Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 106

02/14/2006 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 347 MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE & NOTICE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 238 PUBLIC EMPLOYEE/TEACHER RETIREMENT TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+= SB 186 EXECUTIVE BRANCH ETHICS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
             HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                       February 14, 2006                                                                                        
                           8:08 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Paul Seaton, Chair                                                                                               
Representative Carl Gatto, Vice Chair                                                                                           
Representative Jim Elkins                                                                                                       
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Jay Ramras                                                                                                       
Representative Berta Gardner                                                                                                    
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 186(JUD)                                                                                                 
"An Act relating  to the Alaska Executive Branch  Ethics Act; and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 347                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to mandatory  motor vehicle  insurance, license                                                               
suspensions, and notices relating  to motor vehicles and driver's                                                               
licenses."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 238                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to contribution  rates for employers and members                                                               
in the defined  benefit plans of the  teachers' retirement system                                                               
and the  public employees'  retirement system  and to  the ad-hoc                                                               
post-retirement  pension adjustment  in the  teachers' retirement                                                               
system;  requiring insurance  plans  provided to  members of  the                                                               
teachers' retirement system, the  judicial retirement system, the                                                               
public  employees'  retirement  system, and  the  former  elected                                                               
public  officials   retirement  system  to  provide   a  list  of                                                               
preferred  drugs;  relating  to defined  contribution  plans  for                                                               
members  of  the  teachers'  retirement  system  and  the  public                                                               
employees'  retirement system;  and  providing  for an  effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 186                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: EXECUTIVE BRANCH ETHICS                                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) SEEKINS                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
04/22/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/22/05       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
04/26/05       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
04/26/05       (S)       Moved CSSB 186(STA) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/26/05       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/27/05       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/27/05       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
04/28/05       (S)       STA     RPT     CS          3NR     1DNP                                                               
                         NEW TITLE                                                                                              
04/28/05       (S)       NR: THERRIAULT, WAGONER, HUGGINS                                                                       
04/28/05       (S)       DNP: ELTON                                                                                             
04/28/05       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/28/05       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
04/29/05       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/29/05       (S)       LEGISLATIVE ETHICS/MEETINGS                                                                            
04/30/05       (S)       JUD AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/30/05       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
05/01/05       (S)       JUD AT 4:00 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
05/01/05       (S)       Moved CSSB 186(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
05/01/05       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
05/02/05       (S)       JUD RPT CS FORTHCOMING  1DP 1DNP 2NR                                                                   
                         1AM                                                                                                    
05/02/05       (S)       DP: SEEKINS                                                                                            
05/02/05       (S)       DNP: FRENCH                                                                                            
05/02/05       (S)       NR: THERRIAULT, HUGGINS                                                                                
05/02/05       (S)       AM: GUESS                                                                                              
05/02/05       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
05/02/05       (S)       Moved Out of Committee 5/1/05                                                                          
05/02/05       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
05/03/05       (S)       JUD         CS                  RECEIVED                                                               
                         NEW TITLE                                                                                              
05/04/05       (S)       RETURNED TO RLS  COMMITTEE                                                                             
05/08/05       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
05/08/05       (S)       VERSION: CSSB 186(JUD)                                                                                 
05/09/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/09/05       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
01/31/06       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
01/31/06       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/31/06       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
02/14/06       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 347                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE & NOTICE                                                                                   
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) GARA, LYNN                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
01/09/06       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/6/06                                                                                
01/09/06       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/09/06       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
01/31/06       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
01/31/06       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/31/06       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
02/14/06       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR RALPH SEEKINS                                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided information to the committee as                                                                   
sponsor of SB 186.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LES GARA                                                                                                         
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  As sponsor of HB 347, reviewed technical                                                                   
changes made to the bill.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
J. KEVIN BURCHFIELD, Driver Services Supervisor                                                                                 
Division of Motor Vehicles                                                                                                      
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the hearing on HB                                                                
347.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DUANE BANNOCK, Director                                                                                                         
Division of Motor Vehicles                                                                                                      
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided department feedback regarding                                                                     
suggested amendments during the hearing on HB 347.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR PAUL SEATON called the House State Affairs Standing                                                                     
Committee meeting to order at 8:08:28 AM.  Representatives                                                                    
Gatto, Elkins,  Ramras, Gardner, and  Seaton were present  at the                                                               
call to  order.   Representatives Lynn  and Gruenberg  arrived as                                                               
the meeting was in progress.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SB 186-EXECUTIVE BRANCH ETHICS                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:09:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  announced that the  first order of business  was CS                                                               
FOR  SENATE BILL  NO. 186(JUD),  "An Act  relating to  the Alaska                                                               
Executive  Branch  Ethics Act;  and  providing  for an  effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:09:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON closed public testimony.   He noted there is written                                                               
testimony in the committee packet from Richard Hahn.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:10:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR RALPH  SEEKINS, Alaska State  Legislature, as  sponsor of                                                               
SB  186, indicated  that  he had  some  difficulty acquiring  the                                                               
information   that    was   asked    for   by    the   committee.                                                               
Notwithstanding that,  he said, "From the  testimony that Barbara                                                               
Ritchie gave us ... she says  it ... was fairly common for ethics                                                               
complaints to  be brought against  someone just to get  at them."                                                               
In response  to a  question from  Chair Seaton,  he said  in some                                                               
cases [those  complaints] were made  public.  He added  that they                                                               
did not get a press release,  but they were passed around "in the                                                               
inside  of  the organization  to  blacken  someone's eye,  so  to                                                               
speak."   He said the biggest  public [ethics issue] was  the one                                                               
that was "at first allegedly  brought against former Commissioner                                                               
Joel Gilbertson."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:12:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON proffered,  "We discussed that in some  detail.  The                                                               
question  is,  though,  that  wouldn't  have  been  released  for                                                               
stopping  his advancement  in the  executive  branch to  another,                                                               
which was the case that we were talking about."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:12:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  answered that's correct.   He directed attention                                                               
to  a  handout  [included  in  the  committee  packet]  entitled,                                                               
"Alaska Executive  Branch Ethics Complaint Process,"  and showing                                                               
[in a  24-step process covering  four pages] "what happens  in an                                                               
ethics complaint when it's brought."   He told the committee that                                                               
the process becomes  public at step 11:   "Does the investigation                                                               
result in a finding of probable  cause?"  When the answer to that                                                               
is yes, he  explained, the attorney general serves a  copy of the                                                               
accusation  on the  subject, setting  out the  alleged violation,                                                               
and all proceedings are then open  to the public.  He stated that                                                               
the steps  are logical  and can be  clearly followed  through the                                                               
Ethics Law statute.   However, he pointed out that  the way bills                                                               
are drafted make  it difficult to see the  whole picture, because                                                               
only the sections that are going to be amended are mentioned.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:16:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER  said  Senator Seekins  has  described  a                                                               
complicated process of addressing  ethical complaints.  She asked                                                               
Senator Seekins if he thinks  a penalty for disclosure would have                                                               
a chilling  effect on  people who have  a legitimate  concern for                                                               
good government and would like to file a complaint.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:16:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  emphasized his  effort to  write for  the common                                                               
person,  not  just lawyers.    He  stated  his belief  that  when                                                               
someone  becomes involved  in the  public process,  it should  be                                                               
clear what the law requires of  him/her and of the person against                                                               
whom the complaint  is being made.  Currently, it  is a violation                                                               
of the Ethics Act to break  confidentiality prior to a finding of                                                               
probable cause.  He said, "If  we condone breaking the Ethics Act                                                               
on one person's  side of the page  and not the other,  the law is                                                               
hypocritical.  And  I don't think that's the intent  of any of us                                                               
that are in the legislature."   He said he supports the committee                                                               
process.  He  stated his belief that the person  who knowingly or                                                               
intentionally   breaks  a   confidentiality  requirement   should                                                               
receive penalty, but not so  someone who does so unintentionally.                                                               
He  said  the legislature  has  two  choices:   Either  take  the                                                               
