Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/01/1993 09:10 AM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
MINUTES SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE March 1, 1993 9:10 a.m. TAPES SFC-93, #32, Side 1 SFC-93, #32, Side 2 CALL TO ORDER Senator Drue Pearce, Co-chair, convened the meeting at approximately 9:10 a.m. PRESENT In addition to Co-chairs Pearce and Frank, Senators Kelly, Kerttula and Sharp were present. Senators Jacko and Rieger were not present. ALSO ATTENDING: Senator Rick Halford, sponsor of SB 19; Dean J. Guaneli, Chief, Criminal Division, Department of Law; Teresa Sager-Stancliff, Aide to Senator Mike Miller, sponsor of SB 46; Dave Kellyhouse, Director, Division of Wildlife Conservation, Department of Fish and Game; Doug Welton, himself; Janice Adair, Asst. Commissioner, Chief Administrative Officer, Legislative Contact, Department of Environmental Conservation; Brook Miles, Alaska Public Offices Commission; Cindy Roberts, Special Assistant, Department of Commerce and Economic Development; Josh Fink, Aide to Senator Tim Kelly; Brooke Miles, Administrator, Alaska Public Offices Commission, Department of Administration; C.E. Swackhammer, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Public Safety; Mike Greany, Director, and Karen Rehfeld, Fiscal Analyst, and other analysts, Legislative Finance Division; and aides to committee members. SUMMARY INFORMATION CSSB 19(JUD): An Act relating to the crime of conspiracy. Testimony was heard by Senator Halford, sponsor of SB 19, and Dean Guaneli, Chief, Department of Law. The bill was HELD in committee pending submission of new language by Dean Guaneli and Senators Kelly and Halford. SB 46: An Act authorizing moose farming. Testimony was heard by Teresa Sager- Stancliff, Aide to Sen. Mike Miller, sponsor of SB 46; Dave Kellyhouse, Director, Division of Wildlife Conservation, Department of Fish and Game; Doug Welton, testified on behalf of himself; and Janice Adair, Asst. Commissioner, Chief Administrative Officer, Legislative Contact, Department of Environmental Conservation. The bill was HELD in committee pending definition of "surplus" moose. SB 49: An Act relating to preelection reports; closing the two-day reporting gap in those reports; setting the date of February 15 for filing year-end campaign finance reports; and requiring reporting of zero year-end reports. Discussion was had by Senator Kelly and Brook Miles, Alaska Public Offices Commission. SB 49 was REPORTED OUT of committee with a "do pass" and with a zero fiscal note for Alaska Public Offices Commission, Department of Administration. Co-chairs Pearce and Frank, Senators Kelly and Sharp signed a "do pass." Senator Kerttula signed a "no recommendation." CO-CHAIR DRUE PEARCE announced that three bills were before the committee. She said she was not aware of any amendments to SB 19, Crime of Conspiracy. She informed the committee that there was a new CS for SB 46, Authorize Moose Farming, and her intent was to hold this bill in committee. She asked the committee to pass SB 49, Year-End Campaign Finance Reports, out of committee. CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 19(JUD): An Act relating to the crime of conspiracy. Co-chair Pearce announced that CSSB 19 was before the committee and invited Senator Rick Halford, sponsor of the bill, to join the committee at the table. She asked Senator Halford to speak to the fiscal notes as well as giving an overview of the bill. SENATOR RICK HALFORD stated that a similar bill to SB 19 had passed the Senate in the 1992 legislative session. He said that SB 19 recognizes the crime of conspiracy and makes the penalty one step down from the commission of that crime. He said that Alaska was one of the few states that did not have conspiracy legislation. He directed attention to the zero fiscal notes for the Department of Law and Department of Public Safety. The Court System shows a fiscal note of $121.1, and Department of Corrections, $365.0. He observed that the two highest fiscal notes, totaling almost $1M, were for the Office of Public Advocacy at $513.0, and the Public Defender Agency showing $402.6. He felt the two high fiscal notes were unrealistic, and reflected the departments' disapproval of the legislation. He asked the committee to consider the reasoning of the Department of Law that said more cases could be settled with a conspiracy statute in place than might be settled otherwise. SENATOR JAY KERTTULA pointed out that the zero fiscal note by the Department of Law conversely showed its support of CSSB 19. He suspected that there would be some cost to the Department of Law. He supported any statute that would increase the chance of convicting felons and other criminals. He asked Senator Halford to speak to the fact that nationwide, the conspiracy statutes have been used extensively to convict