders  of, and the interest rate on  awards of the                                                               
State  Commission   for  Human  Rights;  and   making  conforming                                                               
amendments."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 137                                                                                                             
"An Act  providing that  an institution  providing accommodations                                                               
exempt from  the provisions of  the Uniform  Residential Landlord                                                               
and  Tenant Act  may  evict tenants  without  resorting to  court                                                               
proceedings under AS 09.45.060 - 09.45.160."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HCS SB 137(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 172                                                                                                             
"An  Act   relating  to  the  presentation   of  initiatives  and                                                               
referenda on the ballot."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     - BILL HEARING CANCELED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 15                                                                                                  
Requesting the  United States Congress  to end the abuse  of tort                                                               
laws against the firearms industry.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - BILL HEARING CANCELED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 20(JUD)                                                                                                  
"An Act relating to offenses against unborn children."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - BILL HEARING CANCELED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 132                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION                                                                                            
SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
03/04/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/04/05       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
03/17/05       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/17/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/17/05       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/29/05       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
03/29/05       (S)       Moved SB 132 Out of Committee                                                                          
03/29/05       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/30/05       (S)       STA RPT  3NR 1AM                                                                                       
03/30/05       (S)       NR: THERRIAULT, WAGONER, HUGGINS                                                                       
03/30/05       (S)       AM: DAVIS                                                                                              
04/07/05       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/07/05       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
04/08/05       (H)       JUD AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
04/08/05       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
04/14/05       (S)       JUD AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/14/05       (S)       Moved SB 132 Out of Committee                                                                          
04/14/05       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/14/05       (S)       JUD RPT  1DP 2NR 2AM                                                                                   
04/14/05       (S)       DP: SEEKINS                                                                                            
04/14/05       (S)       NR: THERRIAULT, HUGGINS                                                                                
04/14/05       (S)       AM: FRENCH, GUESS                                                                                      
04/21/05       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
04/21/05       (S)       VERSION: SB 132(EFD FLD)                                                                               
04/22/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/22/05       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
05/03/05       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
05/03/05       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
05/03/05       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
05/05/05       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
05/05/05       (H)       Moved HCS SB 132(STA) Out of Committee                                                                 
05/05/05       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
05/05/05       (H)       STA RPT HCS(STA) 4DP 1AM                                                                               
05/05/05       (H)       DP: LYNN, GATTO, ELKINS, SEATON;                                                                       
05/05/05       (H)       AM: GRUENBERG                                                                                          
05/05/05       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
05/05/05       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
05/06/05       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
05/06/05       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
05/06/05       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
05/07/05       (H)       RULES TO CALENDAR PENDING REPORT                                                                       
05/07/05       (H)       IN JUDICIARY                                                                                           
05/08/05       (H)       RULES TO CALENDAR PENDING REPORT                                                                       
05/08/05       (H)       IN JUDICIARY                                                                                           
05/09/05       (H)       JUD AT 0:00 AM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 137                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: EVICTING INSTITUTIONAL PROPERTY USERS                                                                              
SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) SEEKINS                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
03/08/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/08/05       (S)       L&C, JUD                                                                                               
03/22/05       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
03/22/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/22/05       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/24/05       (S)       L&C AT 2:00 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
03/24/05       (S)       Moved  SB 137 Out of Committee                                                                         
03/24/05       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/29/05       (S)       L&C RPT  3DP                                                                                           
03/29/05       (S)       DP: BUNDE, DAVIS, STEVENS B                                                                            
04/05/05       (S)       JUD RPT 3DP 1NR                                                                                        
04/05/05       (S)       DP: SEEKINS, THERRIAULT, HUGGINS                                                                       
04/05/05       (S)       NR: GUESS                                                                                              
04/05/05       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/05/05       (S)       Moved SB 137 Out of Committee                                                                          
04/05/05       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/12/05       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
04/12/05       (S)       VERSION: SB 137                                                                                        
04/13/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/13/05       (H)       L&C, JUD                                                                                               
04/22/05       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
04/22/05       (H)       <Bill Hearing Postponed to 4/25>                                                                       
04/25/05       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
04/25/05       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/25/05       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
04/29/05       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
04/29/05       (H)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
04/30/05       (H)       L&C AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
04/30/05       (H)       Moved HCS SB 137(L&C) Out of Committee                                                                 
04/30/05       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
05/02/05       (H)       L&C RPT HCS(L&C) NT 3DP 4NR                                                                            
05/02/05       (H)       DP: LYNN, KOTT, ROKEBERG;                                                                              
05/02/05       (H)       NR:   CRAWFORD,    LEDOUX,   GUTTENBERG,                                                               
                         ANDERSON                                                                                               
05/05/05       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
05/05/05       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
05/07/05       (H)       RULES TO CALENDAR PENDING REPORT                                                                       
05/07/05       (H)       IN JUDICIARY                                                                                           
05/07/05       (H)       JUD AT 3:30 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
05/07/05       (H)       -- Meeting Postponed --                                                                                
05/08/05       (H)       RULES TO CALENDAR PENDING REPORT                                                                       
