Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/17/1995 03:05 PM CRA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE March 17, 1995 3:05 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator John Torgerson, Chairman Senator Randy Phillips, Vice Chairman Senator Tim Kelly Senator Lyman Hoffman MEMBERS ABSENT Senator Fred Zharoff COMMITTEE CALENDAR SENATE BILL NO. 87 "An Act relating to community local options for control of alcoholic beverages; relating to the control of alcoholic beverages; relating to the definition of 'alcoholic beverage'; relating to purchase and sale of alcoholic beverages; relating to alcohol server education courses; and providing for an effective date." SENATE BILL NO. 96 "An Act relating to municipal activities or services mandated by state statute." PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION SB 87 - See Community & Regional Affairs minutes dated 3/8/95. SB 96 - See Community & Regional Affairs minutes dated 3/8/95. WITNESS REGISTER Joe Ambrose, Staff to Senator Robin Taylor State Capitol Juneau, AK 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Spoke to amendment to CSSB 87(CRA) Mayor Don Long City of Barrow P.O. Box 629 Barrow, AK 99723 POSITION STATEMENT: Supports CSSB 87(CRA) Mayor George Ahmaogak North Slope Borough P.O. Box 69 Barrow, AK 99723 POSITION STATEMENT: Supports CSSB 87(CRA) Tom Nicholas P.O. Box 385 Barrow, AK 99723 POSITION STATEMENT: Spoke to concerns on CSSB 87(CRA) James Wood, Captain North Slop Borough Dept. of Public Safety P.O. Box 470 Barrow, AK 99723 POSITION STATEMENT: Suggested amending CSSB 87(CRA) Teresa Williams, Assistant Attorney General Department of Law 1031 W. 4th Ave., Suite 200 Anchorage, AK 99501-1994 POSITION STATEMENT: Suggested technical amendment to CSSB 87(CRA) ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 95-7, SIDE A Number 001 SCRA - 3/17/95 CHAIRMAN TORGERSON called the Senate Community & Regional Affairs Committee meeting to order at 3:05 p.m. He announced that due to the lengthy floor session, which shortened the length of the committee meeting, SB 96 (UNFUNDED MANDATES ON MUNICIPALITIES) would be held over to the March 22 meeting. SCRA - 3/17/95 SB 87 ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES: LOCAL OPTION & MISC. SENATOR TORGERSON brought CSSB 87(CRA) (ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES: LOCAL OPTION & MISC.) back before the committee and stated testimony would be taken over the teleconference network. Number 013 MAYOR DON LONG, Barrow, speaking to the committee substitute, said the addition of a new subsection (g) to AS 04.11.507 will clarify the procedures to follow when competing petitions are being circulated. The new subsection will help communities deal with these competing interests in an organized and orderly manner. Mayor Long also spoke in support of the transition section, which, he said, is necessary to make sure that the ballot language of all future elections meets the requirements of this legislation. He pointed out that with the new transition section, the outstanding petitions would be void and sponsors could circulate new petitions with the new language. Number 080 MAYOR GEORGE AHMAOGAK, North Slope Borough, said the decision made by the people of Barrow on October 4, 1994, to go from damp status to dry status was not an easy decision for the people to make, and it should not be an easy decision to vote it back down either. Mayor Ahmaogak spoke to the positive effects of that community going dry such as: alcohol-related incidents handled by the Department of Public Safety have fallen by approximately 90 percent; teachers have noticed that some of their students are a lot more attentive than before; employers have experienced less absenteeism on the part of their employees; and vandalism of private property is down. Even villages outside of Barrow have benefited from its going to a dry status. Mayor Ahmaogak urged that the legislation include a two-year moratorium after a local option election establishes a dry community before a new election could be held. He also requested that the section be retroactive to July 1994. Number 185 SENATOR HOFFMAN expressed concern with a two-year moratorium after the vote, especially when it is a close vote, and if an initiative in another area might fail if people knew there was going to be that two-year moratorium. He suggested that perhaps there could be a one-year or two-year moratorium option that could be selected by the community when an election is held. MAYOR AHMAOGAK said he thought the people in his area would support the two-year moratorium since they have seen the positive effects of communities like Barrow going dry. Number 230 TOM NICHOLAS, Barrow, commented that regardless if it is a one- year, two-year, or five year moratorium, to make it fair to both sides and that everybody be treated equal no matter what side of the issue they are on. Mr. Nicholas referred to Section 2 of the bill and said he believes it is unfair to set limits on the amount of alcohol that can be possessed for an individual to be charged with presumption of sale. He also voiced concern with the amount of alcoholic beverages that can be shipped to a purchaser. He would like to see Section 27, which relates to procedures for local option elections, clarified and brought into alignment with state law. In Section 45, which relates to the type of alcoholic beverage container that may be possessed in the municipality, he suggested adding wording that would define a size of a container. Number 300 JAMES WOOD, Captain of the North Slope Borough Department of Public Safety, said many communities throughout Alaska have banned the importation, sale and possession of alcoholic beverages. However, language in neither the law, as written, nor the law, as proposed, is sufficient to convey public condemnation, to positively deter violators, or to facilitate positive enforcement or timely justice. Mr. Wood said a major impediment is the manner in which the possession of alcoholic beverages in local option communities is treated. Although importation or sale of alcoholic beverages in local option communities are crimes, possession of alcoholic beverages in local option communities is a non-crime. Mr. Wood contended that the possession of alcoholic beverages in a local option community is a crime, and he suggested amending AS 04.16.200 subsection (e) on page 23 to include the following parenthetical: "(e) A person who sends, transports, or brings alcoholic beverages into [ , or who possesses an alcoholic beverage within ] a municipality or established village in violation of AS 04.11.499 is, upon conviction guilty of..." Mr. Wood also requested that the