Legislature(1995 - 1996)

05/06/1995 09:40 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                           May 6, 1995                                         
                            9:40 a.m.                                          
  SFC-95, #63, Side 2 (000-end)                                                
  SFC-95, #65, Side 1 (000-370)                                                
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
  Senator  Rick Halford,  Co-chair,  convened  the meeting  at                 
  approximately 9:40 a.m.                                                      
  In  addition  to  Co-chairman  Halford,  Senators  Phillips,                 
  Rieger, Sharp, and Zharoff were present.                                     
  ALSO ATTENDING:  Senator Taylor; Representative  Therriault;                 
  Former Senator Pat Pourchot, Legislative Director, Office of                 
  the Governor; Nico Bus, Acting Director, Division of Support                 
  Services,  Dept.  of  Natural  Resources;  Juanita  Hensley,                 
  Chief,  Driver  Services,  Dept.  of  Public  Safety;  Bruce                 
  Twomley, Chairman,  Limited Entry Commission,  Dept. of Fish                 
  and  Game;   Katherine  Buchanan,  aide   to  Representative                 
  Grussendorf;  Melinda Gruening,  aide to  Representative Joe                 
  Green; Daniella Loper,  aide to  Representative Porter;  and                 
  aides  to  committee  members  and   other  members  of  the                 
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
  SB 167 -  DAY FINES & INFO FOR COLLECTING FINES                              
            The bill continued  to be  held in a  subcommittee                 
            under  Senator  Rieger,  and  two  members of  his                 
            choosing, for work during the interim.                             
  HB  32 -  PFD ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS                                     
            Appearance  by  Melinda   Gruening  on  behalf  of                 
            Representative Green.   CSHB 32 (Fin) was REPORTED                 
            OUT of committee with a fiscal note from the Dept.                 
            of  Revenue  showing  zero  cost  and  revenue  of                 
  HB 107 -  RESTRICTED LIMITED ENTRY PERMITS                                   
            Discussion   with   Senator    Taylor,   Katherine                 
            Buchanan, and Bruce  Twomley.  CSHB 107  (FSH) was                 
            then REPORTED OUT of committee  with a zero fiscal                 
            note from the Dept. of Fish and Game.                              
  HB 159 -  DWI LAWS/ MINOR IN POSSESSION LAWS                                 
            Discussion was had with Daniella Loper and Juanita                 
            Hensley.  The  bill was held  in committee due  to                 
            concerns regarding  lack of a revenue  fiscal note                 
            and costs shown on the  Dept. of Corrections note.                 
            Co-chairman Halford directed that  the Legislative                 
            Finance Division review assumptions in all  fiscal                 
            notes   and   provide   information  on   revenues                 
            resulting from  increasing the  minimum fine  from                 
            $1,000 to $5,000.                                                  
  HB 191 -  MANAGEMENT OF STATE LAND AND RESOURCES                             
            Discussion was had with  Rep. Therriault and  Nico                 
            Bus.    The bill  was then  held in  committee for                 
            further  review of  repealing  language and  lease                 
  SENATE BILL NO. 167                                                          
       An Act relating to day  fines in certain criminal cases                 
       and release of  employment information  for use in  the                 
       collection of criminal judgments.                                       
  Co-chairman Halford inquired  concerning the status of  work                 
  on SB 167.  Senator  Rieger commented upon feedback received                 
  from the Council on Domestic  Violence and the Alaska  Court                 
  System and said  that agencies involved in the issue have no                 
  problem with additional  work being done during  the interim                 
  to  make  the bill  more meaningful.    The court  system is                 
  hesitant  to implement  the program as  presently envisioned                 
  since it does  not appear  to get to  the targeted  problem.                 
  Co-chairman Halford directed that SB 167 be held for interim                 
  work in a subcommittee chaired by Senator Rieger.                            
  CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 159(JUD)                                               
       An Act allowing a person under age 21 to be arrested by                 
       a   peace  officer  without   a  warrant   for  illegal                 
       possession,   consumption,   or  control   of  alcohol;                 
       relating to  the offenses of  driving while intoxicated                 
       and failure to submit  to a chemical test of  breath or                 
       blood; and providing for an effective date.                             
  Co-chairman Halford directed that CSHB  159 (Jud) be brought                 
  on for discussion.   DANIELLA LOPER, aide  to Representative                 
  Porter, came before  committee and  read from the  sponsor's                 
  statement (copy appended to these minutes).  She  noted that                 
  drunk driving remains a misdemeanor  in Alaska regardless of                 
  the number of  times an  individual is convicted.   At  some                 
  point repeat convictions  should constitute  a felony.   The                 
  proposed  bill would  provide  the  criminal justice  system                 
  tools to combat this crime by:                                               
       1.   Allowing  a peace  officer in any  municipality to                 
  arrest         without a warrant minors who drink alcohol.                   
       2.   Rendering drunk  driving  a felony  on  the  third                 
  offense        within a five-year period.                                    
       3.   Granting prosecution  ability to convict  based on                 
  prior          offenses of lower  blood alcohol levels  than                 
                 provided for in current statutes.                             
  The  provision  highlighted in  item  3, above,  would allow                 
  Alaska  to  take  into consideration  convictions  in  other                 
  states with lower blood alcohol standards when convicting an                 
  individual on the  third offense.   The proposed bill  would                 
  give Alaska  one of the  toughest drunk driving  statutes in                 
  the  nation.    Passage  would  send  a clear  message  that                 
  Alaskans will no longer tolerate persons who drive drunk.                    
  Senator Rieger asked  how the proposed bill  would mesh with                 
  earlier passed  legislation allowing peace  officers to take                 
  action without  a warrant  against juveniles  in possession.                 
  Ms. Loper  advised  that  prior  legislation  allowed  state                 
  troopers to take  action but did not allow municipalities to                 
  do so.  This bill makes that technical correction.                           
  Discussion  followed between  Senator Rieger  and Ms.  Loper                 
  regarding the  case in  Ketchikan giving  rise  to both  the                 
  proposed  bill  and  earlier  passed  legislation  regarding                 
  warrantless arrest of juveniles.                                             
  In response  to a  question from  Senator Zharoff  regarding                 
  infringement  on  individual  rights,   Ms.  Loper  directed                 
  attention to page 1,  line 8, and noted language  allowing a                 
  peace  officer to arrest  without a warrant  when an officer                 
  has  "reasonable  cause for  believing  that the  person has                 
  committed a  crime . . . ."   Senator Zharoff suggested that                 
  arrest would then be  based on the judgment of  the officer.                 
  Ms.  Loper  concurred, advising  that  that is  the  case in                 
  almost every crime.                                                          
  Senator  Zharoff  voiced  concern  regarding  potential  for                 
  harassment  of juveniles  by police  officers and  suggested                 
  that municipal liability  may occur.   Ms. Loper  reiterated                 
  that the standard  in the  proposed bill reflects  statutory                 
  practice since "the early 1960s."  Further discussion of the                 
  definition of "reasonable cause" followed.                                   
  Senator Rieger cited  statutory ability to arrest  without a                 
  warrant in cases  of stalking and suggested that  ability to                 
  make such  an arrest  usually involves  immediate danger  to                 
  another  person.    He  then noted  that  the  situation  is                 
  somewhat different when  applied to  a minor in  possession.                 
  He acknowledged that  the proposed bill is  less troublesome                 
  than earlier  passed legislation  in that  the instant  bill                 
  allows for warrantless arrest followed by the usual judicial                 
  process  while  the  earlier  bill allowed  for  warrantless                 
  arrest, conviction, and subsequent appeal of the conviction.                 
  Ms. Loper  next referenced  a memorandum  from the  district                 
  attorney  and   read  the  following  definition   of  minor                 
  consuming (AS 04.16.050) into the record:                                    
       A  person under  the age  of twenty-one  years may  not                 
       knowingly  consume,  possess,   or  control   alcoholic                 
       beverages furnished persons under 04.16.051(b).                         