05/08/05       (H)       IN JUDICIARY                                                                                           
05/08/05       (H)       JUD AT 12:00 AM CAPITOL 120                                                                            
05/08/05       (H)       -- Meeting Postponed --                                                                                
05/09/05       (H)       JUD AT 0:00 AM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT J, NORDSTRAND, Deputy Attorney General                                                                                    
Civil Division                                                                                                                  
Office of the Attorney General                                                                                                  
Department of Law (DOL)                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  During discussion of SB 132, provided                                                                      
comments and responded to questions on behalf of the                                                                            
administration.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
GRACE MERKES, Commissioner                                                                                                      
State Commission for Human Rights                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided a comment during discussion of                                                                    
SB 132.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
KELLY FISHER, Human Rights Advocate                                                                                             
State Commission for Human Rights                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided a comment during discussion of                                                                    
SB 132.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
JOE MICHEL, Staff                                                                                                               
to Senator Ralph Seekins                                                                                                        
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented SB 137 on behalf of the sponsor,                                                                 
Senator Seekins.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG                                                                                                  
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  As a member  of the House Labor and Commerce                                                               
Standing  Committee,   provided  comments  and  responded   to  a                                                               
question during discussion of SB 137.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LESIL   McGUIRE  called   the  House   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee  meeting  to  order at  1:22:24  PM.    Representatives                                                             
McGuire,  Anderson,  Coghill,  Kott,  Dahlstrom,  and  Gara  were                                                               
present at the  call to order.   Representative Gruenberg arrived                                                               
as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SB 132 - HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:22:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  announced that the  first order of  business would                                                               
be SENATE BILL  NO. 132(efd fld), "An Act  relating to complaints                                                               
filed  with, investigations,  hearings,  and orders  of, and  the                                                               
interest  rate  on  awards  of the  State  Commission  for  Human                                                               
Rights; and making  conforming amendments."  [Stated  as HB 132.]                                                               
[Before the committee was HCS  SB 132(STA), as amended on 5/6/05,                                                               
and a pending motion to adopt Amendment 3.]                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA again  made the motion to  adopt Amendment 3,                                                               
to change "180" days to "one year" on  page 2, lines 7 and 9.  He                                                               
offered  his understanding  that it  is the  state's position  to                                                               
have the  shortest statute  of limitations  possible and  have it                                                               
match federal law.   He opined that Alaska's law  doesn't have to                                                               
match federal  law, and  that a  one-year statute  of limitations                                                               
make sense.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ANDERSON objected, adding  that he thinks the 180-                                                               
day  timeframe is  a sufficient  period of  time during  which to                                                               
seek  help [from  the Alaska  State Commission  for Human  Rights                                                               
("commission")].                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA,  in response  to a question,  explained that                                                               
the U.S.  Equal Employment  Opportunity Commission  (EEOC) allows                                                               
their 190-day filing  deadline to be extended to 300  days if the                                                               
charge is also covered  by a state or local law.   He opined that                                                               
[the  legislature]  shouldn't  want   to  force  people  to  file                                                               
lawsuits or claims if they  are trying to find remedy informally,                                                               
and  requiring  someone  to  file  a claim  within  180  days  is                                                               
essentially doing just that, forcing  people to be "sue happy" or                                                               
face losing  their rights.   He remarked  that one year  is still                                                               
only half of the time given most other victims of injury.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ANDERSON noted,  however,  that the  filing of  a                                                               
lawsuit does not guarantee its accuracy.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
A  roll call  vote  was taken.    Representatives McGuire,  Kott,                                                               
Dahlstrom,   and   Gara   voted   in  favor   of   Amendment   3.                                                               
Representatives   Anderson   and   Coghill  voted   against   it.                                                               
Therefore, Amendment 3 was adopted by a vote of 4-2.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:26:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  made a  motion to  adopt Amendment  4, which                                                               
read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, lines 15-19                                                                                                        
          Delete all material                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA said  he has  a concern  about the  language                                                               
Amendment 4 proposes to delete, that language being:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     (e)  At  any time after the issuance  of an accusation,                                                                    
     the  executive director  or the  person charged  in the                                                                    
     accusation may  petition for a summary  decision on the                                                                    
     accusation.   The commission shall grant  a petition if                                                                    
     the  record shows  that there  is no  genuine issue  of                                                                    
     material  fact and  the petitioner  is  entitled to  an                                                                    
     order under AS 18.80.130 as a matter of law.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA indicated  that his  concern stems  from the                                                               
fact that sometimes  early on in a case there  hasn't been enough                                                               
time to  perform an investigation  or gather evidence, and  so an                                                               
employer  could  move  to  dismiss  the  case  before  sufficient                                                               
material facts  have been  gathered.  He  then indicated  that he                                                               
wished to reword Amendment 4.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA withdrew Amendment 4.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA made  a  motion to  adopt  a new  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 4,  to insert after  "accusation," on page 4,  line 15,                                                               
the words, "and a fair time for investigation,".                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  asked Representative  Gara  whether  he would  be                                                               
amenable to an amendment to  this new Conceptual Amendment 4 such                                                               
