Legislature(2011 - 2012)CAPITOL 120

03/21/2012 01:00 PM JUDICIARY


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 292 PRINCIP.& INC/PROBATE/UTMA/RETIREMT/ETC. TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 292(L&C) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 89 LEGISLATIVE ETHICS ACT TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSB 89(JUD) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 21, 2012                                                                                         
                           1:12 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Steve Thompson, Vice Chair                                                                                       
Representative Wes Keller                                                                                                       
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Lance Pruitt                                                                                                     
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
Representative Lindsey Holmes                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Carl Gatto, Chair                                                                                                
Representative Mike Hawker (alternate)                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 89(JUD)                                                                                
"An Act clarifying  that a legislator or  legislative employee is                                                               
allowed   to  accept   certain   compassionate  gifts;   allowing                                                               
legislators  and  legislative   employees  who  are  representing                                                               
persons in an administrative hearing  to contact hearing officers                                                               
and attempt to  influence the outcome of the hearing  if they are                                                               
professionals  licensed in  the state,  and allowing  legislators                                                               
and legislative  employees who are not  professionals licensed in                                                               
the  state  to  contact  hearing  officers  for  the  purpose  of                                                               
influencing  the outcome  of the  hearing  in certain  instances;                                                               
requiring the Select Committee on  Legislative Ethics to maintain                                                               
a  refrain  from disclosure  under  the  Legislative Ethics  Act;                                                               
relating  to  the  applicability  of certain  provisions  of  the                                                               
Legislative   Ethics  Act   to  certain   legislative  employees,                                                               
volunteers,  and interns;  establishing a  seat for  an alternate                                                               
public  member on  the Select  Committee  on Legislative  Ethics;                                                               
clarifying   the  requirements   related   to  participation   by                                                               
alternate  public members  and alternate  legislative members  in                                                               
the  proceedings of  the committee;  amending  the definition  of                                                               
'legislative  employee'  in  the   Legislative  Ethics  Act;  and                                                               
repealing a  procedure for  appointment of  alternate legislative                                                               
members."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HCS CSSB 89(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 292                                                                                                              
"An  Act relating  to property  exemptions for  retirement plans;                                                               
relating to  pleadings, orders, liability, and  notices under the                                                               
Uniform  Probate  Code;  relating  to the  Alaska  Principal  and                                                               
Income Act;  relating to the  Alaska Uniform Transfers  to Minors                                                               
Act; relating  to the disposition  of human remains;  relating to                                                               
insurable  interests for  life  insurance  policies; relating  to                                                               
transfers  of  individual  retirement   plans;  relating  to  the                                                               
community property of married persons;  and amending Rule 301(a),                                                               
Alaska Rules of Evidence."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 292(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 89                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: LEGISLATIVE ETHICS ACT                                                                                             
SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) COGHILL                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
02/16/11       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/16/11       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
03/15/11       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/15/11       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/15/11       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/31/11       (S)       STA AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/31/11       (S)       Moved CSSB 89(STA) Out of Committee                                                                    
03/31/11       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/01/11       (S)       STA RPT CS  1DP 4NR  NEW TITLE                                                                         
04/01/11       (S)       DP: MEYER                                                                                              
04/01/11       (S)       NR: WIELECHOWSKI, KOOKESH, PASKVAN,                                                                    
                         GIESSEL                                                                                                
04/11/11       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/11/11       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
04/13/11       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/13/11       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
04/15/11       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/15/11       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/15/11       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
01/18/12       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
01/18/12       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/18/12       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
01/27/12       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
01/27/12       (S)       Moved CSSB 89(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                    
01/27/12       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
01/30/12       (S)       JUD RPT CS  3DP  NEW TITLE                                                                             
01/30/12       (S)       DP: FRENCH, COGHILL, PASKVAN                                                                           
02/08/12       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
02/08/12       (S)       VERSION: CSSB 89(JUD)                                                                                  
02/09/12       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/09/12       (H)       <Bill Hearing Rescheduled to 02/16/12>                                                                 
02/10/12       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/10/12       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
