Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/05/2004 09:03 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                          May 5, 2004                                                                                           
                           9:03 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bruce Weyhrauch, Chair                                                                                           
Representative Jim Holm, Vice Chair                                                                                             
Representative John Coghill                                                                                                     
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Paul Seaton                                                                                                      
Representative Ethan Berkowitz                                                                                                  
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 385(JUD) am                                                                                              
"An  Act relating  to  homeland security,  to  civil defense,  to                                                               
emergencies and  to disasters, including  disasters in  the event                                                               
of  attacks,  outbreaks  of  disease, or  threats  of  attack  or                                                               
outbreak  of   disease;  establishing  the  Alaska   division  of                                                               
homeland security  and emergency management in  the Department of                                                               
Military and Veterans'  Affairs and relating to  the functions of                                                               
that  division   and  that  department;  and   providing  for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSB 385(JUD) am OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 231(FIN)                                                                                                 
"An  Act relating  to unclaimed  property; and  providing for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSB 231(FIN) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 354(STA) am(efd fld)                                                                                     
"An Act  relating to complaints  filed with,  and investigations,                                                               
hearings, and orders  of, the State Commission  for Human Rights;                                                               
and making conforming amendments."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 385                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SECURITY;DIV. HOMELAND SECURITY/EMER. MGT                                                                          
SPONSOR(S): HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
04/05/04       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/05/04       (S)       HES, FIN                                                                                               
04/05/04       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/05/04       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/05/04       (S)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
04/07/04       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/07/04       (S)       -- Rescheduled to 5:30 pm 04/07/04 --                                                                  
04/07/04       (S)       HES AT 5:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/07/04       (S)       -- Rescheduled from 1:30 04/07/04 --                                                                   
04/08/04       (S)       HES RPT CS  2DP 2NR       SAME TITLE                                                                   
04/08/04       (S)       DP: DYSON, WILKEN; NR: GUESS, DAVIS                                                                    
04/16/04       (S)       FIN REFERRAL WAIVED REFERRED TO RULES                                                                  
04/20/04       (S)       JUD REFERRAL ADDED AFTER HES                                                                           
04/20/04       (S)       JUD WAIVED PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE,RULE23                                                                
04/21/04       (S)       JUD AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/21/04       (S)       Moved CSSB 385(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/21/04       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/22/04       (S)       JUD RPT CS 1DP 2NR           SAME TITLE                                                                
04/22/04       (S)       DP: SEEKINS; NR: FRENCH, OGAN                                                                          
04/22/04       (S)       FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                      
04/22/04       (S)       Waived from Committee                                                                                  
04/28/04       (S)       RESCIND ACTION IN ADOPTING AM #2 UC                                                                    
04/29/04       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
04/29/04       (S)       VERSION: CSSB 385(JUD) AM                                                                              
04/30/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/30/04       (H)       STA                                                                                                    
05/04/04       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                             
05/04/04       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
05/04/04       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
05/05/04       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 231                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: DECREASE TIME TO CLAIM UNCLAIMED PROPERTY                                                                          
SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
05/21/03       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/21/03       (S)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
04/01/04       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
04/01/04       (S)       Moved CSSB 231(STA) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/01/04       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/02/04       (S)       STA RPT CS   3DP             NEW TITLE                                                                 
04/02/04       (S)       DP: STEVENS G, COWDERY, STEDMAN                                                                        
04/16/04       (S)       FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                      
04/16/04       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/16/04       (S)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
04/26/04       (S)       FIN RPT CS FORTHCOMING 5DP 2NR                                                                         
04/26/04       (S)       DP: GREEN, WILKEN, DYSON, BUNDE,                                                                       
04/26/04       (S)       STEVENS B; NR: HOFFMAN, OLSON                                                                          
04/26/04       (S)       FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                      
04/26/04       (S)       Moved CSSB 231(FIN) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/26/04       (S)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
04/29/04       (S)       FIN CS RECEIVED           NEW TITLE                                                                    
05/03/04       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
05/03/04       (S)       VERSION: CSSB 231(FIN)                                                                                 
05/04/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/04/04       (H)       STA, FIN                                                                                               
05/05/04       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 354                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION PROCEDURES                                                                                 
SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/27/04       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/27/04       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
03/23/04       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
03/23/04       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/23/04       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/01/04       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
04/01/04       (S)       Moved CSSB 354(STA) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/01/04       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/02/04       (S)       STA RPT CS FORTHCOMING 1DP 2NR                                                                         
04/02/04       (S)       NR: STEVENS G, STEDMAN; DP: COWDERY                                                                    
04/05/04       (S)       STA CS RECEIVED     SAME TITLE                                                                         
04/14/04       (S)       JUD AT 5:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/14/04       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
04/20/04       (S)       JUD RPT CS(STA) 1DP 3NR                                                                                
04/20/04       (S)       DP: SEEKINS                                                                                            
04/20/04       (S)       NR: THERRIAULT, OGAN, FRENCH                                                                           
04/20/04       (S)       JUD AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/20/04       (S)       Moved CSSB 354(STA) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/20/04       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
05/02/04       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
05/02/04       (S)       VERSION: CSSB 354(STA) AM(EFD FLD)                                                                     
05/03/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/03/04       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
05/04/04       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                             
05/04/04       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
05/04/04       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
05/05/04       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                                                                             
05/05/04       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JOHN CRAMER, Director                                                                                                           
Division of Administrative Services                                                                                             
Department of Military & Veterans' Affairs                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  During discussion of CSSB 385(JUD)am,                                                                      
answered questions.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL MITCHELL, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                    
Labor and State Affairs Section                                                                                                 
Civil Division (Anchorage)                                                                                                      
Department of Law                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  During discussion of CSSB 385(JUD)am,                                                                      
answered questions.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DAVID E. LIEBERSBACH, Director                                                                                                  
Division of Homeland Security/Emergency Management                                                                              
Department of Military & Veterans' Affairs                                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:    During discussion of CSSB 385(JUD)am,                                                                    
answered questions.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MARY ELLEN BEARDSLEY, Assistant Attorney General,                                                                               
Commercial/Fair Business Section                                                                                                
Civil Division (Anchorage)                                                                                                      
Department of Law                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  During discussion of SB 231, offered to                                                                    
answer questions.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
TODD THAKAR                                                                                                                     
Prudential Financial                                                                                                            
(No address provided)                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:    During discussion of SB 231, offered to                                                                
answer questions.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                              
LISA FITZPATRICK, Chair                                                                                                         
Human Rights Commission                                                                                                         
Office of the Governor                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified that the Human Rights Commission                                                                 
opposes the language in Section 6 of CSSB 354(STA)am (efd fld).                                                               
                                                                                                                              
SCOTT J. NORDSTRAND, Deputy Attorney General                                                                                    
Civil Division                                                                                                                  
Office of the Attorney General                                                                                                  
Department of Law                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   During discussion  of CSSB  354(STA)am (efd                                                               
fld), answered questions.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
TOMAS H. BOUTIN, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                            
Office of the Commissioner                                                                                                      
Department of Revenue                                                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:     During  discussion  of   CSSB  231(FIN),                                                               
provided information.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
RACHEL LEWIS,  Unclaimed Property Section                                                                                       
Treasury Division                                                                                                               
Department of Revenue                                                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:     During  discussion  of   CSSB  231(FIN),                                                               