that it would say in part, "a reasonable time".                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  indicated  that  he was  amenable  to  that                                                               
amendment.   [New  Conceptual  Amendment 4  was  then treated  as                                                               
having been amended.]                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ANDERSON  objected to  the  motion  to adopt  new                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 4,  as amended.  He asked  Mr. Nordstrand to                                                               
comment.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT  J, NORDSTRAND,  Deputy Attorney  General, Civil  Division,                                                               
Office of the  Attorney General, Department of Law  (DOL), on the                                                               
issue of new Conceptual Amendment 4, remarked:                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     It's  important  to  understand that  at  the  time  an                                                                    
     accusation  is issued,  the investigation,  which is  a                                                                    
     term of  art under  the statute, has  already occurred.                                                                    
     So ...  just by  operation of the  events, ...  we have                                                                    
     complaint  filed, investigation  conducted, substantial                                                                    
     evidence  finding, accusation  issued. ...  I think  we                                                                    
     can  assume   that  the  [commission]  will   use  good                                                                    
     judgment  in  how  it allows  summary  judgment  to  be                                                                    
     practiced.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     This would  be like trying  to codify, say, Rule  56 of                                                                    
     the [Alaska Rules of Civil  Procedure], where you'd say                                                                    
     you  could  have an  extension  of  time, for  example,                                                                    
     under Rule  56(f), to conduct discover  before you have                                                                    
     to face  summary judgment.   I don't really  think it's                                                                    
     necessary,  in the  statute,  to  codify that  specific                                                                    
     process  -  they  have broad  regulatory  authority  to                                                                    
     determine  how they  do summary  judgment.   All  we're                                                                    
     trying to [do] here is  to encourage a summary judgment                                                                    
     process.  And we could re-codify  ... all of Rule 56 in                                                                    
     here if  we wanted  to, to make  it clear  what summary                                                                    
     judgment  means,  but we  weren't  trying  to get  that                                                                    
     specific.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ANDERSON   said  he  would  be   maintaining  his                                                               
objection based on that explanation.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:30:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA observed that  new Conceptual Amendment 4, as                                                               
amended, would insert  the words he wished to add  into the wrong                                                               
part of the bill.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA then withdrew  new Conceptual Amendment 4, as                                                               
amended.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA made  a  motion to  adopt  Amendment 4a,  to                                                               
insert after "shows"  on page 4, line 17, the  words ", and after                                                               
a reasonable time for investigation,".                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   ANDERSON  objected,   characterizing  the   term                                                               
"reasonable time" as ambiguous.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE asked what the standard  is under Rule 56(f) of the                                                               
Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NORDSTRAND offered  his  understanding  that basically  Rule                                                               
56(f)  says that  in order  to respond  to a  motion for  summary                                                               
judgment, an  extension of time  to conduct discover will  not be                                                               
unreasonably withheld by the court.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA, characterizing  that as  a very  good rule,                                                               
offered  his  belief   that  it  won't  apply   in  human  rights                                                               
commission proceedings.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE acknowledged that point,  but mentioned that she is                                                               
looking to  make the  language in  the bill  easily recognizable,                                                               
and therefore it  doesn't appear that placing  similar wording in                                                               
statute would work.  She  surmised that Representative Anderson's                                                               
point is:   What would constitute a reasonable amount  of time to                                                               
conduct an investigation and how  would the question of whether a                                                               
reasonable amount of time had elapsed be determined?                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:32:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  asked what  the  current  process is  in                                                               
determining whether  there is a  genuine issue of  material fact.                                                               
He  surmised that  imbedded in  that process  might already  be a                                                               
timeframe that could be considered a reasonable amount of time.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  noted  that  the  [timeframe]  standard  used  in                                                               
summary judgment  with regard to  genuine issue of  material fact                                                               
is already in  place, though there are exceptions.   Once summary                                                               
judgment   is   granted,   she   remarked,   one's   rights   are                                                               
extinguished.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:33:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL surmised,  then,  that in  arriving at  a                                                               
determination, there  must be a  reasonable investigation  of the                                                               
matter.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDSTRAND,  pointing out that the  processes being discussed                                                               
are already  provided for under  the commission's  current rules,                                                               
said  he doesn't  know how  one could  reach a  genuine issue  of                                                               
material  fact   determination  without  first   having  obtained                                                               
affidavits and/or  sworn testimony or having  done some discovery                                                               
"in the form of admissible evidence."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE   surmised  that  Representative   Gara's  concern                                                               
centers around the  fact that a plain reading of  the language in                                                               
the  bill  says  that  at  any time  after  the  issuance  of  an                                                               
accusation,  the   executive  director,  which  is   a  political                                                               
position, or  the person charged  in the accusation  can petition                                                               
for summary  judgment.  The  committee, therefore,  is attempting                                                               
to ensure that summary judgment is the proper path to take.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:35:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NORDSTRAND explained  that the  language Chair  McGuire just                                                               
referred to  is also  used in the  aforementioned Alaska  Rule of                                                               
Civil Procedure, and  so the question then becomes one  of:  When                                                               
is summary  judgment available?   He offered his belief  that the                                                               
second  sentence in  proposed AS  18.80.120(c)  is the  operative                                                               
phrase  and  is the  one  that  appears  to  cause concern.    He                                                               
