Legislature(2015 - 2016)BARNES 124

03/13/2015 03:15 PM LABOR & COMMERCE

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Audio Topic
03:38:32 PM Start
03:38:45 PM HB9
05:03:29 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 9 PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS/AGENCIES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
          HOUSE LABOR AND COMMERCE STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                         
                         March 13, 2015                                                                                         
                           3:38 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kurt Olson, Chair                                                                                                
Representative Shelley Hughes, Vice Chair                                                                                       
Representative Jim Colver                                                                                                       
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux                                                                                                 
Representative Cathy Tilton                                                                                                     
Representative Andy Josephson                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Sam Kito                                                                                                         
Representative Mike Chenault (alternate)                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 9                                                                                                                
"An Act providing for the licensing and regulation of private                                                                   
investigators and private investigator agencies; and providing                                                                  
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 9                                                                                                                    
SHORT TITLE: PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS/AGENCIES                                                                                     
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) HUGHES                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
01/21/15       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/9/15                                                                                
01/21/15       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/21/15       (H)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
02/11/15       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
02/11/15       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/11/15       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
02/23/15       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
02/23/15       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
03/02/15       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/02/15       (H)       Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled                                                                       
03/13/15       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
GINGER BLAISDELL, Staff                                                                                                         
Representative Shelley Hughes                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on behalf of the sponsor,                                                                      
Representative Shelley Hughes, prime sponsor of HB 9.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
STEVE CHRISTOPHER, Owner                                                                                                        
Investigative Services of Alaska, LLC                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the discussion of HB 9.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
WILLIAM PARLIER, Owner                                                                                                          
McHenry Detective Agency                                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the discussion of HB 9.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT SHAW, Owner                                                                                                              
Robert Shaw Agency                                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the discussion of HB 9.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
JAMES HOFERER, Owner                                                                                                            
JPH Enterprises                                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 9.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
FRANK WAKE, Private Investigator                                                                                                
Frank Wake Private Investigative Services, LLC                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 9.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DENA BOUGHTON, Owner                                                                                                            
Justice Investigations                                                                                                          
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 9.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ANTHONY COZZETTI, Owner                                                                                                         
Paladin Investigations                                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the discussion of HB 9.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
LINK FANNON, Owner                                                                                                              
Oracle Investigations                                                                                                           
Meadow Lakes, Alaska                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 9.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:38:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KURT  OLSON called  the House  Labor and  Commerce Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to order at  3:38 p.m.  Representatives Colver,                                                               
Tilton, Josephson, LeDoux, Hughes, and  Olson were present at the                                                               
call to order.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
              HB 9-PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS/AGENCIES                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:38:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON  announced that the  only order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO. 9,  "An  Act  providing  for the  licensing  and                                                               
regulation  of  private  investigators and  private  investigator                                                               
agencies; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:39:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GINGER  BLAISDELL, Staff,  Representative Shelley  Hughes, Alaska                                                               
State   Legislature,   on   behalf    of   the   prime   sponsor,                                                               
Representative  Shelley Hughes,  offered to  review the  original                                                               
version  of  the  bill  and   highlight  any  changes  that  were                                                               
incorporated into  the proposed committee substitute  (CS) for HB                                                               
9,  Version  H.     This  bill  would   establish  licensing  and                                                               
regulation  of  private  investigators and  private  investigator                                                               
agencies.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BLAISDELL indicated  that  a similar  bill  came before  the                                                               
House Labor  and Commerce  Standing Committee  last year  and the                                                               
committee recommended  changes, which were incorporated  into the                                                               
original version of HB 9  this legislative session.  She provided                                                               
a section-by-section analysis  of HB 9.  Section  1 would require                                                               
the private  investigator job class  to be  added to the  list of                                                               
professional  licenses the  Department of  Commerce, Community  &                                                               
Economic Development oversees.   The private investigator license                                                               
requirements would  add requirements beyond the  current standard                                                               
business license  for private investigators.   The  initial bill,                                                               
HB 9,  established two classifications:   a  private investigator                                                               
and  a  private  investigator  agency.   The  scope  of  practice                                                               
identified  the  types  of tasks  a  private  investigator  could                                                               
perform such as investigating  criminal offenses, considering the                                                               
identity  and  habits  of individuals,  or  basically  conducting                                                               
general  surveillance activities.    Private investigators  could                                                               
work for  a variety of people,  not just one entity,  noting that                                                               
private investigator services can be  contracted by the public or                                                               
by other companies.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL  reviewed the  general requirements  for licensure,                                                               
including that a  private investigator must be a  US citizen, not                                                               
be convicted of a felony within  the past ten years, or have been                                                               
convicted by another  jurisdiction of a crime  of moral turpitude                                                               
or  sexual  misconduct.   She  stated  that moral  turpitude  was                                                               
defined  in statute  to include  crimes such  as murder  or rape.                                                               
Applicants cannot  be on  probation or parole  or be  declared by                                                               
the  court  as incompetent,  be  currently  employed as  a  peace                                                               
officer or as  an agent of the US  conducting investigative work,                                                               
nor could they  have a conflict of interest as  determined by the                                                               
[Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development].                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:44:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.   BLAISDELL  related   that  the   bill,  HB   9,  originally                                                               
contemplated two different classes  of licenses: the professional                                                               
private  investigator and  a  paraprofessional  class, with  each                                                               
class  requiring slightly  different  levels of  education.   The                                                               
license application process outlined  that applicants must submit                                                               
to fingerprinting  and an investigation, in  which the department                                                               
would  conduct  an  investigation  to  identify  and  "weed  out"                                                               
applicants who  should not  be awarded a  license.   In addition,                                                               
private investigators  who held private investigator  licenses in                                                               
another jurisdiction  could apply for reciprocity  in Alaska, she                                                               
