Legislature(2005 - 2006)

05/03/2006 05:57 PM 104

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05:57:32 PM Start
06:03:44 PM SB104
06:21:06 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
                 CONFERENCE COMMITTEE ON SB 104                                                                               
                          May 3, 2006                                                                                           
                           5:57 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Ralph Seekins, Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                         
Senator Gretchen Guess                                                                                                          
Representative Lesil McGuire, Chair                                                                                             
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 104(JUD)                                                                                                 
"An Act  relating to the  crimes of unsworn falsification  in the                                                               
first  and  second  degrees  and  false  information  or  report;                                                               
requiring the  establishment of a  permanent fund  dividend fraud                                                               
investigation unit  in the Department  of Revenue;  and providing                                                               
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
HOUSE CS FOR CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 104(JUD)                                                                                    
"An Act  relating to the  crimes of unsworn falsification  in the                                                               
first  degree  involving  an application  for  a  permanent  fund                                                               
dividend and  false information  or report  involving eligibility                                                               
for a permanent  fund dividend; requiring the  establishment of a                                                               
permanent  fund   dividend  fraud   investigation  unit   in  the                                                               
Department of  Revenue; relating  to service  in the  peace corps                                                               
and as  a member of the  United States Olympic Team  as allowable                                                               
absences  from   the  state  for  purposes   of  eligibility  for                                                               
permanent  fund  dividends  and  to  the  period  for  filing  an                                                               
application  for  a  permanent  fund  dividend;  authorizing  the                                                               
Department  of Revenue  to issue  administrative orders  imposing                                                               
sanctions  for   certain  misrepresentations  or   other  actions                                                               
concerning  eligibility   for  a  permanent  fund   dividend  and                                                               
providing  for   administrative  appeal  of  those   orders;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SB 104                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PERMANENT FUND DIVIDEND FRAUD/ELIGIBILITY                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) SEEKINS                                                                                                  
02/14/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/14/05       (S)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
02/22/05       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
02/22/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/22/05       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
02/24/05       (S)       STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
02/24/05       (S)       Moved CSSB 104(STA) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/24/05       (S)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
02/28/05       (S)       STA       RPT        CS              4DP                                                               
                         SAME TITLE                                                                                             
02/28/05       (S)       DP: THERRIAULT, ELTON, HUGGINS, DAVIS                                                                  
03/01/05       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/01/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/01/05       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/02/05       (S)       JUD     RPT     CS           3DP     2NR                                                               
                         NEW TITLE                                                                                              
03/02/05       (S)       DP: SEEKINS, THERRIAULT, HUGGINS                                                                       
03/02/05       (S)       NR: FRENCH, GUESS                                                                                      
03/02/05       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/02/05       (S)       Moved CSSB 104(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/02/05       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/07/05       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
03/07/05       (S)       VERSION: CSSB 104(JUD)                                                                                 
03/09/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/09/05       (H)       STA, JUD                                                                                               
04/05/05       (H)       STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
04/05/05       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
04/05/05       (H)       MINUTE(STA)                                                                                            
04/06/05       (H)       STA RPT 4DP 1NR                                                                                        
04/06/05       (H)       DP: LYNN, ELKINS, GRUENBERG, SEATON;                                                                   
04/06/05       (H)       NR: GARDNER                                                                                            
04/29/05       (H)       JUD AT 4:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
04/29/05       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/29/05       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
05/02/05       (H)       JUD RPT HCS(JUD) NT 4DP 2NR                                                                            
05/02/05       (H)       DP: KOTT, GRUENBERG, GARA, MCGUIRE;                                                                    
05/02/05       (H)       NR: DAHLSTROM, COGHILL                                                                                 
05/02/05       (H)       JUD AT 12:00 AM CAPITOL 120                                                                            
05/02/05       (H)       Moved   HCS   CSSB   104(JUD)   Out   of                                                               
05/02/05       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
05/07/05       (H)       VERSION: HCS CSSB 104(JUD)                                                                             
05/08/05       (S)       CONCURRENCE MESSAGE READ AND HELD                                                                      
05/10/05       (S)       CONFERENCE COMMITTEE APPOINTED                                                                         
05/10/05       (S)       SEEKINS (CHAIR), THERRIAULT, FRENCH                                                                    