committee consider including in the law the same mandatory penalties, perhaps coupled with substance abuse treatment and counseling programs, as are provided for the crime of driving while intoxicated. He said the serious implications of the illicit possession of alcoholic beverages in defiance of local option poses the same unjustifiable, unpredictable risks of death or serious injury as do drunk drivers. Number 356 REX OKAKOK, SR., Barrow, testified in support of the legislation and Mayor Ahmaogak's suggestion of including a two-year moratorium. He also asked that the committee consider hearing from the elders in his community. He added that the elders and some other people in the community often need translators in order to testify, and, given the opportunity, they would have a lot more elders and people testifying on behalf of the bill. He also requested that the committee seriously consider the cultural differences when dealing with these kinds of local options. Number 385 TERESA WILLIAMS, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law, Anchorage, referred to page 28, line 9, and explained that change was made by Pat Sharrock in response to a request by the mayor of Nome. There was concern that young people were going into establishments with containers that were disguised as non-alcoholic containers, i.e., containers that looked like pop cans, etc. Ms. Williams directed to page 4, line 17, and suggested changing it to read "each subsequent application to renew the license, a licensee..." Number 400 JOE AMBROSE agreed that the change to page 4, line 17, was a drafting error and was a technical change that could be made. He then directed attention to a proposed amendment which, he said, answers the concerns raised by Mayor Long in his initial testimony. It clarifies the procedures to follow when competing petitions are being circulated, as well as adding a transition section to ensure that the ballot language of all future elections meets the requirements of this legislation. Another part of the amendment deletes language on page 31, lines 3 - 6 that was of concern last year when the legislation was on the Senate floor, and it will maintain the status quo as provided in statute right now. The amendment does not address the two-year moratorium question. Number 442 SENATOR HOFFMAN commented that if there was a choice of a one-year moratorium or a two-year moratorium, then the community can decide which one they think would be sellable. JOE AMBROSE pointed out it could be a problem because they don't automatically vote again in 12 months. It is just that somebody can't bring a petition again for 12 months. He questioned how it could be worded because it doesn't mean that a community is going to have an election every 12 months. Number 472 SENATOR KELLY moved adoption of the following amendment including the technical change to page 4, line 17 to the draft CSSB 887(CRA): AMENDMENT #1 Page 21, after line 10: Insert a new subsection to read: "(g) Notwithstanding AS 29.26.140(a), after a petition has been certified as sufficient to meet the requirements of (b) or (c) of this section, another petition may not be filed or certified until after the question presented in the first petition has been voted on. Only one local option question may be presented in an election." Page 31: Delete lines 3 - 6 and insert the following in its place: "that does not contain any part of an incorporated city or another established village" Page 33, after line 28: Insert a new bill section to read: "*Sec. 65. TRANSITION: EXITING LOCAL OPTION PETITIONS. A petition to adopt or remove a local option on file with a municipality or the lieutenant governor on the effective date of this section that has not been voted on is void and may not be placed on an election ballot." Renumber the following bill sections accordingly. Page 34, line 22: Delete "71" and insert "72" Page 34, line 31: Delete "68 and 70" and insert "69 and 71" Hearing no objection, SENATOR TORGERSON stated Amendment No 1 was adopted and would be incorporated into the draft committee substitute. Number 500 SENATOR HOFFMAN directed attention to a proposed amendment that addresses his concern of clubs such as VFW's in damp communities being allowed to leave ice machines, glasses, pop, etc., on the premises when there is a function where alcoholic beverages are brought in to the facility. It also requires that a club, corporation, or association would have to be in existence for two years prior to a vote to go damp, so there wouldn't be the formation of additional clubs, etc. He said the amendment would make the operation of the functions of the VFW's and other organizations in damp communities legal. He then moved adoption of the following amendment: AMENDMENT #2 Page 21, after line 24: Insert a new bill section to read: *Sec. 29. AS 04.16.090(a) is amended to read: (a) A person many not maintain a place in which alcohol beverages are received or kept, or to which alcoholic beverages are brought, for consumption by members of the public or by members of a club, corporation, or association [,] unless the person is (1) in an area that has prohibited the sale of an alcoholic beverage under AS 04.11.490 and the place is a club, corporation, or association that was in existence at least two years before the prohibition against the sale of an alcoholic beverage under AS 04.11.490 was adopted; or (2) authorized to do so under this title." Renumber the following bill sections accordingly. Page 33, line 9: Delete "sec. 69"" and insert "sec. 70" Page 33, line 17: Delete "sec. 29" and insert "sec. 30" Page 33, line 18: Delete "66 and 68" and insert "67 and 69" Hearing no objection, SENATOR TORGERSON stated Amendment No. 2 was adopted. Number 520 SENATOR R. PHILLIPS said one year is not enough time to really see the effects of a community going dry, or, even if there isn't a prohibition, it is still not enough time to see the negative or positive effects. He suggested having an 18-month moratorium before a proposition whether to go dry, wet, damp, etc. could be brought up at the next election. He then moved adoption of the following amendment: Amendment No. 3 Page 21, line 9: Change "12-month period" to "18-month period" Hearing no objection, SENATOR TORGERSON stated Amendment No. 3 was adopted. There being no further amendments to CSSB 87(CRA), SENATOR TORGERSON asked for the will of the committee. Number 535 SENATOR R. PHILLIPS moved that CSSB 87(CRA), as amended, and the accompanying fiscal note be passed out of committee with individual recommendations. Hearing no objection, it was so ordered. There being no further business to come before the committee, the meeting was adjourned at 3:45 p.m.