02/16/12       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/16/12       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/16/12       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/06/12       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/06/12       (H)       Moved HCS CSSB 89(STA) Out of Committee                                                                
03/06/12       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
03/08/12       (H)       STA RPT HCS(STA) 3DP 1NR                                                                               
03/08/12       (H)       DP: P.WILSON, SEATON, PETERSEN                                                                         
03/08/12       (H)       NR: KELLER                                                                                             
03/19/12       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/19/12       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/19/12       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/21/12       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 292                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PRINCIP.& INC/PROBATE/UTMA/RETIREMT/ETC.                                                                           
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) THOMPSON                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
01/20/12       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/20/12       (H)       L&C, JUD, FIN                                                                                          
02/29/12       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
02/29/12       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/29/12       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/14/12       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/14/12       (H)       Moved CSHB 292(L&C) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/14/12       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/15/12       (H)       L&C RPT CS(L&C) NT 6NR                                                                                 
03/15/12       (H)       NR: CHENAULT, SADDLER, JOHNSON, HOLMES,                                                                
                         MILLER, OLSON                                                                                          
03/21/12       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
RYNNIEVA MOSS, Staff                                                                                                            
Senator John Coghill                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  During discussion of SB 89, provided                                                                     
comments and responded to questions on behalf of the sponsor,                                                                   
Senator Coghill.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
JOYCE ANDERSON, Ethics Committee Administrator                                                                                  
Select Committee on Legislative Ethics                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:     Provided   comments  and   responded  to                                                             
questions during discussion of SB 89.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
TERRY L. THURBON, Chief Administrative Law Judge                                                                                
Office of Administrative Hearings                                                                                               
Department of Administration (DOA)                                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:     Provided   comments  and   responded  to                                                             
questions during discussion of SB 89.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JANE W. PIERSON, Staff                                                                                                          
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Presented HB 292 on behalf  of the sponsor,                                                             
Representative Thompson.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DAVID G. SHAFTEL, Attorney at Law                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Assisted with the presentation of HB 292.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DOUGLAS J. BLATTMACHR, President and CEO                                                                                        
Alaska Trust Company                                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 292.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:12:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR STEVE  THOMPSON called  the House  Judiciary Standing                                                             
Committee  meeting  to  order at  [1:12]  p.m.    Representatives                                                               
Thompson, Holmes, Keller, and Pruitt  were present at the call to                                                               
order.    Representatives  Gruenberg  and  Lynn  arrived  as  the                                                               
meeting was in progress.  Representative Gatto was excused.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                 SB 89 - LEGISLATIVE ETHICS ACT                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:13:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR  THOMPSON announced that  the first order  of business                                                               
would be CS FOR SENATE BILL  NO. 89(JUD), "An Act clarifying that                                                               
a  legislator  or  legislative  employee  is  allowed  to  accept                                                               
certain   compassionate    gifts;   allowing    legislators   and                                                               
legislative  employees   who  are  representing  persons   in  an                                                               
administrative hearing  to contact  hearing officers  and attempt                                                               
to   influence  the   outcome  of   the  hearing   if  they   are                                                               
professionals  licensed in  the state,  and allowing  legislators                                                               
and legislative  employees who are not  professionals licensed in                                                               
the  state  to  contact  hearing  officers  for  the  purpose  of                                                               
influencing  the outcome  of the  hearing  in certain  instances;                                                               
requiring the Select Committee on  Legislative Ethics to maintain                                                               
a   public  record   of  certain   ethics  disclosures   made  by                                                               
legislators  and  legislative  employees;  prohibiting  a  public                                                               
member  of  the  Select  Committee  on  Legislative  Ethics  from                                                               
disclosing   confidential   information  without   authorization;                                                               
clarifying the  ethics disclosure requirements for  tickets to or                                                               
gifts  in connection  with  charity  events; amending  disclosure                                                               
deadlines under the Legislative  Ethics Act; relating to requests                                                               
to  refrain from  disclosure under  the  Legislative Ethics  Act;                                                               
relating  to  the  applicability  of certain  provisions  of  the                                                               
Legislative   Ethics  Act   to  certain   legislative  employees,                                                               
volunteers,  and interns;  establishing a  seat for  an alternate                                                               
public  member on  the Select  Committee  on Legislative  Ethics;                                                               
clarifying   the  requirements   related   to  participation   by                                                               