said.  Under the bill,  the department would issue a professional                                                               
license identification  and an agency  certificate plus  it would                                                               
require bonding  and liability provisions.   The  license renewal                                                               
would  be non-transferable,  which is  a provision  that will  be                                                               
retained  in the  proposed committee  substitute (CS)  for HB  9,                                                               
Version H [not  yet before the committee],  since licenses should                                                               
not be transferable.  She  noted that firearms training was added                                                               
last  year   in  a  hearing   on  a  similar  bill   for  private                                                               
investigator licensure.   Although  anyone in  Alaska can  have a                                                               
"concealed carry" weapon  permit, due to the nature  of the work,                                                               
it was  felt that  private investigators should  be subject  to a                                                               
firearms training course.   She stated that  confidentiality of a                                                               
licensee's   personal  identifying   information  was   initially                                                               
included,  but  the  provisions have  proven  difficult  for  the                                                               
division,  so  the  language  [Sec.  08.85.250]  was  removed  in                                                               
proposed Version H.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:47:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.   BLAISDELL  turned   to  [Sec.   08.85.260]  to   prohibited                                                               
practices,   which  would   allow   the   department  to   impose                                                               
disciplinary sanctions, including revoking  a license or imposing                                                               
a fine  for inappropriate activity.   This section  would clearly                                                               
identify  the types  of circumstances  for  which the  department                                                               
could impose fines  on licensees.  She directed  attention to the                                                               
immunity  for  complainants,  [under Sec.  08.85.270]  which  was                                                               
added  due to  a lawsuit.   She  related that  the Administrative                                                               
Procedures  Act (APA)  provisions would  allow the  department to                                                               
adopt  regulations  for  private  investigators.    She  directed                                                               
attention to the  long list of exemptions,  which includes people                                                               
who  would   not  need  to   comply  with   private  investigator                                                               
licensure.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:48:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BLAISDELL   directed  attention   to  definitions   for  the                                                               
commissioner  and  department  that  would  oversee  the  private                                                               
investigator program.  The  transitional provisions would provide                                                               
"grandfathering in" of current  private investigators until their                                                               
licenses were  renewed.  She  stated that the original  bill, [HB                                                               
9], had an effective date of July 2015.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:49:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES  moved  to adopt  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for  HB  9,  Version  H,  labeled  29-LS0056\H,                                                               
Strasbaugh, 3/12/15 as the working document.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:50:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BLAISDELL pointed  out that  she  "redlined" a  copy of  the                                                               
original version  of the bill,  [HB 9], and offered  to highlight                                                               
the changes included in the  proposed committee substitute for HB                                                               
9, Version H.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON asked whether she  could provide the committee with a                                                               
side-by-side comparison  outlining the  changes in Version  H for                                                               
the committee.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL agreed to do so.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:51:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL  directed attention to  page 1 of Version  H, which                                                               
has a slight  change in the title to reflect  changes made in the                                                               
bill.  Section 1 would remain  the same, but would add regulation                                                               
of private  investigators to the professional  licensure class of                                                               
jobs.   On  page 1,  line 9,  references to  private investigator                                                               
agencies were removed,  so even if a person owned  an agency, the                                                               
license would be  limited solely to the  private investigator who                                                               
conducts the private  investigator's duties.  On page  2, line 18                                                               
[Sec.  08.85.110] the  scope of  practice  added language,  which                                                               
read,  "A license  entitles an  individual to  operate a  private                                                               
investigator  agency  as  an  individual,  a  partner,  or  chief                                                               
executive officer of a corporation."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:53:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL directed  attention to page 2, line  20, of Version                                                               
H,  which  would  establish   general  requirements  for  private                                                               
investigators.  She  clarified that the language  in the original                                                               
bill appeared  to allow  the DCCED to  make the  determination on                                                               
"moral  turpitude,"  however,  moral  turpitude  was  defined  in                                                               
statute.  This provision was removed  in Version H, since most of                                                               
the crimes of  this type fall under Section 2  to those convicted                                                               
of a  felony.  She clarified  that language was left  to prohibit                                                               
persons  convicted  of  sexual  offenses  from  becoming  private                                                               
investigators.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:54:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked for  further clarification on whether                                                               
this language  would only apply  to felonies.  She  asked whether                                                               
some misdemeanors,  such as crimes  of dishonesty should  also be                                                               
included.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL answered  that she was not  sure whether dishonesty                                                               
would be classified as a misdemeanor  or a felony.  She suggested                                                               
that was part  of the reason "moral turpitude" was  placed in the                                                               
original  bill; however,  due to  significant public  opposition,                                                               
the  provision  was  removed.     She  suggested  this  could  be                                                               
something the committee could further consider.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:55:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON said  he  was concerned  with the  bill                                                               
from the outset  since it was "just too much  in just about every                                                               
respect."   He  acknowledged  that Representative  LeDoux made  a                                                               
good point, since crimes of  dishonesty are impeachable in court,                                                               
but a  client may wish  to know  if the private  investigator who                                                               
acted as a  witness in court was impeachable.   He suggested that                                                               
fact could be an important point.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:56:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL referred  to page 2, lines 29-30,  to paragraph (5)                                                               
of Version H,  which would preclude applicants who  may have been                                                               
declared  by  a court  to  be  mentally  incompetent.   One  item                                                               
removed from  the original  bill was  that a  person dishonorably                                                               
discharged from the  armed forces of the United  States could not                                                               
serve as  a private investigator.   After further review,  it was                                                               
suggested  that  the  meaning  of  "dishonorable  discharge"  has                                                               
changed over time.  She  said that dishonorable discharges issued                                                               
during the  Vietnam War related  to fairly egregious  crimes that                                                               
were committed;  however, more recently some  of the dishonorable                                                               
discharges issued are related to  such things as military members                                                               
who  suffered from  alcohol  addiction  or post-traumatic  stress                                                               
syndrome, which  may not necessarily be  disqualifying reasons to                                                               
work in  this professional  job class.   Another  paragraph [(7)]                                                               
was  removed that  disqualified applicants  who were  employed in                                                               
other jobs,  such as peace  officers or  those who work  in other                                                               
state or federal  law enforcement positions.   This provision was                                                               
removed  because  it was  likely  that  the employee  would  have                                                               
signed a  waiver with respect to  employment.  [On page  3, lines                                                               
13-14,  subparagraph  (C),  of   Version  A]  language  was  also                                                               
removed, which read, "in a  position the department determines to                                                               
represent a  conflict of interest for  the prospective licensee."                                                               
This language was removed since  it appeared to leave significant                                                               
discretion  to the  department with  respect  to determining  any                                                               