discussed sections of the bill that  aren't in line with the 1995                                                               
Act.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DEBORAH BEHR, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                        
Legislation & Regulations Section                                                                                               
Office of the Attorney General                                                                                                  
Department Of Law                                                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:     During  discussion  of   CSSB  231(FIN),                                                               
discussed the Department of Law's view on the changes.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-79, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  BRUCE WEYHRAUCH  called the  House State  Affairs Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at  9:03 a.m.   Representatives Holm,                                                               
Seaton, Lynn, Gruenberg,  and Weyhrauch were present  at the call                                                               
to order.   Representatives Coghill and Berkowitz  arrived as the                                                               
meeting was in progress.                                                                                                        
SB 385-SECURITY;DIV. HOMELAND SECURITY/EMER. MGT                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0177                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  announced that the  first order of  business was                                                               
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 385(JUD)  am, "An Act relating to homeland                                                               
security,  to civil  defense, to  emergencies  and to  disasters,                                                               
including  disasters  in  the  event  of  attacks,  outbreaks  of                                                               
disease,   or  threats   of  attack   or  outbreak   of  disease;                                                               
establishing  the  Alaska  division   of  homeland  security  and                                                               
emergency management in the Department  of Military and Veterans'                                                               
Affairs and relating  to the functions of that  division and that                                                               
department; and providing for an effective date."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0185                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH moved to adopt CSSB 385(JUD) am.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON objected.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0255                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  moved to adopt Amendment  1, which read                                                               
as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     1.  Page  11, line 28 - delete "threat  of attacks" and                                                                    
     insert "threat level"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     2.   Page 12,  line 16 -  delete "threats  from attack"                                                                    
     and insert "attack threats"                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     3.   Page 13, line  4 - delete "preventive"  and insert                                                                    
     "prevention"                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     4.  Page 21, lines 7-8  - delete "an attack or imminent                                                                    
     threat  of attack"  and insert  "a  credible threat  of                                                                    
     imminent enemy or terrorist attack"                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     5.  Page 21, line 29  - delete "an imminent" and insert                                                                    
     "a credible"                                                                                                               
         Page   21,  line   30  -   before  "enemy"   insert                                                                    
     "imminent"                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     6.  Page  22, line 6 - delete "an  imminent" and insert                                                                    
     "a credible threat of an imminent"                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH objected.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   explained  that  Amendment   1  makes                                                               
several  technical and  conforming  changes.   In  response to  a                                                               
question from Representative Holm,  he explained that the changes                                                               
would help  conform the bill "to  itself," so that there  are not                                                               
any internal inconsistencies.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0365                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON removed  his  objection  to adopting  CSSB                                                               
385(JUD) am.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0374                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  CRAMER,  Director,  Division  of  Administrative  Services,                                                               
Department  of  Military &  Veterans'  Affairs,  said he  is  not                                                               
cognizant  of all  the changes  that were  discussed that  are in                                                               
Amendment 1.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG  reviewed   the  first   change  [text                                                               
provided previously].   He  said he  believes "threat  levels" is                                                               
the correct term to use.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CRAMER explained  that  one method  of  depicting levels  of                                                               
threat is by  a color system:  level yellow,  to level orange, to                                                               
level red.   The  State of  Alaska has  adopted a  similar threat                                                               
level [indicator].                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG asked  Mr. Cramer  if he  would "prefer                                                               
the change that we have here."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0482                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH told  the committee that he had  indicated to the                                                               
sponsor that  he wanted to  move the bill  out of committee.   He                                                               
said  there is  no problem  to offering  amendments on  the House                                                               
floor,  but  he doesn't  want  to  slow  the  bill down  in  this                                                               
committee.    He  clarified  that he  doesn't  mind  hearing  the                                                               
department's position, but he isn't inclined to amend the bill.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said he would  not waste his time if the                                                               
committee is not  inclined to [address the amendment].   He said,                                                               
"Let's just leave this Amendment 1."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH clarified that Amendment 1 had been withdrawn.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0549                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG [moved  to  adopt]  Amendment 2,  which                                                               
read as follows:                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 19, line 8:                                                                                                           
          Delete "The"                                                                                                          
          Insert "To the extent preempted by federal law,                                                                       
     the"                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH   stated  his   plans  to   take  Representative                                                               
Gruenberg's amendments to Senator Fred  Dyson's office for him to                                                               
"think about these in the context of  ... this bill."  He said he                                                               
wants the department to "talk  about this a little more carefully                                                               
with Senator Dyson's  staff."  He mentioned the  roles of various                                                               
departments and committees in this process.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. CRAMER  concurred with  Chair Weyhrauch that  he had  not had                                                               
the opportunity to speak with  the sponsor or staff regarding any                                                               
changes to the bill.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH objected to Amendment 2.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0655                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  said  the language  that  Amendment  2                                                               
would add to the bill is the correct legal term to use.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0688                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG, at  the  request  of Chair  Weyhrauch,                                                               
withdrew Amendment 2.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0700                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG [moved  to  adopt]  Amendment 3,  which                                                               
read as follows:                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 4, through page 7, line 24:                                                                                   
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
        "*  Sec. 2.   AS 24.20  is amended  by adding  a new                                                                
     section to article 5 to read:                                                                                              
          Sec. 24.20.680.  Legislative review.  (a)  The                                                                      
     president of  the senate and  the speaker of  the house                                                                    
     of representatives shall  appoint members or committees                                                                    
     of the  senate and  the house, respectively,  to review                                                                    
     confidential      activities,      plans,      reports,                                                                    
     recommendations,  and  other  materials of  the  Alaska                                                                    
     division of homeland  security and emergency management                                                                    
     established in  AS 24.20.025, or  of other  agencies or                                                                    
     persons,  relating   to  matters   concerning  homeland                                                                    
     security and  civil defense, emergencies,  or disasters                                                                    
     in  the state  or to  the state's  preparedness for  or                                                                    
     ability  to   mount  a   prompt  response   to  matters                                                                    
     concerning   homeland  security   and  civil   defense,                                                                    
     emergencies,  or  disasters.   In  making  appointments                                                                    
     under  this subsection,  each  presiding officer  shall                                                                    
     ensure  that  the  political party  membership  of  the                                                                    
     members   appointed  by   that  presiding   officer  is                                                                    
     proportional to  the political party membership  of the                                                                    
     house  of  the  legislature   over  which  the  officer                                                                    
     presides.                                                                                                                  
          (b)  To be eligible for appointment under (a) of                                                                      
     this section,  a member shall  have a  federal security                                                                    
     clearance  at   the  secret  level   at  the   time  of                                                                    
     appointment   or  shall   have   an  interim   security                                                                    
     clearance  at   the  secret  level   at  the   time  of                                                                    
     appointment and  shall apply for and  receive a federal                                                                    
     security  clearance  at  the  secret  level.    Members                                                                    
     holding  a federal  security  clearance  at the  secret                                                                    
     level  at  the time  of  appointment  or receiving  the                                                                    
     clearance  following  appointment  shall  maintain  the                                                                    
     federal  security  clearance  at the  secret  level  to                                                                    
     remain qualified to serve in appointed status.                                                                             
          (c)  The president of the senate and the speaker                                                                      
     of  the  house  of representatives  may  condition  the                                                                    
     appointment of  members under (a) of  this section upon                                                                    
     the    execution    of   appropriate    confidentiality                                                                    