05/12/05       (H)       SENATE MESSAGE RE CC APPOINTMENTS                                                                      
04/28/06       (H)       CONFERENCE COMMITTEE APPOINTED                                                                         
04/28/06       (H)       MCGUIRE, LYNN, GRUENBERG                                                                               
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
No witnesses                                                                                                                    
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
CHAIR RALPH  SEEKINS called the  Conference Committee for  SB 104                                                             
to  order  at  5:57:32  PM. Present  were  Representatives  Lesil                                                             
McGuire, Bob Lynn,  and Max Gruenberg and  Senator Gretchen Guess                                                               
and Chair Ralph  Seekins. Senator Gene Therriault  arrived as the                                                               
meeting was in progress.                                                                                                        
        SB 104-PERMANENT FUND DIVIDEND FRAUD/ELIGIBILITY                                                                    
CHAIR RALPH  SEEKINS announced that the  Conference Committee for                                                               
SB 104 was  the business before the committee.  He explained that                                                               
the bill  passed the  Senate as a  Permanent Fund  Dividend (PFD)                                                               
fraud bill. He asked Representative  McGuire to outline the House                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE LESIL McGUIRE related  that the House amended what                                                               
was HB 127  into SB 104, which did two  things. First it includes                                                               
a civil  penalty provision  for fraud so  that the  Department of                                                               
Revenue could:  issue an order  of forfeiture of  an individual's                                                               
dividend;  make the  individual  ineligible to  receive the  next                                                               
five dividends after  the forfeiture; and impose a  civil fine of                                                               
up to $3,000.  The fine could be  imposed administratively, which                                                               
would  save the  division money  and send  a strong  message that                                                               
fraud won't be tolerated.                                                                                                       
Second it restores PFD eligibility  to Peace Corps volunteers. In                                                               
1981 when the Legislature established  the framework for the PFD,                                                               
the  Peace Corps  was included  in the  group of  individuals who                                                               
might qualify  for an  excused absence.  In 1997  the Legislature                                                               
removed  the Peace  Corps from  that  list. She  argued that  the                                                               
action was arbitrary  and that there was no record  of abuse. The                                                               
population  is  limited  and  in  any given  year  it  has  never                                                               
exceeded 30. She  submitted that the eligibility  for Peace Corps                                                               
members ought to be restored.                                                                                                   
6:03:44 PM                                                                                                                    
Allowable absence  for Olympic  athletes was  added on  the House                                                               
floor.  This  last  year  there  were  eight  Alaskan  Olympians.                                                               
Obviously,  she  said,  these folks  consider  themselves  to  be                                                               
Alaskan, but their training and  competition takes them away from                                                               
the state longer than the allowable absence period.                                                                             
In  response to  a question  that Senator  Therriault asked  in a                                                               
previous hearing, she suggested that  adding the Peace Corps is a                                                               
restoration  and it's  appropriate.  She  asked Senate  committee                                                               
members for their support.                                                                                                      
6:04:53 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS  recalled  that  when  SB  104  was  returned  for                                                               
concurrence,  there  was  a  tie   vote  so  it  failed  and  the                                                               
conference committees were appointed.  For the record he recapped                                                               
that Sections 1-19 are unchanged.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE McGUIRE  stated that Section  20 is the  corpus of                                                               
the difference.                                                                                                                 
CHAIR  SEEKINS read  the  language  in Section  20  of the  House                                                               
version to extend eligibility to  Peace Corps volunteers and U.S.                                                               
Olympians and asked if that was correct.                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE MCGUIRE agreed.                                                                                                  
CHAIR SEEKINS noted that there  would be renumbering and no other                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE   McGUIRE   clarified   that  just   Peace   Corps                                                               
volunteers  would be  eligible for  the excused  absence and  not                                                               
other members of the household.                                                                                                 
CHAIR SEEKINS  added that just  members of the U.S.  Olympic team                                                               
are included  and members of  other national teams are  not under                                                               
consideration in SB 104.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE MCGUIRE  related that  the definition  coming from                                                               
the  House floor  was  directed at  that  issue and  specifically                                                               
identifies a member of the United States Olympic Team.                                                                          
CHAIR  SEEKINS continued  to  say that  in  addition to  criminal                                                               
penalties for  fraud, the House  added a provision for  the state                                                               
