Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/30/1995 09:15 AM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
MINUTES SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE March 30, 1995 9:15 a.m. TAPES SFC-95, #24, Side 2 (576-end) SFC-95, #26, Side 1 (000-010) CALL TO ORDER Senator Rick Halford, Co-chair, convened the meeting at approximately 9:15 a.m. PRESENT Co-chair Halford and Senators Donley, Rieger, Sharp and Zharoff were present. Co-chair Frank and Senator Phillips arrived shortly after the meeting began. Also Attending: Sheila Peterson, Special Assistant, Dept. of Education; Juanita Hensley, Chief, Dept. of Public Safety; and Joe Ambrose, Legislative Aide to Senator Taylor. SUMMARY SB 80 MUNICIPAL POLICE SERVICES Senator Rieger gave testimony to Amendment #2. Amendment #2 was ADOPTED. CSSB 80 (FIN) was REPORTED OUT of committee with "other recommendations" and a zero fiscal note by the Dept. of Public Safety (Troopers). SB 88 PILOT PROGRAM FOR CHARTER SCHOOLS Sheila Peterson, testified in support of SB 88. Amendment OUT of committee with a "do pass" recommendation and $2.0 fiscal note from the Dept. of Education. SB 6 LICENSING/REGISTRATION SUSPENSION/DENIAL Joe Ambrose and Juanita Hensley spoke to SB 6. ADOPTED working draft 9LS0091/F and REPORTED OUT CSSB6 (FIN) with "other recommendations" and the following fiscal notes: Dept. of Public Safety (Troopers) -0-; Alaska Court System $7.2; Dept. of Public Safety (Dept. of Motor Vehicles) $114.6; and Corrections $38.0. SENATE BILL NO. 80 "An Act relating to police protection service areas in unified municipalities; and to police protection provided by the state in certain municipal areas." Senator Rieger brought forward Amendment #2, which pertains to the unified municipalities, with an excess of 50,000 residents. Senator Donley stated that he supported the fact that it was not discriminatory dependent on the size of the community. He felt it equalized the inequity. Senator Rieger stated that it is a valid point. Much of what Senator Donley expressed was discussed with the unified municipality qualification. Senator Rieger MOVED to adopt Amendment #2. No further objection having been raised, Amendment #2 was ADOPTED. The amendment will be adopted into a Finance Committee Substitute. Co-chair Halford questioned if an area that already is a police service area, within a municipality, could contract with the state troopers. Senator Rieger responded that an area such as that does not have the authority to detach from another service that they are using. The bill does not address issues of detachment. Senator Rieger MOVED for passage of CSSB 80(FIN) with individual recommendations. No objection having been raised, CSSB 80(FIN) was REPORTED OUT of committee with individual recommendations and a zero fiscal note from the Dept. of Public Safety, Troopers. Co- chair Frank and Senator Rieger recommended "do pass". Senators Phillips, Donley, Zharoff, and Sharp signed "other recommendations". SENATE BILL NO. 88 "An Act establishing a pilot program for charter schools; and providing for an effective date." Senator Sharp stated that the issue of charter schools was discussed during the last two years. Last year, SB 61 pertained to charter schools, which in all aspects was an omnibus education bill. The issues within the bill were controversial and diverse. SB 88 is a single issue bill on charter schools. The goal and tone is to set as few limitations as possible in setting up and operating charter schools. It will allow school districts, teachers and parents the space to be creative. It allows the charter schools to use existing school facilities, new facilities and/or the option of leasing other buildings within the community that meets code requirements for schools. A geographical allocation has been done to assure fairness statewide for this pilot proposal. All charter school proposals will be submitted to the local school board for consideration. Upon approval, the proposal will be forwarded to the Commissioner, Department of Education, for review and compliance to state law. All staffing of charter schools must be done on a volunteer basis, with the principal or administrator having the right of final approval of all staff selection. By challenging students to achieve their highest capabilities, providing opportunities for the teachers to be challenged, and encouraging parent involvement, Senator Sharp recommends charter schools as leading the way to a more effective education. This bill would be sunset in l0 years. He urged the members to look favorably to this legislation. Senator Sharp MOVED to pass Amendment #1. With no objection being heard Amendment #1 was ADOPTED. Sheila Peterson, Special Assistant to the Department of Education stated that the Board of Education did vote in support of SB 88. The State Board and Dept of Education supports both Amendments #1 and #2. Senator Sharp MOVED to pass Amendment #2. With no objection being heard Amendment #2 was ADOPTED. Ms. Peterson stated that the maximum number of charter schools running at any one time is 40. She stated that the bill has the charter school in operation for 5 