Legislature(1997 - 1998)

02/20/1997 08:21 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                            
                       February 20, 1997                                       
                            8:21 a.m.                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Representative Jeannette James, Chair                                         
 Representative Ethan Berkowitz                                                
 Representative Fred Dyson                                                     
 Representative Kim Elton                                                      
 Representative Mark Hodgins                                                   
 Representative Ivan Ivan                                                      
 Representative Al Vezey                                                       
                                                                               
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
                                                                               
 All members present.                                                          
                                                                               
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 65                                                             
 "An Act relating to partial-birth abortions."                                 
                                                                               
      - MOVED HB 65 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                           
                                                                               
 * HOUSE BILL NO. 13                                                           
 "An Act relating to marine safety training and education programs."           
                                                                               
      - MOVED HB 13 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                           
                                                                               
 * HOUSE BILL NO. 50                                                           
 "An Act relating to the use of broadcasting to promote or conduct             
 certain classics or sweepstakes; and providing for an effective               
 date."                                                                        
                                                                               
      - MOVED CSHB 50 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                         
                                                                               
 * HOUSE BILL NO. 81                                                           
 "An Act relating to the members of the board and staff of the                 
 Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation."                                           
                                                                               
      - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
                                                                               
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB  65                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTIONS                                          
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KOTT, Kohring, Ogan                             
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG             ACTION                                       
 01/13/97        50    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/13/97        50    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY                          
 02/06/97              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/06/97              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/07/97       277    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): KOHRING                             
 02/18/97              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/19/97       408    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): OGAN                                
 02/20/97              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB  13                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: MARINE SAFETY TRAINING & EDUCATION                               
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) AUSTERMAN, Ivan, Grussendorf, Dyson             
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG             ACTION                                       
 01/13/97        30    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED 1/3/97                           
 01/13/97        30    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/13/97        30    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE                            
 01/22/97       125    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): DYSON                               
 02/20/97              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB  50                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: ALLOW BROADCASTING OF RAFFLES AND CLASSIC                        
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) HODGINS                                         
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG             ACTION                                       
 01/13/97        41    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED 1/3/97                           
 01/13/97        41    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/13/97        41    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE                            
 02/20/97              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
                                                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT                                                      
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 204                                                       
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3777                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HB 65.                                        
                                                                               
 GEORGE DOZIER, JR., Legislative Assistant                                     
    to Representative Pete Kott                                                
 State Capitol, Room 204                                                       
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3777                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided testimony on HB 65.                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ALAN AUSTERMAN                                                 
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 434                                                       
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2487                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HB 13.                                        
                                                                               
 RON DEARBORN, Director                                                        
 Alaska Sea Grant College Program                                              
 University of Alaska, Fairbanks                                               
 P.O. Box 775040                                                               
 Fairbanks, Alaska 99775                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 474-7086                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided testimony on HB 13.                             
                                                                               
 JERRY DZUGAN                                                                  
 P.O. Box 2592                                                                 
 Sitka, Alaska 99835                                                           
 Telephone:  (907) 747-3287                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided testimony on HB 13.                             
                                                                               
 LARRY BUSSONE, Health Program Manager II                                      
 Division of Public Health                                                     
 Department of Social Services                                                 
 P.O. Box 110610                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0610                                                     
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2349                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided testimony on HB 13.                             
                                                                               
 LAURA MEASLES, Executive Director                                             
 Kenai Chamber of Commerce                                                     
 402 Overland                                                                  
 Kenai, Alaska 99611                                                           
 Telephone:  (907) 283-7989                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided testimony on HB 50.                             
                                                                               
 STEVE HOLLOWAY, Operations Manger/Marketing Director                          
 KSRM Radio                                                                    
 HC 2 Box 852                                                                  
 Soldotna, Alaska 99669                                                        
 Telephone:  (907) 262-9430                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided testimony on HB 50.                             
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
                                                                               
 TAPE 97-17, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
 The House State Affairs Standing Committee was called to order by             
 Chair Jeannette James at 8:21 a.m.  Members present at the call to            
 order were Representatives James, Dyson, Hodgins, Ivan and                    
 Berkowitz.  Members absent were Vezey and Elton.                              
                                                                               
 HB 65 - PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTIONS                                             
                                                                               
 The first order of business to come before the House State Affairs            
 Standing Committee was HB 65, "An Act relating to partial-birth               
 abortions."                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 027                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT, Alaska State Legislature, stated the                
 intent of HB 65 was clear.  There were comments made during the               
 testimony that needed to be clarified, especially the comments                
 surrounding the constitutionality of the bill by the attorney                 
 general's staff.  He called on George Dozier, Jr., Legislative                
 Assistant to Representative Pete Kott, to cover the finer points of           
 the bill.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 045                                                                    
                                                                               
 GEORGE DOZIER, JR., Legislative Assistant to Representative Pete              
 Kott, stated that the House State Affairs Standing Committee took             
 testimony from two attorneys regarding the constitutionality of the           
 bill.  Janet Crepps, The Center for Reproductive Law and Policy,              
 indicated that HB 65 was "patentably unconstitutional."  Kristen              
 Bomengen, Department of Law, indicated that the bill was                      
 unconstitutional.  "Madame Chair, I am confident that both of these           
 individuals testified in good faith, and honestly and sincerely               
 believed that they are correct in their assessment of HB 65."  Mr.            
 Dozier, Jr. was equally confident that both of these attorneys in             
 their assessment were incorrect.  House Bill 65 was not                       
 unconstitutional either under the federal constitution or the state           
 constitution.                                                                 
                                                                               
 MR. DOZIER, JR. explained that the Fourteenth Amendment included a            
 right to privacy, and that this right was broad enough to encompass           
 a woman's decision to obtain an abortion.  The court also held that           
 the right to decide to have an abortion was not absolute.  The                
 right was limited by the legitimate interest of the state or to               
 protect potential human life.  The Roe v. Wade court indicated tha        
 the state could not interfere with a woman's decision to obtain an            
 abortion during the first-trimester.  However, after the first-               
 trimester it could regulate to protect the woman's health, and                
 after viability the state could regulate or proscribe abortion,               
 except where necessary for the life or health of the mother.  The             
 Roe court specifically and expressly rejected an argument that "a           
 pregnant woman is entitled to terminate her pregnancy at whatever             
 time, in whatever way, and for whatever reason she chooses."                  
                                                                               