confidentiality requirement completely out  of the law, or having                                                               
a meaningful  penalty for those  who knowingly  and intentionally                                                               
break the law.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:22:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  said there  is a big  distinction between                                                               
someone who is  trying to follow government and those  who are in                                                               
office.   The latter  group has  to open  up to  public scrutiny.                                                               
She asked,  "Aside from  your proposed  penalties, what  would be                                                               
the consequences to somebody who  signs something under oath that                                                               
is knowingly false or malicious ...?"                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:23:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS  answered  that   that  is  a  different  matter                                                               
entirely.    He clarified,  "Someone  who  knows that  it's  [an]                                                               
unrighteous complaint has broken another  section of the law, and                                                               
there should be a  penalty for that - and there is."   He said he                                                               
thinks  people have  a responsibility  to turn  a person  in when                                                               
they  know that  person is  wrongfully  filing a  complaint.   He                                                               
continued:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     There are  two things there:   You're saying  if you're                                                                    
     bringing it and yet you  know it isn't true, that's one                                                                    
     violation.  If you  knowingly and intentionally make it                                                                    
     public  to  get the  second  blow,  that's a  different                                                                    
     violation.    [They  are] totally  separate,  and  they                                                                    
     shouldn't be confused.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:25:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO referred to  [the aforementioned letter from                                                               
Mr.  Hahn].   In the  letter, he  noted, Mr.  Hahn wrote  that he                                                               
considers  "closed caucuses,  where legislators  are told  how to                                                               
vote,  to be  unethical."   Representative Gatto  said, "If  this                                                               
person  truly believes  that legislators  are told  how to  vote,                                                               
he's ... in serious error."   Representative Gatto indicated that                                                               
Mr. Hahn  also thinks legislators  "paid by special  interests to                                                               
sponsor or  block legislation"  [are unethical].   Representative                                                               
Gatto opined that  Mr. Hahn is making statements  that are false.                                                               
He said he  personally faults the media more  than the individual                                                               
for printing  a story  for which it  has no  factual information.                                                               
He said he would love to go  after the media for carrying a story                                                               
for which  it had absolutely  no basis other than  "somebody said                                                               
[it]."   He  stated that  it's not  a concern  of his  to stop  a                                                               
person from making a statement,  because that's a First Amendment                                                               
right.  He  concluded, "So, I guess it's not  a question for you,                                                               
except that  I think it  weighs heavily  on how we  handle ethics                                                               
legislation  when it  specifically  looks at  the individual  who                                                               
simply made  statement, rather than  "the violator, which  is the                                                               
media."                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:28:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS said  there will  always  be those  who have  no                                                               
solution to what they perceive to  be a problem but "just want to                                                               
blow it  up from the  outside."  He said  he was in  a discussion                                                               
with  someone   in  the  media   who  portrayed  news   today  as                                                               
entertainment  rather than  journalism.   He told  Representative                                                               
Gatto, "When we  were elected ..., there  was this transformation                                                               
that took  place ... from  being solid citizens in  our community                                                               
to becoming scoundrels  in the eyes of many of  the people in the                                                               
public.  And  we have to live with that  and understand that some                                                               
folks just don't really understand the process."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:30:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  moved to adopt Amendment  1, labeled 24-LS0874\X.5,                                                               
Wayne, 2/13/06.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:31:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG objected for  the purpose of discussion.                                                               
He  said he  has  trouble  with the  language  in the  underlying                                                               
statute regarding  blind trusts.   He handed  out a copy  of that                                                               
statute [AS 39.50.040], which read:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 39.50.040.  Blind trusts.                                                                                             
          (a) A public official may transfer all or a                                                                           
     portion of the  official's assets to a  blind trust for                                                                    
     the duration of service  in public office. The original                                                                    
     assets placed  in the  blind trust  shall be  listed by                                                                    
     the  official in  the statement  required  to be  filed                                                                    
     under this chapter.  The  instrument creating the blind                                                                    
     trust must be included with the statement.                                                                                 
          (b) For a trust to qualify under this section,                                                                        
          (1) assets transferred to the trust shall be                                                                          
     marketable;                                                                                                                
          (2) the trustee shall be a bank or other                                                                              
     institutional fiduciary;                                                                                                   
          (3) the trustee shall have full authority to                                                                          
     manage  the trust,  including the  purchase, sale,  and                                                                    
     exchange  of its  assets in  accordance with  fiduciary                                                                    
     principles;                                                                                                                
          (4) information regarding the identity and the                                                                        
     nature  of its  assets shall  be confidential  from the                                                                    
     trustor for the duration of the trust;                                                                                     
          (5) the trustee shall be required to report any                                                                       
     known breach  of confidentiality or the  termination of                                                                    
     the trust to  the office where the  trustor is required                                                                    
     to file statements under this chapter; and                                                                                 
          (6)   {[}Repealed, Sec. 26 ch 25 SLA 1975{]}.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   said  there  are  two   loopholes  in                                                               
[subsection   (b),   paragraph   (4)].     He   said   the   word                                                               
"confidential" is vague and doesn't  necessarily mean, "shall not                                                               
be disclosed,"  which is what  he said  he thinks the  intent is.                                                               
Also, "from  the trustor"  is a  loophole, he  explained, because                                                               
the "the trustee can simply  tell the trustor, his wife, business                                                               
associate, attorney,  accountant, [or]  somebody else."   He said                                                               
it is  beyond the scope  of the bill  to deal with  AS 39.50.040;                                                               
however, he said he would like  to add language in Amendment 1 to                                                               
tighten those loopholes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:32:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG  moved   Conceptual  Amendment   1  to                                                               
Amendment  1, so  that as  used  in AS  39.52.415, the  following                                                               
terms in  AS 39.50.040(b)(4) shall  have the  following meanings:                                                               
"confidentiality"  shall  mean  "shall  not  be  disclosed",  and                                                               
"trustor" shall include  not only the trustor,  but any trustor's                                                               
agents or immediate family.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:35:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  clarified  Conceptual Amendment  1  to                                                               
Amendment 1 upon a request from Representative Lynn.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:35:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  stated that Conceptual  Amendment 1 to  Amendment 1                                                               
would mean  that a management  firm or agency would  be prevented                                                               
from disclosing  to the person  who deposits the assets  what any                                                               
of those assets are.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:35:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG added,  "Or what happens to  them, yes -                                                               
that makes it blind, as opposed to just a trust."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:35:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON asked  if  there was  any  objection to  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment  1  to Amendment  1.    There  being  none, it  was  so                                                               
ordered.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:36:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  directed attention to the  language in Amendment                                                               
1 [as amended], which read,  "the trust must be divested promptly                                                               
of assets originally transferred into  it by the public officer".                                                               
He asked Chair Seaton if  he has considered the tax ramifications                                                               
of  that language  for someone  who has  a large  portfolio.   He                                                               
offered   his  understanding   that   the   portfolio  that   was                                                               
transferred  by the  former attorney  general exceeded  a million                                                               
dollars.   He said,  "If those  assets were  to be  divested, any                                                               
unrealized gains  would immediately become taxable,  because they                                                               
would  become   realized  gains,  and  you   would  subject  that                                                               
particular person  to probably in  excess of 25 percent  of their                                                               
portfolio being  spent immediately as  taxes, which would  have a                                                               
chilling  effect on  being  involved as  a  successful person  in                                                               
public office."   He said the  definition of a blind  trust is "a                                                               
trust set up to prevent  the owner from having detailed knowledge                                                               
of the assets in the trust."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:38:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON explained  the reason  for the  language is  that a                                                               
person will know  initially what's in the trust.   He added, "And                                                               
if there is no requirement  for divestiture in that, you're going                                                               
to  know  for  a  long  period   of  time."    He  said  the  tax                                                               
consequences of which Senator Seekins  spoke "would be correct if                                                               
there was a zero cost basis for those assets."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:38:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  noted that  government officials  frequently use                                                               
blind  trusts to  avoid conflicts  between their  official duties                                                               
and personal  financial transactions.  He  surmised that Governor                                                               
Murkowski has  bank shares that  he bought  20-25 years ago.   He                                                               
opined,  "You're   discouraging  successful  people   from  being                                                               
involved in government."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:39:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  explained that  the  intent  is  not to  say  that                                                               
everyone  has to  divest all  their assets  and put  them into  a                                                               
blind  trust.   He  said,  "This is  a  mechanism  that would  be                                                               