white collar criminals. Senator Halford said that last session the House had made an effort to broaden the conspiracy bill to include other crimes. He maintained that CSSB 19 only dealt with serious felony offenses. In answer to Co-chair Frank, Senator Halford defined a "serious felony offense" as an offense "...against a person under AS 11.41, punishable as an unclassified or class A felony," such as murder, rape, kidnapping, "or involving controlled substances under AS 11.71, punishable as an unclassified, class A, or class B felony," such as trafficking drugs. DEAN J. GUANELI, Chief, Criminal Division, Department of Law, spoke to class B felonies in connection with controlled substances. He said the primary offense under this statute was the sale of cocaine. A class A felony was primarily the sale of heroin, and unclassified drug offenses targeted large drug rings, and the sale of heroin and cocaine to minors. In answer to Co-chair Frank, Mr. Guaneli said, under current Alaska law, criminal liability can attach to a person that pulls the trigger, or to someone who aids and abets that person, or to a person that attempts that crime. He said what is missing in Alaska law, that exists in most other states, is the ability to attach criminal liability when two people get together to plan a felony, and begin to carry it out. He explained that the theory underlying conspiracy was that it is important to stop an offense such as contract murder, early in the planning stages. The other theory is that when two people get together to plan a crime, it is more likely that it will happen. He admitted, that within Alaska, other theories of criminal liability, aiding and abetting, soliciting, overlap to some extent. But he felt there are particular circumstances involving criminal organizations and drug rings where the only way to reach a criminal is through a conspiracy law. Co-chair Frank asked how many additional situations would CSSB 19 create where the Department of Law would make arrests, and/or take to court individuals, and how that was reflected in the zero fiscal note. Mr. Guaneli said that there were very few cases where conspiracy would be the only crime charged. The conspiracy offense would almost always be combined with other more serious offenses. The conspiracy offense, being a lesser offense, could be used to plea bargain, for example, to facilitate testimony, or if there is not enough evidence to hold the individual on the more serious offense, conspiracy would be the only remaining offense. SENATOR TIM KELLY had noticed on the Judiciary Committee Report that two senators had recommended "do pass" with amendments. He asked what those amendments were. Senator Halford said that the amendments were similar to ones added last session to the House conspiracy bill. One amendment said that an individual who was originally involved in the conspiracy, but after alerting the police, could return as an undercover agent in that conspiracy, and would not be charged in the conspiracy. Another amendment said the individual had to agree to, take action, and communicate about the crime, in order to be charged. Another question was whether a law enforcement officer could be involved in the beginning of a conspiracy. Senator Kerttula agreed that someone in the law enforcement agency might initiate a crime and that could become part of a conspiracy. In which case, nothing would have ever happened if it had not been initiated in the first place. He pointed out that CSSB 19 would increase the cost for the entire justice system, and quoted from the backup for the Department of Law's fiscal note. Mr. Guaneli said conspiracy laws formerly introduced had a much broader range. Senator Kerttula asked Mr. Guaneli if he had enough funding to run the Department of Law. Mr. Guaneli said that any agency could use more money, and this year there was a small increase in the Governor's funding this year. Mr. Guaneli noted that CSSB 19 was directed at serious offenses. He stated that a directive would be issued to all law enforcement agencies that it not their responsibility to file charges involving conspiracy. After a careful review of the evidence, prosecutors would make the decision to charge an individual with a conspiracy. He assured the committee that he would not be coming back to the legislature asking for additional funding if CSSB 19 passed. Senator Kerttula said that it was his long experience that the present administration's attitude toward certain legislation may change drastically in ten years or less, and could run off in another direction without controls of some kind in place. Co-chair Frank asked how CSSB 19 would be limited to the Department of Law. Mr. Guaneli said even though the police would have the authority to file a conspiracy complaint in court, the Department of Law would discourage it. He said that Department