 MR. DOZIER, JR. further explained that the court found the state              
 had a substantial interest in potential human life in the Planned            
 Parenthood v. Casey case.  The interest extends throughout the               
 pregnancy.  The court also found that the opinions subsequent to              
 the Roe v. Wade case undervalued the state's interest in potential          
 human life.  Consequently, the Casey court rejected the rigid               
 trimester system established by the Roe court.  It instead divided          
 the pregnancy into two periods:  pre-viability and viability.  The            
 Casey court indicated that during the pre-viability period the              
 states could not place an "undue burden" on a woman's right to                
 decide to terminate a pregnancy.  The Casey court defined the term          
 "undue burden" as regulations that either had the purpose or the              
 effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman               
 seeking the abortion of a non-viable fetus.  The Casey court                
 indicated that "subsequent to viability the state in promoting its            
 interest in the potentiality of human life may if it chooses                  
 regulate and even proscribe abortion, except where necessary, in              
 appropriate medical judgement for the preservation of the life or             
 the health of the mother."  In summary:  First, the state had a               
 substantial interest in potential human life that extends                     
 throughout a pregnancy.  Second, prior to viability the state could           
 not place an undue burden on the right to pregnancy, which means              
 placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an              
 abortion.  Third, after viability the state could regulate abortion           
 or even prohibit abortion, except where necessary for the life or             
 the health of the mother.                                                     
                                                                               
 MR. DOZIER, JR. further stated that since partial-birth abortions             
 span the last part of the pre-viability stage and extended all the            
 way through the viability stage, HB 65 was designed to cover both             
 periods.  Hence, it must be analyzed with regards to both                     
 standards.  He declared, "With all due respect, House Bill 65 more            
 than meets those standards".  House Bill 65 did not place an undue            
 burden on the right to choose an abortion.  It did not place a                
 substantial obstacle either by intent, or in effect, in the path of           
 women seeking abortions.  It did not proscribe abortion, per say.             
 It merely made one particular type of an abortion illegal.  And, "I           
 may add, a particularly egregious form."  He further stated, "All             
 other forms of abortion remain open to pregnant women."  As the               
 testimony from Dr. Peter Nakamura, Department of Health and Social            
 Services, indicated, partial-birth abortions have not been                    
 performed in Alaska and would probably never be performed in the              
 state.  Thus, "Does House Bill 65, which prescribes an abortion               
 which is not done in Alaska, place a substantial obstacle in the              
 path of women seeking abortions in Alaska?"  The answer by                    
 definition was, "No."  The procedure was simply not available                 
 anyway.  Was it really a substantial obstacle to require                      
 abortionists to conform to the standards already present and                  
 accepted? he wondered  "That to my mind is no obstacle at all, let            
 alone a substantial one."  In short, all of the options presently             
 available to women to obtain an abortion remain unaffected.                   
 Therefore, the first standard, applied to pre-viability                       
 pregnancies, was clearly satisfied.                                           
                                                                               
 MR. DOZIER, JR. further explained the second standard that applied            
 to viable babies was also satisfied.  He reiterated, the Supreme              
 Court recognized that the state could regulate or even proscribe an           
 abortion, except where necessary to preserve the life or health of            
 the mother.  House Bill 65 did not ban an abortion during this                
 period, it merely banned a particular procedure.  Therefore, it was           
 more of a regulation than a proscription.  House Bill 65 also                 
 contained an expressed exception applicable to the life of the                
 mother.  It did not mention the health of the mother for the                  
 following reasons:  All forms of abortions presently in Alaska                
 remain in effect, and a ban would not adversely impact the health             
 of the mother as numerous evidence indicates.  There were no                  
 obstetrical situations which require a partial-birth abortion to              
 preserve the life or the health of the mother.  In addition,                  
 Representative Kott indicated that the American Medical Association           
 (AMA) voted-unanimously-to recommended the endorsement of the                 
 federal partial-birth ban.  "In so doing it stated that the                   
 procedure was repulsive and is not a recognized medical technique."           
 The former Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop, stated that "in no way           
 can I twist my mind to see the late-term abortion as described, you           
 know, partial-birth and then destruction of the unborn child before           
 the head is born is a medical necessity for the mother."  He                  
 reiterated partial-birth abortions were not necessary for the                 
 health of the mother.                                                         
                                                                               
 MR. DOZIER, JR. further stated that the legislature could conclude            
 that partial-birth abortions were not necessary to preserve the               
 health of the mother, and indeed could be inimicable to the health            
 of the mother.  Therefore, the pre-viability and the post-viability           
 standards required by the Casey decision were satisfied.  In                
 addition, there were several permissible and compelling state                 
 interests that were advanced by HB 65.  He cited, the cruelty and             
 the gruesome act of sticking scissors into a baby's head.  The                
 state had a very strong interest in protecting human life from such           
 cruel and gruesome actions.  He also cited, a partial-birth                   
 abortion tended to mix the roles of physician and abortionist.  A             
 physician was considered a healer, while an abortionist was not               
 considered a healer.  He was concerned that in mixing these two               
 opposing roles there would be a great danger that public confidence           
 in the medical profession would be undermined.  He also cited, a              
 partial-birth abortion was inherently disrespectful of human life             
 and dignity.  In addition, the state had a vital interest in                  
 drawing a clear distinction between a legal abortion and                      
 infanticide.  The partial-birth abortion blurred that distinction.            
 "In my opinion, partial-birth abortions are fully constitutional              
 under the guidelines established by the United States Supreme                 
 Court."                                                                       
                                                                               