reiterated that  although the same language  currently being used                                                               
in Rule  56(F) could be added  to the bill, the  committee should                                                               
recognize   that    the   commission's    regulatory   procedures                                                               
incorporated references  to the  Alaska Civil Rules  of Procedure                                                               
as a  means of setting  up its  system.  He  surmised, therefore,                                                               
that the committee could incorporate  the procedure under Rule 56                                                               
into the bill and that doing so would be fine.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  expressed  agreement with  the  concept  of                                                               
doing so.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:36:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GRACE MERKES,  Commissioner, State  Commission for  Human Rights,                                                               
relayed  that she  is  unfamiliar with  the  legal aspects  being                                                               
discussed and  so she would  have to agree with  Mr. Nordstrand's                                                               
comments.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
KELLY FISHER,  Human Rights Advocate, State  Commission for Human                                                               
Rights, relayed  simply that the  hearing unit of  the commission                                                               
essentially  follows  the  civil  rules as  it  advances  through                                                               
discovery and prepares to go to an administrative hearing.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  noted that one  of her concerns  is that a  lot of                                                               
the  people currently  on the  commission  are brand  new to  the                                                               
commission  and its  procedures  and  yet they  are  acting in  a                                                               
[quasi-judicial]  capacity.   Chair  McGuire  mentioned that  Ms.                                                               
Merkes's  comment merely  confirms her  worst fears,  adding that                                                               
she wants to  know that the commissioners aren't  going to merely                                                               
follow  the lead  of [an  executive branch  employee], that  they                                                               
instead  understand the  process  they must  follow  and that  it                                                               
remains a fair process.   Therefore, she opined, "the more that's                                                               
in here, the better."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:38:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  suggested  that   if  there  is  a  current                                                               
commission  rule  that says  a  summary  judgment will  never  be                                                               
issued until  there's been  ample time  to investigate  and prove                                                               
the case,  then that addresses his  concern.  However, if  such a                                                               
rule doesn't already exist [at  the regulatory level], he said he                                                               
doesn't  know where  in  statute there  is  language [which  will                                                               
address  his  concern], and  opined  that  the [bill]  should  be                                                               
clarified by the  addition of language that  allows the aggrieved                                                               
person  to bring  forth more  information about  the case  before                                                               
summary judgment is issued.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDSTRAND  offered his belief that  under the aforementioned                                                               
proposed  subsection, the  executive director  of the  commission                                                               
would be moving  for summary judgment on behalf  of the aggrieved                                                               
person.  He  pointed out that under Rule 56(f),  if someone moves                                                               
for summary  judgment against another  person, that  other person                                                               
can ask  the court for the  time to do discovery.   Therefore, he                                                               
opined, there  is no  reason for an  administrative law  judge to                                                               
not allow  a reasonable  time upon request  - allowing  more time                                                               
would instead be an obvious course  of action.  If [the committee                                                               
still  feels,  however, that]  language  needs  to be  added,  he                                                               
suggested, then there  is various language in Rule  56 that could                                                               
be used.   He pointed out,  though, that the burden  of obtaining                                                               
an  extension is  on the  party seeking  the extension,  and that                                                               
there are deadlines  regarding how much time one has  in order to                                                               
respond  to  a  motion  for  summary  judgment;  the  latter,  he                                                               
remarked, could also be included in the bill.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:41:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA remarked  that although  SB 132  proposes to                                                               
rewrite  the whole  statutory hearing  process, it  still doesn't                                                               
specifically  include   wording  which   would  ensure   that  an                                                               
aggrieved person  has a  reasonable amount of  time to  address a                                                               
petition for summary judgment, and since  Rule 56 is a court rule                                                               
and thus won't apply to  the statute, Mr. Nordstrand's continuing                                                               
references  to that  Rule  do  not alleviate  his  concerns.   He                                                               
indicated that he would be  amenable to inserting the language of                                                               
Rule 56 into the bill.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ANDERSON offered his  belief that the inclusion of                                                               
such  wording would  allow everyone  to claim  that they  weren't                                                               
given "reasonable" time.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:43:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NORDSTRAND,  in  response  to  a  question,  reiterated  his                                                               
understanding of  the process that the  commission and commission                                                               
staff undertake when  a complaint is filed.  He  noted that under                                                               
the bill,  if the investigation  portion of the  process uncovers                                                               
substantial evidence,  then the executive director's  staff would                                                               
prepare  an "accusation,"  which  could be  likened  to a  formal                                                               
complaint.  Currently  the commission operates under  a rule that                                                               
allows   motions,  but   not   motions   for  summary   judgment.                                                               
Furthermore,  the   commission's  motion  practice  now   is  not                                                               
governed by statute; rather, it  is governed by regulations.  The                                                               
DOL simply  believes that  because of the  finding in  the Alaska                                                               
Supreme  Court case,  Department of  Fish &  Game v.  Meyer, that                                                             
substantial evidence  requires a hearing, that  the statute needs                                                               
to  specify  that  the  commission can  go  to  summary  judgment                                                               
without first going to a hearing.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:44:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ANDERSON asked  what difference  the adoption  of                                                               
Amendment 4a will make.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NORDSTRAND  said it  wouldn't  make  any difference  in  the                                                               
process, since  it will  still be  up to  the hearing  officer to                                                               
determine whether it  is reasonable to grant  summary judgment at                                                               
a particular time.   He suggested, however, that  in Amendment 4a                                                               
it might be more appropriate  to use the word "discovery" instead                                                               
