Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 17

04/10/2006 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 431 WINERY LICENSES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 431(L&C) Out of Committee
+= HB 494 GUARDIANSHIP AND CONSERVATORS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                         
                         April 10, 2006                                                                                         
                           3:52 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Tom Anderson, Chair                                                                                              
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Norman Rokeberg                                                                                                  
Representative Harry Crawford                                                                                                   
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pete Kott                                                                                                        
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 494                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to private professional conservators and                                                                       
private and public guardians."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 431                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to sales of wine by a winery licensee."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 431(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 494                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: GUARDIANSHIP AND CONSERVATORS                                                                                      
SPONSOR(s): LABOR & COMMERCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
03/24/06       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/24/06       (H)       L&C, JUD, FIN                                                                                          
04/03/06       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
04/03/06       (H)       <Bill Hearing Postponed to 04/05/06>                                                                   
04/05/06       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
04/05/06       (H)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
04/10/06       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 431                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: WINERY LICENSES                                                                                                    
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) LEDOUX                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
02/06/06       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/06/06       (H)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
04/10/06       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JOSH APPLEBEE, Staff                                                                                                            
to Representative Anderson                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 494 on behalf of the House                                                                    
Labor and Commerce Standing Committee, sponsor, chaired by                                                                      
Representative Anderson.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
JIM PARKER, Supervising Attorney                                                                                                
Public Guardian Section                                                                                                         
Office of Public Advocacy (OPA)                                                                                                 
Department of Administration (DOA)                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Reviewed the changes encompassed in HB 494.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
BETTY STANLEY                                                                                                                   
Alaska State Association for Guardianship and Advocacy                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 494.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JOSH FINK, Director                                                                                                             
Office of Public Advocacy                                                                                                       
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 494.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTINE MARASIGAN, Staff                                                                                                      
to Representative LeDoux                                                                                                        
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 431 on behalf of                                                                              
Representative LeDoux, sponsor.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
STEVEN (STEVE) THOMPSON, Owner                                                                                                  
Alaskan Wilderness Wines                                                                                                        
Kodiak, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Encouraged support for HB 431.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DALE FOX, Executive Director                                                                                                    
Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant & Retailer's Association                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified  that Alaska  CHARR supports  the                                                              
provisions  in HB  431  for Alaska  wineries  to  ship product  to                                                              
Alaskans.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DOUGLAS (DOUG) B. GRIFFIN, Director                                                                                             
Alcoholic Beverage Control Board ("ABC Board")                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:     During   hearing  on  HB   431,  answered                                                              
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TOM  ANDERSON called the  House Labor and  Commerce Standing                                                            
Committee  meeting  to  order  at  3:52:21  PM.    Representatives                                                            
Anderson, Rokeberg,  Crawford, and Guttenberg were  present at the                                                              
call to  order.  Representative  Lynn arrived  as the  meeting was                                                              
in progress.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB 494-GUARDIANSHIP AND CONSERVATORS                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:52:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON  announced that the  first order of  business would                                                              
be HOUSE  BILL NO. 494, "An  Act relating to  private professional                                                              
conservators and private and public guardians."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:52:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOSH  APPLEBEE, Staff  to  Representative  Anderson, Alaska  State                                                              
Legislature, speaking  on behalf of  the sponsor, the  House Labor                                                              
and Commerce  Standing Committee,  explained that  HB 494  aims to                                                              
correct some  unintended consequences  resulting from  the passage                                                              
of  House Bill  427 in  2004.     He reminded  the committee  that                                                              
House  Bill 427  responded to  a  need for  oversight of  private,                                                              
professional  guardians and  conservators.   The legislation  gave                                                              
responsibility  for regulation of  private professional  guardians                                                              