alternate  public members  and alternate  legislative members  in                                                               
the  proceedings of  the committee;  amending  the definition  of                                                               
'legislative  employee'  in  the   Legislative  Ethics  Act;  and                                                               
repealing a  procedure for  appointment of  alternate legislative                                                               
members."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
[Before  the  committee  was  HCS CSSB  89(STA),  as  amended  on                                                               
3/19/12; on 3/19/12 the motion to adopt Amendment 2 was tabled.]                                                                
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR  THOMPSON indicated  that  Amendment  2 -  addressing                                                               
Section   11's  proposed   AS   24.60.112,   pertaining  to   the                                                               
applicability  of certain  provisions of  the Legislative  Ethics                                                               
Act to legislative  interns - was before the  committee, and that                                                               
Amendment  2's adoption  would result  in legislative  volunteers                                                               
also  being  subject to  certain  provisions  of the  Legislative                                                               
Ethics Act;  Amendment 2, labeled 27-LS0452\O.2,  Wayne, 3/14/12,                                                               
read:                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 11, line 8:                                                                                                           
          Following "interns":                                                                                                
          Insert "and volunteers"                                                                                             
          Following "intern":                                                                                                   
          Insert "or legislative volunteer"                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 11, line 11, following "intern":                                                                                      
          Insert "or legislative volunteer"                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR THOMPSON  mentioned  that  forthcoming amendments  in                                                               
members'  packets would  be addressing  the issue  of legislative                                                               
volunteers further.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:14:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RYNNIEVA  MOSS,   Staff,  Senator  John  Coghill,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  on   behalf  of   the  sponsor,   Senator  Coghill,                                                               
concurred   with   Vice   Chair   Thompson's   summarization   of                                                               
Amendment 2, adding  that one  of the  aforementioned forthcoming                                                               
amendments  would  address  the  length  of  time  a  legislative                                                               
volunteer  or  legislative  intern  would have  to  be  providing                                                               
services  before he/she  would  be required  to take  legislative                                                               
ethics training.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  [remade the]  motion to adopt  Amendment 2                                                               
[text provided previously].                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLMES objected  for the  purpose of  discussion,                                                               
and noted that the motion had  been tabled during the bill's last                                                               
hearing in  order to provide  members time to consider  the issue                                                               
of length of service.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:16:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOYCE ANDERSON, Ethics  Committee Administrator, Select Committee                                                               
on Legislative  Ethics, Alaska State Legislature,  in response to                                                               
comments  and  questions,  explained  that  under  existing  law,                                                               
neither legislative trainees - legislative  interns as they would                                                               
be  statutorily referred  to  upon passage  of the  SB  89 -  nor                                                               
legislative volunteers  are required  to take  legislative ethics                                                               
training,  but the  Select Committee  on  Legislative Ethics  has                                                               
recommended that  they be required  to do so, hence  Section 11's                                                               
proposal to additionally reference  AS 24.60.155 in AS 24.60.112.                                                               
She, too,  referred to the aforementioned  forthcoming amendment,                                                               
and indicated that  under it, only those  legislative interns and                                                               
legislative  volunteers  who  work  at  least  30  days  [in  one                                                               
legislature]  would  be  required   to  take  legislative  ethics                                                               
training.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLMES removed  her  objection to  the motion  to                                                               
adopt Amendment 2.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR  THOMPSON  ascertained  that there  were  no  further                                                               
objections, and announced that Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:19:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  made  a  motion  to  adopt  Amendment  3,                                                               
labeled 27-LS0452\O.3, Wayne, 3/20/12, which read:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 11, line 10:                                                                                                          
          Delete "24.60.155,"                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Page 13, following line 16:                                                                                                
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
        "* Sec.  15. AS 24.60.155 is repealed  and reenacted                                                                
     to read:                                                                                                                   
          Sec. 24.60.155. Legislative ethics course. (a) A                                                                    
     person  who  is  a  legislator,  legislative  employee,                                                                    
     public member of the  committee, legislative intern, or                                                                    
     legislative  volunteer  shall  complete  a  legislative                                                                    
     ethics  course  administered  by  the  committee  under                                                                    
     AS 24.60.150(a)(4) within  10 days of the  first day of                                                                    
     the first  regular session of  each legislature  or, if                                                                    
     the person  first takes office or  begins service after                                                                    
     the 10th day of that  session, within 30 days after the                                                                    