of  "investigation", because  the  investigation  portion of  the                                                               
process  happens prior  to the  accusation.   He  added:   "We're                                                               
certainly  not   against  there  being  a   reasonable  time  for                                                               
discovery.   The  question  is  whether it  ought  to  be in  the                                                               
statute or in the rules that  they already have, and they do have                                                               
rules on motions ... in their own regulations."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:45:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  indicated  that  he would  be  amenable  to                                                               
allowing the  commission to come  up with  its own rules  on this                                                               
issue; therefore,  perhaps the legislation could  be changed such                                                               
that it  said something  along the lines  of "after  a reasonable                                                               
amount of time  as provided by rules adopted  by the commission".                                                               
He relayed  that he merely  doesn't want the current  language to                                                               
be used as an excuse to not have rules "like that."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  asked Mr.  Nordstrand to  comment on  two possible                                                               
changes:    "in  a  reasonable   time  for  discover"  or  "in  a                                                               
reasonable time for discovery as  provided under rules adopted by                                                               
the [commission]".                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:46:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NORDSTRAND suggested  that  perhaps  the word  "opportunity"                                                               
would  be  more  appropriate  that the  word  "time";  therefore,                                                               
perhaps the  language could be  changed to say "and  a reasonable                                                               
opportunity  for  discovery  pursuant  to rules  adopted  by  the                                                               
commission".                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA withdrew Amendment 4a.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA made  a  motion to  adopt  Amendment 4b,  to                                                               
insert after "shows" on  page 4, line 17, the words:   ", after a                                                               
reasonable opportunity for discover  pursuant to rules adopted by                                                               
the commission,".                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  objected for  the purpose  of discussion.                                                               
He  asked  whether the  legislature  ought  to mandate  that  the                                                               
commission  come   up  with  a  rule   stating  what  constitutes                                                               
"reasonable opportunity".   He indicated his  preference that the                                                               
language  being  inserted  simply   say  ",  after  a  reasonable                                                               
opportunity  [for  discovery],"  opining  that  such  would  give                                                               
sufficient latitude.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:48:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NORDSTRAND  explained  that within  the  commission's  broad                                                               
powers  to establish  regulations to  implement legislation  lies                                                               
the power to adopt rules even if the bill doesn't specify such.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL recognized  that point,  but offered  his                                                               
belief that  if Amendment 4b remains  as is and is  adopted, then                                                               
the  commission would  feel compelled  to  adopt a  rule on  that                                                               
issue, and he  doesn't feel that the legislature  needs to compel                                                               
the commission in that regard.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  indicated  that  he would  be  amenable  to                                                               
changing Amendment 4b.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL made a motion  to amend Amendment 4b, such                                                               
that  the words  "pursuant to  rules adopted  by the  commission"                                                               
would be  deleted from  it; therefore  Amendment 4b,  if amended,                                                               
would insert  only the  words ",  after a  reasonable opportunity                                                               
for  discovery," on  page 4,  line  17, after  the word  "shows".                                                               
There being no objection, Amendment 4b was amended.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  asked  whether   there  were  any  objections  to                                                               
Amendment 4b,  as amended.   There being  none, Amendment  4b, as                                                               
amended, was adopted.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  made a  motion to  adopt Amendment  5, which                                                               
read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 28                                                                                                            
          Delete "noneconomic"                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 30 following "DISCRIMINATION]."                                                                               
         Insert "Nothing in this subsection prevents an                                                                     
      award of noneconomic damages, including damages for                                                                   
     emotional injury."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ANDERSON objected.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:50:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDSTRAND reiterated that both  current statute and the bill                                                               
provide that the commission may order "any appropriate relief".                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA relayed  that the point of Amendment  5 is to                                                               
address situations  that don't involve  economic losses,  such as                                                               
situations in  which someone is  being sexually harassed  at work                                                               
but continues to come to work and so doesn't lose any wages.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  asked Representative Gara whether  he would accept                                                               
an  amendment  to  Amendment  5 that  would  allow  for  punitive                                                               
damages to be awarded instead of noneconomic damages.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA noted that with  punitive damages, the higher                                                               
standard of  proof pertaining to reckless  or intentional conduct                                                               
applies, and  the amount set is  the amount needed to  punish the                                                               
behavior.   He indicated  that he  would be  amenable to  such an                                                               
amendment to Amendment 5.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE indicated that she  doesn't have a problem with the                                                               
commission awarding punitive damages in certain cases.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA then remarked,  though, that the problem with                                                               
such a  change is that  in determining punitive  damages, current                                                               
law  says  that  one  must  first   look  to  see  how  much  the                                                               
compensatory  damages were.   Thus,  if compensatory  damages are                                                               
zero  because  noneconomic damages  can't  be  awarded, then  any                                                               
potential punitive damages would also be zero.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:53:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NORDSTRAND in  response to  comments and  questions, offered                                                               
his  belief that  there is  "a constitutional  impairment to  the                                                               
amendment  that's being  proposed," and  relayed that  the courts                                                               
have   already  concluded   that   the   statutory  phrase   "any                                                               
appropriate relief" for purposes  of an administrative agency can                                                               
only consist  of payment for direct,  calculable, pecuniary loss,                                                               