conflicts of interest.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:58:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BLAISDELL directed  attention  to  the private  investigator                                                               
license [AS  08.85.130, Version H]  on page 3, beginning  on line                                                               
1, which read,  "Applicants must be at least 21  years of age and                                                               
pay the  required fee."   She suggested  that the  committee also                                                               
consider removing  language on  page 3,  lines 5-20,  which would                                                               
require minimum  educational requirements for the  two classes of                                                               
private investigator  licenses.  This language  was inadvertently                                                               
not removed during the development of Version H, she said.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BLAISDELL directed  attention  on page  3,  lines 21-31,  of                                                               
Version  H,  to the  license  application  process.   Instead  of                                                               
listing  every  single  piece  of  identifying  information,  the                                                               
applicant can  now choose the  appropriate application  form, she                                                               
said.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:00:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  OLSON  related  his  understanding  that  three  political                                                               
jurisdictions,   including  Fairbanks,   Anchorage,  and   Juneau                                                               
currently offer private investigator licenses.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BLAISDELL  answered  that  the City  of  Fairbanks  and  the                                                               
[Municipality] of Anchorage  offer private investigator licenses,                                                               
but Juneau does not currently do so.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER in the audience  interjected that "it was on                                                               
the books in Kenai, but it hasn't been enforced."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:01:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.   BLAISDELL   stated   that  applicants   must   sign   their                                                               
application, attesting that the  information is true, rather than                                                               
necessitating that the department  verify that the information on                                                               
the application  is true and  accurate.  If an  applicant submits                                                               
false  information, the  applicant  could be  prosecuted for  the                                                               
offense, she  said, plus, the applicant  must submit fingerprints                                                               
and fees for a national criminal history background check.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:01:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked  whether  the  applicant would  sign                                                               
under penalty of  perjury that everything on  the application was                                                               
true.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL was unsure, but  suggested that additional language                                                               
could be added.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TILTON pointed  out that the language  was also on                                                               
page 5, line 22 of the marked-up redline version of [HB 9].                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:02:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BLAISDELL directed  attention to  the language  that removed                                                               
the requirement for  a notarized signature [page  5, lines 24-25,                                                               
of HB 9].  The sponsor  initially wanted applicants to show their                                                               
identification in order  to verify who they were,  but changed it                                                               
to allow  applicants to sign  that the information  was accurate,                                                               
so the requirement for the notarized signature was also removed.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:03:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL  turned to the  requirement for fingerprints.   She                                                               
said  she  reviewed  the  screening  process  for  fingerprinting                                                               
requirements, noting  the reason to submit  fingerprints for each                                                               
application was  to recognize that  the criminal history  for the                                                               
person  submitting the  information could  change.   Fingerprints                                                               
remain  as the  only source  of identifying  a person,  since the                                                               
bill   does  not   recognize  DNA   [Deoxyribonucleic  acid]   or                                                               
biometrics   since  the   national  identification   index  holds                                                               
fingerprints,  but does  not retain  DNA or  iris scans  or other                                                               
types of biometrics.  Fingerprints  can help identify other alias                                                               
an  applicant  has  used,  plus  it is  part  of  the  interstate                                                               
compact, she said.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:04:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked  whether fingerprint requirements are                                                               
required for license renewal.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL answered that another  section in the bill requires                                                               
fingerprints  be submitted  once  every 10  years  to update  the                                                               
private investigator's criminal  history; however, applicants can                                                               
have multiple renewals within that 10-year period.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:04:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON  said he did  not think that was  standard procedure,                                                               
since he  holds several  professional licenses.   He  recalled he                                                               
was able to use one set  of fingerprints to apply for reciprocity                                                               
in several other states.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BLAISDELL  didn't specifically  recall  the  source of  this                                                               
language,  but  suggested it  was  derived  from another  state's                                                               
requirements. She further  recalled that the program  she used as                                                               
a  model  required a  background  check  every third  application                                                               
renewal.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  OLSON  also  did  not think  the  Alaska  Bar  Association                                                               
required that type of requirement.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  offered her belief that  she submitted one                                                               
set of  fingerprints when  she was  initially licensed  in Alaska                                                               
for  the  bar,  but  wasn't  required  to  submit  to  subsequent                                                               
fingerprinting.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:06:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL  directed attention to page  4 of Version H  to the                                                               
requirement of two photographs for  the applicant.  She suggested                                                               
the  department  might  decide   to  issue  private  investigator                                                               
identification cards at a later date.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:06:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL  said that on  page 4,  line 5, [subsection  (d) of                                                               
Version H], the department shall  require that an application for                                                               
a  license issued  under this  chapter be  submitted with  notice                                                               
that false statements are punishable  as unsworn falsification in                                                               
the second  degree under AS  11.56.210.   She was unsure  if that                                                               
language  would  help  satisfy  Representative  LeDoux's  earlier                                                               
concern about perjury on applications.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  OLSON asked  that the  record reflect  that Representative                                                               
LeDoux agreed.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  clarified that  she was curious  about the                                                               
provision, but not necessarily concerned.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:07:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BLAISDELL  related  some   time  consuming  provisions  were                                                               
removed  from the  application process,  including  the need  for                                                               
letters  of recommendations,  documentation to  substantiate that                                                               
the  applicant  met  the  requirements,  and  the  need  for  the                                                               
department   to  conduct   an   investigation.     Instead,   the                                                               
application  process  relies on  the  applicant's  word that  the                                                               
information is  true, rather than  require a  notarized signature                                                               
on the  application form, which  should simplify  the application                                                               
process.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL  directed attention to  page 4, line 8  [of Version                                                               
H]  to [proposed  AS  08.85.150] to  the  unlawful practices  for                                                               
private investigator  agencies.  She said  a private investigator                                                               
may operate a  private investigator agency if the  person holds a                                                               
private investigator  license and carries an  insurance policy, a                                                               
surety bond or other form of  security for not less than $15,000,                                                               
which  was fairly  standard practice  for many  businesses.   She                                                               
pointed  out  that  initially  the bill  established  a  class  A                                                               
misdemeanor  for anyone  who knowingly  violated this  provision,                                                               
but due to  adverse public comment, the penalty was  changed to a                                                               
violation under AS 12.55.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:09:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked whether someone operating  an agency                                                               