  The  district  attorney  contends that  the  word  "possess"                 
  should  be interpreted to include possession by consumption.                 
  Two judicial officers  in the  First Judicial District  have                 
  ruled that it does not.  The court ruled that an officer who                 
  contacts a  minor under  the influence  of  alcohol may  not                 
  arrest the minor unless the  officer actually sees the minor                 
  consume the  alcohol, possess  the alcohol,  or control  the                 
  alcohol.  Merely being under the influence in  the officer's                 
  presence is not enough.   That is why  the proposed bill  is                 
  attempting to change current statutes.                                       
  Further  discussion followed regarding  the definition  of a                 
  class C  felony.  Ms.  Loper advised that  it is the  lowest                 
  class of felony.                                                             
  In response to a question  from Senator Zharoff, Co-chairman                 
  Halford  advised  that "this  area is  specifically exempted                 
  from the day fines original legislation."                                    
  Senator Rieger  referenced new language  in Sec. 9,  page 5,                 
  and  inquired concerning  punishment  under subsection  (q),                 
  noting  that it applies  in some cases but  not others.  Ms.                 
  Loper  explained  that subsection  (q)  establishes the  new                 
  conviction  upon  a  third  offense.     For  an  individual                 
  convicted  of  more   than  two  DWI  offenses,   the  third                 
  conviction will  become a class  C felony.   The perpetrator                 
  will spend 240 days in jail and will be subject to  a $5,000                 
  JUANITA HENSLEY, Chief of Driver Services, Division of Motor                 
  Vehicles,  Dept.  of  Public  Safety,  advised that  for  an                 
  individual arrested for a  subsequent drunk driving  offense                 
  within a preceding ten-year period,  present law applies and                 
  a  felony will  not be charged.   When  a third  DWI offense                 
  occurs within a five-year period, the perpetrator would fall                 
  under  new subsection (q)  provisions and a  felony would be                 
  Co-chairman  Halford asked  how the  cumulative fiscal  note                 
  cost of $1.8 million could be reduced.  Ms. Loper asked that                 
  in considering fiscal note  costs, members bear in mind  the                 
  cost of a life.  Senator  Rieger suggested that fiscal notes                 
  should show anticipated  revenue resulting  from the  higher                 
  fine associated with a class C felony.   Co-chairman Halford                 
  concurred.   Senator Sharp  observed that  new efforts  take                 
  time to implement.  Fiscal notes evidence addition of 16 new                 
  positions scattered  throughout four departments.   He  then                 
  questioned whether  costs set  forth on  fiscal notes  would                 
  actually accrue in the first year of operation.  Co-chairman                 
  Halford again concurred.                                                     
  In response  a question  from Senator  Rieger regarding  the                 
  levy of fines, Juanita Hensley  explained that the statutory                 
  fine schedule reflects a minimum fine.  At the present time,                 
  the court  can levy  a maximum  fine of  up to  $5,000 on  a                 
  misdemeanor drunk driving conviction.   The minimum fine for                 
  a third offense is  $1,000.  She then attested  to judgments                 
  on first offenses ranging  from $200 to $500.   When queried                 
  further by the Senator concerning changes under the proposed                 
  bill, Mrs. Hensley  advised, "In most  of these cases I  see                 
  the courts only  assessing a  minimum fine."   If a  minimum                 
  fine of  $5,000 for  third-offense felony  drunk driving  is                 
  established, the court will require "at least a $5,000 fine"                 
  for the offense.                                                             
  Discussion  of  the  number  of  arrests, prosecutions,  and                 
  convictions  followed.   Senator Rieger  suggested that  the                 
  bill should  generate approximately $300.0  in general  fund                 
  revenues.    Co-chairman  Halford suggested  that  at  a 50%                 
  collection  rate  the legislation  should  generate "half  a                 
  million dollars  .  . .  ."   He then  voiced  need for  the                 
  Legislative   Finance  Division   to   review  fiscal   note                 
  assumptions  and develop revenue  projections based  on both                 
  assumptions  and  fine  increases.    The  Co-chairman  then                 
  directed that the bill be held in  committee pending receipt                 
  of a fiscal  note reflecting anticipated revenues.   Senator                 
  Sharp also asked  that Legislative Finance review  the Dept.                 