of Law would insist that conspiracy charges would originate in the Department of Law. Co-chair Frank asked if the Department of Law would like to see wording to that effect in CSSB 19. Mr. Guaneli said he felt that would not be necessary. He proposed that the state troopers and the larger police agencies would cooperate in this area. Discussion followed between Senators Kelly, Kerttula and Mr. Guaneli regarding language in the bill speaking to a conspiracy charge not being initiated by an undercover or law enforcement authority. Mr. Guaneli felt that the entrapment laws took care of that concern. Senator Kerttula proposed that a letter of intent be added to CSSB 19. Co- chair Pearce agreed to work with Senator Kerttula on language for a letter of intent. Co-chair Frank related his concern that this law would increase the number of individuals jailed and length of sentences, which in turn would raise Department of Corrections' costs. Mr. Guaneli said that CSSB 19 was amended in Senate Judiciary Committee to say that proof beyond a reasonable doubt of intent to facilitate a particular crime, an agreement between two parties to carry it out, and an overt act in order to charge an individual of conspiracy. Included in that amendment was a definition of an overt act. He concluded that in the terms of the elements that have to be proven, it showed that it was an act that should have been stopped. Senator Kelly suggested that the letter of intent state that CSSB 19 was not meant to get around the entrapment statute. Co-chair Pearce asked Senators Kelly, Kerttula, Halford, and Mr. Guaneli to draft a letter of intent for CSSB 19 . With no further testimony to be heard, Co-chair Pearce announced that CSSB 19 would be HELD in committee and heard again on Wednesday, March 3, 1993. SENATE BILL NO. 46: An Act authorizing moose farming. Co-chair Pearce announced that SB 46 was before the committee. Co-chair Frank MOVED for adoption of the work draft CSSB 46 dated February 26, 1993. No objections having been raised, CSSB 46 was ADOPTED for discussion purposes. Co-chair Pearce invited Teresa Sager-Stancliff, Aide to Senator Mike Miller, sponsor of SB 46, to join members at the committee table and speak to the changes in the CS for SB 46. TERESA SAGER-STANCLIFF, aide to Senator Mike Miller, said the CS gave several state agencies regulatory authority over moose farming. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) would be given the authority to promote and develop moose farming, and regulate it as it does domestic livestock. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) would also be given the authority to regulate moose farming as it does domestic livestock. That would mean DEC would be authorized to visit and inspect moose farms for experiments, provide care and breeding disease prevention, and certify that a facility would be able to prevent disease transmission from captive moose to wild moose or other wild animals, and from captive livestock to other domestic livestock. It would also give the Department of Fish and Game (DF&G) the authority to require certain provisions of a moose facility. DF&G would require a certificate from DEC on disease prevention and transmission, ear tattooing and an ear tag for identification. It would require escape-proof and entry-proof fencing, and notification of birth, sale, slaughter, escape and death of a captive moose. The applicant would have to agree to pay for a necropsy when a captive moose dies to determine the cause of death, and be required to notify DF&G if a wild animal enters the moose farming facility within 24-hours of the entry. The facility would have to register their moose with all three agencies, DEC, DF&G, and DNR. She said the importation of moose for moose farming purposes, and raising moose and domestic livestock on the same facility would be prohibited. She informed the committee that the two amendments being proposed were agreed to by Senator Mike Miller, sponsor of SB 46. In answer to Senator Kerttula, Ms. Sager-Stancliff said that the way CSSB 46 was presently written, domestic livestock and moose would not be allowed in the same facility. Senator Kerttula advised that brucellosis was a very dangerous and easily transmitted disease between domestic and wild animals, and this disease alone made him cautious about domesticating moose. Ms. Sager Stancliff agreed that was also a concern of Senator Miller's. End SFC-93 #32, Side 1 Begin SFC-93 #32, Side 2 DAVE KELLYHOUSE, Director, Division of Wildlife Conservation, Department of Fish and Game, thanked Senator Miller for including language that addressed DF&G's concerns regarding moose farming. He said that a new fiscal note had not been prepared for CSSB 46. He said that if the legislature and its constituents believe that the potential benefits of moose farming are great enough to offset