without a  license or  a policy of  insurance would  constitute a                                                               
violation.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL answered  yes; that it would similar  to failure to                                                               
obtain requirements for being licensed and bonded.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:10:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked  whether a person who  doesn't hold a                                                               
private   investigator  license   but  operates   as  a   private                                                               
investigator  would be  guilty of  a  violation.   She asked  for                                                               
further clarification on the punishment under AS 12.55.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BLAISDELL answered  that AS  12.55  relates to  the code  of                                                               
criminal  procedure,   with  a   wide  variety   of  punishments,                                                               
sentencing  and  probation.   She  suggested  that the  level  of                                                               
punishment  would   likely  be  decided  in   regulation  by  the                                                               
department.   She added  that the  public felt  that misdemeanors                                                               
and criminal fines did not seem warranted.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:11:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked what the  highest fine could be under                                                               
AS 12.55 for a violation.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL suggested  that it would be left  to the discretion                                                               
of the department to establish by regulation.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:11:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON offered his  belief that a violation was                                                               
considered an  infraction, with a  maximum fine of a  few hundred                                                               
dollars.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL  pointed out  in members'  packets was  a five-page                                                               
list   from  the   Division   of   Corporations,  Business,   and                                                               
Professional  Licensing  (DCBPL) entitled  "Criminal  Prosecution                                                               
[Authority]," which lists criminal  misdemeanors and felonies for                                                               
every profession.   However, at this point, the  bill would limit                                                               
the  maximum offense  to  violation and  the  process to  develop                                                               
regulations would set the penalty.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON stated that this  list was useful to him                                                               
since he had concerns about the penalties.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:13:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL directed attention to page  4, line 15 of Version H                                                               
to  the license  renewal and  nontransferability in  [proposed AS                                                               
08.85.160].   This  language was  also included  in the  original                                                               
bill, with the exception of line  27, in which the department may                                                               
require  a  new  set  of  fingerprints  within  10  years.    She                                                               
suggested  that  the  committee   may  wish  to  review  proposed                                                               
subsection (d).                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BLAISDELL  directed  attention  to   page  5,  line  3,  to,                                                               
prohibited  practices [proposed  AS  08.85.170].   This  language                                                               
mirrored the language  in the original bill, and  would allow the                                                               
department  to  sanction  a  private  investigator.    Since  the                                                               
private investigator  structure was established without  a board,                                                               
the department will assume the  responsibility that a board might                                                               
otherwise undertake.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:15:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BLAISDELL  advised  members  that  Version  H  also  removed                                                               
firearms training  requirements [in proposed AS  08.85.240 and AS                                                               
08.85.250 on page  9 of the original bill  and confidentiality of                                                               
licensee's  personal  identifying  information].    In  addition,                                                               
immunity for complainants  [on page 10, proposed  AS 08.85.270 of                                                               
Version A] was also removed.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL  directed attention to  page 6, lines 9-10,  to the                                                               
Administrative  Procedure Act  reference, which  would allow  the                                                               
department  to  implement  regulations   that  was  also  in  the                                                               
original bill.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:15:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL directed  attention to page 6,  lines 11-31 through                                                               
page  8,  line 5,  of  Version  H  to exemptions,  [which  mirror                                                               
provisions  in  HB 9].    She  reviewed  the exemptions  and  the                                                               
rationale used  for them.   She  directed attention  to paragraph                                                               
(1),  which  refers  to  investigations   conducted  by  a  human                                                               
resources department,  who investigate prospective  employees and                                                               
conduct  background checks  within the  affairs of  the employer.                                                               
Thus the  internal staff would obtain  information on prospective                                                               
employees, but those activities do  not extend to the public, she                                                               
said.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BLAISDELL  said  paragraph  (2) relates  to  an  officer  or                                                               
employee  of  the  US,  such  as police  officer,  who  have  the                                                               
statutory  duty  to  perform  investigations  in  the  course  of                                                               
performing his/her  official duties.  Paragraph  (3) would relate                                                               
to  a person  engaged exclusively  in the  business of  obtaining                                                               
financial  information,  such as  companies  who  offer loans  or                                                               
credit services  that are restricted to  financial services only.                                                               
She  said that  paragraph  (4) related  to  investigations by  an                                                               
attorney, while  performing duties  as an attorney,  noting these                                                               
professionals are licensed and subject  to ethics.  Paragraph (5)                                                               
relates  to investigations  conducted  by  a licensed  collection                                                               
agency, who  perform investigations  for the specific  purpose of                                                               
soliciting collections.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:18:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BLAISDELL  directed   attention  to  additional  exemptions,                                                               
including paragraph (6) for claim  adjustors, who investigate the                                                               
facts of an  incident and do not investigate  the general public;                                                               
and paragraph (7)  for an employee of a bank,  who conduct duties                                                               
within the  scope of his/her employment,  noting there activities                                                               
do  not extend  to the  general public,  but are  limited to  the                                                               
scope of employment  to the bank.  She stated  that paragraph (8)                                                               
relates  to  activities  of a  licensed  insurance  adjuster  who                                                               
performs duties within  the scope of the  adjuster's license; and                                                               
paragraph (9), relates  to "repo" work, by the owner  of the debt                                                               
if  the debtor  does  not  pay, which  is  covered under  uniform                                                               
commercial code (UCC).   She said that paragraph  (10) relates to                                                               
a forensic  scientist, who basically  assembles facts  to support                                                               
an opinion,  but does  not investigate  behavior;   and paragraph                                                               
(11) relates  to those gathering information  from other records,                                                               
such  as  using Alaska's  CourtView  [public  access website]  or                                                               
Google, but  were not  offering services  beyond what  the public                                                               
can access.   She  stated that  (12) related  to a  person solely                                                               
engaged   in  pre-employment   or   human  resources   background                                                               
screening,  which does  not include  surveillance,  but might  be                                                               
someone  performing  lie  detector  screenings  or  fingerprints;                                                               
while   paragraph  (13)   exempted   news   media,  who   conduct                                                               
journalistic investigations.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL  directed attention to paragraph  (14), which would                                                               
exempt a  person from  another jurisdiction  who holds  a private                                                               
investigator  license,   who  might  be  conducting   a  specific                                                               
incident review.  She specifically  pointed out that subparagraph                                                               
(B), would  allow private investigators reciprocity  in the state                                                               
for less  than 30 days  in a calendar  year, but beyond  that the                                                               
out-of-state  investigator  would  need to  obtain  licensure  in                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:20:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL  directed attention to paragraph  (15), which would                                                               
exempt process servers, who are  licensed to perform duties under                                                               
the Alaska  Rules of  Court; and to  paragraph (16),  which would                                                               