to  the  Division  of Occupational  Licensing,  now  know  as  the                                                              
Division of Corporations,  Business, & Professional  Licensing.  A                                                              
new statutory section  was created in AS 08.26,  which established                                                              
the  process by  which private  guardians  and conservators  would                                                              
obtain  licensure  and  act  as   guardians  or  conservators  for                                                              
disabled  Alaskans.   He  noted  that  House  Bill 427  also  made                                                              
changes in the guardianship statutes contained in AS 13.26.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:53:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. APPLEBEE  highlighted that  HB 494 only  deals with  AS 08.26.                                                              
This  legislation,  HB  494,  is  supported  by  the  Division  of                                                              
Corporations,  Business, & Professional  Licensing and  the Alaska                                                              
State Association for Guardianship and Advocacy, he related.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:54:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG  moved to  adopt  CSHB 494,  Version  24-                                                              
LS11763\F,  Mischel,  4/4/06,  as  the working  document.    There                                                              
being no objection, Version F was before the committee.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:55:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JIM  PARKER,   Supervising  Attorney,  Public   Guardian  Section,                                                              
Office  of Public  Advocacy  (OPA), Department  of  Administration                                                              
(DOA), explained  that the  intent behind House  Bill 427  was for                                                              
there  to  be  a  healthy,  vibrant   private  sector  to  provide                                                              
guardianship  and  conservatorship   services  to  individuals  in                                                              
Alaska with disabilities.   However, the legislation  created some                                                              
unintended   barriers    to   the   private   sector    with   the                                                              
organizational license  requirement and  the lack of  clarity that                                                              
those guardians  providing conservatorship services  don't need to                                                              
obtain  a separate  license.   Therefore,  HB  494 eliminates  the                                                              
organizational  license requirement and  clarifies that  those who                                                              
obtain  a guardian  license are  able  to perform  conservatorship                                                              
services  as  well  so  long  as  they  meet  the  conservatorship                                                              
license  requirements.    The  aforementioned,   he  opined,  will                                                              
provide incentives to the private sector.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARKER  then turned  the committee's attention  to the  end of                                                              
HB  494,  which   amends  the  public  guardian   statute.    This                                                              
amendment  specifies that  any employee  of the  Office of  Public                                                              
Advocacy acting  as a public  guardian and providing  guardianship                                                              
and conservatorship  services would also have to  meet the current                                                              
requirement  applicable  to private  guardians  and  conservators,                                                              
including  going through  a criminal  background  check and  being                                                              
certified  by a  nationally recognized  organization.   Currently,                                                              
the  only  nationally  recognized  organization  is  the  National                                                              
Guardianship  Association.   He  then pointed  out  that under  HB
494, AS  08.26.030 is amended  to reflect the standard  concerning                                                              
criminal  background  checks  and  barrier  crimes  such  that  it                                                              
reflects the  standard of  the National Guardianship  Association.                                                              
He  noted that  some changes  were  made because  the Division  of                                                              
Corporations,  Business,  & Professional  Licensing  believed  the                                                              
provisions to be unnecessary.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:59:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON announced that HB 494 will be held today.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG  commented that  he  wasn't aware  that                                                              
guardianship  has actually  become  a business,  and therefore  he                                                              
asked for the background on it.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARKER  explained that  in Alaska  a conservator is  appointed                                                              
only  to  manage  the  financial   affairs  of  a  person  with  a                                                              
disability or  some sort of incapacity.   However, a  guardian has                                                              
broader   powers,  including   the  ability   to  make   decisions                                                              
regarding  a person's  finances.   Guardians also  have the  power                                                              
and  obligation  to  make decisions  regarding  medical  care  and                                                              
placement.  This  legislation, he stated, doesn't  change anything                                                              
about the existing  structure of guardianship, which  is a process                                                              
set  out  in  statute that  results  in  appointment  through  the                                                              
court.   For many years  there have  been private alternatives  to                                                              
the Office  of Public  Advocacy, which  provides guardianship  and                                                              
conservatorship services  as a last  resort such as when  there is                                                              
no family member, friend, or private entity that can do so.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:02:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG,  referred   to  page  2,  line  22,  and                                                              
inquired as to the definition of a partial guardian.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PARKER  answered  that  a partial  guardian  is  someone  who                                                              
doesn't have all  the duties set out in statute.   That provision,                                                              
he explained, recognizes  the possibility that people  may want to                                                              
be  licensed to  act  as  a guardian,  but  don't  want to  assume                                                              
financial   responsibility.      Mr.  Parker   opined   that   the                                                              
aforementioned  won't  happen  often,  but the  statutes  need  to                                                              