     agreements  by  the  members or  by  persons  assisting                                                                    
     those members.   Information and documents  received by                                                                    
     appointed  members   or  persons   assisting  appointed                                                                    
     members under a  confidentiality agreement as described                                                                    
     in this subsection  are not public records  and are not                                                                    
     subject  to  public  disclosure  under  AS 40.25.100  -                                                                    
     40.25.220.                                                                                                                 
          (d)  Appointed members who remain qualified under                                                                     
     (b)  of this  section  serve for  the  duration of  the                                                                    
     legislature  during which  the  members are  appointed.                                                                    
     If a member  is reelected or a member's  term of office                                                                    
     extends into  the next  succeeding legislature  and the                                                                    
     member  remains qualified  under  (a) and  (b) of  this                                                                    
     section,  the  member  shall continue  to  serve  until                                                                    
     reappointed   or  the   appointment  of   the  member's                                                                    
     successor.                                                                                                                 
          (e)  When a member appointed under (a) of this                                                                        
     section  files  a  declaration   of  candidacy  for  an                                                                    
     elective  office other  than that  of member  of either                                                                    
     house  of  the  legislature,  and the  member  has  not                                                                    
     resigned from appointed  status, the member's appointed                                                                    
     status terminates  on the date  that the  member leaves                                                                    
     legislative office."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 22, line 16, through page 23, line 5:                                                                                 
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
        "*  Sec. 21.   AS 24.20.680  is repealed  January 1,                                                                
     2009.                                                                                                                      
        *  Sec. 22.   The  uncodified  law of  the State  of                                                                  
     Alaska is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                                         
          PREPARATION    AND   PRESENTATION    OF   PROPOSED                                                                    
     LEGISLATION.     If   the  adjutant   general  of   the                                                                    
     Department   of   Military    and   Veterans'   Affairs                                                                    
     determines    that   additional    qualifications   for                                                                    
     appointment  under AS 24.20.680,  added  by  sec. 2  of                                                                    
     this Act,  would significantly enhance the  security of                                                                    
     sensitive  materials  or  information  to  be  reviewed                                                                    
     under AS 24.20.680, the  adjutant general shall prepare                                                                    
     a  bill proposing  amendments to  AS 24.20.680, enacted                                                                    
     by sec. 2 of this  Act, for consideration by each house                                                                    
     of the legislature,  and shall deliver the  bill to the                                                                    
     Secretary  of the  Alaska State  Senate  and the  Chief                                                                    
     Clerk of the Alaska  State House of Representatives not                                                                    
     later  than  30 days  following  the  convening of  the                                                                    
     First  Regular  Session  of  the  Twenty-Fourth  Alaska                                                                    
     State Legislature.                                                                                                         
        *  Sec. 23.   The  uncodified  law of  the State  of                                                                  
     Alaska is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                                         
          INITIAL APPOINTMENT.  The President of the Alaska                                                                     
     State Senate and the Speaker  of the Alaska State House                                                                    
     of   Representatives   shall  make   the   appointments                                                                    
     required under AS 24.20.680, enacted  by sec. 2 of this                                                                    
     Act, within  15 days after  the effective date  of this                                                                    
     Act."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH objected to Amendment 3.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  explained that the bill  itself sets up                                                               
a [Homeland  Security and  Emergency Management]  Subcommittee of                                                               
the  Joint  Armed  Services  Committee  to  receive  confidential                                                               
information.   He  indicated that  those involved  would have  to                                                               
receive  a "secret  clearance" and  sign a  confidentiality form.                                                               
Unfortunately,  he said,  the Joint  Armed Services  Committee is                                                               
not a legislative  committee.  He noted that the  Senate does not                                                               
have a  committee on  military and  veterans' affairs,  while the                                                               
House  does.   He explained  that [Amendment  3] would  allow the                                                               
presiding  officers the  discretion to  appoint individuals  or a                                                               
committee "to deal  with this."  Those  individuals would receive                                                               
"secret  clearance," sign  a confidentiality  document, and  have                                                               
access  "to  this  information."    He  stated,  "It's  the  same                                                               
process;  it's  just  a  question  of who  would  be  doing  it."                                                               
Representative  Gruenberg said  he is  under the  impression that                                                               
the  co-chair  of the  [Joint]  Armed  Services Committee,  among                                                               
others, seem to think [Amendment 3] is a good idea.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG,  in response  to  a  request by  Chair                                                               
Weyhrauch, withdrew his motion to adopt Amendment 3.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0912                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON directed attention  to [a two-page list of]                                                               
questions  [included   in  the  committee  packet],   which  were                                                               
submitted by Jim Butler.  He  said some of the questions probably                                                               
ought to  be addressed.   For example,  on page 12,  beginning on                                                               
line 16, the  language proposes that folks in the  DMVA will have                                                               
police  powers,  but they  will  not  get  police training.    He                                                               
questioned  if the  situation would  exist where  people who  are                                                               
untrained are "doing the establishment of these procedures."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1011                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL  MITCHELL, Assistant  Attorney General,  Labor and  State                                                               
Affairs Section,  Civil Division (Anchorage), Department  of Law,                                                               
said he would defer to Mr.  Cramer regarding the specifics of the                                                               
activities in  which the department  engages.  In regard  to page                                                               
12, line  16, he offered  his understanding  that "investigation"                                                               
in that  context is  "evaluation or assessment  of the  nature of                                                               
the threat, rather  than a law enforcement  form of investigation                                                               
or  intelligence  gathering."    More generally,  he  stated  his                                                               
understanding that  DMVA does not engage  in law enforcement-type                                                               
of activities or police-type activities.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1089                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DAVID   E.   LIEBERSBACH,    Director,   Division   of   Homeland                                                               
Security/Emergency   Management,   Department   of   Military   &                                                               
Veterans' Affairs, noted that "the  individuals that are assigned                                                               
to this" do get training  to the certification of state troopers,                                                               
when they are acting with the  state and before they are deployed                                                               
with the  state troopers.   He  clarified that  the investigative                                                               
type  of  work  these  folks  do  is  gathering  information  and                                                               
evaluating   critical   infrastructure   of  state   or   private                                                               
facilities.   He emphasized that  the investigations are  done by                                                               
request.   For example, assessments  are currently being  done on                                                               
Golden Valley  Electric Association (GVEA), the  Alaska Railroad,                                                               
and the Port of  Anchorage.  He said, "I could go  on and on, but                                                               
we're  getting  a  little  bit  into  sensitive  areas."    Those                                                               
investigators   are  looking   for  vulnerability   to  potential                                                               
terrorist  activity, and  they provide  input  to assisting  that                                                               
state or  private facility  to developing  plans and  programs to                                                               
lessen  their  vulnerability.   He  emphasized  that no  kind  of                                                               
criminal  investigations are  done; that  job strictly  lies with                                                               
the Alaska  State Troopers  or local  police, or  - if  federal -                                                               
with the federal force.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  reiterated that  he would like  answers to                                                               
Mr. Butler's questions.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     MR. CRAMER noted  that the language on  page 12, "lines                                                                    
     16, 22, 24,  28" is currently in statute,  in AS 26.20.                                                                    
     He reiterated  that those  civil statutes  were enacted                                                                    
     in 1951 and  have been there since that time.   He said                                                                    
     the  department  has  the  authority  to  execute  [AS]                                                                    
     26.20.   He spoke of combining  [two existing divisions                                                                    
     into the  Division of  Homeland Security  and Emergency                                                                    
     Management], in order to save  money.  He indicated the                                                                    
     intent to "get  rid of a lot of the  very onerous stuff                                                                    
     that was in the ... original civil defense statute.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON   explained  that  he  didn't   want  [Mr.                                                               
Butler's]  questions  glossed over  in  the  committee's rush  to                                                               
address the bill; however, he  stated that he knows the committee                                                               
doesn't have the time to "do it here."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CRAMER  stated  that  [SB   385]  is  a  critical  piece  of                                                               
legislation that the department would  like to see moved forward.                                                               
He  noted that  the department  has,  for its  own use,  prepared                                                               
responses to  [Mr. Butler's]  questions, and  he offered  to make                                                               