exempt a  paralegal in  the employ  of an  attorney or  law firm.                                                               
She stated  that paragraph (17)  would allow a person  to conduct                                                               
genealogical research;  and paragraph (18) would  exempt a person                                                               
who conducts  fact-finding investigations  in order  to determine                                                               
the cause of a fire, explosion, or accident.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:21:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BLAISDELL indicated  a significant  number of  people assess                                                               
information  for businesses  and agencies,  but two  key elements                                                               
specifically apply  to private investigators:   that  the private                                                               
investigator can work for multiple  entities rather than just one                                                               
employer; and the private investigator  was authorized to conduct                                                               
surveillance.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:22:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON commented  that the  proposed committee                                                               
substitute (CS)  for HB  9, Version H,  was vastly  improved over                                                               
the  original  bill; however,  he  still  has several  questions.                                                               
With  respect to  the  right to  surveil, he  was  unsure of  the                                                               
extent that these  rights encroach on AS 18.66,  which relates to                                                               
restraining orders.   He suggested  that the sponsor may  wish to                                                               
give some thought  to those provisions.  In  addition, he pointed                                                               
out  that  paragraph  (15)  would  exempt  process  servers,  who                                                               
perform surveillance activities, he said.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON recalled  earlier  testimony, that  the                                                               
public can perform these  investigative task themselves; however,                                                               
he questioned whether  that identifies the correct  test, since a                                                               
lot of  what private investigators can  do, a person can  also do                                                               
themselves.   For  example, a  person can  record a  conversation                                                               
unless it is law enforcement doing the recording, he said.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  OLSON  clarified that  one  party  must  be aware  of  the                                                               
recording.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   JOSEPHSON   agreed   that   the   aforementioned                                                               
exemptions were necessary.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:23:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL  referred to page 8,  line 6, of Version  H, noting                                                               
the definition section  did not change.  She referred  to page 8,                                                               
line 13, licensing of private  investigators, which would reserve                                                               
the  authority   to  license  private  investigators   except  as                                                               
specifically  provided   in  statute.    Under   this  provision,                                                               
municipalities   cannot   enforce   the  licensure   of   private                                                               
investigators since  it will allow licensees  to conduct business                                                               
in any part  of the state.  Currently, if  a private investigator                                                               
was operating in a city  without a licensure program, the private                                                               
investigator  wouldn't need  any license  [other than  a business                                                               
license],  but  if  the  private   investigator  was  working  in                                                               
Anchorage,  he/she  would  go  through   the  process  to  obtain                                                               
municipal licensure,  including paying fees.   She described this                                                               
section as creating a "one license fits all."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:24:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL directed  attention to the last change  made in the                                                               
transitional provisions,  which would  change the date  from July                                                               
1, 2015 to  July 1, 2016 to allow the  department sufficient time                                                               
to  implement regulations  and allow  time for  applicants to  go                                                               
through the process to obtain licensure.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:25:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BLAISDELL  noted  that  currently a  person  who  obtains  a                                                               
business license  may indicate investigative services  as the job                                                               
class, which  would allow them  access private information  in 70                                                               
to 80 databases without undergoing  a background check, by paying                                                               
a $50 fee for  a business license and a small fee,  such as a $10                                                               
fee  to  access  a  database.   Thus  private  investigators  can                                                               
currently gain  access to the  Division of Motor  Vehicles' (DMV)                                                               
information, including obtaining  information on license holders,                                                               
such   as  driving   infractions,  insurance   carriers,  vehicle                                                               
lienholders, and their physical addresses.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON asked  for  further clarification  that                                                               
this can be currently be done.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL answered yes.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON asked  whether this  bill would  change                                                               
this ability.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL  answered that this bill  will provide protections,                                                               
since a person  working as a private investigator  must submit to                                                               
a background check and pay  a professional license fee.  Although                                                               
she  was   uncertain  of  the  amount   of  private  investigator                                                               
licensing  fees,  she hoped  instituting  fees  would deter  some                                                               
people from applying.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:27:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  asked  for  further  clarification  on                                                               
which bill  section would preclude him  from accessing CourtView.                                                               
He  expressed  concern  over disallowing  700,000  Alaskans  from                                                               
accessing information that  they currently can access.   He asked                                                               
whether that was something the bill would do.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL answered  no; that the general public  would not be                                                               
precluded from  accessing public  databases.  Instead,  this bill                                                               
would    establish    licensure    requirements    for    private                                                               
investigators,  which  would  be  the  access  point  to  private                                                               
databases.   She stated that private  investigators can currently                                                               
obtain  a  business  license  and   access  databases  to  obtain                                                               
information.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:28:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON asked if the  bill were to pass, whether                                                               
it would  prevent people  from paying  a $50  fee for  a business                                                               
license to access databases containing private information.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL  answered that  under HB 9,  [Version H],  a person                                                               
would need to  go through a background check,  submit a completed                                                               
application,   and   be    awarded   a   private   investigator's                                                               
professional  license  in  order  to  have  access  to  databases                                                               
containing  confidential information.   She  said that  under the                                                               
bill if a  person was interested in  accessing private databases,                                                               
the  person would  need to  go through  the private  investigator                                                               
licensing process to do so.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON thought he heard the answer was yes.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL agreed.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:29:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked  what private  databases people  can                                                               
access with a business license.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL answered that people  can access the DMV's database                                                               
by paying  a $10 fee.   She said  the access criteria  requires a                                                               
business license by the state  that indicates the person provides                                                               
investigative services.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  said it sounded  like the DMV  database in                                                               
question was a state database and not a private database.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL answered  that the general public  cannot query DMV                                                               
and obtain the same information.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  suggested she would  like to speak  to the                                                               
DMV to get further information.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:31:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES  suggested that  "private" in  this context                                                               
referred access to personal  information not otherwise available.                                                               
She said  the public can search  the DMV database, but  this bill                                                               
would reach into another layer of  information.  In response to a                                                               
question  by Representative  Josephson, she  replied that  people                                                               
would  need  to  become  licensed   as  a  private  investigator;                                                               
however, they do not need to  operate a practice in order to have                                                               
