Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/21/1995 09:15 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                         MARCH 21, 1995                                        
                            9:15 a.m.                                          
  SFC-95, #16, Side 1 (000-575)                                                
  SFC-95, #18, Side 1 (000-575)                                                
  SFC-95, #18, Side 2 (576-600)                                                
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
  Senator  Rick  Halford, Co-chair,  convened  the  meeting at                 
  approximately 9:15 a.m.                                                      
  Co-chair Halford, Senators Phillips,  Rieger, and Sharp were                 
  present.  Senator  Donley joined  shortly after the  meeting                 
  began.    Co-chair  Frank  joined  as  the  meeting  was  in                 
  progress.  Senator Zharoff was not in attendance.                            
  Also  Attending:    Senator Miller,  Representative  Toohey,                 
  Margot Knuth,  Department of Law,  Criminal Section;  Sharon                 
  Barton,  Department  of  Administration;   Juanita  Hensley,                 
  Department Public  Safety, Driver Services;  Dennis Poshard,                 
  Director, Charitable Gaming Division; Mike Greany, Director,                 
  Legislative Finance; Pam Neal,  Alaska Chamber of  Commerce;                 
  Marveen Coggins, Legislative Aide to  Rep. Toohey; and Bryce                 
  Edgmon, Legislative Aide to Rep. Foster.                                     
       SB  92 AHFC SUBJECT TO EXEC. BUDGET ACT                                 
       Discussion  was  had  with  Representative  Toohey  and                 
  Sharon          Barton.  HB 92 was REPORTED OUT of committee                 
  with a "do                                                                   
       pass" recommendation and a $170.6 fiscal note from the                  
       Department of Administration.                                           
       HB 146 SLED DOG RACE CLASSIC                                            
       Discussion was  had with Bryce  Edgmon, Dennis Poshard,                 
       Pam  Neal,  regarding  CSHB  146  (L&C)  am.    Further                 
  discussion        will be taken up next week.                                
       HB  21 DRIVER'S LIC REVOCATION;ALCOHOL/DRUGS                            
       Discussion was  had with Senator  Miller, Rep.  Toohey,                 
       Coggins, Margot  Knuth, and  Juanita Hensley  regarding                 
  CSHB 21      (FIN).  Further discussion will be taken  up at                 
  the next           meeting 3/22/95.                                          
       SB  82 DRIVER'S LIC REVOCATION;ALCOHOL/DRUGS                            
       This bill is closely associated with HB 21.  Discussion                 
  and       action centers on HB  21.  There was no discussion                 
  on this         bill.                                                        
       HOUSE BILL NO. 92                                                       
       "An Act extending the termination date of the Citizens'                 
  Review      Panel for Permanency Planning; and providing for                 
  an effective      date."                                                     
  Co-chair Halford  invited Representative Toohey to  join the                 
  committee.    Representative   Toohey  presented   testimony                 
  regarding HB 92.  (Testimony is attached.)                                   
  Senator Rieger asked if the Citizens Review Panel is active.                 
  Marveen Coggins, Legislative Aide to  Rep. Toohey noted that                 
  the Permanency  Planning Panel  and the  Foster Care  Review                 
  Panel are one in the same.  The formal name is the Citizen's                 
  Review Panel for Permanency Planning (CRPPP).                                
  Co-chair   Halford   invited   Sharon   Barton,   Dept.   of                 
  Administration, to join the committee.  Ms. Barton testified                 
  that since December of 1994, she has supervised the CRPPP in                 
  Anchorage.  She pointed out the zero fiscal note emphasizing                 
  the  money  for  this  function has  been  included  in  the                 
  governor's amended budget.                                                   
  Co-chair Halford read a statement  from the OMB instructions                 
  on   fiscal  notes.  "Please   remember  that  fiscal  notes                 
  extending an entity  under sunset review should  display the                 
  ongoing  cost  of  operations  and  any  associated   review                 
  generated by  the passage of the sunset  legislation.  These                 
  types of fiscal notes  should be footnoted to indicate  that                 
  the  expenditures  are contained  in the  proposed operating                 
  budget, and that the  revenues are reflected in  the revenue                 
  projection."  He  noted that this  is current as of  January                 
  20th of this  year, consistent with the statute.  He pointed                 
  out that there does need to be  a fiscal note.  It does need                 
  to note that the money is in the budget.                                     