those responses available to the committee.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH said  that would  be important,  particularly if                                                               
Mr. Cramer  could make  those available before  the bill  gets to                                                               
the House floor.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1374                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG stated  his hope  that Chair  Weyhrauch                                                               
will  indicate  on  the  House   floor  why  the  committee  left                                                               
[amendments] to address on the House floor.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1399                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH   moved  to  report   CSSB  385(JUD)am   out  of                                                               
committee,  with  individual  recommendations  and  the  attached                                                               
fiscal notes.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON again  removed his  objection to  adopting                                                               
CSSB 385(JUD)am.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  asked if  there were  any further  objections to                                                               
the motion  to report  CSSB 385(JUD)am out  of committee.   There                                                               
being none, CSSB  385(JUD)am was reported out of  the House State                                                               
Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                                     
SB 231-DECREASE TIME TO CLAIM UNCLAIMED PROPERTY                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1433                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH announced that the  next order of business was CS                                                               
FOR  SENATE BILL  NO.  231(FIN), "An  Act  relating to  unclaimed                                                               
property; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH moved to adopt CSSB 231(FIN).                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM objected.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1449                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MARY ELLEN  BEARDSLEY, Assistant  Attorney General,  simply noted                                                               
that   she  had   assisted  the   department   in  drafting   the                                                               
legislation, and she offered to answer questions.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1463                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TODD  THAKAR,  testifying  on  behalf  of  Prudential  Financial,                                                               
stated that company's support of [SB  231].  He offered to answer                                                               
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1515                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  mentioned there  would  be  a need  to                                                               
update the bill to the new "Unclaimed Property Act."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
[SB 231 was heard and held until later in the meeting.]                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SB 354-HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION PROCEDURES                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1588                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH announced that the  next order of business was CS                                                               
FOR SENATE  BILL NO.  354(STA) am(efd fld),  "An Act  relating to                                                               
complaints filed  with, and investigations, hearings,  and orders                                                               
of, the State Commission for  Human Rights; and making conforming                                                               
amendments."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1600                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LISA FITZPATRICK,  Chair, Human Rights Commission,  Office of the                                                               
Governor,  testifying on  behalf of  the commission,  stated that                                                               
the commission opposes the language  of Section 6 - the provision                                                               
that provides the  remedies that the commission can  order when a                                                               
legal discrimination  has occurred -  because it would  take away                                                               
the tools the commission needs to do its job.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. FITZPATRICK  mentioned a recent  celebration of the  40 years                                                               
that  the commission  has  been  in existence.    She noted  that                                                               
discrimination is  just as alive  today as  it was 40  years ago.                                                               
She  gave  examples  of  discrimination   and  said  there  is  a                                                               
continuing  need  to eliminate  discrimination  in  Alaska.   She                                                               
opined that the  bill would encroach on  the commission's ability                                                               
to do its job.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FITZPATRICK noted  that, under  current law,  the commission                                                               
has  the   authority  to  order   any  appropriate   relief  when                                                               
discrimination  has occurred.    She  clarified that  appropriate                                                               
relief  isn't  extraordinary  relief,  doesn't  include  punitive                                                               
damages, and doesn't include compensating  the person for his/her                                                               
pain  and suffering.   She  stated, "The  whole premise  of human                                                               
rights laws is simply:  Let  the individual back in the situation                                                               
they  would  have been  in  had  the illegal  discrimination  not                                                               
occurred."  She  noted that the majority of the  cases handled by                                                               
the  commission are  regarding discrimination  in the  workplace;                                                               
therefore,   the  remedies   that  are   relevant  to   workplace                                                               
discrimination are particularly important.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. FITZPATRICK  noted that the  bill would allow  the commission                                                               
to order "training of the  employer for discriminatory practices"                                                               
and for the  reinstatement or upgrading of an  individual who has                                                               
been discriminated.   It would  authorize the award of  front pay                                                               
for one  year.  She  said the bill  doesn't take into  account so                                                               
many  types  of relief  that  the  commission -  and  commissions                                                               
around that country - have  been historically empowered to award.                                                               
She offered examples.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1800                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.   FITZPATRICK  explained   that  back   pay  compensates   an                                                               
individual for the loss of  pay, retrospectively, while front pay                                                               
- which is rarely awarded  - pays an employee prospectively when,                                                               
for   whatever  reason,   it's  not   possible  to   restore  the                                                               
discrimination by restoring the  individual to the situation that                                                               
he/she  would  have  been  in before  the  discrimination.    She                                                               
offered examples.   She noted that the bill would  [allow for] an                                                               
award for a period of one year's  front pay.  She stated that the                                                               
commission  opposes the  one-year limitation  and would  prefer a                                                               
bill with  no limitation  on it,  because "every  situation where                                                               
it's used  is unique."   She  noted that there  has never  been a                                                               
complaint that the  commission has abused its  discretion in this                                                               
regard, and she questioned the reason for the change.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1883                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. FITZPATRICK said she has  heard the argument made at previous                                                               
committee hearings that it's important  that individuals know the                                                               
scope of  relief that can  be awarded  against them.   She stated                                                               
the fact is that people do  [know].  She reiterated that the idea                                                               
is to put  the individual back in the position  he/she would have                                                               
been in without the discrimination.   She said, "Because this can                                                               
be so fact-dependent, it's extremely  difficult to create an all-                                                               
purpose list.   But, if you  have an individual and  you have not                                                               
given them  a raise as  a result of  their being a  black person,                                                               
...  a woman,  or disabled,  then you  can reasonably  anticipate                                                               
exactly  what kind  of relief  ... could  potentially be  ordered                                                               
against you."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FITZPATRICK  noted that  a  second  argument heard  is  that                                                               
victims of discrimination  could just take their  cases to court.                                                               
She  explained  that that  is  not  a realistic  alternative  for                                                               
people.   She indicated  that she  doesn't know  why it  would be                                                               
preferable to ship  the people over to the  court's calendar when                                                               
there is  an agency  [to deal with  these issues].   Furthermore,                                                               
she  stated that  it  is  not practical  to  send  people to  the                                                               
courts.    She  explained  that   the  average  value  where  the                                                               
commission  has  found  that   there's  substantial  evidence  to                                                               
proceed is $5,800.   She said there is no  economic incentive for                                                               
a lawyer  to take  the case and  proceed to court  with it.   She                                                               
said, "Individuals cannot  go to small claims  court, because, by                                                               
statute, the  original jurisdiction for  these cases lies  in the                                                               
superior  court.   And  that  is  a  world  apart from  both  the                                                               
commission and from the small claims court forum."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. FITZPATRICK estimated  450 cases are processed,  and the vast                                                               
majority  of those  cases "settle  out."   She said  most of  the                                                               
cases are  small dollar  settlements; however,  in the  "cases of                                                               
higher value,"  probably only about  20 percent of  the employers                                                               
are represented  by attorneys.   She  said that  "this is  a very                                                               
informal  sort of  a process,"  which gives  people relief.   She                                                               
stated  that  it  doesn't  give   people  anything  beyond  their                                                               
restoration to  their position before the  discrimination, but it                                                               
serves an incredibly valuable function  - both society as a whole                                                               
and individuals.   She said it pains her to  consider that a bill                                                               
has been  introduced which could turn  back the hands of  time on                                                               
discrimination law by taking away  the tools the commission needs                                                               
to do its job and to protect the public.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2038                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  noted   that  the  legislative  intent                                                               
section  [in   current  statute]   regarding  the   Human  Rights                                                               
Commission says  that the  statutory scheme is  "to seek  out and                                                               
eradicate discrimination  in employment, in credit  and financing                                                               
practices, in  places of public  accommodations and in  the sale,                                                               
lease or  rental of  real property."   He asked  if SB  354 would                                                               
compromise the  ability of the  Human Rights Commission  to carry                                                               
out the legislative intent.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. FITZPATRICK answered yes.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2080                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  moved to adopt Amendment  1, which read                                                               