 MR. DOZIER, JR. turned to the arguments made by Ms. Janet Crepps              
 and Ms. Kristen Bomengen.  Ms. Crepps argued that HB 65 created an            
 undue burden because partial-birth abortions were the safest                  
 procedure.  He called that statement questionable.  The committee             
 members had been provided with an abundance of materials indicating           
 that partial-birth abortions were not necessary for the health of             
 the mother and actually presented a risk to her.  Ms. Crepps also             
 argued that the Supreme Court in the Planned Parenthood v. Danforth         
 case held that the use of saline amniocentesis was unconstitutional           
 because it forced the doctor to use a more dangerous method.  And,            
 HB 65 involved the proscription of a defined abortion procedure               
 like in Danforth.  However, Danforth he stated, was clearly               
 distinguishable on three different grounds.  First, HB 65 did not             
 force women to use procedures that were less safe than partial-               
 birth abortions.  Second, the Danforth court emphasized that the            
 proscribed method was the most prevalent available.  In HB 65 the             
 proscribed method was not even used in Alaska and other safe                  
 methods were available.  Third, the Danforth court predated the             
 Casey court; therefore, the analysis focused on whether the state           
 advanced maternal health.  The Casey court changed all that.  Now,          
 it is recognized that the state's interest could be asserted                  
 throughout a pregnancy.  He declared, "House Bill 65 does just                
 that.  And, it may be expected that the right to assert that                  
 interest by the state would be weighed in any constitutional                  
 challenge.  Danforth, quite simply, is distinguishable."  Ms.               
 Crepps further argued that the only court to review or ban a                  
 similar procedure in HB 65 invalidated it because for some women              
 the prohibited procedure would be safer than other available                  
 procedures that was in the Women's Medical Professional Corporation          
 v. Voinovich court case.  The court held that D&X was safer than             
 other methods and because it was more available than induction                
 methods, its proscription was a substantial burden and therefore,             
 unconstitutional.  The House State Affairs Standing Committee had             
 ample evidence to base a decision on safety.  "Indeed the only                
 medical testimony presented suggesting a need for a D&X procedure             
 or partial-birth was presented by two doctors who clearly were not            
 talking about partial-birth abortions.  They appeared to be talking           
 about late-term abortions in general."  Moreover, the House State             
 Affairs Standing Committee could not find, given the testimony of             
 the Public Health Director, that partial-birth abortions were more            
 prevalent than any other method in the state of Alaska.  "In Alaska           
 partial-birth abortions are simply not being done right now."                 
 Finally, Ms. Crepps argued that the privacy clause of the Alaska              
 State Constitution would be violated by HB 65.  "I don't know how             
 she can be so certain about this," he declared.  The Alaska Supreme           
 Court had not yet decided an abortion case using this                         
 constitutional provision.  The right was broader than the privacy             
 right found by the court in the U.S. Constitution, but it was not             
 absolute.  And, "Certainly the right to privacy is not violated               
 when an alleged abridgement is justified by a legitimate and                  
 compelling governmental interest."  He stated, the government had             
 a compelling interest to protect almost-born babies and to protect            
 public confidence in the medical profession by not blurring the               
 roles of physicians and abortionists.  The government also had a              
 compelling interest to protect the almost-born from this cruel,               
 gruesome and undignified death.                                               
                                                                               
 MR. DOZIER, JR. stated that Ms. Bomengen argued that the D&X                  
 procedure was the safest method; so, it was subject to                        
 constitutional challenge.  He reiterated that there was amble                 
 evidence presented to the committee members that indicated D&X was            
 not the safest procedure.  Ms. Bomengen also argued that the                  
 definition was broad because it could encompass procedures other              
 than partial-birth abortions.  The definition in HB 65 does not               
 overlap alternative methods.  Ms. Bomengen also argued that the               
 definition was vague.  The definition in HB 65 is clear and                   
 precise.  It establishes definitively what is proscribed, and                 
 persons of common intelligence can easily understand what is                  
 prohibited.  "Thus there will not be a chilling affect.  I think              
 Ms. Bomengen has in mind a definition that was used in the statute            
 examined by the court in Voinovich back in Ohio."  The court, quite         
 rightly, concluded that there was an overlap and that the statute             
 was vague.  But, the definition employed in the Ohio case does not            
 resemble the definition in HB 65.  "The termination of a human                
 pregnancy by purposefully inserting a suction devise into the skull           
 of a fetus to remove the brain, dilation and extraction procedure             
 does not include either (indisc.--coughing) procedure of abortion             
 of the suction aspiration procedure of abortion."  The court found            
 that this definition overlapped a normal D&E procedure because both           
 involved inserting a section devise into the skull.  Furthermore,             
 the absence of the mental component of a criminal statute was                 
 somewhat persuasive.  In HB 65 there was no expressed mental                  
 component; the required state of mind was knowingly.  Ms.                     
 Bomengen's concerns regarding vagueness were misplaced.  House Bill           
 65 does not resemble, in any respect, the statute considered by the           
 Voinovich court.  House Bill 65 was clear, precise and did not              
 overlap any other abortion procedure.  Finally, because it is clear           
 there is no danger of arbitrary or discriminatory enforcement.                
                                                                               
 MR. DOZIER, JR. concluded that in his judgement House Bill 65 would           
 pass constitutional muster.                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 465                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ETHAN BERKOWITZ asked Mr. Dozier to distinguish                
 between a partial-birth abortion and a late-term abortion?                    
                                                                               
 Number 470                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. DOZIER, JR. replied that a partial-birth abortion could be                
 either a pre-viable or a post-viable abortion.  A partial-birth               
 abortion could be a late-term abortion also.  House Bill 65 did not           
 proscribe late-term abortions; it only proscribed a certain                   
 procedure.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 476                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated that Mr. Dozier, Jr. indicated the            
 two doctors that testified described a late-term abortion.                    
                                                                               