  Ms.  Barton  said that  a  fiscal  note of  $170.6  had been                 
  submitted with the bill.   House Finance replaced it  with a                 
  zero fiscal  note. She  noted that  the department  would be                 
  happy to resubmit a fiscal note.  Co-chair Halford responded                 
  that as  long as the  fiscal note meets  the law, and  OMB's                 
  guidelines  follow  the law,  the  Senate and  House Finance                 
  Committees  can  zero  it  out.    The  Committees  must  be                 
  presented with the  actual cost before a  conscious decision                 
  to zero it out can be made.                                                  
  Discussion  was  had  regarding the  amount  of  $170.6. Ms.                 
  Barton stated that it  pays for salaries for 3  staff people                 
  who:  research  and organize  the  cases; distribute  to the                 
  panels;  recruit   the  volunteer  panels;   facilitate  the                 
  meetings with families;  search out family members  who need                 
  to  be in attendance at  those meetings; and coordinate with                 
  the Public Defender Agency, Public  Advocacy Staff, DFYS and                 
  others involved  in  the reviews.    Hundreds of  hours  are                 
  donated,  but it  requires the staff  to make  them function                 
  Senator  Sharp  inquired  if  these  employees  are  of  the                 
  Department  of Administration.   Ms.  Barton indicated  they                 
  are.  Senator  Sharp asked  further about the  $170.6.   She                 
  indicated  that $1.0  is allocated  for travel,  recognizing                 
  that  supervision  comes  out of  Juneau,  making  travel to                 
  Anchorage  a couple times  a year necessary.  Leasing is now                 
  required for the CRPPP as they are needing their own space.                  
  Co-chair Halford asked  if the  amount of $170.6  is in  the                 
  Ms. Barton indicated that it is.   It was not in the  Hickel                 
  budget, it is an add-on by Governor Knowles.  She noted that                 
  it was funded at $104.6 in FY 95.   At that level it did not                 
  fund a staff  of three.  She  indicated that in order  to be                 
  minimally functional, they must have a staff of three.                       
  Co-chair Halford indicated  that the  House took the  fiscal                 
  note and zeroed it out saying it was in the budget. He noted                 
  that this was  not a  consistent policy.   Co-chair  Halford                 
  made it  clear to the  sponsor, that the  bill would  have a                 
  better chance of being  funded as a fiscal note  rather than                 
  through the budget.                                                          
  Co-chair  Frank MOVED for  passage of HB  92 with individual                 
  recommendations.  No objection having been raised, HB 92 was                 
  REPORTED OUT of committee  with the original fiscal note  of                 
  $170.6  from  the Department  of  Administration.   Co-chair                 
  Halford asked Senator  Phillips to  research the funding  to                 
  bring before  the  conference committee  for final  decision                 
       HOUSE BILL NO. 146                                                      
       "An Act relating to sled dog race classics."                            
  Co-chair Halford  introduced Bryce Edgmon,  Legislative Aide                 
  to  Representative Foster.  Mr. Edgmon testified on CSHB 146                 
  (L&C) am.                                                                    
  He cited SB  66 as a cross-reference.  HB 146 was amended on                 
  the House floor to address concerns of  legislators from the                 
  interior.   He indicated that the change to the bill was the                 
  removal of the words, "sled dog  race classics". This is the                 
  gaming term that was  originally used.  He noted,  "sled dog                 
  race  classics"  was removed  and "mushing  sweepstakes" was                 
  added.  He said that there are smaller mushing organizations                 
  that do conduct raffle  activity and use the term  "sled dog                 
  race  classics".    He stressed  that  had  legislation gone                 
  through in its  current form with "sled  dog race classics",                 
  it  would  have  given Iditarod  Trail  Committee  exclusive                 
  authority to use that term.  That caused some of the smaller                 
  racing organizations concern  which subsequently led to  the                 
  bill being amended on the House floor.                                       
  Senator  Phillips  questioned  why   the  title  is  mushing                 
  sweepstakes  instead  of  mushing  classics?    Mr.   Edgmon                 
  responded that a generic term was picked.  He indicated that                 
  the term "sweepstakes" was favored.  Discussion was had with                 
  regard to the title.                                                         
  Senator Donley asked  why the Iditarod Trail  Committee make                 
  the  decisions?    Mr.  Edgmon   responded  that  there  are                 
  differing interpretations on language.   The attempt in this                 
  legislation is to place in the statutes the authority to the                 
  trail committee to  allow for game activities, and  wager on                 
  arrival times, check points and finish line into Nome.                       