as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 26                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
          Delete "in the executive director's discretion"                                                                       
          Insert: "with the concurrence of the commission"                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN objected.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ  said  Amendment 1  would  ensure  that                                                               
there are some  checks and balances involved in the  process.  He                                                               
said it  would make sure that  if an executive director  is going                                                               
to  get  rid  of  a  case,  it  is  done  with  the  commission's                                                               
concurrence.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH suggested that the  executive director could send                                                               
letters  to the  commission members  to which  they could  reply.                                                               
There wouldn't necessarily have  to be an affirmative concurrence                                                               
of  the   commission  by   a  vote,  for   example.     He  asked                                                               
Representative  Berkowitz if  he  agrees that  "this  is sort  of                                                               
broad  to allow  the commission  to do  its business  in lots  of                                                               
different respects."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ agreed.   He explained that  if it's not                                                               
particularly onerous  for the director, he  would actually prefer                                                               
that one person not have  the authority to dismiss cases, without                                                               
the concurrence of others.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2143                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  commented  that   "that's  in  line  with                                                               
testimony that we had the other day."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  said he  would  like  to hear  from  the                                                               
department.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2158                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT  J. NORDSTRAND,  Deputy Attorney  General, Civil  Division,                                                               
Office  of the  Attorney  General, Department  of  Law, said  the                                                               
department  drafted  the bill  to  allow  the discretion  in  the                                                               
executive  director.    He offered  his  understanding  that  the                                                               
commission supports  "the current text."   He said  [Amendment 1]                                                               
would require the commission to  "do concurrence," and he said he                                                               
understands that  the commission does not  support [Amendment 1].                                                               
He   noted  that   Ms.  Fitzpatrick   had  indicated   that  [the                                                               
commission]  prosecutes  Human  Rights  Act  violations  for  the                                                               
state.   He said  that in  the context of  a criminal  case, [the                                                               
department]   gives  the   district  attorney's   office  -   and                                                               
ultimately the attorney  general - the authority  to decide which                                                               
cases  to bring,  based  upon the  needs of  the  office and  the                                                               
evidence that's  available.  He emphasized  that [the department]                                                               
does not  ask for the  concurrence of  the court, at  that point.                                                               
He compared  asking for concurrence  of the commission  to asking                                                               
for concurrence of the court.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2215                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ stated  that  it's  not absolutely  the                                                               
case that  prosecutors have absolute discretion  to "not charge."                                                               
He said  there are  some profound  policy requirements  [to meet]                                                               
before cases  can be dismissed.   He  noted that there's  a great                                                               
body of law that has to  do with prosecutorial discretion and the                                                               
abuse of  prosecutorial discretion.   He said the courts  and the                                                               
executive  branch  do intrude  on  how  prosecutors charge.    He                                                               
concluded, "And that analogy, I think,  is a propos in this case,                                                               
because we're  saying if we  don't want a single  individual with                                                               
absolute discretion over whether to pursue or not pursue cases."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2247                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NORDSTRAND responded  that the  whole process  of the  Human                                                               
Rights  Commission  charges  the   executive  director  with  the                                                               
responsibility for investigating the cases.  He said:                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     This  person  has  the   sole  authority  to  determine                                                                    
     whether there  is 'substantial evidence,' which  is the                                                                    
     gate that opens that allows  someone to even get to the                                                                    
     commission.   So,  to somehow  say  that the  executive                                                                    
     director would have  too much power with  this, when in                                                                    
     fact  they   are  the  ones  themselves   to  make  the                                                                    
     determinations  without the  commission  on whether  or                                                                    
     not there's  a substantial evidence finding  that would                                                                    
     allow anyone to  even ever get to a hearing  - it seems                                                                    
     to me it's six to one or half dozen of another.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2273                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  indicated that the concern  that is being                                                               
addressed  is  that in  the  process  of  making a  complaint,  a                                                               
complainant  may  be left  without  some  recourse or  "some  due                                                               
process beyond this."   He asked Mr. Nordstrand if  he could give                                                               
him some  comfort that  if [Amendment 1]  fails that  that [would                                                               
not happen].                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDSTRAND  responded that if the  executive director chooses                                                               
not to  pursue a case,  the recourse for the  person is to  go to                                                               
court;  however,  the recourse  in  the  Human Rights  Commission                                                               
would end.   He clarified  that the  process of providing  a free                                                               
attorney to represent the person  to go forward through a hearing                                                               
process and,  ultimately, to a  decision by the  commission would                                                               
end.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  said he wonders if  having the commission                                                               
"review these things" doesn't give  the complainant at least some                                                               
comfort that  he/she will be heard.   He asked, "Can  you give me                                                               
some reason that that shouldn't happen?"                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDSTRAND answered, "It certainly  could happen.  We believe                                                               
that  it's ...  more appropriate  for the  executive director  to                                                               
make  that  decision,  because the  executive  director  has  the                                                               
information necessary to  make that decision.  He  said he thinks                                                               
people  may  be  under  the  assumption  that  the  Human  Rights                                                               
Commission  actually  hears  cases  as a  body  that  listens  to                                                               
testimony.  He said that's not  the fact.  He said, "What happens                                                               
is these  cases are  heard before  ... contract  hearing officers                                                               
that are hired - lawyers that are  hired for $100 an hour to hear                                                               
the case.   They  hear all  the evidence;  they evaluate  all the                                                               
evidence;  they  write the  decisions;  they  send a  recommended                                                               
decision to  the commission; the  commission then  considers it."                                                               
He  said to  ask  volunteer  member of  the  commission board  to                                                               
substantively  evaluate  every dismissal  that's  made  is a  big                                                               
challenge.    He  said,  "We  have to  ask  whether  a  voluntary                                                               
commission can do that."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  asked if  the executive director  is held                                                               
to a protocol.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-79, SIDE B                                                                                                            
Number 2382                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  explained that the reason  he is pursuing                                                               
this  line  of  questioning  is   because  the  issue  of  having                                                               
significant power  vested in the  executive director  "begins the                                                               
whole argument of the remaining amendments."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  asked if  Representative Coghill  is maintaining                                                               
his objection.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL said he still  wants an answer regarding a                                                               
protocol or body of law  that would compel the executive director                                                               
or hold  the executive accountable,  such as a  district attorney                                                               
might be.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2345                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDSTRAND responded that the  statute that is being proposed                                                               
in Section  4 provides  that the  executive director  may dismiss                                                               
cases  in accordance  with a  list of  criteria at  the executive                                                               
director's discretion.   He explained  that would mean  that that                                                               
decision would  be subject to review  in the courts for  an abuse                                                               
of  that discretion.   So,  if someone  could establish  that the                                                               
director had,  for some inappropriate reason,  dismissed the case                                                               
and  had  not done  it  meaningfully,  accurately, and  correctly                                                               
pursuant to  the list of  criteria, then the court  could reverse                                                               
the decision and it would be an abuse of discretion situation.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2322                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG mentioned  Wagstaff v.  Superior Court.                                                             
In that  case, he  noted, the  superior court  said it  could not                                                               
review a  decision whether  or not to  prosecute a  case, because                                                               
that was a  violation regarding separation of powers.   He stated                                                               
that there  may be  "internal things that  govern whether  a case                                                               
can be  reviewed or  not."   The question  of judicial  review is                                                               
highly  circumscribed by  the separation  of  powers doctrine  in                                                               
that case.   He  offered his understanding  that there  are other                                                               
cases, as well.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2282                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDSTRAND replied that that may  be the case, although he is                                                               
not a criminal lawyer and does not profess to be one.  He said:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     But, in the  case of administrative law,  which is what                                                                    