 Number 478                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. DOZIER, JR. replied, "Yes."  That was what they had in mind.              
 Dr. Nakamura also indicated that they were referring to late-term             
 abortions.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 486                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated that the doctors who would be                 
 guided by this law were confused thereby satisfying the vagueness             
 issue.  He asked Mr. Dozier, Jr. to respond.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 490                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. DOZIER, JR. referred the committee members to page 1, lines 11-           
 13, and read "(c) In this section, `partial-birth abortion' means             
 an abortion in which the person performing the abortion partially             
 vaginally delivers a living fetus before killing the fetus and                
 completing the delivery."  He asked Representative Berkowitz what             
 was unclear about that definition?                                            
                                                                               
 Number 499                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ replied that the doctors who were to be              
 guided by the law and who testified interpreted it as a ban on                
 their procedures that they had practiced.  Yet, Mr. Dozier, Jr.               
 indicated that the procedures that they practiced did not                     
 constitute a partial-birth abortion.  Yet, the fact that they were            
 confused chilled their actions.  Therefore, the bill was void for             
 vagueness.                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. DOZIER, JR. wondered if that was a question or a comment.                 
                                                                               
 Number 509                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES asked Representative Berkowitz if his comment was also            
 his position?                                                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ replied that was his question.                       
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES stated that Mr. Dozier, Jr. already answered that                 
 question.  He believed it was very clear.  She asked Representative           
 Berkowitz if he believed it was unclear?                                      
                                                                               
 Number 512                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ replied he believed it was unclear.  He              
 believed if the bill was rewritten it could be clearer.                       
                                                                               
 Number 514                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES asked Representative Berkowitz to explain what was not            
 clear.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 515                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ replied there were several issues unclear.           
 First, the legal history that Mr. Dozier, Jr. recited described the           
 procedures in terms of pre-viability and viability thereby                    
 injecting the new term "living."  Second, doctors who were to be              
 guided by the statute interpreted it in such a way that their                 
 actions would be banned thereby creating a chilling effect.                   
                                                                               
 Number 526                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked Mr. Dozier, Jr. why the term                   
 "living" was not being used and instead the terms "pre-viability"             
 and "viability?"                                                              
                                                                               
 Number 530                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. DOZIER, JR. replied because the term "viability" was irrelevant           
 to what was being proscribed in HB 65.  The bill was constitutional           
 regardless of whether it was applied to a pre-viable fetus or a               
 viable fetus.                                                                 
                                                                               
 MR. DOZIER, JR. further stated that there were certain practical              
 difficulties when applying a partial-birth abortion early on.  For            
 example, the fetal tissue would be too tender to manipulate.                  
                                                                               
 Number 545                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked Mr. Dozier, Jr. if there was a legal           
 definition of the term "living?"                                              
                                                                               
 Number 547                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. DOZIER, JR. replied he thought Representative Berkowitz was               
 suggesting that the definition was too vague because the bill did             
 not define the term "living."  A statute passed constitutional due            
 process muster if it was certain enough so that it would apprise              
 people of common intelligence of what was being made illegal.  "I             
 don't think that there is a doctor alive, let alone a man, woman,             
 or child alive in the United States that doesn't know what living             
 is.  I don't think that living is necessary to be defined."  For              
 example, the bill would not apply to a dead fetus in a mother's               
 womb.  But, if the fetus was still alive and partially delivered              
 vaginally then killed, the bill applied.                                      
                                                                               
 Number 565                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated Mr. Dozier, Jr. indicated that the            
 Voinovich court made finding of fact.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 566                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. DOZIER, JR. replied, "Yes, I did."                                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ further stated that the court indicated              
 the partial-birth procedure was safe or could be the safest method.           
                                                                               
 Number 569                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. DOZIER, JR. replied, "I don't believe that the court actually             
 made that determination."  The case was a request for an                      
 injunction.  The court had to decide if it was likely that once               
 this matter went to a full trial that the plaintiff would prevail             
 in court.  The court issued the injunction.  He did not know if the           
 issue went to full trial, however.  The legal history was not                 
 available.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 587                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said he misunderstood when Mr. Dozier, Jr.           
 stated, "In all candor the finding of fact."  He asked Mr. Dozier,            
 Jr. for a copy of his testimony.                                              
                                                                               
 MR. DOZIER, JR. replied he did not have a copy of his testimony; he           
 was referring to written notes only.                                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated his written notes would be fine.              
                                                                               
 MR. DOZIER, JR. replied he had private notations written on the               
 pages.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 596                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES stated she would not compel Mr. Dozier, Jr. to give               
 Representative Berkowitz his notes.  A tape recording of the                  
 meeting was available.                                                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated he did not care to have his private           
 notes.  A computer print out would be fine.                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES stated her decision had been made.  She reiterated a              
 tape recording of the meeting was available.                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ noted for the record the cooperation of              
 Mr. Dozier.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 602                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MARK HODGINS moved that HB 65 move from the                    
 committee with the attached fiscal note(s) and individual                     
 recommendations.                                                              
                                                                               
 Number 604                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ objected.                                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated that the bill as it was written               
 constituted an unwarranted governmental intrusion that abridged the           
 rights of Alaskan women, doctors and families.  This was not an               
 abortion issue, it was a medical issue.  In addition, testimony               
 before the U.S. Congress indicated the medical necessity for this             
 procedure.  And, no one disputed the gruesome fashion of this                 
 procedure.  There was no testimony, however, before the House State           
 Affairs Standing Committee that indicated this was how the                    
 procedure was performed.  The sponsor relied on the testimony of              
 Nurse Shafer, of which, information indicated that her credibility            
 was questionable.  He found it difficult that the committee members           
 would accept, without question, the testimony given in another                
 body.  Moreover, this issue was also a question of faith.  There              
 were many different position of faith.  He read a list of churches            
 that supported this type of procedure.  "For me this was a question           
 of faith in that I have faith in the constitution.  And, I believe            
 the constitution adequately circumscribes the procedures that are             
 in question here."  He urged the committee members to make a fair             
 inquiry into what this issue was about.  He reiterated this was not           
 a question of an abortion, but of a medical procedure.  He further            
 stated that if the bill was well written there were ways he could             
 support it.  He also stated that this was a reason why a dialogue             
 needed to occur between the members of the majority and the                   
 minority; there were middle grounds and alternatives.                         
                                                                               