  Senator  Donley  asked  to  explore  the  trail  committee's                 
  authority.    Mr.  Edgmon  responded  that  right  now,  the                 
  statutory authority allows  for wagering on the  racing time                 
  of a dog team or of a team position in the race.  This  bill                 
  would allow for  the wagering  of the  arrival times,  check                 
  points, and finish line of the Iditrod.                                      
  Co-chair   Halford   invited   Dennis   Poshard,   Director,                 
  Charitable  Gaming  Division,  to  the  table.  Mr.  Poshard                 
  responded  to  Senator  Donley's  question  by  stating that                 
  Statute  AS  05.15.690(11),  under  the  definition  of  dog                 
  mushers  contest,  states: "A  contest  in which  prizes are                 
  awarded  for the correct guess  of the racing  time of a dog                 
  team or of  team position in  the race, including prizes  to                 
  the race contestants."                                                       
  Senator  Donley stated  that he  voted against  this  in the                 
  past.  His concern  is that unlike the other  classics, this                 
  one  is ripe for  potential abuse.   He suggested provisions                 
  for safeguards.   His other objection  to this bill is  that                 
  there are no funds collected to pay for the safeguards.  Mr.                 
  Poshard mentioned that there is a 1% tax that all permittees                 
  pay on gaming proceeds paid annually  to the division.  Pull                 
  Tabs have, in addition to the 1% tax, a 3% tax assessed when                 
  they are purchased from the distributor.                                     
  Co-chair  Halford  asked what  is  the difference  between a                 
  mushing sweepstakes and a dog mushers contest?   Mr. Poshard                 
  responded that  according to the Department of  Law, and the                 
  Division's  interpretation  of  the statutes,  there  is  no                 
  difference.   At this  time, this  type of  gaming could  be                 
  conducted  under  the  current  provision   of  dog  mushers                 
  contests.   Mr. Edgmon mentioned that  there are small scale                 
  gaming activities similar to what this bill would authorize,                 
  but at this  point it has never  been conducted on  a state-                 
  wide  level.    The  department  does not  have  regulations                 
  pertaining  to  what  is  legal.     From  the  department's                 
  viewpoint, there is  potential for differing  interpretation                 
  of the language.   It is envisioned that the  Iditarod Trail                 
  Committee will be doing the game  activity in a large scale.                 
  Co-chair Halford  questioned how the  department would  deal                 
  with  the concerns that Senator  Donley raised?  Mr. Poshard                 
  responded  that  it would  be  the  same method  being  used                 
  currently to  oversee dog  mushers contests  as they  exist.                 
  Discussion  was  had  on   the  concerns  centering   around                 
  safeguards for  potential  abuse of  the contests.  Co-chair                 
  Halford suggested a regulatory  structure for the department                 
  along with a fiscal note if necessary, to provide the safety                 
  required for the contests.                                                   
  Senator Donley suggested a higher tax rate for gambling.  He                 
  stated that gambling  is exempt from equal  protection under                 
  the United States Constitution.   Co-chair Halford said that                 
  with this particular bill the only  game you could tax would                 
  be the Iditarod, and he could not support it.                                