     we're talking  about here,  where a  ... representative                                                                    
     of an administrative agency takes  an action that would                                                                    
     violate in some way the  statute, and thereby abuse the                                                                    
     discretion  given  under  the statute,  I  would  argue                                                                    
     that, in fact, the courts  do have the power to address                                                                    
     whether that ... discretion were abused.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG said  he thinks  Mr. Nordstrand  should                                                               
"really check  that out," because he  does not think it  would be                                                               
an  abuse  of  discretion  standard,   but  is  a  constitutional                                                               
separation  of powers  standard.   He emphasized  that that's  an                                                               
important difference.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2233                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A  roll   call  vote  was  taken.     Representatives  Berkowitz,                                                               
Gruenberg, Seaton, and  Weyhrauch voted in favor  of Amendment 1.                                                               
Representatives  Lynn,  Holm,  and   Coghill  voted  against  it.                                                               
Therefore, Amendment 1 was adopted by a vote of 4-3.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2210                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ moved to  adopt Amendment 2, which would                                                               
delete paragraphs (4), (6), (8), and  (9), on page 3, lines 2, 5,                                                               
7, and 8,  and renumber accordingly.  [Amendment  2, as submitted                                                               
to  the  committee  read  "subsections"   where  it  should  read                                                               
"paragraphs".]                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM objected.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BERKOWITZ explained  that the  criteria by  which                                                               
the  executive director  "in now  the  commission" would  dismiss                                                               
complaints is  overbroad and, in  some ways, is a  deprivation of                                                               
due process.  He said one  of the criteria he wants eliminated is                                                               
from  paragraph (4),  which would  allow a  determination by  the                                                               
executive  director   that  "a  hearing  will   not  benefit  the                                                               
complainant".  He said that  is paternalistic and he doesn't know                                                               
what that means.  Paragraph (6)  would be deleted by Amendment 2;                                                               
it pertains to a determination  by the executive director that "a                                                               
hearing   will  not   represent  the   best  use   of  commission                                                               
resources".    Representative  Berkowitz remarked,  "Well,  under                                                               
that criteria, ever  the most deserving of cases -  if they might                                                               
tax  the resources  overmuch to  the exclusion  of, for  example,                                                               
other cases  - could  be thrown  out because  they don't  want to                                                               
take  the hard  cases that,  in fact,  might be  most in  need of                                                               
attention."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  turned to  paragraphs (8) and  (9), the                                                               
last  two   paragraphs  which  he  proposed   to  delete  through                                                               
Amendment 2.   Paragraph (8)  would allow a determination  by the                                                               
executive  director  that  "the  probability of  success  of  the                                                               
complaint on the merits is  low", while paragraph (9) would allow                                                               
a determination by  the executive director that  "proceeding to a                                                               
hearing  will   not  serve  the  public   interest".    Regarding                                                               
paragraph  (8), Representative  Berkowitz said,  "If you  believe                                                               
that everyone deserves their day  in court, then you shouldn't be                                                               
in  a position  where the  court looks  at you  and says,  "We're                                                               
tossing you out before we get  you, because we don't think you're                                                               
going to  prevail.  That's  prejudging the evidence, and  I think                                                               
that is  ... an unfair way  for any branch of  the justice system                                                               
to  work.   We do  not prejudge  evidence."   Regarding paragraph                                                               
(9), he said  the public interest is determined  in AS 18.80.200,                                                               
and [paragraph  (9)] is "an  overbroad description and  gives too                                                               
much authority."   He added  that it  frankly is an  intrusion on                                                               
the legislative authority that is enshrined in statute.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 2124                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDSTRAND  stated that the  department thinks that  the four                                                               
provisions [that would  be deleted by Amendment  2] give latitude                                                               
to  the  executive   director  to  do  what   the  federal  Equal                                                               
Employment  Opportunity Commission  (EEOC)  does.   He  explained                                                               
that the EEOC has similar  jurisdiction and "remedies available,"                                                               
and it  proceeds with cases that  "it chooses to believe  are the                                                               
most important, the most egregious,  [and the most] significant."                                                               
He said  that, unlike  the Human Rights  Commission, if  the EEOC                                                               
wants  to bring  a  complaint,  it has  to  "go  downtown to  the                                                               
federal  courthouse and  file a  complaint in  federal court  and                                                               
proceed  forward, with  a  few exceptions."    He stated,  "We're                                                               
trying to  describe discretion  here and  ... obviously  it's ...                                                               
intended to  be an inclusive  list."   He offered the  example of                                                               
the issue of resources, which he  said is a serious issue for the                                                               
commission.  He continued as follows:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     The way the thing is set  up now - with the substantial                                                                    
     evidence test  and the low  standard for  a substantial                                                                    
     finding  of a  discrimination, combined  with the  fact                                                                    
     that there's no  process to ... end  claims for summary                                                                    
     judgment  or  any  other summary  proceeding  prior  to                                                                    
     hearing - essentially, if you  have the merest smidgeon                                                                    
     of evidence of discrimination, you  get a hearing.  And                                                                    
     that has essentially brought the  system ... -- they're                                                                    
     certainly  working more  quickly  than  they have,  but                                                                    
     year's past it took years  to get to a hearing, because                                                                    
     of all  the cases  that were  stacked up.   And  so, we                                                                    
     think that the merits (indisc.)  is a good standard.  I                                                                    
     mean,  ... any  good lawyer  would look  at a  case and                                                                    
     say, "Are we going to win,  or is this a waste of time?                                                                    
     Is  there  really  enough evidence  here  to  win  this                                                                    
     case?"   And if  that's not  the case,  then government                                                                    
     resources need not be used  to pursue the case.  Again,                                                                    
     all of these  folks will have the  same remedy everyone                                                                    
     else does to  go to the courts, should  they choose to,                                                                    
     with  any other  kind of  claim.   But it's  just these                                                                    
     specialized discrimination  claims that have  access to                                                                    
     the  Human Right  Commission.   That's a  good thing  -                                                                    
     that should be  there - but we ... I  think as a policy                                                                    
     matter  ought to  be able  to say  which cases  are the                                                                    
     most  significant to  take to  hearing,  and which  are                                                                    
     not.  And this gives them that power.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2023                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  responded that  he is troubled  by what                                                               
Mr. Nordstrand said,  because the purpose of  alternative ways of                                                               
pursuing  justice   is  to  make  justice   more  affordable  and                                                               
available.   He said,  "If you're saying  that, because  we don't                                                               
want to  pay for it at  the administrative level people  now have                                                               
to shell  out money to go  to court, what you're  doing is you're                                                               
putting more of  a burden on the court system.   You're making it                                                               
harder for  individuals to seek  regress in  a nonconfrontational                                                               
way  ..., and  I just  reject that."   He  said "this"  would add                                                               
costs to the  court system if done incorrectly  and would deprive                                                               
people of the chance to pursue the justice they think they need.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1999                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM  stated, "I think  that flies in the  face of                                                               
what the courts  ought to be doing, and that  is making decisions                                                               
about  frivolous  law suits  and  frivolous  circumstances."   He                                                               
asked Mr. Nordstrand to discuss  the balance that should be exist                                                               
between  accusation  and  justice  when someone  has  truly  been                                                               
[discriminated against].   He  said it seems  to him  that that's                                                               
where the  balance is and  the assumption  would be made  that an                                                               
[executive]  director  would "get  the  information  at hand"  to                                                               
decide whether [a case] should go  forward to some causation.  He                                                               
said it's easy to "spout out" and  say that the intent is to look                                                               
for  justice,  but  he  pointed out  that  the  accused  deserved                                                               
justice as  well.   He stated,  "I'm trying  to find  that middle                                                               
ground and I think  I tend to err on the  side of having somebody                                                               
oversee it first, just to make that decision."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. NORDSTRAND said  the department's view of the  system is that                                                               
it's designed  to provide a  fair outcome  to all of  the parties                                                               
that  appear before  it.   He confirmed  that there  are lots  of                                                               
cases that sometimes are brought  repetitively by the same people                                                               
who  have grievances  that they  want to  play out  in the  Human                                                               
Rights Commission  "or other  forum like this."   He  said, "Now,                                                               
that's not  to say there aren't  lots and lots of  very deserving                                                               
cases that need  the commission's support ... [and  action]."  He                                                               