and  the  changes being  offered  via  proposed AS  18.80.130(a),                                                               
which contains  the language that  would be altered  by Amendment                                                               
5, merely attempts  to reflect that court ruling.   He mentioned,                                                               
though, that  if a human  rights Act  case is brought  before the                                                               
Alaska  Superior  Court,  the  aggrieved  party  can  be  awarded                                                               
compensatory and punitive damage.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDSTRAND also mentioned that  the courts have already ruled                                                               
that in  cases where  part of the  relief sought  is compensatory                                                               
and punitive damages,  that Article I, Section 16,  of the Alaska                                                               
State Constitution  guarantees the  parties the  right to  a jury                                                               
trial.    Furthermore, that  same  section  of the  Alaska  State                                                               
Constitution  says  that  in  civil cases  where  the  amount  in                                                               
controversy exceeds $250,  the right of trial by a  jury of 12 is                                                               
preserved to  the same extent  as it existed  at common law.   He                                                               
relayed that  the same  issue of what  happens if  a human-rights                                                               
type of commission  is given the power to  award compensatory and                                                               
punitive damages  has been addressed  in Hawaii, in a  2003 case.                                                               
In  that instance,  the Hawaii  legislature  amended their  human                                                               
rights Act  to say that  its commission could  award compensatory                                                               
and punitive damages.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.   NORDSTRAND   pointed   out   that  although   it   may   be                                                               
constitutional  to "add  this to  the  commission's powers,"  the                                                               
Hawaii court  held that  a respondent who  appeals a  final order                                                               
from the  commission is entitled  to a  jury trial on  any claims                                                               
that form the basis for the  award.  Therefore, in Hawaii, if one                                                               
appeals  the award  of compensatory  or punitive  damages, he/she                                                               
gets a  de novo jury  trial on the  issues raised with  the human                                                               
rights commission, because he/she has the right to a jury trial.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA opined that no  one is being denied the right                                                               
to  go to  a jury  trial; instead,  the commission  merely offers                                                               
people  an  alternative.   He  asked  whether, in  Hawaii,  going                                                               
through the  human rights commission then  precludes someone from                                                               
exercising his/her right to a jury trial.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:58:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDSTRAND pointed  out that in Alaska,  the responding party                                                               
does  not have  the power  to  "opt into  court"; the  responding                                                               
party is  the party  that loses the  right to a  jury trial.   So                                                               
while it is  true that a complaining party could  choose to go to                                                               
the Alaska Superior  Court as an alternative to  going before the                                                               
commission,  the   responding  party   cannot.    In   fact,  the                                                               
complainant is  not actually a  party in human  rights commission                                                               
cases;  instead,  the commission  becomes  the  party bringing  a                                                               
claim against  the respondent, and again,  the respondent doesn't                                                               
have the right  to a jury trial.   This is why,  in Hawaii, after                                                               
an award of compensatory or  punitive damages, the defendant gets                                                               
to appeal the issue before a jury.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:59:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  said it doesn't  seem right that  in certain                                                               
human rights cases  the aggrieved party would not  be entitled to                                                               
compensatory or punitive damages.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDSTRAND,  in response to  a question, noted  that proposed                                                               
AS 18.80.130(a)(1) and (2) list  the possible remedies that could                                                               
be  awarded.   He assured  the committee  that SB  132 is  merely                                                               
attempting to describe the law rather than change the law.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ANDERSON  indicated that he is  concerned with the                                                               
concept of  the commission  awarding large  sums for  punitive or                                                               
compensatory damages.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE said that the Hawaii example causes her concern.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  asked  whether  it  would  be  possible  to                                                               
establish a schedule of fines that the commission could impose.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDSTRAND said that doing  so could be "implicating criminal                                                               
issues."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GARA   asked   about  perhaps   imposing   civil                                                               
penalties.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDSTRAND  said the question  then would become  whether "we                                                               
aren't  simply substituting  a name  for  punitive damages,"  and                                                               
offered  his  belief  that  establishing  civil  penalties  would                                                               
clearly be impairing the right to a jury trial.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:02:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL asked how Section  11 of the bill would be                                                               
applied.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDSTRAND replied  that Section 11 addresses  penalties in a                                                               
criminal context that would be imposed on a respondent.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE asked how often criminal charges are pursued.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NORDSTRAND  offered  his   understanding  that  it  is  very                                                               
uncommon for anyone to pursue criminal charges in such cases.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:03:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA suggested  that  the committee  work on  the                                                               
bill over the summer.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  said she would be  amenable to that concept.   She                                                               
then asked Mr. Nordstrand whether  he knew of a particular reason                                                               
to rush the bill through the process.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDSTRAND said:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     The ... [commission] has, for  the last ten years, been                                                                    
     suffering under  the burden of  the Meyer  decision and                                                                  
     the requirement that virtually  every case that's filed                                                                    
     with any evidence at all  proceed to hearing.  Not only                                                                    
     has the [commission] itself  suffered under that burden                                                                    
     but  everyone  who  has  to  respond  to  human  rights                                                                    
     commission complaints;  it's a very  expensive process.                                                                    
     Now,  if in  some way  this language  about noneconomic                                                                    
     and punitive  damages is troubling, all  we were trying                                                                    
     to  do  was to  tell  people  what  the  law is  as  it                                                                    