voluntarily used by a person who  thought that they were going to                                                               
have an  ethical conflict with  certain stocks or  certain assets                                                               
that they  owned, and as  long as they  put that into  some place                                                               
that  they would  remain fairly  confident would  remain in  that                                                               
trust until  some future time,  whatever actions they  would take                                                               
would have effect on their assets."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:41:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  said Senator Seekins' remarks  give him                                                               
concern.   He asked  if deleting  lines 9 and  10 [as  labeled on                                                               
Amendment  1,  as  amended]   would  alleviate  Senator  Seekins'                                                               
concern.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:42:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS suggested  that  the reference  to AS  39.50.040                                                               
should be made directly to the  section of the Ethics Act, rather                                                               
than to the provision that  allows a public official to "transfer                                                               
those acts  in."  He said  he would also change  the reference on                                                               
line 8 [as numbered on Amendment  1, as amended] "to that section                                                               
of the Executive Ethics Act."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:42:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG moved  Amendment 2  to Amendment  1 [as                                                               
amended], on line  8 [as numbered on Amendment 1,  as amended] to                                                               
delete "under" and insert "as defined in".                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:44:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG,  in  response   to  Chair  Seaton  and                                                               
Senator Seekins, said there would  be more language to amend, but                                                               
he would like to address the changes in small steps.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:44:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  asked  if  there  was  any  further  objection  to                                                               
Amendment 2  to Amendment  1 [as amended].   [Chair  Seaton's own                                                               
objection  was  treated as  removed.]    There being  no  further                                                               
objection, Amendment 2 to Amendment 1 [as amended] was adopted.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:44:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  said he  doesn't understand  the phrase                                                               
"and  a provision  of this  chapter" on  line 8  [as numbered  on                                                               
Amendment 1, as amended].  He said it is vague.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:45:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON explained,  "This provision was to apply  to a blind                                                               
trust utilized in this ... section of the Ethics Act."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:46:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG  moved   Conceptual  Amendment   3  to                                                               
Amendment 1 [as amended], on line  8 [as numbered on Amendment 1,                                                               
as amended]  to delete  "and a provision"  and insert  "for these                                                               
purposes".                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:47:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON asked  if  there was  any  objection to  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 3  to Amendment 1 [as  amended].  There being  none, it                                                               
was so ordered.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:47:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAMRAS stated  his support of SB 186.   He said it                                                               
would  allow  the public  a  methodology  for approaching  ethics                                                               
issues in  an appropriate and  responsible fashion.  He  said the                                                               
proposed  legislation would  also  help attract  the best  people                                                               
into the  executive branch of  government.   He said he  does not                                                               
think [Amendment 1, as amended]  serves that purpose and he plans                                                               
to vote against it, even as amended.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:48:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG concurred with  the previous comments of                                                               
Senator Seekins that Amendment 1  [as amended] would have adverse                                                               
tax  consequences  for  someone  entering  the  executive  branch                                                               
because of  language in [paragraph]  (1), on  lines 9 and  10 [as                                                               
numbered on Amendment 1 [as  amended], text provided previously].                                                               
He  suggested  an amendment  could  be  offered to  address  this                                                               
issue, but he  said he is not interested in  weakening the Ethics                                                               
Act.  He said he would like to hear Chair Seaton's response.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:50:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON directed  attention to [page 1,  lines 12-13], which                                                               
read:   "or the public  officer does not have  management control                                                           
over  the financial  interest".   Chair Seaton  said many  people                                                           
have managed accounts and receive  a quarterly or monthly report,                                                               
and thus know exactly what is  in the account.  He clarified, "We                                                               
may not have management control  [regarding] whether we're buying                                                               
or selling  things out of that  portfolio, but we know  what's in                                                               
it."   Chair  Seaton said  that raises  an ethical  concern.   He                                                               
explained that buying and selling  assets is not what creates the                                                               
ethical  conflict; the  ethical  conflict comes  from having  "an                                                               
asset  which  you  can  make  more  valuable  by  your  actions."                                                               
Therefore,  he suggested  that  the next  amendment  would be  to                                                               
eliminate the  management control section and  maintain the blind                                                               
trust.  He  then related his understanding that  for this ethical                                                               
violation,  [assets]  would be  voluntarily  placed  in a  [blind                                                               
trust]  to escape  an ethical  problem.   The aforementioned,  he                                                               
said, is before the committee for consideration.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:52:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN  asked  the   bill  sponsor  if  he  thought                                                               
Amendment 1 [as amended] needed further amending.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:53:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  said he would like  to see the blind  trust left                                                               
in the ethics laws because  it allows a successful individual who                                                               
has  already had  to disclose  what was  in his/her  portfolio to                                                               
place it  outside of  his/her management  control.   He indicated                                                               
that the  language in the  bill, "financial interest in  a matter                                                           
is held  in a  blind trust  or the public  officer does  not have                                                           
management control over the financial  interest", was added in an                                                           
effort  to "not  preclude  other mechanisms  that duplicated  the                                                               
same thing with  a blind trust."  He added,  "But ... they should                                                               
have that  confidentiality, so I  wouldn't have any  objection to                                                               
that  other language  being stricken."   He  stated, "If  there's                                                               
anything in there that says you  have to divest of that asset ...                                                               
and take those  tax ramifications ..., I think it  has a chilling                                                               
effect."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:54:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  asked if Senator  Seekins was  talking about                                                               
line 9 [as numbered on Amendment 1, as amended].                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:55:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS answered yes.   He reiterated his concern that it                                                               
would discourage people from running for office.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:55:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER said  it seems  that the  chilling effect                                                               
would not be on someone's ability  to be in office but in his/her                                                               
ability to make public decisions  which that person has reason to                                                               
believe would benefit him/herself.  She continued:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Outside  of management  control, as  a blind  trust is,                                                                    
     does not  mean "has not  personal interest or  stake in                                                                    
     the  outcome,"  and that's  where  we  need to  find  a                                                                    
     solution.  If  I have valuable assets and  I don't want                                                                    
     to pay  the taxes on  them, ... I  put them in  a blind                                                                    
     trust.  I  know they're in a blind trust;  I have every                                                                    
     reason to expect they're still  going to be there after                                                                    
     I finish my  public service.  I have an  interest and a                                                                    
     stake in the outcome of decisions  I make.  And I think                                                                    
     that if  we want to serve  the public good, we  need to                                                                    
     remove that possibility.   We can serve,  and we cannot                                                                    
     deal with  issues that directly affect  our own assets,                                                                    
     whether they're in a blind trust or not.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:56:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS  posited  that   the  effect  of  Representative                                                               
Gardner's suggestion  would be to  limit the talent pool  and end                                                               
up  with  candidates  for  high   office  who  "have  never  been                                                               
successful in their  own life and career - in  terms of investing                                                               
in their  portfolio."  He  reiterated, "These are  assets, [that]                                                               
when ... put  in the blind trust, ... have  already been publicly                                                               
disclosed according to our public disclosure laws."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:57:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS, in response to  a request for clarification from                                                               
Chair Seaton,  admitted that  he had been  referring to  those in                                                               
higher  office "where  the ...  greatest conflict  does exist  in                                                               
terms of  stock portfolio."   He said the average  state employee                                                               
probably does  not have a  significant stock  portfolio; however,                                                               
many of  them still do  have some type  of stock investment.   He                                                               
offered examples.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:57:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON said:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     And again,  we're talking about  not the fact  that you                                                                    
     have [a] stock  portfolio or that you  have assets, but                                                                    
     only if you are in  a situation where the ... executive                                                                    
     branch action  that you are  going to take is  going to                                                                    
     significantly  impact the  value of  that asset  and it                                                                    
     rises above the value of $10,000.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:58:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS said that could happen.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:58:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON reiterated  that it's not just about a  401K and its                                                               
value, but  also that "you have  to be taking an  action which is                                                               
influencing that investment."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:58:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS concurred.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:59:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER asked  if there has ever  been an instance                                                               
where anyone has not come into  government because of a lack of a                                                               
blind trust provision in Alaska's ethics law.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:59:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS said  there is an existing blind  trust law which                                                               
allows a  person to "put  that in just  to avoid any  conflict of                                                               
interest."  To Representative Gardner's  question, he said he has                                                               