clarified, "What we're saying is,  if they can focus better their                                                               
resources and their efforts on those  cases, then I think that we                                                               
will have  a better system  overall."  Regarding the  process, he                                                               
asked the  committee to remember  that there's a  cost associated                                                               
with taking every  case to hearing.  The  commission doesn't want                                                               
to do that.   The Department of Law represents  the commission in                                                               
cases where the executive director  finds no substantial evidence                                                               
and the case  gets appealed.  He said, "Well,  the superior court                                                               
-  now based  upon the  decision we've  talked about  ... -  they                                                               
reverse it and  tell the commission, 'Sorry, you've got  to go to                                                               
hearing on  this case.'"  He  clarified that he is  talking about                                                               
cases that did not even  make the substantial evidence test which                                                               
are being required to  be heard.  He said that's  just not a good                                                               
use of  resources and he  thinks the commission would  agree with                                                               
that entirely.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ  asked if the committee  could hear from                                                               
a representative of the commission.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1865                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. FITZPATRICK said the commission  is under tremendous monetary                                                               
pressure  due to  a backlog  in processing  cases, and  there are                                                               
cases  that the  commission believes  should be  dismissed.   She                                                               
said [the commission] went  from a staff of 22 to  a staff of 15,                                                               
within  the  last  several  years, and  she  estimated  that  the                                                               
current backlog  is 80  cases -  a number that  is growing.   She                                                               
noted that  the backlog was  down to zero  a couple of  years ago                                                               
because of additional funding, but  now that the funding is gone,                                                               
the  commission is  struggling once  again  to keep  up with  the                                                               
caseload.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  FITZPATRICK offered  an  example  of a  case  that might  be                                                               
dismissed  under [paragraph  (4)]:   She  said there  was a  case                                                               
where an  individual was offered  by his/her employer all  of the                                                               
relief that he/she  would be entitled to at the  hearing, but the                                                               
individual   somehow  wanted   something  more.     Under   those                                                               
circumstances where the commission  views that the individual has                                                               
received  all of  the benefits  that  would make  them whole,  it                                                               
believes  it  has  to  push  its resources  on  to  other  cases.                                                               
Because of  the fiscal problems  the commission faces,  it cannot                                                               
simply  prioritize  cases,  because   then  people's  cases  just                                                               
languish if  they're not  top priority.   She concluded,  "So, we                                                               
believe   that  this   language   would   actually  benefit   the                                                               
commission."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1765                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON asked if the  case to which Ms. Fitzpatrick                                                               
referred  wouldn't have  been covered  under  [paragraph (1),  on                                                               
page  2,  lines  27-28,  which   read  as  follows]:    "(1)  the                                                               
complainant's objection  to a proposed conciliation  agreement is                                                               
unreasonable;".                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH  announced his intent  to hold SB 354,  return to                                                               
SB 231, recess  to a call of  the chair, and address  SB 354 when                                                               
the committee reconvenes.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.   FITZPATRICK  offered   to  speak   to  "staff"   [regarding                                                               
Representative Seaton's question] during the recess.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
[SB 354 was heard and held.   The motion to adopt Amendment 2 was                                                               
left pending.]                                                                                                                  
SB 231-DECREASE TIME TO CLAIM UNCLAIMED PROPERTY                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1718                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH announced  that the committee would  return to CS                                                               
FOR  SENATE BILL  NO.  231(FIN), "An  Act  relating to  unclaimed                                                               
property; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
The   committee  took   a  brief   at-ease   [due  to   technical                                                               
difficulties].                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1673                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TOMAS   H.   BOUTIN,   Deputy   Commissioner,   Office   of   the                                                               
Commissioner, Department of  Revenue, said SB 231  was "worked on                                                               
last May."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
The   committee  took   a  brief   at-ease   [due  to   technical                                                               
difficulties].                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BOUTIN  stated  that  SB  231 benefits  all  Alaskans.    He                                                               
deferred further remarks to Ms. Lewis.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
RACHEL  LEWIS,  Unclaimed  Property Section,  Treasury  Division,                                                               
Department of  Revenue, emphasized  that SB 231  is in  line with                                                               
the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property  Act of 1995 ("1995 Act"),                                                               
which was the  commissioner's update of the Uniform  Act of 1981.                                                               
She indicated  that Alaska [enacted  its Unclaimed  Property Act]                                                               
in 1986.  She said every  portion of the bill, with the exception                                                               
of four sections, is "straight from  the 1995 Act."  Any question                                                               
regarding the  shortening of the dormancy  periods, she indicated                                                               
relates  to  the 1995  Act.    She  said  she would  address  the                                                               
sections of the bill that are not in line with the 1995 Act.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEWIS directed attention to Section  5, on page 3, which read                                                               
as follows:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     *Sec.5. AS 34.45 is amended  by adding a new section to                                                                  
     read:                                                                                                                      
          Sec. 34.45.175.  Certain property distributed in                                                                    
     insurance company reorganizations.   (a)  The following                                                                  
     property   distributable    in   the   course    of   a                                                                    
     demutualization   or  related   reorganization  of   an                                                                    
     insurance  company is  considered  abandoned two  years                                                                    
     after the date of  demutualization or reorganization as                                                                    
     follows:                                                                                                                   
               (1) money that remains unclaimed and the                                                                         
     owner has  not otherwise  communicated with  the holder                                                                    
     or its agent  regarding the property as  evidenced by a                                                                    
     memorandum or other  record on file with  the holder or                                                                    
     its agent;                                                                                                                 
               (2) stock or other equity interest if                                                                            
                    (A) the instruments or statements                                                                           
     reflecting the  distribution are  either mailed  to the                                                                    
     owner   and   returned   by    the   post   office   as                                                                    
     undeliverable, or  not mailed  to the owner  because of                                                                    
     an address on the books  and records of the holder that                                                                    
     is known to be incorrect; and                                                                                              
                    (B) the owner has not otherwise                                                                             
     communicated  with the  holder or  its agent  regarding                                                                    
     the  property as  evidenced by  a  memorandum or  other                                                                    
     record on file with the holder or agent.                                                                                   
               (b) Property that is not subject to (a) of                                                                       
     this section is reportable  as otherwise provided in AS                                                                    
     34.45.110-34.45.780.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LEWIS explained  that  the  1995 Act  did  not address  this                                                               
section,  because  "it's  a  relatively  new  area  of  unclaimed                                                               
property."   She  deferred  to Mr.  Thakar  to address  questions                                                               
regarding the industry side of "demutualization."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1574                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  THAKAR,  stated  that   Prudential  Financial  supports  the                                                               
addition of Section 5, with  regard to demutualization.  He noted                                                               
that there are  quite a few insurance companies  that were mutual                                                               
companies that have "demutualized."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
The   committee  took   a  brief   at-ease   [due  to   technical                                                               
difficulties].                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1528                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. THAKAR  explained that the  companies that  have demutualized                                                               
have become stock  companies.  He offered  his understanding that                                                               
25-26 other  states have passed virtually  identical legislation.                                                               
He mentioned  that Prudential Financial demutualized  in 1991 and                                                               
there were  "known bad addresses."   He said, "And so,  those are                                                               
the  people  that  would  be  covered  by  this  bill  and  would                                                               
immediately be  issued into  the state."   He noted  that several                                                               
states had  asked if "we"  had uncashed checks, why  weren't "we"                                                               
also  issuing  those,  thus  there has  been  an  amendment  that                                                               
several states  have included  that would  allow "if  there's any                                                               
uncashed checks  from our demutualization,  that those  two would                                                               
immediately escheat to the state."   He said Prudential Financial                                                               
supports  this because  it's consistent  with  what's being  done                                                               
across the country.  He  stated his belief that [the legislation]                                                               
would generate a revenue of approximately $100,000 to Alaska.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1468                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  noted   that  the  attorney  liability                                                               