allow   for   that   possibility.     In   further   response   to                                                              
Representative Rokeberg,  Mr. Parker said that a  partial guardian                                                              
would  be a  private  professional guardian  or  conservator.   He                                                              
noted that  Title 13  includes definitions  regarding limited  and                                                              
partial guardians.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:04:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BETTY  STANLEY,  Alaska  State Association  for  Guardianship  and                                                              
Advocacy  (ASAGA),  began  by informing  the  committee  that  she                                                              
worked with the  sponsor on House Bill 427.   She further informed                                                              
the committee  that she has been  a court visitor for  17 years as                                                              
she  performs the  court investigation  prior  to guardianship  or                                                              
conservatorships being  appointed by the court.   This legislation                                                              
and House  Bill 427 were intended  to license the  private sector,                                                              
which didn't exist  at one time.  Since working  with the Division                                                              
of Corporations,  Business,  & Professional  Licensing, it  became                                                              
apparent that  House Bill 427  slowed/impeded the process  or made                                                              
it  very  expensive  because  the   language  was  interpreted  to                                                              
require three licenses,  which was not the intent.   This proposed                                                              
legislation   would   clarify  that   multiple   licenses   aren't                                                              
required.   Furthermore, HB 494 makes  it easier for those  in the                                                              
private  sector to  obtain a  license as  it makes  it a bit  less                                                              
expensive.   Therefore, ASAGA, she  relayed, supports  the changes                                                              
and amendments that require certification and background checks.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:06:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOSH  FINK, Director,  Office of  Public  Advocacy, Department  of                                                              
Administration,  thanked  the sponsor  because  it's critical  for                                                              
there  to be  regulation  of private  guardians.    He echoed  the                                                              
earlier testimony  that the intention was never  to require people                                                              
to obtain  three licenses.   He  expressed hope  that HB  494 will                                                              
allow  more individuals  to become  private guardians.   Mr.  Fink                                                              
opined  that   the  department   fully  supports   HB  494.     He                                                              
highlighted the  fact that  there are zero  fiscal notes  from the                                                              
Office  of  Public  Advocacy and  the  Division  of  Corporations,                                                              
Business,  &  Professional  Licensing.    He  mentioned  that  the                                                              
Division  of  Corporations,  Business,  &  Professional  Licensing                                                              
supports HB 494.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:07:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON announced that HB 494 would be held over.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HB 431-WINERY LICENSES                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:08:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON  announced that the  final order of  business would                                                              
be HOUSE  BILL NO.  431, "An Act  relating to sales  of wine  by a                                                              
winery licensee."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:09:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTINE  MARASIGAN,  Staff  to   Representative  LeDoux,  Alaska                                                              
State  Legislature, sponsor,  noted a  draft committee  substitute                                                              
(CS) included in members' packets.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  made a motion to adopt  CSHB 431, Version                                                              
24-LS1578\G, Luckhaupt,  4/06/06, as the working  document.  There                                                              
being no objection, Version G was before the committee.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARASIGAN  explained  that HB  431 makes  it possible  for in-                                                              
state wineries  to sell  wine in-state.   Currently, she  said, it                                                              
is  possible to  go  online and  purchase  wine from  out-of-state                                                              
wineries; however, it is currently illegal to purchase from in-                                                                 
state wineries.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:10:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STEVEN  (STEVE) THOMPSON,  Owner, Alaskan  Wilderness Wines,  said                                                              
that  HB 431  would give  in-state wineries  equal treatment  with                                                              
out-of-state wineries.  He encouraged support of the bill.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   ROKEBERG  asked  what   types  of   wine  Alaskan                                                              
Wilderness Wines produces.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  THOMPSON  replied  that  his  company  currently  produces  a                                                              
variety  of berry  wines, in  addition to  sparkling rhubarb,  and                                                              
mead.  He said that production is around 150 cases per year.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:12:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DALE FOX,  Executive Director,  Alaska Cabaret, Hotel,  Restaurant                                                              
&  Retailer's  Association  (CHARR),  related  that  Alaska  CHARR                                                              
supports the  provisions for  Alaska wineries  to ship  product to                                                              
Alaskans.  He  related that most states allowed  in-state wineries                                                              
to  ship but  not  the out-of-state  wineries,  which resulted  in                                                              
supreme court  challenges.  Alaska  has a small industry,  and all                                                              
that  can  be done  to  support  it  should  be done,  he  opined.                                                              
Clearly,  if  out-of-state wines  are  allowed  to be  shipped  to                                                              
Alaska,  those wineries  in the  state should  also be allowed  to                                                              
ship  to  Alaskans.    Mr. Fox  highlighted  that  when  a  retail                                                              
package store ships  alcohol it must follow the  specifications of                                                              
13 AAC 104.645,  which basically establishes provisions  to ensure                                                              
that the purchaser  is 21 years of age and the order  is paid.  If                                                              