not polled  those who have not  come into public service  to find                                                               
out if that's the reason they didn't.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:00:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  said he  thinks there  are a  number of                                                               
successful  classified  employees   "who  potentially  might  use                                                               
this."   He offered an example  of someone who is  a land officer                                                               
who owns land  in a subdivision in which other  parcels are being                                                               
sold.   He said that  person's parcel  might be affected  by what                                                               
the land disposal is.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   moved  to   adopt  Amendment   4  [to                                                               
Amendment 1,  as amended],  beginning on line  9 [as  numbered on                                                               
Amendment  1,  as  amended],  to  delete:   "the  trust  must  be                                                               
divested  promptly of  assets originally  transferred into  it by                                                               
the public officer; and (2)".                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:01:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON pointed  out that  if the  committee were  to adopt                                                               
Amendment  4  to Amendment  1  [as  amended], there  wouldn't  be                                                               
anything left  to Amendment 1  [as amended].   He said,  "... The                                                               
blind trust just wouldn't be quite as blind."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:01:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  responded that  that's not  his intent.                                                               
He stated  that he  thinks [Amendment  1, as  amended] is  a good                                                               
amendment, "aside  from that one  issue."  He said  the amendment                                                               
still  includes language  about a  blind trust  and the  recently                                                               
adopted Amendment 1 to Amendment  1 tightens up the definition of                                                               
blind trust  for the purpose  of the Ethics  Act.  He  stated his                                                               
hope  that  Chair  Seaton  does  not  withdraw  Amendment  1  [as                                                               
amended].                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:02:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER stated  her objection  to Amendment  4 to                                                               
Amendment 1 [as amended].                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:03:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO offered a hypothetical question:                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Let's  just ...  say you  live in  Juneau, in  your own                                                                    
     home, and you're  a successful businessman -  you own a                                                                    
     $600,000  home -  which in  this vicinity  is not  that                                                                    
     unusual.  Would you have to  put that in a blind trust,                                                                    
     if indeed before your  committee was coming legislation                                                                    
     that indicated we  might have to move  the capital, and                                                                    
     therefore  you would  say, "Gosh,  what will  happen to                                                                    
     the value  of my  home?"   Would that have  to be  in a                                                                    
     blind trust, then?                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:03:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  said he doesn't  believe so.   He said  a person                                                               
might look  at the home as  an investment, but it's  where he/she                                                               
lives.    He said  he  thinks  that  would  be exempt  from  that                                                               
provision.   A piece  of property,  on the  other hand,  could be                                                               
considered an investment, he concluded.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:04:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON said  if the language in Amendment 4  to Amendment 1                                                               
[as amended] is  going to be deleted, then he  thinks lines 11-16                                                               
[as numbered  on Amendment  1, as amended]  should be  deleted as                                                               
well, because  they deal  with an  asset that's  transferred into                                                               
the trust,  which would continue  to be  there until a  person is                                                               
notified that it's  no longer there.  He said  that's the same as                                                               
a  person  knowing what's  in  his/her  blind trust  until  being                                                               
notified that it's no longer there.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  said he  would  like  Representative Gruenberg  to                                                               
withdraw Amendment  4 to  Amendment 1 [as  amended] and  offer an                                                               
amendment to  delete lines 9-16  [as numbered in Amendment  1, as                                                               
amended].                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:05:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON,   in  response   to  comments   by  Representative                                                               
Gruenberg, clarified  his point is that  a person has to  be told                                                               
when assets [in a  blind trust] are sold.  If  that person has 10                                                               
assets and is told six of  them have been sold, he/she knows that                                                               
four still  exist.  He said,  "So, ... anything that  had a value                                                               
of over $10,000  is going to be  known to be still  in that trust                                                               
until you're  notified that  it's gone.   So, it  totally defeats                                                               
the idea of the blind trust."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:06:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG withdrew Amendment  4 to Amendment 1 [as                                                               
amended].                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:07:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON asked if there  was any further discussion regarding                                                               
Amendment 1 [as amended].                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:07:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was  taken.  Representatives Gardner, Gatto, and                                                               
Seaton   voted   in   favor   of   Amendment   1,   as   amended.                                                               
Representatives  Ramras,   Gruenberg,  Elkins,  and   Lynn  voted                                                               
against  it.   Therefore, Amendment  1, as  amended, failed  by a                                                               
vote of 3-4.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:08:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  moved  to  adopt   [Conceptual]  Amendment  2,  as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     On page 3, line 30:                                                                                                        
          After "blind trust"                                                                                               
         Delete "or other investment where the employee                                                                     
      does not have management control over the financial                                                                   
     interest"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     On page 10, line 1:                                                                                                        
          After "appropriate"                                                                                               
         Delete ", placement of the financial interest                                                                      
      into an investment where the employee does not have                                                                   
     management control over the financial interest"                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Replace similar language throughout Version X.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON moved to adopt Amendment 1 to Amendment 2, as                                                                      
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     On page 1, line 12:                                                                                                        
          After "blind trust"                                                                                               
          Delete "or the public officer does not have                                                                       
     management control over the financial interest"                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:10:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON asked if there was any objection to Amendment 1 to                                                                 
Amendment 2.  There being none, it was so ordered.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:11:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON asked if there was any objection to Amendment 2,                                                                   
[as amended].                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:11:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS said he has no objection to Amendment 2, as                                                                     
amended.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:11:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON announced that there being no objection, Amendment                                                                 
2, as amended was adopted.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:11:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON moved to adopt Conceptual Amendment 3, as follows:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     On page 2, line 7:                                                                                                         
         Insert new subparagraph "(D) does not have any                                                                     
      stock, purchase or other options that pertain to the                                                                  
     business;"                                                                                                             
          Reletter accordingly                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON,  upon  a request  from  Representative  Gruenberg,                                                               
withdrew his motion to adopt Conceptual Amendment 3.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:13:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG handed  out  an  amendment labeled  24-                                                               
LS0874\X.6, Chenoweth, 2/14/06,  and he said he would  like it to                                                               
replace Conceptual Amendment 3, [but he  did not make a motion to                                                               
adopt it].                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS indicated  his acceptance of the  language in the                                                               
amendment labeled 24-LS0874\X.6, Chenoweth, 2/14/06.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:13:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON renewed  his motion to adopt  Conceptual Amendment 3                                                               
[text provided previously].                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:14:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVES  LYNN and  GRUENBERG simultaneously  objected for                                                               
discussion purposes.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:14:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON spoke  to Conceptual Amendment 3.   He said covering                                                               
all stock options is probably  more significant than specifying a                                                               
dollar  amount, because  "there is  a prospective  arrangement of                                                               
obtaining the business."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:16:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  expressed a  desire to  have Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 3 incorporated into his amendment labeled 24-                                                                         
LS0874\X.6, Chenoweth, 2/14/06.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:16:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO said  he  is confused  by  the language  in                                                               
Conceptual  Amendment 3.   After  ascertaining from  Chair Seaton                                                               
that  "options" is  meant to  modify "stock"  and "purchase",  he                                                       
said he thinks the word "option" should follow both words.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:17:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON said,  "I would take that as  a friendly amendment."                                                               
[The  committee treated  that friendly  amendment  as an  adopted                                                               
Amendment 1 to Amendment 3].                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON told  Representative  Gruenberg that  he thinks  it                                                               
would be  too confusing  to carry out  his suggestion  of melding                                                               
the amendments.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:19:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG asked,  "Suppose  that  you require  an                                                               
option for one  share in the business.  Are  you prohibiting that                                                               
...?"                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:19:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON said  if a  person is  acquiring an  option in  the                                                               
business,  it  is   going  to  be  difficult   to  ascertain  the                                                               
percentage or the amount.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:20:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO,  in response to  Representative Gruenberg's                                                               
question to Chair  Seaton, said, "Well, if I have  a company that                                                               
has 5  shares -  me, my wife,  and my three  children -  a single                                                               
share is worth 20 percent of the company."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:20:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG said  Representative Gatto  is correct.                                                               