protection service  (ALP) -  his malpractice  carrier -  has gone                                                               
through  the  demutualization.    He  said  Prudential  Financial                                                               
obviously not an Alaska corporation;  the assets presumably, in a                                                               
demutualization,  would  not be  held  in  Alaska; therefore,  he                                                               
presumed that state  of the home office "would  be the applicable                                                               
law in demutualization."  He asked if that was correct.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. THAKAR  offered his understanding  that "if we know  that our                                                               
last known  address, et  cetera, is an  Alaskan, than  Alaska law                                                               
would  dictate on  the escheatment  timing."   In  response to  a                                                               
follow-up  question from  Representative Gruenberg,  he confirmed                                                               
that the  law would apply  to the  home state of  the individual,                                                               
rather than to the company.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked if  one of the upcoming amendments                                                               
addresses the issue of the uncashed checks.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. THAKAR responded that "it was  part of the amendment which we                                                               
all supported in the Senate  version, so it would be incorporated                                                               
in the bill as is, right now."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1379                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.   LEWIS,   in  response   to   a   follow-up  question   from                                                               
Representative Gruenberg,  noted that the  amendment incorporated                                                               
by  the Senate  is located  on [page  3, beginning  on] line  19,                                                               
which read as follows:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
               (1) money that remains unclaimed and the                                                                         
     owner has  not otherwise  communicated with  the holder                                                                    
     or its agent  regarding the property as  evidenced by a                                                                    
     memorandum or other  record on file with  the holder or                                                                    
     its agent;                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG  mentioned   the  Uniform   [Unclaimed                                                               
Property Act  of 1995]  and asked  if the  addition of  Section 5                                                               
will  destroy  the  uniformity of  [Alaska's  Unclaimed  Property                                                               
Act].                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LEWIS replied  that she  doesn't  think it  will affect  the                                                               
uniformity of the Act, because  so many states have realized that                                                               
"they have already added this to their current laws."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  suggested, "If they're going  to revise                                                               
this Act  again, maybe this is  a provision they ought  to put in                                                               
the new addition."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1318                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DEBORAH   BEHR,  Assistant   Attorney   General,  Legislation   &                                                               
Regulations Section,  Office of the Attorney  General, Department                                                               
Of Law, said  she is also a Uniform Law  commissioner.  She noted                                                               
that the  act was adopted in  1995, and she stated  that it's not                                                               
unusual for  "events in society to  pass it by."   She noted that                                                               
laws are  routinely updated,  especially for  electronic commerce                                                               
or new trends in industry.   She stated her assumption that "with                                                               
28 states  going in a  particular direction, we'll be  looking at                                                               
it."  She continued as follows:                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     When I  look at things  being not uniform, I  look that                                                                    
     they trump or  do something different.   If the Uniform                                                                    
     Act is  silent on it, we're  extremely comfortable with                                                                    
     the changes that are (indisc. - voice trailed off).                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1280                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEWIS  directed attention  to Section 10,  [on page  5, lines                                                               
20-26], which she  said is different from what is  in the Uniform                                                               
Law Commission has in its '95 Act.  Section 10 read as follows:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     *Sec.10. AS  34.45.280(f) is repealed and  reenacted to                                                                  
     read:                                                                                                                      
               (f) The requirements of this section apply                                                                       
     to  the  holder of  intangible  property  with a  total                                                                    
     aggregate  value greater  than  $750  that is  presumed                                                                    
     abandoned  under AS  34.45.110 -  34.45.780 during  the                                                                    
     year preceding June  30 of each year.   For purposes of                                                                    
     determining   total   aggregate    value   under   this                                                                    
     subsection,  the holder  shall  include all  intangible                                                                    
     property from  prior years that was  not reported under                                                                    
     AS 34.45.110 - 34.45.780.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEWIS noted,  "Alaska is the only state that  has this unique                                                               
language, and it  was put in by the legislators  in 1986, because                                                               
they did not want companies to  have too much paperwork to report                                                               
unclaimed property."  She said  unclaimed property is an uncashed                                                               
check.  For example, if there is  a "Mom and Pop" store in Alaska                                                               
that wrote  a 16-cent check to  the U.S. Post Office  that didn't                                                               
get cashed, the  language adopted in 1986 would  allow the owners                                                               
of  that store  to wait  until  they had  $750-worth of  property                                                               
before they would be required to report it.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  stated his assumption that  since "this                                                               
provision" is  simply a clarification,  it wouldn't "make  it not                                                               
uniform."  He asked Ms. Behr if that is correct.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1212                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. BEHR answered, "We would not have  a problem with it.  We now                                                               
are credited  with our  '85 Act; this  makes no  real substantive                                                               
difference in the '85 Act."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LEWIS directed  attention to  Section 13,  [regarding notice                                                               
and publication of  lists of unclaimed property].   She continued                                                               
as follows:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Our law  requires that we  publish the names  of people                                                                    
     every single  year in a  newspaper.  That  cost $30,000                                                                    
     last year.  We had  300 claims that were generated from                                                                    
     that.  The Internet,  which costs us nothing, generated                                                                    
     1,600 claims.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEWIS said  [Section 13] asks the department  to evaluate the                                                               
best way to promote unclaimed  property, without always having to                                                               
advertise.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1170                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WEYHRAUCH   expressed  his  appreciation  of   the  stated                                                               
providing  an analytical  basis  for "doing  ...  a common  sense                                                               
thing."                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked, "Does this destroy uniformity?"                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1142                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BEHR responded,  "It's  one  of these  where  the events  of                                                               
society have  ... passed the '95  Act; in '95 the  average person                                                               
didn't have ... [the] access to  computers that they do now.  And                                                               
the nice  thing about the way  this is written, it  allows her to                                                               
evaluate what is the best way to notify somebody ...."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1125                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LEWIS noted  that the  last  section that  differs from  the                                                               
Uniform Law  Commission's 1995 Act  is Section 17, which  read as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     *Sec.17.  AS   34.45.760  is  amended  by   adding  new                                                                  
     paragraphs to read:                                                                                                        
               (18) "gift certificate" means an obligation                                                                      
     of a  business association  arising from  a transaction                                                                    
     between  the business  association  and  a consumer  to                                                                    
     provide  goods  or services  at  a  future date;  "gift                                                                    
     certificate" includes a  gift certificate, stored value                                                                    
     card,  gift  card,  on-line   gift  account,  or  other                                                                    
     representation  or  evidence  of the  obligation  of  a                                                                    
     business association;                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEWIS  indicated that  the term  "gift certificate"  is being                                                               
expanded  because  of  all  the  different  types  of  electronic                                                               
variations of  a gift  certificate, which  are listed  in Section                                                               
17.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. BEHR, in response to  a question from Chair Weyhrauch, stated                                                               
that [Section  17] would  not put Alaska  out of  conformity with                                                               
the Uniform Act,  because it's just a clarification  to deal with                                                               
electronic commerce that wasn't envisioned in 1995.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1088                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG said  he  likes all  of the  provisions                                                               
that  have  been added  that  are  not  in  the Uniform  Act  and                                                               
recommended that other states add them.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BEHR responded  that she  would be  happy to  "formerly send                                                               
this to them ...."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1048                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  moved  to  report CSSB  231(FIN)  out  of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal notes.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked Ms. Lewis  if there were any other                                                               
amendments that she wanted the committee to consider.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
[Any response from Ms. Lewis was inaudible.]                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH complimented Ms. Lewis on a "good job."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0999                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WEYHRAUCH announced that [CSSB 231(FIN)] was reported out                                                                 
of the House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The House State Affairs Standing Committee was recessed at 10:23                                                                
a.m. to a call of the chair.  [The meeting was never                                                                            
reconvened.]                                                                                                                    

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