 Number 654                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES asked Representative Berkowitz if he was insinuating              
 that the dialogue did not happen?                                             
                                                                               
 Number 655                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ replied, "I just caution that when the               
 minority is silenced it tends to result in a tyranny of the                   
 majority."                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 658                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES asked Representative Berkowitz if he was suggesting               
 that the minority was silenced?                                               
                                                                               
 Number 660                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ replied, "I fell that I have been silenced           
 in this committee."  And, he also felt that given proper time he              
 could have elicited testimony that would have helped him to rewrite           
 the bill.                                                                     
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES replied let's get back to the point.  Let's get back to           
 Representative Berkowitz's distress of the bill.                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ further stated that the bill was void for            
 vagueness.  It would not pass constitutional muster.  It endangered           
 the health and well being of Alaskan women unnecessarily.  It was             
 not even practiced here in Alaska.  "I think this is an exercise in           
 political grand standing that we ought not be engaged in."                    
                                                                               
 The record reflected the arrival of Representative Al Vezey at 9:00           
 a.m.                                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 664                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES stated that she would vote to pass the bill out of the            
 committee because it prohibited a gruesome procedure that was                 
 available when the life of the mother was at stake.  The bill only            
 prohibited the procedure when it was elected by the mother.  It did           
 not necessarily involve a threat to life of the mother.                       
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES called for a roll call vote.  Representatives James,              
 Dyson, Hodgins, Ivan and Vezey voted in favor of the motion.                  
 Representative Berkowitz voted against the motion.  House Bill 65             
 was so moved from the House State Affairs Standing Committee.                 
                                                                               
 HB 13 - MARINE SAFETY TRAINING & EDUCATION                                  
                                                                               
 The next order of business to come before the House State Affairs             
 Standing Committee was HB 13, "An Act relating to marine safety               
 training and education programs."                                             
                                                                               
 TAPE 97-17, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES announced for the record that Representative Kim Elton            
 was attending a sub-committee meeting today.                                  
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES called on Representative Alan Austerman, sponsor of HB
 13, to present the bill.                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 010                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ALAN AUSTERMAN, Alaska State Legislature, explained            
 HB 13 was a remake of a bill that he introduced two years ago.  It            
 was passed out of the House of Representatives, then died in the              
 Senate.                                                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN stated in 1988 the United States Coast               
 Guard took a strong look at what was going on as far as safety was            
 concerned in the marine industry.  Consequently, the Commercial               
 Fishing Vessel Safety Act of 1988 was passed.  The Act took effect            
 in 1991 and required the minimum in safety training and equipment             
 for commercial fishing vessels.  The Alaska Marine Safety Education           
 Association (AMSEA) also helped Alaskans by providing marine safety           
 instructor training some of whom teach drill instructor courses.              
 Other marine safety instructors train the Alaska boating and                  
 fishing public, including many children and adults in marine                  
 safety.  Of the 7,300 people AMSEA trained in 1995, 2,000 were from           
 the commercial fishing industry and 3,700 were children.  According           
 to a study conducted in 1995 by the Native Health Service, AMSEA              
 training significantly reduced fatalities among commercial                    
 fisherman.  This coincided with a 50 percent drop in fishing                  
 fatalities in Alaska in the last four years.  Moreover, AMSEA was             
 a nonprofit, community-based information and training network                 
 supported by many volunteers.  Its annual budget had ranged from              
 $100,000 to $250,000 in the past five years.  It had received 100             
 percent of its funding from the federal government, of which, the             
 funding fell to $50,000 last year.  And, this year it would fall to           
 $0.  The number of people training also fell to an all time low.              
 The organization deserved the intervention of the legislature to              
 ensure long-term stability.  Moreover, the Fishermen's Fund was               
 created before statehood and 100 percent of it was funded by                  
 commercial fishing license fees.  Sixty percent of all license fees           
 were dedicated to the fund.  Since commercial fishermen were often            
 the beneficiaries of the required marine safety training, it was              
 appropriate to allow part of the interest of the fund to be used to           
 fund some of AMSEA's marine safety programs.  It was estimated that           
 the Fishermen's Fund generated approximately $300,000 in interest             
 a year.  The bill requested up to approximately one-half of the               
 interest earnings a year.  The current interest earnings, he                  
 explained, of the Fishermen's Fund went into the general fund.                
                                                                               
 Number 099                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN also stated that he had lived on or around           
 water most of his life.  Therefore, "The need to have education and           
 training, particularly starting with our children, is to me very,             
 very important."  His office would be willing to provide a package            
 of information from last year that included testimony from all over           
 Alaska illustrating the need and benefits of AMSEA.  He cited the             
 decline in the death rate in the Interior of Alaska on the rivers             
 was directly related to the Act.  He reiterated the all time death            
 rates had also decreased over the last four years.  National                  
 publications also illustrated the direct benefit of survival as a             
 result of the training received from the program.  The state of               
 Alaska did not have a water boat safety program.  The AMSEA program           
 was the nearest the state had, and probably the nearest it would              
 get to one with the funding reductions.  He concluded that the bill           
 was passed out of the House of Representatives last year with a               
 vote of 34 to 4.                                                              
                                                                               
 Number 145                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES asked Representative Austerman what types of problems             
 did he see if the bill did not pass in regards to the issue of                
 dedicating funds?  Was the legislature authorized without the bill            
 to give 50 percent of the interest income to a safety training                
 program or an amount from the general fund that was comparable?               
                                                                               
 Number 158                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN replied that the Fishermen's Fund was a              
 pre-statehood dedicated fund.  The interest earnings that went into           
 the general fund were not part of the dedication.  If the stream of           
 interest earnings were interrupted, it would not touch to                     
 dedication itself.  If the bill proposed money from the fund                  
 itself, however, then the dedication would be destroyed.                      
                                                                               