the concerns and problems foreseen by DF&G, then he recommended the state proceed cautiously. He offered a conceptual alternative to CSSB 46 that would provide for a well-funded pilot project jointly administered by DF&G, DEC and DNR over the next five years. He suggested five years because in that time a moose could mature and reproduce, and monitoring could be done of the operation and procedures could be developed to safeguard Alaska's wildlife resource. He proposed that Alaska's wildlife was worth over a $100M in hunting alone plus hundreds of millions in tourist dollars. He said that whatever approach the legislature would take regarding moose farming, DF&G should be given regulatory authority along with DNR and DEC. He stated that DF&G had over 20 years experience for captive moose in the state. He reiterated that the potential for disease transmission to animals and humans, and the potential for poaching, are real concerns that must be dealt with if SB 46 was to pass. Co-chair Pearce questioned DF&G's request for a 5-year pilot project. She felt that DF&G already had spent 30 years on a pilot project at the moose research center, and questions should have been answered there. She said she was tired of DF&G saying no in a new way. Senator Kerttula said that money had been funded to visit a large Scandinavian moose facility. His opinion was that questions could be answered by investigating existing facilities. He said his main concerns were biological, and cost to the state in the enforcement of new regulations for moose facilities. In answer to Co-chair Pearce's request, Mr. Kelleyhouse agreed to have a new fiscal note and position paper from DF&G ready for the next committee meeting. Senator Kerttula asked DF&G to speak to his suggestion that information regarding moose farming was readily available from other facilities. Mr. Kelleyhouse said that Dr. Chuck Swartz, senior research biologist at the moose research center, had contacted all the game farm operations in North America and also one in the Soviet Union. He said the information Dr. Swartz had gathered has been the basis of DF&G testimony for the last two years. He said Dr. Swartz was developing a manuscript on moose farming, and it should be available within two weeks. Mr. Kelleyhouse explained that what he meant by a pilot program in earlier testimony was that DF&G would work with private enterprise at a moose facility. Senator Kerttula asked if DF&G felt that it would take another five years of research at a facility or does DF&G have enough information at this time. Mr. Kelleyhouse said he believed that moose farming would not be commercially viable in Alaska, and there were other problems too. He said the DF&G research and information has been collected in other jurisdictions and situations. If moose farming is going to proceed in Alaska under Alaskan situations, other questions would have to be answered such as, availability of feed, transportation corridors, etc. But he stated that DF&G would be willing to work with DEC and DNR in that regard. JANICE ADAIR, Assistant Commissioner, Chief Administrative Officer, Legislative Contact, Department of Environmental Conservation, said that DEC did not have any problems with SB 46. She pointed out that DEC has a meat and poultry inspection program, and within that program, employs a state veterinarian, Dr. Bert Gore. She quoted from Dr. Gore's letter which addresses disease transmission, dated February 25, 1993 (copy on file). She read, "Confined animals have difficulty transmitting disease to wildlife or other animals if there is no contact. Disease could only be transmitted from confined animals to others using a vector or intermediate host," such as a flea. "To date I am not aware of any vectors, i.e., flies, ticks, or snails, in Alaska which have been incriminated in disease transmission in livestock" with the exception of dogs and cats who "do get tapeworms from shrews, rabbits and some fleas." She also said that Dr. Gore, because of research information available, supported the farming of indigenous species in Alaska. Senator Kerttula said that he disagreed with Dr. Gore in his evaluation of disease transmission. He said a vector did not have to be involved in disease transmission. He said it could simply be a dog that went under a fence and had contact with an animal, or simply an animal that stepped in infected fecal matter. He warned that it was a dangerous situation and not to be taken lightly. Co-chair Pearce asked Cindy Roberts, Special Assistant, Department of Commerce and Economic Development, if she wished to testify. CINDY ROBERTS answered that the Department of Commerce and Economic Development was in support of SB 46, and directed the committee's attention to a position paper by the Department in their files. Co-chair Pearce invited Doug Welton to join the committee at the