access to personal  information.  She explained  that as sponsor,                                                               
her   primary   concern   was  about   protection   of   personal                                                               
information, which is very important  during this electronic age.                                                               
She  has discovered  instances in  which a  person's privacy  was                                                               
invaded  and this  protection for  Alaskans is  important.   This                                                               
bill  has  evolved  as  a  result  of  input  she  has  received.                                                               
Certainly,  a significant  number  of  private investigators  are                                                               
doing  good work,  helping  Alaskans  and she  does  not want  to                                                               
hinder  the private  investigators practicing  in Alaska,  but to                                                               
"shore up the  profession," allow it to be more  credible, and to                                                               
enhance  the  respect  the field  should  have,  while  providing                                                               
Alaskans with the comfort that they are also protected.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX said  this hearing  may have  identified a                                                               
problem beyond this bill if  the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV)                                                               
has been giving out private information.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:33:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BLAISDELL  said  she researched  investigators  licensed  in                                                               
Anchorage  and Fairbanks.   She  noted that  46 licensed  private                                                               
investigators  operate  in  Anchorage.   She  further  asked  the                                                               
Municipality of  Anchorage (MOA) to project  the financial impact                                                               
if the  MOA was no  longer licensing private investigators.   The                                                               
MOA anticipated a reduction in revenue  of $4,600 if HB 9 passed.                                                               
She  reported  that  Fairbanks   currently  licenses  17  private                                                               
investigators,  and charges  $400 for  a biennial  license.   The                                                               
City of  Fairbanks estimated an anticipated  reduction in revenue                                                               
of $2,000  per year.   She indicated  that Fairbanks has  not had                                                               
any   complaints   against   private   investigators,   but   the                                                               
Municipality of  Anchorage recalled one complaint,  although that                                                               
case was referred to the police.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. BLAISDELL, in response  to Representative Josephson's concern                                                               
about stalking,  said that  the aforementioned  complaint related                                                               
to that  type of activity, which  was turned over to  the police.                                                               
She stated that the Department  of Commerce, Community & Economic                                                               
Development had  96 business  licenses that  listed investigative                                                               
services as  the services offered.   She  estimated approximately                                                               
50  private   investigators  in   the  state   currently  provide                                                               
investigative work, with an  additional 50 out-of-state licensees                                                               
offering services,  although many  of the  out-of-state- licenses                                                               
likely  were "state  stacking"  in  order to  add  Alaska to  the                                                               
number  of states  in  which  the person  was  licensed, but  the                                                               
private investigator  did not actually  practice in Alaska.   She                                                               
said the private  investigators are a small,  but important group                                                               
of professionals.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:35:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  asked whether this bill  was introduced                                                               
due to a kidnapped barista case.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BLAISDELL   answered  that   the  aforementioned   case  was                                                               
certainly  an eye  opener, but  other reasons  exist in  terms of                                                               
licensing  private  investigators in  Alaska.    She offered  her                                                               
belief that this bill will improve public safety for Alaskans.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:36:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  OLSON  removed his  objection.    There being  no  further                                                               
objection, Version H was before the committee.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:36:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON opened public testimony on HB 9, Version H.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:37:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STEVE CHRISTOPHER, Owner, Investigative  Services of Alaska, LLC,                                                               
with respect to the public  safety aspect, indicated that current                                                               
laws  protect the  public from  private  investigators and  other                                                               
individuals.    For  example,  he said  the  situation  with  the                                                               
barista constituted  fraud so the  public had other  criminal and                                                               
civil penalties  available to provide protection.   Secondly, the                                                               
state  prosecutes offenses,  such  as impersonation  of a  police                                                               
officer, so  the current  statutes protect  the public  from that                                                               
type of activity.  As  far as private investigators having access                                                               
to databases,  he offered  his belief that  a private  person can                                                               
access the  same information.   For example,  Motznik Information                                                               
Services  provides Division  of Motor  Vehicle (DMV)  information                                                               
and anyone  can pay  fees to  obtain access  to that  data, which                                                               
does  not require  a private  investigator license;  however, the                                                               
information provided  is limited to  the name of  the individual,                                                               
the vehicle,  and the lienholder,  but not  personal information.                                                               
In terms of exemptions, he  directed attention to paragraph (14),                                                               
which he said  promotes out-of-state hire since  the average rate                                                               
in Alaska is significantly higher than  the Lower 48.  He offered                                                               
his belief that  the Lower 48 investigative rates  are $15-20 per                                                               
hour as compared to  Alaska's rates of $50 to $100  per hour.  He                                                               
expressed concern  that the insurance companies  could hire Lower                                                               
48 private investigators since it will  be cheaper to fly them to                                                               
Alaska, yet  the Lower  48 investigator  can avoid  the licensure                                                               
process.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:40:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. CHRISTOPHER said that if he  travels to the Lower 48, he must                                                               
pay a  fee to practice,  which is not  how it happens  in Alaska.                                                               
He  said that  many  of  the background  sites  simply require  a                                                               
person  to  pay  a  fee  to  obtain  any  information  a  private                                                               
investigator can  currently access, except  for a few  sites such                                                               
as  the LexisNexis  Group data  that requires  special clearance;                                                               
therefore  private investigators  cannot access  the information.                                                               
He  said  that databases  have  safeguards  in place  to  prevent                                                               
people from  obtaining personal information.   He pointed  out he                                                               
has addressed other  issues, such as fingerprints,  in letters of                                                               
opposition  he   has  previously  sent   in.    He   related  his                                                               
understanding  that "violations"  typically  relate  to fish  and                                                               
game offenses; however, he has  not found any occupations subject                                                               
to class A misdemeanor or felony charges.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:41:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WILLIAM PARLIER, Owner, McHenry  Detective Agency, stated that he                                                               
owns  the  McHenry Detective  Agency,  which  was established  in                                                               
1975.   He said  he purchased  the company in  1993 and  has been                                                               
actively  engaged as  a private  investigator for  22 years.   He                                                               
offered his  belief that most  of the people involved  as private                                                               
investigators  work  as  part-time  investigators.   He  said  he                                                               
agreed  with  Mr.  Christopher's  testimony.   He  explained  his                                                               
issues relate  to what  constitutes a  private investigator.   He                                                               
stated  that he  reviewed the  ACS [Alaska  Communications Group,                                                               
Inc.] June  2014 yellow pages  and found 29 listings  for private                                                               
investigators  or detectives.   He  telephoned each  of them  and                                                               
found that 13  of 29 listings for private  investigators were not                                                               
functioning  numbers and  had been  disconnected.   He identified                                                               
seven  private investigators  currently  operating in  Anchorage,                                                               
although only  two were  working as  fulltime investigators.   He                                                               
suggested the  state should look  at the classification  term for                                                               