     person takes  office or  begins service.  The committee                                                                    
     may  grant a  person  additional time  to complete  the                                                                    
     course required by this section.                                                                                           
          (b)  A legislative intern or legislative                                                                              
     volunteer  who  serves  fewer  than   30  days  in  one                                                                    
     legislature is  not subject  to the  requirements under                                                                    
     (a) of this section."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLMES objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS indicated that under  Amendment 3, AS 24.60.155 would be                                                               
repealed and reenacted  so as to provide  legislative interns and                                                               
legislative  volunteers with  the same  deadlines for  completing                                                               
required legislative ethics training  as it provides legislators,                                                               
legislative  employees,   [and  public  members  of   the  Select                                                               
Committee  on Legislative  Ethics,]  and so  as  to provide  that                                                               
legislative  interns  and  legislative volunteers  serving  fewer                                                               
than 30  days aggregate during  a two-year legislature  would not                                                               
be required to take legislative  ethics training.  In response to                                                               
a question and  comments, she pointed out that under  the bill as                                                               
amended  thus  far,  except  for  completing  legislative  ethics                                                               
training  within stipulated  timeframes, all  legislative interns                                                               
and  legislative  volunteers would  be  required  to comply  with                                                               
[certain provisions of] the Legislative  Ethics Act from the very                                                               
first day of service.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ANDERSON  added that  a  legislative  intern or  legislative                                                               
volunteer wouldn't have  to wait until he/she had  served 30 days                                                               
before  taking  legislative  ethics training;  pointed  out  that                                                               
being nescient  of the laws with  which one must comply  isn't an                                                               
excuse for not  complying with those laws;  and acknowledged that                                                               
Alaska's   existing   statutory   disclosure   requirements   for                                                               
legislative employees/interns/volunteers are  different than they                                                               
are for legislators.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLMES removed her objection.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR  THOMPSON,  after ascertaining  that  there  were  no                                                               
further objections, announced that Amendment 3 was adopted.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:34:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  made  a  motion  to  adopt  Amendment  4,                                                               
labeled 27-LS0452\O.4, Wayne, 3/20/12, which read:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 25, following "hearing":                                                                                      
          Insert "whose names are public"                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR THOMPSON objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLMES referred to  Section 2's proposed exception                                                               
to the  prohibition against being  involved in  an administrative                                                               
hearing so long as one's contact  is inadvertent and ex parte and                                                               
its fact and substance are  promptly disclosed to all parties and                                                               
made part  of the  record, and  indicated that  Amendment 4  - by                                                               
modifying who such  contact must be disclosed to  - would address                                                               
a  concern  about  how  one  could  comply  with  the  disclosure                                                               
requirements of that provision as  currently written when not all                                                               
the names of the parties have been made public.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS  concurred,  and  offered as  an  example  a  situation                                                               
involving minor children.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 1:37 p.m. to 1:40 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KELLER,  in   response  to   comments,  withdrew                                                               
Amendment 4.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:40:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  made  a   motion  to  [instead]  adopt                                                               
[handwritten]   Conceptual   Amendment   5,  which   read   [bold                                                               
formatting applied  to underlined text, all  other punctuation as                                                               
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     page 5 lines 25-26 strike all language and insert                                                                          
     "employee  to all  parties to  the hearing  whose names                                                                
     are public  and to the hearing  officer for transmittal                                                                
     to  all parties  whose names  are not  public; and  the                                                                
     contact is made a part of the record."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
[Members objected for the purpose of discussion.]                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG   explained  that   under   Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 5, all parties would  be notified of the inadvertent ex                                                               
parte contact  regardless of whether  their names have  been made                                                               
public, and confidentiality would be maintained.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR  THOMPSON  noted  that  Section  2  of  the  bill  is                                                               
proposing to  delete from existing  AS 24.60.030(i) its  last use                                                               
of  the  words,  "the  contact   is",  and  asked  Representative                                                               
Gruenberg whether he  is intending for Conceptual  Amendment 5 to                                                               
instead   retain   that   wording   in   Section   2's   proposed                                                               
paragraph (3).                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  said  yes,  and  indicated  that  that                                                               
language would provide  clarity regarding what must  be made part                                                               