years. The applications will come in over time as each school district examines the legislation, and considers the alternatives. Independently, school districts will be setting up their proposals at different times. The State Board will be receiving the proposals as separate entities, and will make a determination based on the educationally sound proposal that is given. She emphasized that SB 88 does set up guidelines for geographical differences statewide so that any one area of the state will not have an advantage over another area within the state. Senator Sharp MOVED CSSB 88 (FIN) out of committee with individual recommendations, and an accompanying fiscal note of $2.0 for the Department of Education. No objection having been raised CSSB 88 (FIN) was REPORTED OUT of committee. Co-chairs Halford and Frank and Senators Rieger, Phillips, and Sharp recommended "do pass". Senators Zharoff and Donley signed "other recommendations". SENATE BILL NO. 6 "An Act relating to registration of a motor vehicle and suspension of a driver's license for failure to appear in court or failure to pay a fine." Joe Ambrose, Legislative Aid to Senator Taylor, in responding to the wishes of the committee, spoke to the current work draft CSSB 6, draft number #L0091/F, with a fiscal note of $38.0 from the Dept. of Corrections. The work draft changes the title, and includes additional language. Senator Donley stated that the costs of $25 for court, and $10 for collection seems low compared to actual costs. Senator Phillips asked that the bill be redefined since there have been several changes. Mr. Ambrose briefly covered each section of the bill and explained the changes made. He pointed out that in Section 1, there is intent language that says, "It is the intent of the legislature that after a person has made a required court appearance or paid a fine required by the court, that any driver's license suspension imposed by the court be terminated as quickly as possible." Discussion revolved around the Anchorage Parking Authority and the practice of issuing citations for parking violations. The APA cites under municipal ordinance for failing to follow state law. The APA fine is $75 and follows a different procedure. Senator Donley suggested that the middle ground to solving this procedure is to regulate the fine imposed by the APA to 50%, or some percentage, of the state fine. Senator Phillips said the state issues the license plates and registration, so therefore it should be a state responsibility to enforce those laws. The APA enforces the parking in Anchorage. They want to expand their authority to include other non-moving violations. The question is, does the legislature give them that authority? Co-chair Halford said, they have that authority now. Senator Donley supports the portion of the bill that says the municipality must use the same appeals process that the state uses. He cited the difference between being cited by the state and the municipality. Co-chair Halford invited Juanita Hensley, Dept. of Motor Vehicles. She stated that the Anchorage Parking Authority (APA) by issuing the citation has a compliance standard, higher than in other areas of the state. Mr. Ambrose read a letter from the Mayor of Anchorage, dated March 24th, "By not allowing parking code enforcement officers to cite registration on parked vehicles, the bill would put us in the position of either not enforcing the 35,000 registration violations we currently cite per year, or having the police department provide that enforcement. Senator Sharp stated that the complaints are coming from people who not only did register their vehicles, but mistakingly placed the sticker in the wrong place or on the wrong plate, and therefore obtained a fine. Ms. Hensley stated that in 1987, this legislature passed a law that allowed a municipality to set their own fines, and to collect those fines for revenue for that municipality. Currently, the cities of Fairbanks, Anchorage, Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan, write their own traffic citations under their own city ordinances. The state does not see the money from the fines. If they contest the citation, it goes to court, and the court keeps a portion of it and remits the remaining to the city. Senator Phillips MOVED to adopt CSSB 6(FIN), version L0091\F. No objection having been heard, it was ADOPTED. Senator Rieger answered Senator Zharoff's question stating that AS 43 23 065 is the statute which exempts a portion of the permanent fund dividend from attachment, except for specific exemptions. Senator Rieger MOVED for passage of CSSB 6 (FIN) with individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes. No objection having been heard CSSB 6 (FIN) was REPORTED OUT of committee with the following fiscal notes: Dept. of Public Safety, Troopers, zero; Alaska Court System, $7.2; Dept. of Public Safety, Dept. of Motor Vehicles, $114.6; and Dept. of Corrections $38.0. Co-chair Frank and Senators Phillips and Donley recommended "do pass". Co-chair Halford and Senators Rieger, Zharoff, and Sharp signed "other recommendations". ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:00 a.m.