  Co-chair Halford invited Pam Neal, President, Alaska Chamber                 
  of  Commerce, to join the table.   She stated her support of                 
  the  legislation.  The Chamber's interest is that we've been                 
  concerned  about the continued  funding capabilities  of the                 
  Iditarod.  The  Iditarod Committee raised their  concerns on                 
  funding with the board of directors  of the state chamber of                 
  commerce,  at the  legislative priority  setting session  in                 
  December.  At  that time Ms.  Neal stated that the  Board of                 
  Directors  rejected  the  legislation  proposed  because  it                 
  contained the check-off  on the  permanent fund, along  with                 
  other  issues.  The  committee  subsequently  reworded   the                 
  resolution.  The  Chamber's interest is  to find a path  for                 
  supporting sled dog racing.                                                  
  Senator Donley asked if the Chamber had solutions to prevent                 
  abuses?  Ms.   Neal  indicated  it  was  not   a  matter  of                 
  discussion.    The  focus was  on  funding.    She indicated                 
  however,  the  Chamber  would support  safeguarding  against                 
  Co-chair Halford asked that the department work with Senator                 
  Rieger  to  provide  a  safety   measure  that  will  insure                 
  safeguarding the games.   He  suggests that the  legislation                 
  stay within the title.                                                       
  Co-chair Halford  said that this  will be held  in committee                 
  under "bills  previously heard"  and address  it again  next                 
       HOUSE BILL NO. 21                                                       
       "An Act relating  to revocation  of a driver's  license                 
  for             illegal  possession or  use of a  controlled                 
  substance or illegal          possession  or consumption  of                 
  alcohol by a person at  least 13        but not yet 21 years                 
  of age; and providing for an effective       date."                          
       SENATE BILL NO. 82                                                      
       "An Act relating  to revocation  of a driver's  license                 
  for             illegal  possession or  use of a  controlled                 
  substance or illegal          possession  or consumption  of                 
  alcohol by  a person at least 13        but not yet 21 years                 
  of age; and providing for an effective       date."                          
  Co-chair Halford took up  HB 21 which is the  companion bill                 
  to SB 82.   He invited Marveen Coggins, Legislative  Aide to                 
  Representative  Toohey  to  join  the  table.   Ms.  Coggins                 
  testified in support of HB 21.  (Testimony is attached.)                     
  Subsequently,  Co-chair  Halford  asked  Senator Miller,  as                 
  sponsor of  SB 82, to  speak to HB  21.  Senator  Miller, as                 
  representative  of District Q, stated that SB 82 "relates to                 
  revocation of a  driver's license for illegal  possession or                 
  use  of  a  controlled substance  or  illegal  possession or                 
  consumption of alcohol  by a person at least 13  but not yet                 
  21 years  of age".  SB  82 does not relate to  firearms.  In                 
  his investigation,  the only difference is that most of this                 
  activity happens  in the  city of  Anchorage.   The city  of                 
  Fairbanks,  unlike  the  testimony that  was  given, changes                 
  under state statute because they do  not have their own city                 
  ordinance regarding minor consumption.  The vast majority is                 
  under the  Anchorage law. As  a matter of fact,  over 50% of                 
  the cases which relate to minors and alcohol does come under                 
  this  statute rather  than state law.  It has shown  to be a                 
  strong deterrent to  teenage drinking  and drug use  because                 
  they  can identify  with  loosing  their  driver's  license.                 
  It'll be  the committee's  decision to  decide upon  firearm                 
  Co-chair Halford questioned  municipal ordinances  regarding                 
  firearm provisions.   Senator Donley  agreed to the  concern                 
  and  talked  about  the  general  conformity   of  municipal                 
  ordinances with state law.  He inquired as to the provisions                 
  within this legislation that require the municipal ordinance                 
  to be substantially similar  to the state law?   Further, he                 
  noted an incidence where state and municipal law were not in                 
  agreement.  He  cited  an incidence  involving  the  city of                 
  Anchorage.  Municipal law  has made it illegal for  women to                 
  carry mace in their  purses.  This action made  it necessary                 
  for the Legislature to legislate a  statute to make it legal                 
  for  people  to  carry  defensive weapons.    He  stated  he                 
  supported   this   legislation,   but    wanted   parameters                 
  surrounding the  kinds of ordinances they can  adopt to make                 
  it apply.                                                                    
  Discussion  was  had  on  alcohol  related  violations,  and                 
  firearm  violations  pertaining  to the  revocation  of  the                 
  driver's license.                                                            
  Co-chair Halford asked that Margot Knuth, Department of Law,                 
  Criminal Section, and Juanita Hensley,  Department of Public                 
  Safety, Driver Services, to join the committee.                              