of  the  record,  that  being  the  fact  and  substance  of  the                                                               
inadvertent ex parte contact.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:43:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TERRY  L.  THURBON, Chief  Administrative  Law  Judge, Office  of                                                               
Administrative  Hearings,  Department  of  Administration  (DOA),                                                               
relayed that Conceptual  Amendment 5 would provide  for a process                                                               
that would have  to be undertaken anyway, as  a practical matter,                                                               
in  situations where  the names  of  the parties  are being  kept                                                               
confidential.     She,  too,   offered  as   examples  situations                                                               
involving  minor children,  and  surmised that  even without  the                                                               
adoption  of Conceptual  Amendment 5,  an adjudicating  authority                                                               
would forward the required disclosure on to any unnamed parties.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG, in  response to comments, characterized                                                               
disclosure of contact by a  legislator or legislative employee as                                                               
"super"  important  - dealing  with  the  very integrity  of  the                                                               
process -  regardless that making  such disclosure might  place a                                                               
small  burden on  the  legislator or  legislative  employee.   He                                                               
expressed a  preference for establishing the  proposed disclosure                                                               
process in statute.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.   MOSS  characterized   the  adoption   of  Amendment   5  as                                                               
appropriate, adding her  belief that it wouldn't  hurt to clarify                                                               
the process in statute.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR  THOMPSON  removed   his  objection  to  the  motion,                                                               
ascertained that there  were no longer any  other objections, and                                                               
announced that Conceptual Amendment 5 was adopted.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:49:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR  THOMPSON made  a motion to  adopt Amendment  6, which                                                               
read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 30:                                                                                                           
     Delete:                                                                                                                    
     "or a rate-making proceeding"                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLMES objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS explained  that  Amendment 6  would  address a  concern                                                               
raised  during  the bill's  last  hearing  regarding Section  3's                                                               
proposed  definition  of  the term,  "administrative  hearing"  -                                                               
specifically   its  proposed   stipulation  that   a  rate-making                                                               
proceeding  is  not an  administrative  hearing  for purposes  of                                                               
AS 24.60.030, the  Legislative Ethics Act's  provision addressing                                                               
prohibited   conduct   and   conflicts  of   interest.      Under                                                               
Amendment 6,  a rate-making  proceeding  would  be considered  an                                                               
administrative   hearing   for    purposes   of   AS   24.60.030,                                                               
subsection (i)  of   which  stipulates   that  a   legislator  or                                                               
legislative employee may not attempt  to influence the outcome of                                                               
an administrative  hearing by  directly or  indirectly contacting                                                               
or attempting  to contact the  adjudicating authority.   In other                                                               
words, under  Amendment 6, a  legislator or  legislative employee                                                               
would  be  prohibited  from trying  to  influence  a  rate-making                                                               
proceeding via any such contact or attempted contact.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  THURBON, characterizing  rate-making proceedings  themselves                                                               
as  being more  quasi-legislative than  quasi-judicial, indicated                                                               
that that's why the statute  pertaining to administrative hearing                                                               
officers  and  the  office of  administrative  hearings  excludes                                                               
rate-making  proceedings as  being administrative  hearings, just                                                               
as informal  conferences/reviews are also excluded  - neither are                                                               
classic adjudications.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLMES remarked that  that argues for not adopting                                                               
the  Amendment   6,  offering  her  belief   that  the  statutory                                                               
definitions of  what constitutes an administrative  hearing ought                                                               
to be consistent.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG   suggested   that  Amendment   6   be                                                               
withdrawn.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLMES removed  her  objection to  the motion  to                                                               
adopt it.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR THOMPSON withdrew Amendment 6.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:54:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG made  a  motion to  adopt Amendment  7,                                                               
labeled 27-LS0452\O.5, Wayne, 3/21/12, which read:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 13, lines 22 - 23:                                                                                                    
          Delete "are hourly employees who"                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR THOMPSON objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  referred   to  Section  15's  proposed                                                               
AS 24.60.990(a)(11) -  defining the term,  "legislative employee"                                                               
for  purposes  of   AS  24.60,  the  Legislative   Ethics  Act  -                                                               
specifically its proposal to use  the term, "hourly employees" in                                                               
place of the list of certain  employees who are not considered to                                                               
be legislative employees in that  they perform functions that are                                                               
only  incidental  to  legislative  functions.    He  opined  that                                                               