 Number 170                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES said Representative Austerman misunderstood her                   
 question.  The effect of HB 13 was to draw attention to the                   
 legislature and the relationship between the interest of the fund             
 and the need for training.                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES further stated that the bill did not compel the                   
 legislature to do this, the wording only said "may."  But, if the             
 bill did not pass the legislature would probably never fund it.               
 Therefore, the effect of this piece of legislation was not binding,           
 it was only suggestive.                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 183                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN replied, "That is correct."  A source of             
 funding had been identified that was generated by the fishermen               
 themselves.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 190                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES thanked Representative Austerman.  She agreed that was            
 the message that the legislature wanted to send.  It could be                 
 argued that this was not necessary; the legislature could already             
 do this.  The act was the message.                                            
                                                                               
 Number 194                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FRED DYSON stated he had been trained under the                
 program himself.  He was certified to conduct vessel safety                   
 equipment inspections and man-over-board drills.  He believed he              
 could also charge a fee for his services and profit from the                  
 results of the program.  He never had, however.                               
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES stated that the committee members appreciated his                 
 disclosure.                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON stated that much of this legislation came from           
 the loss of a seiner in Marmot Bay, and the efforts of the                    
 influential parents of one of the victims.  He agreed with                    
 Representative Austerman that the rate of survival had decreased              
 precipitously in Alaskan waters.  This Act and the training had a             
 profound affect on marine disasters in Alaska.  "I will certainly             
 encourage us to pass this bill and commend the author for his                 
 relentless pursuit of keeping this training available."                       
                                                                               
 Number 231                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS asked Representative Austerman if the bill             
 placed an economic burden on Alaskans living remotely?  How was the           
 training conducted and certified?                                             
                                                                               
 Number 235                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN replied the majority of the people                   
 involved were volunteers.  A little bit of money was used for                 
 travel and equipment.  The program reached out to 7,300 people with           
 only a budget of $150,000.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 250                                                                    
                                                                               
 RON DEARBORN, Director, Alaska Sea Grant College Program,                     
 University of Alaska Fairbanks, was the first person to testify via           
 teleconference in Fairbanks.  He worked with faculty throughout the           
 university of Alaska system on research, education and marine                 
 extension efforts.  The program was one of the original partners of           
 the AMSEA.  The relationship continued, proudly.  The AMSEA had               
 received national awards.  The one critical partner missing was the           
 Alaska State Legislature.  He urged the committee members to                  
 support HB 13.                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 281                                                                    
                                                                               
 JERRY DZUGAN was the next person to testify via teleconference in             
 Sitka.  He cited that drowning was the number 2 cause of accidental           
 death in Alaska.  And, Alaska had the highest drowning rate in the            
 nation.  The rates were starting to fall, however.  He asked the              
 committee members to expedite the passage of the bill so that                 
 Alaskans of all ages could continue to take advantage of this                 
 program and reduce the needless loss of life due to drowning.                 
                                                                               
 Number 298                                                                    
                                                                               
 LARRY BUSSONE, Health Program Manager II, Division of Public                  
 Health, Department of Social Services, was the first person to                
 testify in Juneau.  He announced the department's support of the              
 bill.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 313                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS moved that HB 13 move from the committee               
 with the attached fiscal note(s) and individual recommendations.              
 There was no objection,  HB 13 was so moved from the House State              
 Affairs Standing Committee.                                                   
                                                                               
 HB 50 - ALLOW BROADCASTING OF RAFFLES AND CLASSIC                           
                                                                               
 The next order of business to come before the House State Affairs             
 Standing Committee was HB 50, "An Act relating to the use of                  
 broadcasting to promote or conduct certain classics or sweepstakes;           
 and providing for an effective date."                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES called on Representative Mark Hodgins, sponsor of HB
 50, to present the bill.                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 333                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MARK HODGINS, Alaska State Legislature, explained HB
 50 was an act relating to the use of broadcasting to promote or to            
 conduct certain classics or sweepstakes; and to provide for an                
 effective date.                                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS further stated that the intent of the bill             
 was to remove the prohibition on broadcast advertising for                    
 legislatively established non-profit classics within the state.               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS cited the following classics:  Canned                  
 Salmon, Deep Freeze, Goose, Ice, King Salmon, Mercury, Mushing                
 Sweepstakes, and Salmon.                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS further explained the only non-profit                  
 classics that could advertize, currently, were the fishing derbies.           
 Therefore, by providing this advertising vehicle the legislature              
 would assist these organizations by increasing the public awareness           
 of each event.  The bill did not include the ability of pull-tabs,            
 bingo or raffle events to broadcast.                                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS further explained there was an amendment to            
 the bill, of which, he did not have a problem with it.  The                   
 amendment added another non-profit classic to the bill that was               
 moving through the House of Representatives now.                              
                                                                               
 Number 379                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KIM ELTON wondered if the expansion of the ability             
 to broadcast would take up more of the existing pie.  He was                  
 concerned it would harm other non-profits that were also trying to            
 raise money.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 388                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS replied the non-profits explicitly referred            
 to in the bill were legislatively established.  Therefore, there              
 was a restriction on how much of their funding could be used for              
 advertizing.  House Bill 50 called for a restriction of 12 hours of           
 total advertizing.  In addition, most of the non-profits would                
 receive community support from radio and television stations.  The            
 classics used the money for the good of the community-scholarships            
 and social activities, for example.  "I believe that with the                 
 restrictions that they have on with the amount of revenue that they           
 can dedicate to advertizing or broadcasting, I don't think that               
 that would be a concern, Representative Elton."                               
                                                                               
 Number 406                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ referred the committee members to page 2             
 of a memorandum dated December 23, 1996 from Gerald P. Luckhaupt,             
 Legislative Counsel, Division of Legal and Research Services, and             
 read, "If this limited authorization was challenged a court would             
 have to accept the justification advanced by Senator Torgerson                
 during our conference call the other day."  He asked Representative           
 Hodgins if he knew what that was about?                                       
                                                                               