  of Corrections fiscal note for possible reduction associated                 
  with implementation of the new effort.                                       
  HB 191                                                                       
  CS FOR SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 191(FIN)                        
       An Act relating to the management and disposal of state                 
       land and resources; relating  to certain remote  parcel                 
       and  homestead   entry  land  purchase   contracts  and                 
       patents; and providing for an effective date.                           
  Co-chairman Halford directed that CSSSHB 191(Fin) be brought                 
  on for  discussion.   REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT, sponsor  of                 
  the legislation, came  before committee.  He  explained that                 
  the proposed bill  reflects the  result of discussions  with                 
  staff from the  Dept. of Natural  Resource in the course  of                 
  subcommittee hearings on  the budget.   It contains  cleanup                 
  language  and  provisions   for  Title  38   developed  from                 
  legislation that died on  the floor of the House  during the                 
  final  days of  last  session.    Representative  Therriault                 
  explained that  in  an attempt  to  mitigate the  impact  of                 
  reduced funding, he  asked department  staff to "go  through                 
  their  statutes  [and]  determine  those  things  that  were                 
  outdated  or  just   flat  didn't  make  sense   any  more."                 
  Negotiations and  input  produced  the  current  bill  which                 
  cleans up language directing the agency to do things that no                 
  longer make sense.   An additional provision  deals with the                 
  land  swap  along  the   Glenn  Highway  to  Girdwood.     A                 
  controversial  section  dealing  with  mining  statutes  was                 
  removed from the bill and placed in separate legislation.                    
  In   response   to   a   question   from   Senator   Rieger,                 
  Representative  Therriault  explained  that  the  land  swap                 
  relates to right of way for a road project.                                  
  Responding to a question  from Co-chairman Halford regarding                 
  repeals within  Sec. 5, Representative  Therriault said that                 
  provisions therein would place the  land disposal program on                 
  the same footing  as other  natural resource sale  programs.                 
  Whether or not to submit a budget request each year would be                 
  discretionary rather than mandatory.   Each budget  proposal                 
  would be complete and would  request full funding needed  to                 
  get land disposals  ready for  sale, including access  roads                 
  and other capital improvements that might be required.                       
  Co-chairman Halford further inquired concerning recreational                 
  cabin-site leases  and  sales.    Representative  Therriault                 
  noted that the  current recreational cabin permit  has never                 
  been  utilized  because  it  is  not workable  as  presently                 
  structured.  The  new proposal is  for a five-year lease  at                 
  market value with a right of  renewal for an additional five                 
  years or outright purchase at fair market value.  The survey                 
  is paid for  by the purchaser.   In response  to a  question                 
  from  Senator  Phillips,  Representative Therriault  advised                 
  that fair market value  would be established at the  time of                 
  NICO BUS,  Legislative Liaison, Dept.  of Natural Resources,                 
  came before committee in response to a question from Senator                 
  Phillips.   He explained  that the lease  terms would depend                 
  upon  the  size of  the tract  of  land.   Billing  could be                 
  monthly, quarterly, or annually.   Further discussion of the                 
  operation of  the  lease program  followed.   Representative                 
  Therriault directed attention  to page 17, lines  23 through                 
  28, and noted provisions that a  lease not exceed five years                 
  with the right of an additional five-year extension.  At any                 
  time during the  lease, the lessee  may purchase the  remote                 
  cabin site by  conducting a  survey at that  time.   Senator                 
  Phillips  expressed  a  preference  for  front  loading  the                 
  program by  setting the purchase price at  initiation of the                 
  lease  and obtaining  that price  in five payments  over the                 
  term  of  the lease  with  the  possibility of  a  five-year                 
  extension of purchase  payments.  Representative  Therriault                 
  explained that  under present bill provisions, an individual                 
  could  enter a lease  and immediately move  into a purchase.                 