"employee" since many attorney  firms hire private investigators,                                                               
but by definition  they should fall under  "employee" rather than                                                               
private investigators or private  contractors.  He explained that                                                               
the  Department of  Labor &  Workforce Development's  (DLWD) laws                                                               
distinguish between private contractors  and employees.  He asked                                                               
to read a paragraph from  DLWD's website, which read, "Control is                                                               
exercised when  workers are totally  dependent upon  the employer                                                               
economically.   The employer exercises  the necessary  control of                                                               
the employee through  monetary means.  For example,  a worker who                                                               
performs   services   primarily   for  one   company   would   be                                                               
economically  dependent  upon  that  company."    Therefore,  any                                                               
private investigators who  call themselves private investigators,                                                               
but work  for one or  two law  firms technically are  not private                                                               
investigators  or  independent   contractors,  but  are  actually                                                               
employees.  He  characterized that this [bill] was  a "tempest in                                                               
a teapot."   He suggested that in Anchorage  there were literally                                                               
5-6 people working fulltime.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  OLSON surmised  that  Mr.  Parlier did  not  like the  new                                                               
version of the bill.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PARLIER  suggested that  there  are  less than  10  fulltime                                                               
private investigators who currently work in Alaska.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:46:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT SHAW, Owner,  Robert Shaw Agency, stated that  he has been                                                               
licensed in  Alaska and  by the  Municipality of  Anchorage since                                                               
1996, and prior to  that he has worked in the  field for 20 years                                                               
in the  Lower 48 and  overseas.   While it has  taken significant                                                               
time and energy  to put together the background for  the bill, he                                                               
did  not  understand  why  the  state  would  make  such  a  "big                                                               
production"  for   the  few  people   involved  in   the  private                                                               
investigator   industry.     He  expressed   concern  about   the                                                               
investigative  services being  billed out  by law  firms, but  he                                                               
doubted   any   investigative   services   occurred,   which   he                                                               
characterized  as  fraudulent.    He directed  attention  to  the                                                               
audience in  the [legislative  information office]  hearing room,                                                               
noting only a  half dozen people showed up.   He asked members to                                                               
reconsider the bill in its current format.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:49:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAMES HOFERER, Owner,  JPH Enterprises, stated he  runs a private                                                               
investigative agency  in Anchorage.   He  grew up  in California,                                                               
but he has  resided in Alaska for 13 years.   He studied criminal                                                               
justice and  psychology at the University  of California, Irvine.                                                               
After doing  some work  in Alaska,  he decided  to start  his own                                                               
business  since   he  has   an  interest  in   the  law   and  in                                                               
investigations.   He  has operated  a licensed  private detective                                                               
agency  for the  last three  and one-half  years and  has another                                                               
year remaining  on his  biennial license.   He  expressed concern                                                               
about the bill because he prides  himself on the work he performs                                                               
for attorneys  and private  citizens.  This  bill makes  it sound                                                               
like  there has  been some  type  of taint  on the  type of  work                                                               
private  investigators  perform.   He  recalled  Ms.  Blaisdell's                                                               
testimony  that  17  licensed  investigators  in  Fairbanks  have                                                               
operating  without   any  complaints  and  46   licensed  private                                                               
investigators operate  in Anchorage, but one  complaint was filed                                                               
in  the past  10 years  and that  complaint was  referred to  the                                                               
police department.  He said that it  does not sound like a lot of                                                               
public safety  concerns about the  profession exist.   He offered                                                               
his belief  that private  investigators are doing  a good  job by                                                               
helping attorneys  and the defense,  in helping  private citizens                                                               
locate relatives, or  working on civil cases,  such as infidelity                                                               
or  workers' compensation,  but these  private investigators  are                                                               
not  getting a  "fair  shake."   He  said  he  thought this  bill                                                               
represented an "overkill."  He  acknowledged that the sponsor and                                                               
committee have put in significant  time and effort, but this time                                                               
and effort could be used  on something more important than trying                                                               
to  regulate  private  investigators  when there  have  not  been                                                               
complaints filed against them.   In conclusion, he said the whole                                                               
premise in  bringing this bill  forward was a  mistake, including                                                               
last year's bill that this committee heard.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:51:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
FRANK   WAKE,   Private    Investigator,   Frank   Wake   Private                                                               
Investigative Services, LLC, recalled  reading an opinion piece a                                                               
few  days  ago  written  by   Senator  MacKinnon.    The  opinion                                                               
suggested that  a bill is  an "idea" or a  "policy consideration"                                                               
to engage  Alaskans in  a discussion  about their  government and                                                               
how  the  proposed  idea  would  affect  people.    Therefore  he                                                               
characterized this  bill, HB 9, as  being a discussion.   He said                                                               
that [private investigators] have  offered their opinions, mostly                                                               
negative, about  this bill.   He has  not seen any  letters other                                                               
than  several brief  and uninspired  e-mails regarding  the bill,                                                               
and  there  are  no  other   comments  to  support  the  proposed                                                               
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WAKE wondered  which committee  members favored  HB 9  since                                                               
significant issues have been raised  about the projected costs by                                                               
the  Division   [of  Corporations,  Business,   and  Professional                                                               
Licensing].   He  acknowledged that  he  considers the  projected                                                               
costs  to be  a big  issue.   In  fact, this  bill represents  an                                                               
unknown cost based  on an unknown number  of potential licensees.                                                               
He trusted  that members have read  the letters and are  aware of                                                               
[private investigators']  opposition to the bill.   He considered                                                               
HB 9  to be a waste  of time.  As  far as he was  concerned other                                                               
remedies  exist  for  any transgressions  rather  than  licensing                                                               
private  investigators.    For example,  people  can  file  civil                                                               
lawsuits or criminal  charges and fraud and theft  can be handled                                                               
by  local law  enforcement.   He  asked members  to  engage in  a                                                               
dialogue with private  investigators since they are  the ones who                                                               
will  be regulated  under HB  9.   He asked  what other  concerns                                                               
exist  that  necessitate  private investigator  licensing,  other                                                               
than public safety  concerns, which have been found  lacking.  He                                                               
said  that  private  investigators  are  willing  to  answer  any                                                               
questions.   In  conclusion, he  said he  did not  understand the                                                               
"burning need"  for this proposed  legislation.  For  example, he                                                               
asked   whether   the  state   has   been   overrun  by   private                                                               
investigators  who  are  running  around  causing  problems  that                                                               
necessitate licensing the entire profession.   "I haven't seen it                                                               
in my 28 years.   In my opinion, there isn't  a need, there isn't                                                               
a good reason, and  this bill should stay right where  it is as a                                                               
policy  consideration to  engage  Alaskans in  a discussion  with                                                               
their government," he said.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:54:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON said  that the committee is willing to  listen to the                                                               
concerns.   He  also  expressed  concern about  the  cost of  the                                                               