 Number 413                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS replied he was with Senator John Torgerson             
 when it was decided a remedy was needed for the exclusion of                  
 broadcasting for the legislatively established non-profit classics.           
 The court was concerned that the bill would open broadcasting up to           
 everything.  As a result, the specific classics that the bill would           
 cover were listed in the bill.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 424                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ replied he just wanted to be clear because           
 any sort of court interpretation would hinge on that conversation.            
                                                                               
 Number 427                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS replied, as a common person, I could not               
 answer that.                                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ replied, "There's no such thing as a                 
 common person."                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 429                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES stated that the classics listed were community based              
 funding mechanisms as opposed to special interests.  She asked                
 Representative Hodgins if her statement was correct?                          
                                                                               
 Number 435                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS replied, "I would believe so, Madame                   
 Chairman."  Some of the funds were used for scholarships and                  
 community events.  He did not know of anything that would be                  
 targeted to a small group within the community.  Generally, it was            
 a community based effort.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 443                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN IVAN moved that Amendment 1, 0-LS0288/A.1,                
 Luckhaupt, 2/19/97, be adopted.                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN suggested the amendment because there was a               
 bill before the House of Representatives that allowed for another             
 permitted activity.  This would also prevent future legislatures              
 from amending the provision.  Specifically, the amendment would               
 allow dog mushing contests to participate in broadcast advertizing.           
 In addition, he believed the amendment allowed for future                     
 participation by groups without having another hoop to jump                   
 through.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 463                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON objected to the motion.                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated he saw this as an expansion of gaming             
 and as another way to redivide the pie.  He was concerned about the           
 effect on the "true charities" rather than some of the "for fun"              
 kind of activities.  He announced he also objected to the bill.               
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES stated the committee members remembered his first                 
 statement made on this issue; his Calvinistic background.                     
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES called for a roll call vote.  Representatives James,              
 Berkowitz, Dyson, Hodgins, Ivan and Vezey voted in favor of the               
 motion.  Representative Elton voted against the motion.  The                  
 amendment was adopted.                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 482                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ asked if he could make a friendly                    
 amendment to the amendment?                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES stated it was too late now.  A new amendment would be             
 needed.                                                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ moved that the word "permitted" be                   
 inserted between the words "activity" and "under."                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated that was language that was being                  
 deleted.                                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ withdrew his motion.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 497                                                                    
                                                                               
 LAURA MEASLES, Executive Director, Kenai Chamber of Commerce, was             
 the first person to testify via teleconference in Kenai.  She                 
 explained the Kenai Chamber started the Snow Goose Classic in 1994.           
 To date, the chamber had spent approximately $20,000 to promote the           
 classic, of which, was also matched by the local media.  In                   
 addition, the classic's major sponsor, Tesoro Alaska Petroleum,               
 also contributed a total of $30,000 to help build the classic.  The           
 chamber was concerned about the legality of adding a gaming entity            
 and for allowing one media type of coverage versus another.  The              
 proceeds from the classic funded scholarships and various community           
 events.  Moreover, every non-profit was required to file a                    
 financial statement with the Charitable Gaming Division each year,            
 of which, check numbers and bank statements were required to prove            
 that the intent had been accomplished.  It was legal to broadcast             
 on the airways or television provided that it was conducted as a              
 news item.  However, the Goose Classic was not as visible and the             
 pot was not as large as the Iditarod Sled Dog Race and the Nenana             
 Ice Classic, for example, which had received a lot of coverage.               
 The chamber tried desperately to receive the same coverage, but to            
 no avail.  The chamber was also concerned about the financial                 
 impact on the local radio station.  She thanked Representative                
 Hodgins for sponsoring the bill.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 536                                                                    
                                                                               
 STEVE HOLLOWAY, Operations Manger/Marketing Director, KSRM Radio,             
 was the next person to testify via teleconference in Kenai.  The              
 money that the chamber would spend with the radio station would not           
 make or break the station.  "But, it is a little frustrating when             
 you open up the paper every other day and there's a big ad for it.            
 And, here we are giving away free time to them; trying in an                  
 indirect way with news stories to promote this just to keep our               
 chamber going and help out."  The Federal Communication Commission            
 (FCC) required that it give away time to charities.  And, now that            
 requirement went by the wayside.  However, radio and television               
 continued to give away much of their product to promote the local             
 community.  Here was a chance to help the chamber raise money and             
 "to put a little money into our coffers.   And, now the legislature           
 said radio and television could not, but the newspaper could, and,            
 for some reason that doesn't seem fair.  Maybe it seems fair to               
 you, but it sure doesn't to me."  Studies indicated that people               
 were reading less newspapers, and watching more television.                   
 "Whether that's good or bad, you know, that's not for us to say."             
 The station had always given a two for one special for non-profit             
 rates.  In addition, this was not an expansion of gaming.  It was             
 a chance to successfully promote current fund raisers a little                
 better.  The station reached 10,000 to 15,000 people every day,               
 while the local paper reached 3,000 to 4,000 people.  "I don't why            
 they wouldn't want these charities promoting their products more              
 successfully that way they're not begging the legislature for more            
 money every time you turn around."  It would be fun to promote this           
 the way it should be promoted.  "I'm sure the Iditarod people would           
 feel the same way as well."                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 572                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES announced Dennis Poshard, Director, Charitable Gaming             
 Division, Department of Revenue, was here to answer any questions.            
                                                                               
 Number 574                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ moved that HB 50, as amended, move from              
 the committee with the attached fiscal note(s) and individual                 
 recommendations.                                                              
                                                                               
 Number 576                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON objected.                                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated for clarification, that if the bill was           
 passed out of the committee without the amendment, the amendment              
 would also go to the next committee of referral.  He asked Chair              
 James if she meant to pass the bill as a committee substitute?                
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES replied, at this point, "I think we'll just move it on            
 with the amendment."                                                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY replied, "Pass the bill out with the                     
 amendment?"                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES replied, "Yes, that's what we'll do."                             
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES called for a roll call vote.  Representatives James,              
 Berkowitz, Dyson, Hodgins, Ivan and Vezey voted in favor of the               
 motion.  Representative Elton voted against the motion.  House Bill           
 50, as amended, was so moved from the House State Affairs Standing            
 Committee.                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked Chair James if there was a meeting                 
 scheduled for Saturday, February 22, 1997?                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES replied the committee would not be meeting on Saturday.           
                                                                               