  There may be individuals who only wish to lease the property                 
  rather  than own  it.   The current  bill accommodates  both                 
  In   his   concluding  remarks,   Representative  Therriault                 
  referenced  the accompanying  positive  $225.0 fiscal  note.                 
  Co-chairman  Halford  expressed  concern  that the  positive                 
  revenue  "comes from not doing anything  because most of the                 
  `shalls' that apply  to the  commissioner, in existing  law,                 
  are changed to `mays'. . . "                                                 
  End:      SFC-95, #63, Side 2                                                
  Begin:    SFC-95, #65, Side 1                                                
  Co-chairman Halford referenced Sec.  24, relating to set-net                 
  leases, and noted that the program was designed to tie lease                 
  permits to nearby communities.  The proposed bill appears to                 
  repeal that condition.   He then noted repeal  of provisions                 
  relating   to   remote  parcels,   the   homestead  program,                 
  subdivision, etc., and advised of increasing discomfort with                 
  the bill.    Representative Therriault  suggested  that  Ron                 
  Swanson,  Director,  Division  of Lands,  Dept.  of  Natural                 
  Resource, be  asked to  come before  committee  to speak  to                 
  technical questions.   The  Co-chairman concurred.   Senator                 
  Zharoff also voiced concern regarding application of Sec. 24                 
  to Bristol Bay, where much traditional use of salmon occurs.                 
  Co-chairman  Halford  noted  that   some  of  the  mandatory                 
  provisions   within  Title   38   were  designed   to  force                 
  administrations  who  sought  to retain  all  land  in state                 
  ownership to do differently.  He then directed that the bill                 
  be held in committee for further review.                                     
  CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 32(FIN)                                                
       An Act relating to administrative proceedings involving                 
       a  determination  of eligibility  for a  permanent fund                 
       dividend or  authority to claim a dividend on behalf of                 
       another; and providing for an effective date.                           
  Co-chairman Halford directed  that CSHB 32 (Fin)  be brought                 
  on for discussion.  MELINDA GRUENING, aide to Representative                 
  Joe Green, came before committee.  Senator Rieger MOVED that                 
  CSHB  32   (Fin)   pass  from   committee  with   individual                 
  recommendations.  No  objection having been raised,  CSHB 32                 
  (Fin) was REPORTED OUT of committee  with a fiscal note from                 
  the  Dept.  of  Revenue showing  zero  cost  and  revenue of                 
  $121.8.   Co-chairmen Halford  and Frank  and Senator  Sharp                 
  signed the committee report with a "do pass" recommendation.                 
  Senators  Phillips,   Rieger,   and   Zharoff   signed   "no                 
  CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 107(FSH)                                               
       An  Act relating  to restrictions  attached  to certain                 
       commercial fisheries limited entry permits.                             
  Co-chairman Halford directed that CSHB  107 (FSH) be brought                 
  on for discussion.   SENATOR  TAYLOR came forward,  directed                 
  attention to SCS CSHB 107  (Res), and explained that changes                 
  therein  would  result  in  a  title change  and  subsequent                 
  debate.    He  suggested  that  the  bill  is  of sufficient                 
  importance  that consideration should  revert to the version                 
  transmitted by the House.                                                    
  Senator Taylor  acknowledged that problems with  the present                 
  limited  entry  system should  be  addressed.   However, the                 
  proposed bill is not  the vehicle in which to do  so.  If it                 
  is not possible  to act  on the House  bill, Senator  Taylor                 
  suggested a two-year extension of  the moratorium to prevent                 
  depletion of the  resource by "outside  boats."  That  could                 
  occur  since  the original  moratorium  is in  its wind-down                 
  year, and  open season on  entry into the  dungeness fishery                 
  would result if something is not passed this year.                           