He clarified his  question:  "Suppose you only have  one share in                                                               
a big company.  ...  The thing  that I'm trying to get at is that                                                               
the reason  that there  is in  the legislation  the 1  percent or                                                               
$10,000 di  minimis exception is  because otherwise  you couldn't                                                               
have  even a  ... tiny  interest in  the business."   He  said he                                                               
doesn't think there  is any evidence the committee  has that that                                                               
creates  a  substantial conflict.    He  concluded, "When  you're                                                               
talking  about  acquiring  a  business,  that's  a  lot  more  by                                                               
definition  than  10 percent."    Regarding  "other options  that                                                           
pertain to the  business", he said, "You could have  an option to                                                           
supply things  to the business or  an option - like  in your fish                                                               
business - to purchase fish from  the business.  That would be an                                                               
option that pertains to the business.   Are you going to prohibit                                                               
that  too?"    He  offered  another  example  of  how  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 3 would disallow options.   He said, "I thought we were                                                               
talking about ownership interest here."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:22:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG,  in  response  to a  remark  by  Chair                                                               
Seaton, told the  chair that Conceptual Amendment  3 [as amended]                                                               
would  make  having  an  option  a  conflict  of  interest.    He                                                               
explained:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     So, I'm  an executive  branch employee,  and I  want an                                                                    
     option  to buy  fish  from the  Seaton fish  processing                                                                    
     company.   That would  be unethical  here.   And that's                                                                    
     just a  business deal.   You're either a supplier  or a                                                                    
     purchaser.  Are you planning to ... prohibit that?                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG asked  that his  amendment labeled  24-                                                               
LS0874\X.6, Chenoweth,  2/14/06, be  considered "an  amendment in                                                               
substitute  to  Conceptual  Amendment   3."    He  expressed  his                                                               
willingness  "to   add  something  to   it  to  do   what  you're                                                               
suggesting."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:23:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  said she thinks the  committee is looking                                                               
at  the issue  out of  context.   She noted  that the  bill lists                                                               
insignificance  as one  criterion, and  that is  followed by  the                                                               
word "or".   Therefore, she  said, "If  your example fits  in the                                                               
first one, then the second one's not..."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:23:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG noted  that the  word "[INSIGNIFICANT]"                                                               
is deleted from  the bill [on page  1, line 7 of Version  X].  He                                                               
said "This  is the definition  that we're dealing with  of what's                                                               
insignificant."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:24:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS  announced  that  his  presence  was  needed  at                                                               
another committee hearing.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON   stated  his  understanding   that  Representative                                                               
Gruenberg  had moved  to substitute  Conceptual  Amendment 3  [as                                                               
amended]  for  the   aforementioned  language  of  24-LS0874\X.6,                                                               
Chenoweth, 2/14/06.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked if  it was the  chair's intention                                                               
to pass  the bill out of  committee today.  If  not, he indicated                                                               
that some work could be done outside of committee.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  said, "Sure, we  can do that.   We can put  that on                                                               
hold and work on that for better language."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:24:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO remarked  that "INSIGNIFICANT"  was removed                                                               
from [page 1], line 7, but still  shows on [page 1], line 10.  He                                                               
said he wondered if that was an oversight.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:25:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG explained  that the word "INSIGNIFICANT"                                                               
is  used  in two  different  capacities.    The one  defines  the                                                               
quantity of an interest in  the business, while the other defines                                                               
the  type of  action that  is  taken by  the business.   He  said                                                               
keeping "INSIGNIFICANT" on line 10 is appropriate.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:25:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO said  he has  no way  to quantify  the word                                                               
"INSIGNIFICANT", because  it varies  from person  to person.   He                                                               
suggested that for the sake of  keeping the integrity of the bill                                                               
in order, the term may need a substitution.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:26:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said, "I would  hope that we don't touch                                                               
that  language on  line 10  because that's  got to  be up  to the                                                               
triers."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:27:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  announced that Conceptual Amendment  3, as amended,                                                               
would be  put aside.  [The  motion to substitute Amendment  3, as                                                               
amended, for  the language  of 24-LS0874\X.6,  Chenoweth, 2/14/06                                                               
was left pending.]                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:27:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON moved to adopt Amendment 4, as follows:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     On page 8, lines 16-24:                                                                                                    
          Delete Section 15                                                                                                     
          Renumber accordingly                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAMRAS  objected  for discussion  purposes.    He                                                               
suggested that  Amendment 4 would gut  the intent of SB  186.  He                                                               
indicated  that the  $5,000 fine  that  would be  deleted is  the                                                               
heart of the bill.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:28:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  responded that  the bill contains  a lot  more than                                                               
that; it also  defines the amount and  includes business partners                                                               
as well as  members of the family.  Currently,  he said, a person                                                               
who files  [a complaint] he/she knows  is not true is  subject to                                                               
"false  swearing"  penalties.    He  said, "It  does  not  put  a                                                               
separate  new  section of  law  for  someone who  discloses  that                                                               
they're about to or did file  [an] ethics complaint, but it would                                                               
not relieve one from ... filing  a false ethics complaint and the                                                               
charges that would arise from that."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:29:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER stated  that she  thinks the  ethics bill                                                               
can be a strong one without having penalties for the public.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:30:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO stated  his belief that "we"  are looking at                                                               
the  wrong  people  when  trying  to assess  a  fine  against  an                                                               
individual for making a statement,  even though the statement may                                                               
be an exaggeration.  He stated his support of Amendment 4.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:31:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAMRAS maintained his objection to Amendment 4.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said, "I'm  going to stand corrected ...                                                               
just  for  the record  ...."    He  stated  that making  a  false                                                               
statement  under oath  is perjury,  which  is a  class B  felony,                                                               
whereas  unsworn falsification  - submitting  a false  written or                                                               
recorded  statement on  an application  for a  benefit or  a form                                                               
bearing a notice, with the intent  to mislead a public servant in                                                               
the performance of a duty - is a class A misdemeanor.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG said  he  was citing  AS 11.56.200  and                                                               
210.  He indicated that  the entire statute regarding perjury and                                                               
related offenses is found in AS 11.56.200-240.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:32:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was  taken.  Representatives Gardner, Gruenberg,                                                               
Gatto,   and   Seaton   voted    in   favor   of   Amendment   4.                                                               
Representatives Elkins  and Ramras voted against  it.  Therefore,                                                               
Amendment 4 passed by a vote of 4-2.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:32:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON moved to adopt Conceptual Amendment 5, as follows:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     On page 8, line 26:                                                                                                        
          Delete "shall"                                                                                                        
          Insert "may"                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:33:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  objected for  discussion purposes.   He                                                               
stated his support of Amendment 5, then removed his objection.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:33:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON asked  if there  was  any other  objection.   There                                                               
being none, Conceptual Amendment 5 was adopted.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:33:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON moved to adopt Amendment 6, as follows:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     On page 9, lines 3-4:                                                                                                      
          Delete paragraph (3)                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     On page 9, lines 16-17:                                                                                                    
          Delete paragraph (3)                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:34:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAMRAS objected.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:34:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG observed that  Conceptual Amendment 6 is                                                               
a conforming amendment.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:34:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAMRAS  said, "I  just  think  we shouldn't  have                                                               
amended  Section  15  out  of  the bill,  so  I  object  to  this                                                               
amendment for the same reason."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:35:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote was  taken.  Representatives  Gruenberg, Gatto,                                                               
Gardner, and  Seaton voted  in favor  of Conceptual  Amendment 6.                                                               
Representatives Elkins  and Ramras voted against  it.  Therefore,                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 6 passed by a vote of 4-2.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:36:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   moved  Conceptual  Amendment   7,  as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     On page 9, lines 18-19:                                                                                                    
          Delete subsection (d)                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG  explained   that   the  language   in                                                               
subsection  (d)  references  language  that  the  committee  just                                                               
deleted [in Conceptual Amendment 6].                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:37:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON asked  if  there was  any  objection to  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 7.  There being none, it was so ordered.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:37:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG directed attention to page 8, lines 26-                                                                
29, which read as follows:                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
               Sec. 39.52.352. Wrongful use of complaint.                                                                     
     (a) The  board shall find  there has been  wrongful use                                                                    
     of  an   executive  branch   ethics  complaint   if  it                                                                    