     [exists] now.  Remove it  [and] the law will remain the                                                                    
     same, but  I don't  believe that it's  a defect  in the                                                                    
     bill  to  not  have  done  additional  things  that  we                                                                    
     weren't intending to.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Certainly  next   year,  later  this   year,  tomorrow,                                                                    
     another  bill   could  be  introduced  to   make  other                                                                    
     changes.    But this  was  designed  to clean  up  some                                                                    
     things   in   ...   [statute],  make   sure   everybody                                                                    
     understood the  remedies that  were available  ..., and                                                                    
     allow  the commission  to [go  about its  business] ...                                                                    
     without  taking   unnecessary  cases  to   hearing  and                                                                    
     without exposing employers  to enormous [attorney] fees                                                                    
     that are not recoverable. ...                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:05:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL expressed a  preference for moving forward                                                               
with the bill.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NORDSTRAND,   in  response  to  comments,   reiterated  that                                                               
currently, under  the Meyer ruling,  a case proceeds to  trial if                                                             
there is a finding of  substantial evidence regardless of whether                                                               
the commission feels that it  is a worthwhile case; currently the                                                               
commission does not  have the prosecutorial discretion  to not go                                                               
forward with  a case.   Essentially the  court in the  Meyer case                                                             
described the  standard of evidence to  be very low, and  thus it                                                               
is now  very difficult to  have any case  not go forward  and for                                                               
the commission to  even figure out what the  standard of evidence                                                               
actually is.   Many such cases are likely to  fail, but the state                                                               
is now compelled to go forward with them anyway.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE relayed that HCS  SB 132(STA), as amended, would be                                                               
set  aside  [with  the  motion  to adopt  Amendment  5,  and  the                                                               
question of whether to amend it, left pending].                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SB 137 - EVICTING INSTITUTIONAL PROPERTY USERS                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:09:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  announced that the  final order of  business would                                                               
be SENATE  BILL NO.  137, "An Act  providing that  an institution                                                               
providing  accommodations  exempt  from  the  provisions  of  the                                                               
Uniform  Residential Landlord  and Tenant  Act may  evict tenants                                                               
without  resorting  to court  proceedings  under  AS 09.45.060  -                                                               
09.45.160."  [Before the committee  was HCS SB 137(L&C); included                                                               
in  members' packets  was a  proposed House  committee substitute                                                               
(HCS) for SB 137, Version 24-LS0739\I, Kurtz, 5/4/05.]                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAHLSTROM began  a motion  to adopt  [one of  the                                                               
bill versions] as a work draft.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE interrupted the motion.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 2:10 p.m. to 2:11 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JOE  MICHEL,  Staff  to  Senator   Ralph  Seekins,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, sponsor, said  on behalf of Senator  Seekins that SB
137 seeks  to clarify that  institutions [providing  a residence]                                                               
exempted from  Alaska's Uniform  Residential Landlord  and Tenant                                                               
Act  do not  have to  comply  with certain  other statutes  which                                                               
outline actions that  must be taken by  individuals and companies                                                               
currently governed by that Act.   For example, AS 34.03.330(b)(1)                                                               
specifically exempts  residence at an institution,  either public                                                               
or private, if  that residence is incidental to  detention or the                                                               
provision   of  medical,   geriatric,  educational,   counseling,                                                               
religious,  or  similar  services.   The  heightened  protections                                                               
designed for  residential renters, he opined,  are not applicable                                                               
to those obtaining residence at such institutions.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. MICHEL  relayed that the  University of Alaska  asked Senator                                                               
Seekins  to  introduce   SB  137,  and  that   this  request  was                                                               
engendered by  situations in which university  students violating                                                               
the terms of  their student housing contract have  used the court                                                               
system to  stall eviction proceedings.   The  Uniform Residential                                                               
Landlord  and Tenant  Act was  designed  to alleviate  injustices                                                               
inflicted  on  residential  renters   by  private  landlords,  he                                                               
explained,  and  was  taken almost  verbatim  from  the  national                                                               
Uniform  Residential  Landlord And  Tenant  Act  outlined in  the                                                               
federal Fair  Housing Act.  Senate  Bill 137 is meant  to fix the                                                               
discrepancy  between  the  legislative   intent  of  the  state's                                                               
Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant  Act and the recent lower                                                               
court  decision  regarding  the eviction/removal  of  individuals                                                               
residing  in  a  residence  that   is  owned  by  an  institution                                                               
described under AS 34.03.330(b)(1).                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. MICHEL  then read AS  34.03.330(b)(1), and posited  that this                                                               
language means that  a student who has been  expelled from school                                                               
should  not be  able to  insist on  remaining in  student housing                                                               
until a  court order is  obtained.  He offered  his understanding                                                               
that  the university  has put  in place  a "three-strike"  system                                                               
intended to  work with students  residing in  university housing,                                                               
that there is a long review  process, that students have a chance                                                               
to appeal a decision, and  that [eviction and charges of trespass                                                               
constitute]  the   university's  last   line  of  defense.     In                                                               
conclusion,  he   mentioned  that   a  representative   from  the                                                               
university was available for questions.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:15:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA said  he has problems with  the bill applying                                                               
in  situations involving  those  who, for  purposes of  geriatric                                                               
care, reside  in a  residence owned  by an  institution providing                                                               
such  services;  therefore  he   prefers  HCS  SB  137(L&C)  over                                                               
Version I.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:15:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MICHEL offered  his  belief that  under  current state  law,                                                               
institutions  providing residence  for the  purpose of  geriatric                                                               
