Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/30/1995 09:15 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                         March 30, 1995                                        
                            9:15 a.m.                                          
  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.                                                      
  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.                         
       SB  80 MUNICIPAL POLICE SERVICES                                        
       Senator  Rieger   gave  testimony   to  Amendment   #2.                 
  Amendment #2                                                                 
       was  ADOPTED.    CSSB  80  (FIN)  was  REPORTED  OUT of                 
       with "other recommendations" and a  zero fiscal note by                 
       Dept. of Public Safety (Troopers).                                      
       SB  88 PILOT PROGRAM FOR CHARTER SCHOOLS                                
       Sheila  Peterson,  testified  in   support  of  SB  88.                 
  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                 
       $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                 
  The  amendment  will  be adopted  into  a  Finance Committee                 
  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                 
       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                 
  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                 
  The meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:00 a.m.                        

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