whether  a  person  is  an  hourly  employee  is  irrelevant  for                                                               
purposes of  requiring him/her to  comply with the  provisions of                                                               
AS 24.60.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS  indicated that  the change proposed  by Amendment  7 is                                                               
acceptable  because proposed  AS 24.60.990(a)(11)  would continue                                                               
to  stipulate  that  the term  "legislative  employee"  does  not                                                               
include individuals who perform  functions that are incidental to                                                               
legislative functions.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON,  in response to  comments, relayed that  the Select                                                               
Committee on  Legislative Ethics  could further define  the term,                                                               
"legislative employee", perhaps via an advisory opinion.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR  THOMPSON  removed his  objection,  ascertained  that                                                               
there were no further objections,  and announced that Amendment 7                                                               
was adopted.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:57:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG made  a  motion to  adopt Amendment  8,                                                               
labeled 27-LS0452\O.6, Wayne, 3/21/12, which read:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 28, following "quasi-judicial hearing":                                                                       
          Insert ","                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 29, following "agency":                                                                                       
          Insert ", that formulates issues of law and fact                                                                      
     in terms of specific  parties and specific transactions                                                                    
     and  that is  conducted  according  to procedures  that                                                                    
     provide  to parties  who may  be bound  by the  outcome                                                                    
     adequate  notice and  the right  to  argue and  present                                                                    
     evidence;"                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR THOMPSON objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   referred  to  Section   3's  proposed                                                               
definition of  the term, "administrative hearing",  and explained                                                               
that  Amendment 8  would add  language [elaborating]  the phrase,                                                               
"quasi-judicial hearing"  as that  phrase is  used to  define the                                                               
term,  "administrative hearing"  for  purposes  of AS  24.60.030.                                                               
Amendment  8's  proposed  additional language,  he  relayed,  was                                                               
taken  from the  2006 Alaska  Supreme Court  case, City  of Saint                                                             
Paul  v. State  Department  of Natural  Resources  [in which  the                                                             
court referenced its description of  the essential elements of an                                                               
administrative  adjudication  from  its  1991  case,  Johnson  v.                                                             
Alaska  State Department  of Fish  and  Game].   Amendment 8,  he                                                             
added, is  intended to codify  the court's [description]  - which                                                               
he  characterized  as  well-accepted  -  and  clarify  the  term,                                                               
"quasi-judicial   hearing"  as   it's   used   in  [proposed   AS                                                               
24.60.030(j)].                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS   expressed  concern  that  Amendment   8  would  cause                                                               
confusion, rather than provide clarity.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. THURBON declined to address that issue.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLMES and VICE  CHAIR THOMPSON expressed disfavor                                                               
with adopting Amendment 8.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG withdrew Amendment 8.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:05:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG made  a  motion to  adopt Amendment  9,                                                               
labeled 27-LS0452\O.7, Wayne, 3/21/12, which read:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 2, following "gifts;":                                                                                      
          Insert "specifying that a Legislative Ethics Act                                                                    
     restriction on legislative  voting applies to committee                                                                  
     hearings and floor sessions;"                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, following line 3:                                                                                                  
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
        "* Sec. 2. AS 24.60.030(g) is amended to read:                                                                      
          (g)  Unless required by the Uniform Rules of the                                                                      
     Alaska State Legislature, a legislator  may not vote on                                                                    
     a question,  in a committee  hearing or during  a floor                                                                
     session, if  the legislator has an  equity or ownership                                                                
     interest  in  a  business, investment,  real  property,                                                                    
     lease,  or   other  enterprise   if  the   interest  is                                                                    
     substantial  and the  effect  on that  interest of  the                                                                    
     action to be  voted on is greater than the  effect on a                                                                    
     substantial class  of persons  to which  the legislator                                                                    
     belongs  as  a  member  of  a  profession,  occupation,                                                                    
     industry, or region.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PRUITT objected.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  explained that  Amendment 9 -  adding a                                                               
new Section 2, renumbering the  remaining sections, and providing                                                               
for a conforming title change  - would alter AS 24.60.030(g) such                                                               
that it's stipulation  that a legislator may not  vote on certain                                                               
questions would  apply during both  committee hearings  and floor                                                               
sessions.   Mentioning  that an  advisory opinion  issued by  the                                                               
Select Committee  on Legislative  Ethics indicates  that existing                                                               
subsection (g)'s  stipulation only applies to  questions voted on                                                               