table. Since Mr. Welton had testified before in support of SB 46, she asked him to confine his testimony to the changes to SB 46. DOUG WELTON, testifying for himself, said that for five years he had been working on legislation to approve moose farming. He felt a key to passing SB 46 was defining the word "surplus." He said that all over Alaska moose were being killed by cars and the railroad. He felt that if individuals were allowed to salvage some of the "surplus" or orphaned moose, and relocated them to a farm, it would provide an opportunity for tourism and education. He was grateful that DF&G, for the first time, had offered their support to private moose enterprise. He felt DF&G had been studying moose for years. Mr. Welton admitted that moose had been found to be one of the most uneconomical animals to raise because of their peculiarities and need for large tracts of land. He agreed that anyone looking at moose farming would have to have other financial support. His idea was to develop a milk, yogurt and cheese market, and hoped someday, to have a small moose herd to pass on to his children. He said that raising moose gave him great pleasure, and he saw advantages to moose farming other than economical. In answer to Senator Kelly, Mr. Welton said he would keep his butchering operation separate from the tourist attraction. Mr. Welton said he would keep all the cows, but relocate any that he was unable to financially or physically care for. He said bulls would be butchered at around 18 months. His experience showed that hand raised moose were able to be bred at 18 months rather than three years. He said he would raise some of the moose as pets and some as livestock. Co-chair Frank directed attention to amendment #1 for SB 46 which changed the language on page 5, line 18 and 19, that said "on the same facility" to read "in the same fenced area." Co-chair Frank then MOVED for adoption of amendment ADOPTED for incorporation within a Finance Committee Substitute for SB 46. Senator Sharp directed attention to amendment #2 for SB 46 on page 3, which said that the moose farm would provide safe facilities for the veterinarian and the animals when required inspections were performed. Senator Sharp then MOVED for adoption of amendment #2. No objection having been raised, the amendment was ADOPTED for incorporation within a Finance Committee Substitute for SB 46. Co-Chair Pearce asked if Senator Miller's intent was to define the word "surplus." Ms. Sager-Stancliff said that Senator Miller had considered an amendment addressing orphan moose. Discussion followed between Senator Kerttula and Ms. Sager-Stancliff regarding orphan moose, and if orphan moose could be considered "surplus." Co-chair Pearce announced that CSSB 46(FIN) would be held in committee and heard again on Wednesday, March 3, 1993. SENATE BILL NO. 49: An Act relating to preelection reports; closing the two-day reporting gap in those reports; setting the date of February 15 for filing year-end campaign finance reports; and requiring reporting of zero year-end reports. Co-chair Pearce invited Senator Kelly, sponsor of SB 49, to speak to the bill. He said the major provisions of the bill would close a two day loophole, and make some changes to the campaign reporting laws. JOSH FINK, aid to Senator Kelly, said that SB 49 would change the deadline for the year end reports from December 31 to February 15. Currently, APOC does accept reports by January 15 but February 15 is a more practical date. The scope of the year end report would change making it easier to read and understand, and the filing of zero year end reports would become mandatory. Mr. Fink explained that APOC then could monitor the filing of those reports and levy fines on those who do not file. BROOKE MILES, Administrator, Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC), Department of Administration, spoke in support of SB 49. She said the bill accomplishes some housekeeping that APOC has supported for the last twelve years. She said that closing the two-day gap in the reporting period was very important because 24-hour reporting is required when a candidate receives a contribution over $250. Because of the existing gap of two days, candidates can now receive contributions over $250 during the two days, and the public is not aware of it until after the election. Senator Kelly MOVED for passage of SB 49 from committee with accompanying fiscal notes. No objections having been raised, SB 49 was REPORTED OUT of committee with a zero fiscal note for the Department of Administration, Alaska Public Offices Commission. Co-chairs Pearce and Frank, Senators Kelly and Sharp signed the committee report with a "do pass" recommendation. Senator Kerttula signed a "no recommendation." Senators Jacko and Rieger were absent and did not sign. ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:30 a.m.