     determines,   after   compliance   with   due   process                                                                    
     requirements, including a hearing  and a majority vote,                                                                    
     that the complainant                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  noted  that   the  language  does  not                                                               
specify whether or not it must be a public "hearing".                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG moved to adopt Amendment 8, as follows:                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     On page 8, line 28:                                                                                                        
          Before "hearing"                                                                                                      
          Insert "public"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:38:33 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:38:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  [moved to adopt] an  amendment to Amendment                                                               
8, as follows:                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     On page 8, line 28:                                                                                                        
          After "hearing"                                                                                                       
          Insert ", if requested"                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:38:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON announced  that the  amendment to  Amendment 8  was                                                               
adopted without objection.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:40:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG,   in  response  to  a   question  from                                                               
Representative  Gatto, said  both the  complainant and  the board                                                               
have the ability to request a hearing.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:40:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON removed  his objection to Amendment  8 [as amended].                                                               
There being  no further objection,  Amendment 8 [as  amended] was                                                               
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER   noted  that  she  had   distributed  an                                                               
amendment but was not prepared to moved it today.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:40:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON announced that SB 186 was heard and held.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HB 347-MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE & NOTICE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:41:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON announced that the  last order of business was HOUSE                                                               
BILL  NO.  347,  "An  Act relating  to  mandatory  motor  vehicle                                                               
insurance,  license suspensions,  and notices  relating to  motor                                                               
vehicles and driver's licenses."                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
[Amendment 1, left  pending from the 1/31/06  House State Affairs                                                               
Standing Committee meeting, was  renamed and offered as Amendment                                                               
7.]                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:42:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LES GARA, Alaska  State Legislature, as sponsor of                                                               
HB 347,  explained that  at the  last hearing  of the  bill there                                                               
were  some technical  changes  that both  the  committee and  the                                                               
director of the  Division of Motor Vehicles  had recommended, and                                                               
he  said those  changes  are stapled  together  in the  committee                                                               
packet as possible amendments.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER, in  response  to a  question from  Chair                                                               
Seaton, said she would be offering those amendments.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:42:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  directed attention  to an  e-mail in  the committee                                                               
packet from Duane Bannock, Director, Division of Motor Vehicles.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:43:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER moved to adopt Amendment 1, as follows:                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     On page 2, line 2:                                                                                                         
          Following "department"                                                                                                
          Insert "Notwithstanding AS 28.05.121"                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:44:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  asked if  there was any  objection to  Amendment 1.                                                               
There being none, it was so ordered.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:44:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER moved to adopt Amendment 2, [labeled "24-                                                                
LS1372\G.6, Luckhaupt, 2/1/06"], which read as follows:                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, lines 3 - 4:                                                                                                       
          Delete "most current"                                                                                             
          Insert "most recently recorded"                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:45:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  objected.    He  said  the  most  recently                                                               
recorded  address  may  not  necessarily  be  the  most  current;                                                               
therefore he questioned the advantage of Amendment 2.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:46:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER suggested using  the phrase "most recently                                                               
provided" instead.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GATTO  suggested   the  phrase   "most  recently                                                               
obtained".                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ELKINS  asked why the committee  doesn't leave the                                                               
language to read "most current".                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO explained  that  a person  could say,  "You                                                               
know, that's my most current address,  but I'm leaving there in a                                                               
day.  Why don't you just send it to my Mom ...."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:47:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON reminded the committee  that "we're not dealing with                                                               
someone's private  knowledge.  He  explained that the  address in                                                               
question would be obtained from  only three sources, [as shown on                                                               
page 2, lines 5-9, which read as follows:]                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
           (1) the address the department has for the                                                                       
     person;                                                                                                                
            (2) the address shown on the citation or                                                                        
     police report of the accident; and                                                                                     
           (3) the address provided to the Department                                                                       
       of Revenue in an application for a permanent fund                                                                    
     dividend.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  said he wants  to know  the reason for  the request                                                               
for Amendment 2.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:47:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
J.  KEVIN BURCHFIELD,  Driver  Services  Supervisor, Division  of                                                               
Motor  Vehicles,  Department  of Administration,  testified  that                                                               
"most  recently  recorded"  is  preferred  so  that  the  address                                                           
obtained from the  accident report can be used.   He added, "That                                                               
is  the person  that  was in  the most  recent  contact with  the                                                               
individual."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:48:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  remarked that  from a  law perspective,                                                               
the word "recorded" usually refers to  a deed that is recorded by                                                               
the registrar of deeds.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:48:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA,  in response to Chair  Seaton, recalled that                                                               
the it  was the committee who  had a problem with  the term "most                                                           
current".   He said he  thinks that  term would work,  or perhaps                                                           
"most recently provided" would work.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:49:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURCHFIELD, in response  to Representative Gara's suggestion,                                                               
said "most recently provided" is acceptable.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:49:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  stated  his   preference  for  the  phrase                                                               
"including but  not limited to",  which includes the  three items                                                               
previously noted,  but "gives the  individual an ability  to seek                                                               
out any other one."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:49:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON clarified  that the issue is that  currently the DMV                                                               
has to  send that notice  to the [address]  that it has  on file,                                                               
even if  the police report or  the Permanent Fund Division  has a                                                               
more current  address.  He stated,  "I mean, if we're  wanting to                                                               
go out and  say DMV is supposed  to go out on  an Internet search                                                               
for somebody's  address, ... we're  stepping far beyond  where we                                                               
are in this bill currently.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER, in  response  to Representative  Gatto's                                                               
recommendation,  suggested  that  if   the  language  said  "most                                                               
current but not  limited to", a person could say,  "But you could                                                               
have sent  it to all  of them and  you didn't, and  therefore you                                                               
didn't make efforts to reach me."   She warned that would open up                                                               
unnecessary problems.   She  stated her  preference for  the term                                                               
"most recently provided".                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:51:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO maintained his  objection.  He remarked that                                                               
the "most  recently provided" [address]  could be a  couple years                                                           
old.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:51:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  responded  that someone  who  provide  the  police                                                               
officer with  an address that  is a  couple of years  old doesn't                                                               
want to get his/her notice from DMV.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:51:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURCHFIELD, in  response to  a question  from Representative                                                               
Gruenberg, said  the word  "recorded" is a  reference to  the way                                                               
that [the address]  is recorded on the accident report.   He said                                                               
it is probably a poor choice of words.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON,  in response  to  a  question from  Representative                                                               
Gruenberg, explained  again that the language  in question refers                                                               
to  the three  addresses [on  page  2, lines  5-9, text  provided                                                               
previously].                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:52:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG moved to  adopt Amendment 1 to Amendment                                                               
2,  to  change   "recorded"  to  "provided".     There  being  no                                                       
objection, Amendment 1 to Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:53:17 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  asked if  there was any  objection to  Amendment 2,                                                               
[as amended].  There being none, it was so ordered.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:53:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER moved to  adopt Amendment 3, [labeled "24-                                                               
LS1372\G.5, Luckhaupt, 2/1/06"], which read as follows:                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 6:                                                                                                            
          Delete "citation or"                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:54:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  offered   his  understanding  that  Representative                                                               
Gruenberg stated an objection [for discussion purposes].                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked Mr.  Burchfield, "If there happens                                                               
to be a citation, why couldn't they use that address?"                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:54:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURCHFIELD   responded,  "Because  the  Division   of  Motor                                                               
Vehicles does not receive the citations."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:54:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  removed his objection.   There being no                                                               
further objection to Amendment 3, it was so ordered.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:55:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER moved to  adopt Amendment 4, [labeled "24-                                                               