during  floor sessions,  he expressed  a preference  for ensuring                                                               
that that  same stipulation  also applies  to questions  voted on                                                               
during committee hearings.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS indicated  that the sponsor believes  that Amendment 9's                                                               
proposed change ought to be addressed  as a change to the Uniform                                                               
Rules,  which  requires  [passage   of  a  concurrent  resolution                                                               
requiring] an affirmative two-thirds vote of each body.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER said he thinks Amendment 9 is unnecessary.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG withdrew Amendment 9.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:09:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  moved  to  report HCS  CSSB  89(STA),  as                                                               
amended,  out of  committee with  individual recommendations  and                                                               
the accompanying  fiscal notes.   There  being no  objection, HCS                                                               
CSSB  89(JUD)  was reported  from  the  House Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 2:10 p.m. to 2:13 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
       HB 292 - PRINCIP.& INC/PROBATE/UTMA/RETIREMT/ETC.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:13:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR  THOMPSON announced that  the final order  of business                                                               
would  be  HOUSE BILL  NO.  292,  "An  Act relating  to  property                                                               
exemptions for  retirement plans; relating to  pleadings, orders,                                                               
liability, and  notices under the Uniform  Probate Code; relating                                                               
to the  Alaska Principal and  Income Act; relating to  the Alaska                                                               
Uniform Transfers to  Minors Act; relating to  the disposition of                                                               
human  remains;   relating  to   insurable  interests   for  life                                                               
insurance   policies;  relating   to   transfers  of   individual                                                               
retirement plans;  relating to the community  property of married                                                               
persons;  and amending  Rule 301(a),  Alaska Rules  of Evidence."                                                               
[Before the committee was CSHB 292(L&C).]                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:13:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JANE  W. PIERSON,  Staff, Representative  Steve Thompson,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature,  on  behalf of  the  sponsor,  Representative                                                               
Thompson,  explained  that HB  292  would  extend protection  for                                                               
retirement-plan assets  to the beneficiaries of  retirement plans                                                               
-   often  the   surviving   spouse;  would   provide  means   of                                                               
representation for  minors and  incapacitated persons  in dealing                                                               
with  settlements of  accounts  or  settlement agreements;  would                                                               
amend  the Alaska  Principal  and  Income Act  -  AS  13.38 -  to                                                               
conform with current Internal  Revenue Service (IRS) regulations;                                                               
would provide  rules concerning who  may control  the disposition                                                               
of  decedents'  remains;  would  make  conforming  amendments  to                                                               
Alaska law regarding  insurable interests in order  to align with                                                               
changes to  the federal Uniform  Trust Code (UTC);  would provide                                                               
that  individual   retirement  account  (IRA)  interest   can  be                                                               
voluntarily  transferred  to  a  family member  or  trust;  would                                                               
update and  clarify provisions of  the Alaska  Community Property                                                               
Act - AS  34.77 - regarding ownership of  community property; and                                                               
would allow a beneficiary to extend  the time funds would be held                                                               
in  [an account  under  the Alaska  Uniform  Transfers to  Minors                                                               
Act].                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:16:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID  G. SHAFTEL,  Attorney at  Law -  after mentioning  that he                                                               
practices in  the field of  estate planning and estate  and trust                                                               
administration, and  is a  member of an  informal group  of trust                                                               
and   estate  planning   attorneys   and   trust  officers   that                                                               
periodically  recommends updates  to  Alaska's  trust and  estate                                                               
laws -  characterized HB 292  as having a  lot of very  solid and                                                               
important provisions.  Section 1  of CSHB 292(L&C), he explained,                                                               
addresses  asset  protection   for  inherited  retirement  plans;                                                               
federal   case  law   extends   protection   from  creditors   to                                                               
beneficiaries  of retirement  plans, and  Section 1  would codify                                                               
that  protection in  Alaska statute.   Sections  2 and  3 provide                                                               
conforming  and   definition  changes   related  to   Section  1.                                                               
[Sections  4 and  5 together]  clarify  that AS  13.06.120 -  the                                                               
statute pertaining  to pleadings,  to when  parties are  bound by                                                               
orders, and to  notice - also applies to  "settlements that occur                                                               
outside of court."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. SHAFTEL  explained that Sections  6-8 of CSHB  292(L&C) would                                                               
update  Alaska's statutes  pertaining  to  modifying an  existing                                                               
trust,  so that  they closely  track New  York's recently-revised                                                               
statutes, which have many  built-in safeguards for beneficiaries;                                                               
Alaska's  statutes  addressing   such  trust  modifications  were                                                               
originally  copied from  New York's  statutes,  and currently  13                                                               
states have  such provisions, and  3 more states  are considering                                                               
adding them.   Sections  9-25 would  update the  Alaska Principal                                                               
and  Income Act  to  take advantage  of  new federal  regulations                                                               