  Ms. Knuth, noted that there is a difference between what the                 
  department is doing with  "Use it/Loose it" for  alcohol and                 
  firearms.    The  difference which  applies  to  firearms in                 
  section   28.15.185,   requires   a  court   conviction   or                 
  adjudication for the  offense.  She suggested  the committee                 
  consider changing  words on page  3, line 25,  "or municipal                 
  ordinance...",   to   read,   "with  substantially   similar                 
  elements", it would maintain the intent of the bill.                         
  Senator Rieger asked if the language in sections 1 and 2 was                 
  as clear as in section 5?   Ms. Knuth responded that the way                 
  the  draft  reads, each  of the  places  where it  says, "or                 
  municipal  ordinance" does tie back to either the alcohol or                 
  controlled  substance  section and  adds  or extends  it for                 
  those violations.                                                            
  Senator Rieger asked for clarity on the draft language.  Ms.                 
  Knuth answered that if there is an ambiguity in the statute,                 
  it  always gets held against the state.  She stated that the                 
  language does require the  citation be for the  offense that                 
  is the focus  of these proceedings.   She stated that  there                 
  are  provisions  that  require  the  factual basis  for  the                 
  citation.   It would be very  difficult to say, "here is the                 
  factual basis for the conduct", and "here is a citation that                 
  does not relate to it".  Senator Rieger stated his fear of a                 
  presumption of guilt until innocent. He noted that with this                 
  legislation,  the  police  officer  can  take  the  driver's                 
  license before  the adjudication  or conviction.   The  only                 
  protection  for  the victim  is  through the  request  of an                 
  administrative  review.   There  is  a presumption  of guilt                 
  based on  probable  cause.    Ms.  Knuth  disagrees  with  a                 
  presumption of guilt.   When charged with a criminal offense                 
  and a trial  is set,  it indicates respect  for the  charge.                 
  She stated that there is an ability to request a hearing  at                 
  which the defendant asks the  state to prove its case.   The                 
  defendant does  not have to make an affirmative showing that                 
  they  were  not  drinking,  the   burden  remains  with  the                 
  government  to  show that  there was  a violation.   Anytime                 
  there are charges, there  is enough from the charge  to keep                 
  the  proceedings  going   along  and   to  hold  a   factual                 
  adjudication.  There is the option to choose a hearing, that                 
  is a right.                                                                  
  Senator Rieger asked if there is  an adjudication is there a                 
  conviction?    Ms. Knuth  stated  that adjudications  do not                 
  result in convictions.  He asked how to satisfy the language                 
  on page 4, lines 3-9.  He  asked if not convicted because it                 
  was not in adjudication then nothing is done under paragraph                 
  2?  Ms. Knuth responded to start on page 3, lines  28-31. In                 
  speaking  to  a  juvenile adjudication,  the  language,  "if                 
  convicted", should also  be read to  include, "adjudicated".                 
  Otherwise,  there is a  situation where the  license is lost                 
  because  of  adjudication  for  an  offense  and  cannot  be                 
  restored unless convicted of the offense, which the law does                 
  not intend.                                                                  
  Senator  Rieger  expressed  his  concerns  with  small  town                 
  convictions and revocation of driver's  licenses.  Ms. Knuth                 
  defined "probable  cause" as  evidence that  uncontroverted,                 
  would lead a  reasonable person to believe  that the offense                 
  was committed beyond reasonable doubt. Discussion was had on                 
  "probably cause".                                                            
  Co-chair Halford determined that this  bill will be first on                 
  the agenda tomorrow.   He  stated that the  fiscal note  and                 
  Letter of Intent do not make sense as they read.  The Letter                 
  of Intent may be applying to last years revenue.                             
  The meeting was adjourned at approximately 11:00 a.m.                        

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