LS1372\G.4, Luckhaupt, 2/1/06], which read as follows:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, lines 7 - 9:                                                                                                       
          Delete all material.                                                                                                  
          Insert "accident."                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:56:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DUANE BANNOCK,  Director, Division of Motor  Vehicles, Department                                                               
of Administration,  [in response  to some  committee discussion],                                                               
clarified for  the committee that  Amendment 4 "is  specific only                                                               
to the  Department of Revenue  as it pertains to  [the] permanent                                                               
fund  [dividend]."   He  said  DMV  asked  that the  language  be                                                               
removed  because [obtaining  addresses  from  the Permanent  Fund                                                               
Division] would be outside the field of DMV.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:57:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA, in  response  to Representative  Gruenberg,                                                               
said  he  would  leave  the  decision whether  or  not  to  adopt                                                               
Amendment 4  up to  the committee.   He  proffered that  the most                                                               
accurate  address will  be the  one on  the citation  or accident                                                               
report.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:58:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER   said  the  problem  in   including  the                                                               
language  [on page  2, lines  8-9, text  provided previously]  is                                                               
that it would require DMV to  take the additional step of looking                                                               
up the permanent fund dividend  application information, which is                                                               
really not the DMV's bailiwick.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:58:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  objected  to  Amendment 4,  in  order  to  further                                                               
clarify the language.  He then removed his objection.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:59:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ELKINS objected.  He explained as follows:                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Years  ago I  used to  buy dividends  - permanent  fund                                                                    
     dividends - and when they changed  the law, I had a lot                                                                    
     of money out  there that I couldn't get paid  for.  And                                                                    
     I had to  take those addresses, and  find those people,                                                                    
     and get  them to show  proof of birth, ...  because the                                                                    
     Department of Revenue had determined  that if they sold                                                                    
     their dividend they might not be  a real person.  And I                                                                    
     got to tell you - and it  was quite a bit of money, ...                                                                    
     so obviously  quite a few  people - [for]  every person                                                                    
     that I  had to contact the  address was true.   And so,                                                                    
     ... I  have a  little bit of  problem taking  that out,                                                                    
     because people don't  fool around -- I  mean, when they                                                                    
     put  their permanent  fund address  down, it's  usually                                                                    
     bedrock.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:00:19 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON   responded  that  he   understands  Representative                                                               
Elkins'  point of  view.   However,  he stated  that he  supports                                                               
Amendment 4 because he doesn't want  to burden DMV with having to                                                               
seek  out addresses  of people  who are  not giving  police their                                                               
most current address.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:01:18 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  asked if  there was any  objection to  Amendment 4.                                                               
[Representative  Elkins'  objection  was  considered  withdrawn].                                                               
There being no further objections, Amendment 4 was adopted.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON referred to [page  2, lines 6-7], which [after being                                                               
previous amended by the adopted Amendments 3 and 4] read:                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
               (2) the address shown on the police report                                                                   
     of the accident.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON asked if that language is acceptable.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  said he thinks  that DMV's position  is that                                                               
the report is called an accident report, not a police report.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:01:39 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON asked Mr. Bannock for his recommendation.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:02:47 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BANNOCK  recommended that the  word "police" on page  2, line                                                               
6,  be  deleted  and  replaced  with the  word  "accident".    In                                                               
response to  a request  for clarification  from Chair  Seaton, he                                                               
amended  his  recommendation  to  simply  delete  "police",  thus                                                               
leaving:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
           (2) the address shown on the report of the                                                                       
     accident.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:03:49 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER moved to adopt Amendment 5, as follows:                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     On page 2, line 6:                                                                                                         
          Delete "police"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  asked if  there was any  objection to  Amendment 5.                                                               
There being none, Amendment 5 was adopted.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:04:47 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  moved to adopt Amendment  6, [labeled 24-                                                               
LS1372\G.7, Luckhaupt, 2/1/06], which read as follows:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 6, following "infraction":                                                                                    
          Insert "punishable by a fine not to exceed $300"                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  objected for discussion  purposes, then                                                               
removed  his objection.   He  recalled that  when this  issue was                                                               
discussed in the  past, there was talk that  "infraction" is "not                                                               
defined in Title 28 anyway."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:05:57 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA recollected  that the  discussion had  taken                                                               
place  to   address  Representative  Gruenberg's   concern  about                                                               
whether or  not "there  was a catch-all  fine amount  for driving                                                               
license violations."   He said,  "There is, but it  doesn't state                                                               
an amount."   He said  he wants "the $300  fine to apply  to this                                                               
violation."    He  said he  thinks  Representative    Gruenberg's                                                               
recommendation was to "come up with  a number and apply ... it to                                                               
all violations  at DMV."   He said  he does not  feel comfortable                                                               
coming up  with an  amount for the  other violations,  because he                                                               
doesn't  know what  they are  or what  the fines  should be.   He                                                               
concluded that  he thinks [Amendment  6] is the "cleanest  way to                                                               
do it."                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:06:32 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  reiterated   that  his  objection  was                                                               
withdrawn.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:06:40 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  asked  if  there  was  any  further  objection  to                                                               
Amendment 6.  There being none, Amendment 6 was adopted.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:06:59 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   SEATON   moved   Amendment  7,   labeled   24-LS1372\G.2,                                                               
Luckhaupt, 1/27/06 [previously named  Amendment 1], which read as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 1, following "suspensions,":                                                                                
          Insert "penalties for operating a motor vehicle                                                                     
     while  license  is  canceled,  suspended,  revoked,  or                                                                  
     limited,  mandatory impoundments  of  vehicles used  in                                                                  
     certain offenses,"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, following line 6:                                                                                                  
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
        "* Sec. 2. AS 28.15.291(b) is amended to read:                                                                      
          (b)  Upon conviction under (a) of this section,                                                                       
     the court                                                                                                                  
               (1)  shall impose a minimum sentence of                                                                          
     imprisonment                                                                                                               
               (A)  if the person has not been previously                                                                       
     convicted,  of  not less  than  10  days with  10  days                                                                    
     suspended,   including   a   mandatory   condition   of                                                                    
     probation that the defendant complete  not less than 80                                                                    
     hours of community work service;                                                                                           
               (B)  if the person has been previously                                                                           
     convicted, of not less than 10 days;                                                                                       
               (C)  if the person's driver's license,                                                                           
     privilege to  drive, or privilege  to obtain  a license                                                                    
     was   revoked   under    circumstances   described   in                                                                    
     AS 28.15.181(c)(1),  or if  the person  was driving  in                                                                    
     violation   of   a   limited   license   issued   under                                                                    
     AS 28.15.201(d) following that  revocation, of not less                                                                    
     than 20 days with 10 days  suspended, and a fine of not                                                                    
     less  than $500,  including  a  mandatory condition  of                                                                    
     probation that the defendant complete  not less than 80                                                                    
     hours of community work service;                                                                                           
               (D)  if the person's driver's license,                                                                           
     privilege to  drive, or privilege  to obtain  a license                                                                    
     was   revoked   under    circumstances   described   in                                                                    
     AS 28.15.181(c)(2), (3),  or (4)  or if the  person was                                                                    
     driving in violation of a  limited license issued under                                                                    
     AS 28.15.201(d) following that  revocation, of not less                                                                    
     than 30 days and a fine of not less than $1,000;                                                                           
               (2)  may impose additional conditions of                                                                         
     probation;                                                                                                                 
               (3)  may not                                                                                                     
               (A)  suspend execution of sentence or grant                                                                      
     probation except  on condition that the  person serve a                                                                    
     minimum  term  of  imprisonment  and  perform  required                                                                    
     community  work  service as  provided  in  (1) of  this                                                                    
     subsection;                                                                                                                
              (B)  suspend imposition of sentence;                                                                              
               (4)  shall revoke the person's license,                                                                          
     privilege to  drive, or privilege to  obtain a license,                                                                    
     and the  person may not  be issued  a new license  or a                                                                    
     limited  license  nor may  the  privilege  to drive  or                                                                    
     obtain a  license be restored for  an additional period                                                                    