pertaining to  unitrusts, wherein a certain  percentage of income                                                               
is distributed  annually to a  current beneficiary.   This update                                                               
would  provide   trustees  with   more  flexibility,   provide  a                                                               
definition  of   unitrust  income,   provide  for   "ordering  of                                                               
distributions   among  the   different   types   of  income   and                                                               
principal," provide a five-year  period for averaging assets, and                                                               
clarify how the unitrust rules apply to retirement benefits.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:25:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SHAFTEL  explained  that Sections  26-28  would  update  the                                                               
Alaska  Uniform Transfers  to Minors  Act -  AS 13.46  - so  that                                                               
under certain  circumstances, the  age of distribution  of assets                                                               
could be extended; this update  would address situations in which                                                               
the beneficiary  doesn't want, or  isn't ready or able  to manage                                                               
his/her assets upon  reaching the age of 18 or  21.  He proffered                                                               
that allowing for  such extensions would be very  helpful to many                                                               
families.    Section  29  adds  a new  Chapter  75  to  Title  13                                                               
addressing  the disposition  of human  remains; the  proposed new                                                               
chapter is  necessary because existing state  law doesn't address                                                               
this  issue and  thus  disputes over  a  decedent's remains  have                                                               
resulted.   The bill's  proposed AS  13.75 includes,  among other                                                               
things,  provisions   addressing  directions  by   the  decedent,                                                               
persons  authorized to  control disposition,  and the  form of  a                                                               
disposition document; the need for  proposed AS 13.75 was brought                                                               
forth by Alaska's funeral parlor industry.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. SHAFTEL  indicated that Section  30 [clarifies that  a person                                                               
with an  insurable interest  may form a  business entity  for the                                                               
purpose of purchasing, holding,  and administering life insurance                                                               
contracts];  Section  30's  proposed changes  reflect  amendments                                                               
made  to the  federal Uniform  Trust Code  (UTC) by  the National                                                               
Conference  of Commissioners  on Uniform  State Laws  (NCCUSL) in                                                               
response  to  a  federal  case,   Chawla,  ex  rel  Giesinger  v.                                                             
Transamerica Occidental Life Ins. Co.,  [in which the court found                                                             
that  the  law  lacked  provision   specifying  that  trusts  and                                                               
business entities  could have an  insurable interest in  the life                                                               
or body of  the insured].  Section  31 adds a new  section 113 to                                                               
AS 34.40  clarifying that  a person  may voluntarily  transfer or                                                               
assign his/her interest in an IRA.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:34:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SHAFTEL  explained  that Sections  32-36  would  update  the                                                               
Alaska Community  Property Act by adding  references to community                                                               
property  trusts;  providing a  new  statute  of limitations  for                                                               
beginning  action  based  on  a claim  of  wrongful  transfer  of                                                               
community property;  clarifying that property which  both spouses                                                               
agree  is   community  property   [shall  be  treated   as  such]                                                               
regardless  of the  form of  title to  the property;  providing a                                                               
rebuttable   presumption   that   beneficiary   designations   or                                                               
survivor-ownerships were  made or provided  for with  the consent                                                               
of both spouses, and that  beneficiary designations are effective                                                               
for  only  the  half  interest  that  is  being  designated;  and                                                               
providing  remedies and  limitation periods  to address  improper                                                               
transfers.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SHAFTEL,  in conclusion,  stated  that  [HB 292's]  proposed                                                               
changes constitute  very important improvements that  will impact                                                               
a large number of Alaskans.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:38:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOUGLAS J.  BLATTMACHR, President and CEO,  Alaska Trust Company,                                                               
characterized HB  292 as a  good piece of legislation  that would                                                               
modernize Alaska's trust  laws, and stated that  the Alaska Trust                                                               
Company strongly supports HB 292.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:39:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  moved  to  report CSHB  292(L&C)  out  of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
zero fiscal  note.  There  being no objection, CSHB  292(L&C) was                                                               
reported from the House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:39:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Judiciary Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 2:40 p.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB292 Sectional 2.24.12.pdf HJUD 3/21/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB292(L&C) version I.pdf HJUD 3/21/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB292 Sponsor Statement.pdf HJUD 3/21/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB292 Legal Opinion.pdf HJUD 3/21/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB292-DCCED-INS-02-24-12.pdf HJUD 3/21/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB292 Explanation of Changes from Version A to Version M.pdf HJUD 3/21/2012 1:00:00 PM
SB 89 HCS (STA) fiscal note.pdf HJUD 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 3/21/2012 1:00:00 PM
SB 89
Sponsor Statement HCSCSSB 89(STA).pdf HJUD 3/19/2012 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 3/21/2012 1:00:00 PM
SB 89
Memo re Single Subject rule.pdf HJUD 3/21/2012 1:00:00 PM
Westlaw Croft v. Parnell.pdf HJUD 3/21/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 292 Memo re Contracts Clause Issue.pdf HJUD 3/21/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 292
SB 89 Amendments.pdf HJUD 3/21/2012 1:00:00 PM
SB 89