program, based on the size of fiscal note.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:54:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DENA  BOUGHTON, Owner,  Justice Investigations,  stated that  she                                                               
has been  a professional investigator  in Anchorage for  10 years                                                               
and her  Fairbanks license  is pending.   She  did not  think the                                                               
figures presented  today were  accurate.  She  failed to  see how                                                               
this   bill  will   protect  the   public,  given   that  private                                                               
investigators  are  licensed  in   Anchorage,  yet  an  event  in                                                               
Anchorage happened  to the  Koenig family  and licensure  did not                                                               
protect  them.   She  did not  see how  this  bill would  prevent                                                               
anyone  from  coming  into  the   state  and  conning  a  family.                                                               
Instead, this bill  will place a burden on the  people living and                                                               
working in  the community.   She said  she lives in  Alaska where                                                               
people know  her and what  she does for a  living.  She  found it                                                               
difficult to  imagine how she  could con  anyone since she  has a                                                               
public  business.   The  aforementioned  databases  that she  can                                                               
access are  also ones committee  members and the public  can also                                                               
access.    She  thanked  members   for  considering  the  private                                                               
investigator  profession, but  she  did not  think  it was  being                                                               
considered in the right light.   She has basically heard that the                                                               
bill  will  provide  the  public  with  protection  from  private                                                               
investigators, but she  would like to support  her colleagues who                                                               
testified today.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:56:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANTHONY COZZETTI,  Owner, Paladin Investigations, stated  that he                                                               
primarily works  on legal investigations,  which requires  him to                                                               
go  to the  prisons to  interview prisoners.   The  Department of                                                               
Corrections has been deliberately  interdicting the services of a                                                               
private investigator,  he said, and  he hoped that  the committee                                                               
will  consider  that once  a  person  is  licensed as  a  private                                                               
investigator  that the  state  shouldn't  interfere with  his/her                                                               
investigations.     He  viewed  this  interference   as  being  a                                                               
constitutional  issue,  in  particular,  when  a  prisoner  hires                                                               
his/her own private  investigator.  He hoped  the committee would                                                               
address this issue  in the bill.  Further,  investigators for the                                                               
state  and  attorneys have  been  getting  "a free  ride,"  which                                                               
should  be  examined.     Also,  every  paralegal   works  as  an                                                               
investigator,  but  not every  investigator  is  a paralegal,  he                                                               
said, which should also be taken into consideration.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:59:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LINK  FANNON,  Owner,  Oracle Investigations,  expressed  concern                                                               
that  he did  not  have  much of  an  opportunity  to review  the                                                               
proposed committee  substitute; however,  some of the  issues the                                                               
committee has heard today are  absolutely 100 percent inaccurate.                                                               
He preferred not use the word  "lie," but said the information is                                                               
simply not true.  He referred  to a document in members' packets,                                                               
which he  thought was considered  a sponsor statement,  and read,                                                               
"With  this credential  an individual  can  now access  70 to  80                                                               
percent of  restricted national databases that  provide access to                                                               
personal information."  He said,  "That's not true."  He recalled                                                               
an earlier question that Representative  LeDoux had about the DMV                                                               
records.    He  replied  that   anyone  can  go  through  Motznik                                                               
Information Services  [Motznik] to  obtain the Division  of Motor                                                               
Vehicle (DMV)  records.  He questioned  the "70 to 80  percent of                                                               
restricted  national databases,"  that private  investigators can                                                               
access.  He said that  private investigators are private citizens                                                               
without law  enforcement status or  anything else that  a private                                                               
citizen doesn't have.  Thus  the tasks that private investigators                                                               
can  perform under  this bill  are ones  private citizens  can do                                                               
themselves.   He further  recalled that  Representative Josephson                                                               
raised the  idea that  individuals can  surveil, in  fact, anyone                                                               
can watch  someone, but not  stalk them, since stalking  raises a                                                               
different issue.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. FANNON emphasized  that he has other problems  with the bill.                                                               
He  said the  fiscal  impact was  extensive.   He  read from  the                                                               
sponsor  statement for  HB 9,  which  read, "HB  9 is  not a  new                                                               
concept  for Alaska  nor the  profession."   It goes  on to  talk                                                               
about the  Municipality of  Anchorage and  the City  of Fairbanks                                                               
licensing  of private  investigators.   He  suggested that  those                                                               
licenses were  basically a background  check process to  weed out                                                               
people who  are felons.   He  said that  HB 9  contains extensive                                                               
restrictions.   The  bill  attempts to  protect  the public  from                                                               
private  investigators,  but  then  exempts most  of  them.    He                                                               
highlighted that  he previously  worked as an  adjustor, handling                                                               
personal  injury   protection  cases.    As   a  personal  injury                                                               
protection  adjuster,  the  adjuster ensures  that  treatment  is                                                               
reasonable and  necessary and related  to an accident.   In fact,                                                               
under the bill, adjusters work  would be considered conducting an                                                               
investigation  so the  public doesn't  need be  protected against                                                               
them.  He simply did not think  the bill made any sense, he said.                                                               
He characterized HB 9 as "legislation looking for a problem."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  FANNON  offered his  belief  that  this  bill was  not  well                                                               
thought out and  included numerous ambiguities.   For example, he                                                               
referred  to page  6,  line 8,  [under  prohibited practices]  to                                                               
paragraph, which read "(8) failed  to comply with an order issued                                                               
by the department."  He said  that he was unsure what that meant,                                                               
who in  the department it referred  to, and what order  was being                                                               
referenced.   He emphasized  that this bill  was far  reaching in                                                               
terms  of  government overreach  and  with  the current  $50  per                                                               
barrel  oil prices,  he suggested  that the  state has  a lot  of                                                               
other things to worry about.   He appreciated members' time today                                                               
since  he  knows  legislators  have a  lot  of  pressing  issues.                                                               
Unfortunately, this  bill would affect the  lives and professions                                                               
of  private investigators,  he said.   In  conclusion, he  stated                                                               
that  he strongly  opposes  HB  9 since  this  bill  is not  well                                                               
thought out, has a lot of problems, and doesn't solve anything                                                                  
that has been "proposed as a problem."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
5:03:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR OLSON noted that the biggest stumbling block at this point                                                                
was the fiscal note.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
[HB 9 was held over.]                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:03:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Labor and Commerce Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at                                                                  
5:03 p.m.                                                                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB9 Draft Proposed Blank CS ver H.pdf HL&C 3/13/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 9
HB9 Summary of Changes ver A to ver H.pdf HL&C 3/13/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 9
HB9 Opposing Documents-Letter Link Fannon 3-10-15.pdf HL&C 3/13/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 9
HB9 Opposing Documents-Email Sean Eichrodt 3-09-15.pdf HL&C 3/13/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 9
HB9 Supporting Documents-Email Peggy Sullivan 2-25-15.pdf HL&C 3/13/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 9
HB9 Supporting Documents-Email Thomas Remaley 2-24-15.pdf HL&C 3/13/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 9
HB9 Supporting Documents-Pros and Cons-Rep Hughes 2-28-2015.pdf HL&C 3/13/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 9
HB9 Title 8 Criminal Statutes 3-05-15.pdf HL&C 3/13/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 9
HB9 Supporting Documents-CBPLfees FY06-FY15-(with surplus-deficit) 3-02-15 .pdf HL&C 3/13/2015 3:15:00 PM
HB 9