to  impose a  civil  penalty  of up  to  $3,000,  which could  be                                                               
imposed administratively.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE MCGUIRE said that's correct.                                                                                     
CHAIR SEEKINS asked Senator Therriault  if his questions had been                                                               
SENATOR THERRIAULT replied he thought so.                                                                                       
CHAIR SEEKINS determined that committee  members had no questions                                                               
for the Permanent Fund Division.                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS  explained the  conference committee  procedure and                                                               
said the first question before  the committee is whether there is                                                               
agreement on either version.                                                                                                    
6:10:51 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  directed  attention to  the  \S  House                                                               
version  and stated  for  the record  that there  ought  to be  a                                                               
technical change on  page 8, line 27. Delete the  word "that" and                                                               
insert "who" for the reference to the treating physician.                                                                       
6:11:45 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MCGUIRE  motioned to  adopt the House  version 24-                                                               
LS0519\S as  the Conference Committee  Substitute for SB  104 and                                                               
to move it from committee.                                                                                                      
CHAIR  SEEKINS asked  for  a  roll call  and  the motion  failed.                                                               
Representatives Gruenberg,  Lynn, and McGuire voted  yea. Senator                                                               
Guess voted yea and Senators Therriault and Seekins voted nay.                                                                  
At ease from 6:13:08 PM to 6:15:36 PM.                                                                                      
CHAIR SEEKINS  stated that the  problem relates to  the effective                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  referenced the  last page of  the House                                                               
version and recommended that the  staff draft a letter asking for                                                               
limited powers to change the  effective dates in Sections 34, 36,                                                               
and 37.                                                                                                                         
CHAIR SEEKINS  remarked the committee  would need  limited powers                                                               
of free conference to deal with effective dates.                                                                                
SENATOR GRETCHEN  GUESS asked why  the effective dates  needed to                                                               
be amended.                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  SEEKINS  responded  there   would  be  resistance  if  the                                                               
effective date for fraud were retroactive.                                                                                      
SENATOR GUESS observed that it was in the original bill.                                                                        
CHAIR SEEKINS reiterated there would be resistance.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  suggested that if you  were to contrast                                                               
all  the  dates  with  the  \L version  that  passed  the  Senate                                                               
Judiciary  Committee, you  would  find that  all  but the  actual                                                               
effective date on the final line  related to things put in by the                                                               
House and they weren't criminal.                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS  said the bill  the Senate  passed last year  had a                                                               
2005 effective date.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG responded  last  year was  2005 and  it                                                               
wouldn't have  been retroactive  because July  1 would  have been                                                               
after the Legislature adjourned.                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS  suggested the committee  would need  limited power                                                               
on just Section 36.                                                                                                             
6:19:04 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS responded he would prefer  to hedge the bet and ask                                                               
for limited power on all effective date sections.                                                                               
SENATOR  GUESS   agreed  then  said   discussion  of   the  fraud                                                               
perspective during the next meeting would be helpful.                                                                           
CHAIR SEEKINS  asked if any  other sections ought to  be included                                                               
in the request for limited free powers.                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE MCGUIRE  clarified that  the letter would  ask for                                                               
limited free  powers to address  the effective dates in  just the                                                               
particular sections.  The request does not  include discussion of                                                               
the sections themselves.                                                                                                        
SENATOR GUESS remarked that is an important clarification.                                                                      
SENATOR THERRIAULT agreed that covers the issues under                                                                          
6:20:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS asked for a motion.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG motioned to report to the Senate and                                                                   
the House the request for limited free conference powers on the                                                                 
effective dates only.                                                                                                           
CHAIR SEEKINS announced that without objection it was so                                                                        
SB 104 was held in Conference Committee.                                                                                        
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Seekins adjourned the meeting at 6:21:06 PM.                                                                            

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