 Number 619                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES further commented on the rules of operation of the                
 House State Affairs Standing Committee meetings.  As chairman, she            
 had the authority to make the rules and regulations.  She explained           
 her rule to not question testifiers was based on two decisions.               
 The first was due to the massive number of testimony and the                  
 interchange between the committee members and the testifiers.  In             
 many cases it was advisable, especially when there was a testifier            
 who was more knowledgeable than the committee members.  She                   
 personally felt, however, that it was stagnating the committee.  It           
 also appeared that there were statements to question the                      
 credibility of the testifier.  "In this committee, where we have              
 the general public coming out to testify of their personal belief             
 or personal situation on a piece of legislation that's before us,             
 I do not want there to be any intimidation of that person that                
 would make them squirm or feel uncomfortable."  She wanted to                 
 encourage more people to testify.  The committee had a right to               
 discount something that was heard.  And, if there was an "expert"             
 witness an interchange was possible.  She cited the distress of               
 Representative Berkowitz and Representative Elton.  She appreciated           
 them coming forward and telling her about their distress.  She                
 would also appreciate it if the matter was put to rest.  She did              
 not want to hear about it again.  It was disruptive to the                    
 committee and to her position as chairman.  She apologized if                 
 anyone had been insulted by her actions.  The legislative process             
 was not like a court of law so there was not the opportunity to               
 question a testifier's integrity, position or belief.  She                    
 reiterated her intention was to run a fair and equitable committee,           
 to treat every member the same, and to not make any priority                  
 decisions based on the minority or majority position.  "My full               
 faith and philosophy is on fairness and respect.  And, I believe              
 that the best part of the political decisions comes from the honest           
 and open debate.  I will struggle and try harder to make that be              
 more evident.  If it has been decided by some people that I am not            
 doing a good job, I am only human, and I can make mistakes, and               
 I'll admit those."  That was her purpose, meaning, thrust and the             
 way she planned to operate the committee meeting in the future.               
                                                                               
 Number 671                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ thanked Chair James for taking the time to           
 talk with himself and Representative Elton.  He also appreciated              
 the clarification of the rules.  He hoped that she would take the             
 opportunity to protect other witnesses from assaults from the                 
 testifiers as well to protect the integrity of the process.  It was           
 important to maintain respect.  "I think that we can engage in                
 good, civil discussion and produce some substantive legislation."             
                                                                               
 Number 682                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON stated at times it would be helpful to ask a             
 witness if he or she had a vested interest.  He asked Chair James             
 if that would be an antagonistic type question?                               
                                                                               
 Number 686                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES replied, "Yes.  Because, where do you start and where             
 do you stop?"  Any citizen had the right to testify before a                  
 committee meeting without the feeling of intimidation.  She                   
 reiterated this was not a court of law, it was a public process.              
 "We are citizen legislators and those people out there are                    
 citizens.  And, the way law is made and the way government works is           
 by public opinion whether you like it or not."                                
                                                                               
 TAPE 97-18, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN commented that many of his constituents spoke             
 a native language, of which, an interpreter would be needed to                
 testify.  He was not asking for an interpreter, however.                      
                                                                               
 Number 008                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES commented that Representative Ivan was in full power to           
 do such a thing.  "We have in this committee the intention to hear            
 from the public on the issues that are here before us.  That is the           
 goal and that is what I'm going to be here to provide."                       
                                                                               
 Number 014                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON expressed his appreciation of Chair James for            
 taking the time to discuss this issue with him yesterday.  He also            
 thanked her for clarifying the rules.  He further commented that he           
 understood how difficult it was to be a chair, and that if he was             
 ever out of line that she should jerk him back.  "I do believe that           
 any ruling that precludes asking any question, whether or not it              
 would be termed by you as harassment or non-harassment, without               
 giving us the ability to ask a question or to clarify something               
 that we've heard, your also precluding good questions.  And, I                
 fully agree with you.  I would like to think I have never harassed            
 a witness in any of my public life or pressured one because I know            
 how difficult it is to come before any kind of a body and testify."           
 He believed, however, that the net affect was to narrow the                   
 committee's intellectual curiosity.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 054                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES replied that if everyone understood the type of                   
 questions that could be asked she would take it under                         
 consideration.  Such as, a point of clarification or a statement of           
 "as I understood you to say this...."  Those were the only two                
 kinds of questions that she would allow.                                      
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES further stated the other part of the issue was that               
 committee chairmen were under fire for getting all the witnesses to           
 testify.  The general public believed that the committee members              
 ragged on too long.  These were the types of fairness questions               
 that needed to be measured.  And, in any type of a fairness issue             
 there were winners and looser.  A distressed type of interchange              
 was not needed.  The opportunity for the people to testify were two           
 fold - to listen to their testimony and to help the committee                 
 members make a decision.  In addition, there were bills where there           
 were no witnesses.  "We should have the initiative and the                    
 obligation to get the sufficient information that we need to pass             
 a piece of legislation with or without public testimony."  The                
 testimony was for the public's good and not for the committee's               
 good.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 142                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated that Chair James had removed herself as           
 a traffic manager and from any ability to determine if the question           
 was abusive or dilatory.  "And, so it may have made you job easier,           
 it has made my job more difficult, if I am not allowed to clarify,            
 if I am not allowed to ask questions of witnesses."   He further              
 stated, "That when I feel I am not allowed to be a full member of             
 the committee, I'll leave because I've got other things to do."               
                                                                               
 ADJOURNMENT                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 160                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES adjourned the House State Affairs Standing Committee              
 meeting at 10:00 a.m.                                                         
                                                                               
                                                                               

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