     of  not less  than  90  days after  the  date that  the                                                                    
     person  would  have  been entitled  to  restoration  of                                                                    
     driving privileges; and                                                                                                    
               (5)  may order that the motor vehicle that                                                                       
     was  used in  commission  of the  offense be  forfeited                                                                    
     under  AS 28.35.036  and  shall order  that  the  motor                                                                
     vehicle  used  in  the commission  of  the  offense  be                                                                
     forfeited  under AS 28.35.036  if the  person has  been                                                                
     previously convicted under this section."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, following line 9:                                                                                                  
     Insert new bill sections to read:                                                                                          
        "* Sec. 5. AS 28.35.036(b) is amended to read:                                                                      
          (b)  Before forfeiture of a motor vehicle,                                                                            
     aircraft,  or watercraft,  the court  shall schedule  a                                                                    
     hearing on  the matter and  shall notify the  state and                                                                    
     the convicted person of the  time and place set for the                                                                    
     hearing.  Except  for  a motor  vehicle,  aircraft,  or                                                                    
     watercraft  that  is  required to  be  forfeited  under                                                                    
     AS 28.15.291,  AS 28.35.030,  or 28.35.032,  the  court                                                            
     may order  the forfeiture of  the motor vehicle  if the                                                                    
     court,  sitting  without  a   jury,  determines,  by  a                                                                    
     preponderance of  the evidence, that the  forfeiture of                                                                    
     the motor  vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft  will serve                                                                    
     one or more of the following purposes:                                                                                     
               (1)  deterrence of the convicted person from                                                                     
     the    commission    of     future    offenses    under                                                                    
     [AS 28.15.291(b),] AS 28.35.030 [,] or 28.35.032;                                                                          
               (2)  protection of the safety and welfare of                                                                     
     the public;                                                                                                                
               (3)  deterrence of other persons who are                                                                         
     potential     offenders    under     [AS 28.15.291(b),]                                                                    
     AS 28.35.030 [,] or 28.35.032; or                                                                                          
               (4)  expression of public condemnation of                                                                        
     the  serious  or  aggravated nature  of  the  convicted                                                                    
     person's conduct.                                                                                                          
        *  Sec.  6. AS 28.40  is  amended  by adding  a  new                                                                  
     section to read:                                                                                                           
     Sec.  28.40.080.  Impoundment  of  motor  vehicle  when                                                                  
     arrested  for  certain offenses.  On  the  arrest of  a                                                                  
     person for  a violation of  AS 28.15.291, AS 28.33.030,                                                                    
     28.33.031,  AS 28.35.030,   or  28.35.032,   the  motor                                                                    
     vehicle used in the commission  of the offense shall be                                                                    
     impounded. If  the motor vehicle is  not forfeited, the                                                                    
     motor vehicle shall be held  for six months, unless the                                                                    
     person is acquitted of the  offense. The cost of towing                                                                    
     and storage  of the vehicle  is a lien on  the vehicle.                                                                    
     If  another  person  claims an  ownership  or  security                                                                    
     interest in the motor  vehicle and establishes that the                                                                    
     interest predated  the offense and was  acquired by the                                                                    
     other  person  in  good  faith,   the  vehicle  may  be                                                                    
     released to  that other person  if the person  pays the                                                                    
     accrued cost of towing and storage of the vehicle."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER objected to Amendment 7.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:09:03 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON said, "This is a  question of whether we should have                                                               
drivers licenses  at all."  He  stated, "It seems to  me if we're                                                               
not going to say there is  something more than just saying you're                                                               
not  supposed   to  drive  without   your  license   upon  second                                                               
conviction,  we're  really  saying  we  shouldn't  be  issuing  a                                                               
driver's license and we should just let anybody drive."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:10:08 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  said  adding  Amendment  7  is  up  to  the                                                               
committee.  Notwithstanding that, he added:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     If the person driving the  car without a license is the                                                                    
     owner, that seems to be  the penalty you're getting at.                                                                    
     But  what if  the  car  is ...  owned  by somebody  who                                                                    
     didn't know that  the person who was driving  it had no                                                                    
     license.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA offered an example.   He said he thinks there                                                               
ought  to be  a defense  for  the owner  of the  car who  doesn't                                                               
knowingly provide the car to someone without a license.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:11:59 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG opposed  Amendment 7.   He  said he  is                                                               
definitely  not in  favor of  people  driving without  insurance,                                                               
without  a license,  or  with a  suspended  license; however,  he                                                               
indicated that a forfeiture "can be  way out of proportion to the                                                               
seriousness of the offense."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:12:46 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  said, "The  forfeiture  from  someone who  is  not                                                               
knowingly involved is  not really the case."   He said [Amendment                                                               
7] covers two  issues:  the first part deals  with the forfeiture                                                               
issue, and the  part of the amendment addressing  Section 6 deals                                                               
with the impoundment  of the vehicle.  He  reminded the committee                                                               
of  several recent  driving incidents.    One was  a couple  from                                                               
Anchor Point killed by a person  driving without a license.  Even                                                               
after that  accident, a  relative loaned  the person  without the                                                               
license a car.   There was no  penalty at all for  the person who                                                               
loaned the vehicle, he said.   He stated, "At some point in time,                                                               
if  you're loaning  what  is  basically a  deadly  weapon on  our                                                               
streets to somebody,  you ought to be responsible  enough to find                                                               
out whether that person's entitled to drive."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:15:25 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked that the two  issues in Amendment                                                               
7 be considered separately.  He  asked that "part a" include page                                                               
1, line  6, through page  3, line  10, [as numbered  on Amendment                                                               
7], and that page 3, lines  11-21 [as numbered on Amendment 7] be                                                               
called "part b."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON said,  "I will  accept that  as a  division of  the                                                               
question."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  stated, "Then I will  move the question                                                               
on   part  a   ...  as   [an]  amendment   to  delete   part  a."                                                               
[Representative   Gruenberg   moved   to  adopt   Amendment   7a.                                                               
Representative Gruenberg moved to  adopt Amendment 1 to Amendment                                                               
7a.]                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:16:11 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON said objected to Amendment 1 to Amendment 7a.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:16:43 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER directed attention  to page 2, lines 17-20                                                               
[as numbered on  Amendment 7a].  She said she  thinks there needs                                                               
to  be a  provision  addressing  when a  defendant  is driving  a                                                               
vehicle that is not his own.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:17:10 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  said  [Amendment 1  to  Amendment  7a]                                                               
would remove  the language that  Representative Gardner  had just                                                               
highlighted [because it would remove Amendment 7a entirely].                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON added,  "And  your  issue, like  I  said, we  could                                                               
clarify, but it's already covered in law."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON,  in response  to a  request for  clarification from                                                               
Representative Gatto,  said the  motion is to  delete "everything                                                               
before Section 6 [as shown in Amendments 7a and 7b]."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:17:37 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote was  taken.  Representative Gruenberg  voted in                                                               
favor of [Amendment  1 to Amendment 7a].   Representatives Gatto,                                                               
Gardner, and Seaton voted against  it.  Therefore, Amendment 1 to                                                               
Amendment 7a failed to be adopted by  a vote of 1-3.  [The result                                                               
of this  vote is that  the motion  to adopt Amendment  7a remains                                                               
before the committee.]                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:18:58 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER said she  would like some public testimony                                                               
on "this provision."   She stated, "As a general  principle ... I                                                               
support  taking a  vehicle  away from  somebody  who persists  in                                                               
using it without a license."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:19:35 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  directed attention  to page 2,  lines 17-19,                                                               
[as  numbered on  Amendment  7a],  and said  it  seems the  court                                                               
currently has  the discretion to  order a forfeiture  for driving                                                               
without a  license, so "maybe that's  the way it should  be."  He                                                               
recommended having  the mandatory  impoundment provision  that is                                                               
in [Amendment  7b], but not  to have mandatory forfeiture  in all                                                               
cases.  He offered further details.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:20:43 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  responded, "I think  that that would have  been the                                                               
effect of Representative Gruenberg's motion."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:21:46 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON   asked  for  unanimous  consent   to  rescind  the                                                               
committee's action in failing to  adopt [Amendment 1 to Amendment                                                               
7a, which  would have  deleted the  entire language  of Amendment                                                               
7a].  There being on objection,  it was so ordered [and Amendment                                                               
1 to Amendment 7 was before the committee.]                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:22:17 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  said he  would like the  bill held  over in                                                               
order to leave time for the public to testify.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:22:38 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON announced that HB 347 was heard and held.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
State  Affairs  Standing  Committee   meeting  was  adjourned  at                                                               
10:22:46 AM.                                                                                                                  

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