Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 120

03/25/2009 01:00 PM JUDICIARY


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 108 PROPERTY FORECLOSURES AND EXECUTIONS TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
*+ HB 170 REPEAL AUTHORITY FOR DAY FINES TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HJR 3 CONST.AM:NO GAMING WITHOUT VOTER APPROVAL TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 25, 2009                                                                                         
                           1:14 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Jay Ramras, Chair                                                                                                
Representative Nancy Dahlstrom, Vice Chair                                                                                      
Representative John Coghill                                                                                                     
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Carl Gatto                                                                                                       
Representative Lindsey Holmes                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 170                                                                                                              
"An Act repealing the authority for day fines."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 170 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 3                                                                                                    
Proposing  an  amendment to  the  Constitution  of the  State  of                                                               
Alaska requiring  an affirmative  vote of  the people  before any                                                               
form  of gambling  for profit  may  be authorized  in Alaska  and                                                               
setting other requirements.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HJR 3 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 108                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to real property foreclosures, to the sale of                                                                  
property on execution, and to deeds of trust."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 170                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: REPEAL AUTHORITY FOR DAY FINES                                                                                     
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) CHENAULT                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
03/09/09       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/09/09       (H)       JUD                                                                                                    
03/25/09       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HJR 3                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: CONST. AM: NO GAMING WITHOUT VOTER APPROVAL                                                                        
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) CRAWFORD, DAHLSTROM                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
01/20/09       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/9/09                                                                                

01/20/09 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS

01/20/09 (H) STA, JUD, FIN 02/12/09 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106 02/12/09 (H) Heard & Held 02/12/09 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/17/09 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106 03/17/09 (H) Moved Out of Committee 03/17/09 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/18/09 (H) STA RPT 6DP 1NR 03/18/09 (H) DP: GATTO, SEATON, WILSON, PETERSEN, JOHNSON, LYNN 03/18/09 (H) NR: GRUENBERG 03/23/09 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 03/23/09 (H) Heard & Held 03/23/09 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 03/25/09 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 WITNESS REGISTER TOM WRIGHT, Staff House Majority Office Alaska State Legislature Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Presented HB 170 on behalf of the sponsor, Representative Mike Chenault. DOUG WOOLIVER, Administrative Attorney Administrative Staff Office of the Administrative Director Alaska Court System (ACS) Anchorage, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Provided comments during discussion of HB 170. REPRESENTATIVE HARRY CRAWFORD Alaska State Legislature Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Spoke as one of joint prime sponsors of HJR 3. ACTION NARRATIVE 1:14:40 PM CHAIR JAY RAMRAS called the House Judiciary Standing Committee meeting to order at 1:14 p.m. Representatives Ramras, Dahlstrom, Lynn, and Gruenberg were present at the call to order. Representative Coghill arrived as the meeting was in progress. HB 170 - REPEAL AUTHORITY FOR DAY FINES 1:14:56 PM CHAIR RAMRAS announced that the first order of business would be HOUSE BILL NO. 170, "An Act repealing the authority for day fines." 1:15:14 PM TOM WRIGHT, Staff, House Majority Office, Alaska State Legislature, explained on behalf of the sponsor, Representative Mike Chenault, that HB 170 repeals the authority granted to the Alaska Court System (ACS) to charge "day fines." The legislation establishing this authority was enacted in 1994, and required the Alaska Supreme Court to adopt a day-fine plan. To accomplish this, the court created a committee to establish a fine schedule based on the legislation's stipulations. That committee found several problems with adopting a day-fine plan, and requested legislation to address those problems, but that legislation did not pass. As a result, the ACS has still not adopted a day-fine schedule, and since this law isn't being used, HB 170 has been introduced to clean up the statutes by repealing this unused law. 1:18:00 PM DOUG WOOLIVER, Administrative Attorney, Administrative Staff, Office of the Administrative Director, Alaska Court System (ACS), concurred that the committee established by the ACS found a number of problems such as a question of which misdemeanor crimes to include and which to exclude, since one of the goals of the original legislation was to reduce prison overcrowding by limiting the number of people incarcerated due to misdemeanor convictions. There were also problems in determining a defendant's income for purposes of calculating the amount of the day fine. Furthermore, using the guidelines recommended by the legislature, many of the fines would have been very, very high, and the court was reluctant to impose such high fines given that there were a lot of other options available to the court. In addition, the legislation didn't provide for court-ordered treatment. In other words, there was a whole host of reasons why the ACS wanted more legislative direction before imposing day fines, but that direction never came and so that statute is sitting idle. CHAIR RAMRAS, after ascertaining that no one else wished to testify, closed public testimony on HB 170. 1:21:22 PM REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM moved to report HB 170 out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. There being no objection, HB 170 was reported from the House Judiciary Standing Committee. The committee took an at-ease from 1:21 p.m. to 1:23 p.m. HJR 3 - CONST. AM: NO GAMING WITHOUT VOTER APPROVAL 1:23:31 PM CHAIR RAMRAS announced that the final order of business would be HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 3, Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska requiring an affirmative vote of the people before any form of gambling for profit may be authorized in Alaska and setting other requirements. 1:23:54 PM REPRESENTATIVE HARRY CRAWFORD, Alaska State Legislature, as one of joint prime sponsors of HJR 3, noted that legislation similar to HJR 3 had passed the [House] during the prior legislature, and surmised that all committee members have had a chance to hear it at one point or another. He opined that Alaska couldn't afford an excursion into for-profit gambling. REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM, speaking as one of joint prime sponsors of HJR 3, concurred, and opined that gambling contributes to the disintegration of families, as well as many other ills such as crime and corruption. In conclusion, she requested that the committee vote in favor of moving HJR 3 out of committee. REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD, in response to a question, indicated that the language of HJR 3 is identical to that of the legislation [that passed the House last year]. REPRESENTATIVE LYNN expressed strong support for HJR 3. REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL suggested that requiring a vote of the people, should HJR 3 first be approved by the voters, would be a good way to continue the discussion regarding whether a community wants to allow [for-profit] gambling. REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD, in response to a question, explained that a past ballot initiative proposing the establishment of a gambling commission would have taken the decision regarding whether to have for-profit gambling in Alaska out of the hands of both the legislature and the voters and would have instead placed the decision in the hands of a five-member commission that could have acted with only three members present. This is such an important decision, he asserted, that the legislature, the governor, and the communities and people of the state ought to have a say in it. He characterized that past ballot initiative as an attempted end-run around the legislature because it had blocked the formation of such a commission in the past, and characterized [HJR 3 as promoting] more democracy. CHAIR RAMRAS, after ascertaining that no one else wished to testify, closed public testimony on HJR 3. 1:29:28 PM REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM moved to report HJR 3 out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. There being no objection, HJR 3 was reported from the House Judiciary Standing Committee. 1:29:57 PM ADJOURNMENT There being no further business before the committee, the House Judiciary Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 1:30 p.m.

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01 HB170 Sponsor Statement.pdf HJUD 3/25/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 170
02 HB170 Bill version A.pdf HJUD 3/25/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 170
03 HB170 Letter re Court implementation problems.pdf HJUD 3/25/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 170
04 HB170 Previous Bills.pdf HJUD 3/25/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 170
05 HB170 Relevant Statutes.pdf HJUD 3/25/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 170
06 HB 170 FN CTS.pdf HJUD 3/25/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 170
07 HB170 FN DOC-3-24-09.pdf HJUD 3/25/2009 1:00:00 PM
HB 170