care  [are already  allowed to  evict residents  without a  court                                                               
order] because  those residents  sign contracts  authorizing such                                                               
action;  furthermore,  there  are already  agencies  involved  in                                                               
overseeing the treatment, care, and  placement of seniors in such                                                               
institutions.   He noted that  members' packets  include comments                                                               
by  the National  Conference of  Commissioners  on Uniform  State                                                               
Laws  (NCCUSL)  regarding  its  intent  behind  recommending  the                                                               
language now included in AS  34.03.330(b)(1); those comments read                                                               
in part [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     This   Act  regulates   landlord-tenant  relations   in                                                                    
     residential properties.   It  is not intended  to apply                                                                    
     where  residence  is   incidental  to  another  primary                                                                    
     purpose such as a residence  in a prison, a hospital or                                                                    
     nursing  home,  a dormitory  owned  and  operated by  a                                                                    
     college  or  school,  or   residence  by  a  landlord's                                                                    
     employee  such  as  a   custodian,  janitor,  guard  or                                                                    
     caretaker  rendering service  in or  about the  demised                                                                    
     premises.  This Act is  intended to apply to government                                                                    
     or public agencies acting as landlords ....                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ANDERSON  noted that the House  Labor and Commerce                                                               
Standing  Committee narrowed  the bill  such that  it would  only                                                               
apply to the university.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MICHEL,  in response  to  a  question, reiterated  that  the                                                               
situation involving the university was  the impetus for the bill,                                                               
and  that it  was the  university that  asked Senator  Seekins to                                                               
introduce  the  legislation.   Though  the  sponsor's intent,  he                                                               
remarked,  is for  the bill  to remain  broad in  its application                                                               
because  the  sponsor  doesn't   want  to  have  certain  private                                                               
institutions being forced  to "hold a bed" for  someone when that                                                               
person could  actually be  receiving services  elsewhere.   If an                                                               
institution  owns   a  residence  for  the   placement  of  those                                                               
partaking of  its services, and  if there  is a violation  of the                                                               
residential  housing contract  signed by  those individuals,  the                                                               
institution should  be able to  remove those  individuals without                                                               
having to go through a court action.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:20:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. MICHEL, in response to  comments, reiterated that the sponsor                                                               
prefers a more expansive approach,  and remarked that the sponsor                                                               
views the bill as merely a clarification of existing laws.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE asked  for a  list  of all  the institutions  that                                                               
would be affected by the adoption  of a more expansive version of                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MICHEL,  in  response,  relayed that  according  to  a  word                                                               
search, the word  "geriatric" is only found once in  statute.  He                                                               
then reread portions of AS 34.03.330(b)(1):                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          (1) residence at an institution, public or                                                                            
     private, if  incidental to  detention or  the provision                                                                    
     of   medical,   geriatric,   educational,   counseling,                                                                    
     religious, or similar services;                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE surmised,  then,  that Mr.  Michel doesn't  really                                                               
know what  specific institutions would  be affected by  a broader                                                               
version of  the bill,  nor all of  its implications,  adding that                                                               
[this  latter point]  is of  concern to  her.   She said  she can                                                               
understand what  is meant  by, and  can support  the use  of, the                                                               
term "University of Alaska", but  not simply the reference to "an                                                               
institution" as  described in AS 34.03.330(b)(1).   She concluded                                                               
by  saying that  she doesn't  want  to make  a mistake  regarding                                                               
taking  away  someone's  legitimate   rights  under  the  Uniform                                                               
Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:23:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GARA   again    expressed   a   preference   for                                                               
HCS SB 137(L&C).                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NORMAN  ROKEBERG,   Alaska  State  Legislature  -                                                               
Member,  House Labor  and Commerce  Standing  Committee -  opined                                                               
that HCS SB  137(L&C) is appropriate in as much  as it limits the                                                               
scope  of  the  application.     Additionally,  HCS  SB  137(L&C)                                                               
maintains the  Alaska Rules of  Civil Procedure; there  are other                                                               
causes of  action, he remarked,  under "unlawful  detainer," that                                                               
may be  prohibited under  a more expansive  version of  the bill,                                                               
adding  that he  doesn't believe  there is  any need  for such  a                                                               
prohibition.   In response  to a  question, he  said he  would be                                                               
willing  to  serve  on  a  conference  committee  should  one  be                                                               
appointed for SB 137.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:25:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA said that [the  more expansive version of the                                                               
bill] causes him  alarm, and again reiterated  his preference for                                                               
a bill that applies only to the university.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG offered  his recollection  that the  HCS                                                               
that became  HCS SB 137(L&C)  was brought forth by  the sponsor's                                                               
staff.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ANDERSON offered  his recollection  that the  HCS                                                               
was brought forth by the sponsor's  staff in an effort to appease                                                               
Representative Rokeberg's concern.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:27:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE, after  ascertaining that  no one  else wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on SB 137.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KOTT,   noting   that  HCS   SB   137(L&C)   was                                                               
automatically  before  the  committee,  moved to  report  HCS  SB
137(L&C) out  of committee  [with individual  recommendations and                                                               
the accompanying  fiscal notes].   There being no  objection, HCS                                                               
SB  137(L&C)  was  reported from  the  House  Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The House Judiciary Standing Committee  was recessed at 2:28 p.m.                                                               
to a call of the chair.  [The meeting was never reconvened.]                                                                    

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