in-state  wineries  are  allowed  to ship,  then  they  should  be                                                              
required to follow the same rules as package stores, he said.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:14:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   CRAWFORD   recalled  that   similar   legislation                                                              
addressed this two to three years ago.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ANDERSON reminded  the committee  that  the legislation  to                                                              
which Representative Crawford spoke did not pass.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG noted  that there  was a supreme  court                                                              
ruling  that specified  that there  can't  be two  sets of  rules,                                                              
which  this legislation  corrects.    He asked  if  there are  any                                                              
statements by the courts that need to be addressed.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:15:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARASIGAN  explained  that in  most other  states wine  can be                                                              
shipped  within  the  state,  but  those  from  out-of-state  were                                                              
prevented  from shipping  wine  into the  state.   Therefore,  the                                                              
supreme court  ruling stated  that both  must be treated  equally.                                                              
In  Alaska, out-of-state  wineries are  allowed to  ship into  the                                                              
state while  in-state wineries aren't  allowed to ship  within the                                                              
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG asked  if  the parity  of taxation  was                                                              
addressed in this ruling.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARASIGAN said  she did not believe that it was.   She related                                                              
her belief  that taxes  were addressed  such that an  out-of-state                                                              
winery couldn't  be charged more  to ship into another  state than                                                              
what those in the state were being charged.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG questioned  whether the ruling  touched                                                              
taxation as it applies to Internet sales.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:17:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOUGLAS (DOUG)  B. GRIFFIN,  Director, Alcoholic Beverage  Control                                                              
Board  ("ABC Board"),  in response  to an  earlier question,  said                                                              
that  the ABC  Board  would not  have  a problem  instructing  the                                                              
wineries   to   follow   the  same   provisions,   written   order                                                              
provisions, as for  package stores.  For equity, he  agreed that a                                                              
similar  regulation  to apply  to  direct shipment  from  wineries                                                              
would be appropriate.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  surmised that  an amendment is  needed to                                                              
create the duty unless that is already in place.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GRIFFIN said  that  he would  like to  speak  with his  legal                                                              
counsel on that matter.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON  interjected  that the next  committee of  referral                                                              
for HB  431 is  the House  Finance Committee.   He suggested  that                                                              
the legislation could  be reported from committee  and the sponsor                                                              
and  staff  could  address  that  matter  before  the  legislation                                                              
arrives in the House Finance Committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG opined  that the  winery should  abide by                                                              
the law and  it's merely a matter  of whether it should  be placed                                                              
in statute or whether the current regulations are applicable.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GUTTENBERG   asked    if   there   is   companion                                                              
legislation in the Senate.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARASIGAN replied no.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  noted that this legislation  only extends                                                              
those  privileges   to  in-state   wineries.     He  related   his                                                              
understanding  that Alaska's  statutes  regarding the  importation                                                              
of wine are out of compliance.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GRIFFIN  pointed  out  that  in  Alaska  there  was  never  a                                                              
statutory  or  regulatory  provision  that  addressed  an  Alaskan                                                              
ordering  wine from  an out-of-state  winery.   In the absence  of                                                              
the statute, the  ABC Board determined that it  is permissible for                                                              
Alaskans to order  wine from [out-of-state] wineries  for personal                                                              
use.   He  related  his  understanding  that the  Supreme  Court's                                                              
ruling  didn't  take  away  the powers  of  taxation,  but  mainly                                                              
attempted to treat all wineries equal.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:22:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG related his  understanding that  a winery                                                              
outside the state  has to be licensed with the State  of Alaska in                                                              
order to export into the state.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRIFFIN replied no.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ANDERSON,  upon determining  that  no  one else  wished  to                                                              
testify, closed public testimony.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:23:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG  asked  if there  was  a reason  why  the                                                              
winery fee was deleted.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MARASIGAN answered  that Mr.  Griffin  didn't feel  it was  a                                                              
good idea and thus the winery fee was deleted.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN moved to report CSHB 431, Version 24-                                                                       
LS1578\G, Luckhaupt, 4/6/06, out of committee with individual                                                                   
recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes.  There being                                                                 
no objection, CSHB 431(L&C) was reported from committee.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:24:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Labor and Commerce Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at                                                                  
4:24 p.m.                                                                                                                       

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