  Co-chairman Halford voiced interest in ensuring that permits                 
  are not transferable.  Prior  discussion indicates that such                 
  action  is  too  late in  coming.    While  permit entry  to                 
  individual fisheries is acceptable, transfer of permits  for                 
  money is wrong.                                                              
  KATHERINE BUCHANAN, aide to Representative Grussendorf, came                 
  before  committee.   She  explained  that the  original bill                 
  would allow the limited entry commission  to use "a few more                 
  tools  to decide how to  limit the entry . .  . ."  Original                 
  limited entry provisions  were for salmon.  The crab fishery                 
  is different.  The proposed  bill would allow the commission                 
  to base  the limited entry permit on the past number of pots                 
  fished, if it chose to do so.                                                
  BRUCE TWOMLEY, Limited  Entry Commission, Dept. of  Fish and                 
  Game, came before  committee.   He explained  that the  bill                 
  only applies to fisheries not yet  limited.  The net fishery                 
  would  not  be impacted.   In  response  to a  question from                 
  Senator Rieger, Mr.  Twomley explained  that all net  salmon                 
  fisheries  are  100%  limited.   He  acknowledged  that some                 
  herring  and  other  species  are  not under  limited  entry                 
  Responding  to  a  further comment  by  Senator  Rieger, Mr.                 
  Twomley  said  that  the commission  has  no  authority over                 
  halibut, advising, "The  feds have  captured that through  a                 
  treaty entered  some  time  ago."    The  proposed  bill  is                 
  directed to a  specific fishery  with an existing  deadline.                 
  The  Southeast  dungeness  fishery  is  under  a  moratorium                 
  authorized  by  legislation.    The  moratorium  expires  in                 
  January.   A dungeness  fleet  is poised  outside of  Alaska                 
  ready to take advantage of the  opening unless the state can                 
  follow through with a plan.   The proposed bill represents a                 
  plan and "something near a consensus" that members of fleet,                 
  bureaucrats, and  legislators have  been able  to work  out.                 
  This  solution   would  maintain  controls   and  avoid  the                 
  threatened invasion.                                                         
  Ms. Buchanan explained that the  Senate Resources version of                 
  the bill would allow  permits to be stacked.   An individual                 
  fisherman  issued a 50-pot  permit could purchase additional                 
  permits  up  to  a  300-pot  maximum.   Co-chairman  Halford                 
  reiterated that  the change necessitated  a title  amendment                 
  and suggested that need for new title language be avoided at                 
  this late stage of the session.                                              
  Senator Rieger asked  if the limited entry  commission would                 
  support the  change within  SCS CSHB  107 (Res)  had it  not                 
  necessitated a title change.  Mr. Twomley explained that the                 
  commission  did not  oppose the  change nor would  it oppose                 
  deletion.   Of primary interest  is the bill  transmitted by                 
  the House.                                                                   
  Further  discussion  of  the  reach  of the  Senate  version                 
  Senator   Zharoff   inquired  concerning   additional  tools                 
  provided  to the  commission  by  the  proposed bill.    Mr.                 
  Twomley  referenced  ability to  limit  growth in  fisheries                 
  which  are  not  now  limited.   He  spoke  specifically  to                 
  fisheries consisting of a large variety of people fishing at                 
  different  levels of participation  and cited  the Southeast                 
  dungeness fishery as an example.                                             
  In response to  an additional question from  Senator Zharoff                 
  concerning  public input,  Mr. Twomley assured  that maximum                 
  public input would  be guaranteed under  existing law.   Any                 
  proposal would have to be put  before the public and proceed                 
  through the "entire process."                                                
  Senator Zharoff asked if the bill would impact sea urchin or                 
  sea cucumber fisheries.  Mr.  Twomley acknowledged that both                 
  the House and Senate versions could encompass those areas.                   
  Discussion followed  between Senator Rieger and  Mr. Twomley                 
  regarding limited entry permit transfer procedures and  laws                 
  governing  transfer.    Mr.  Twomley  said that  Alaska  law                 
  generally controls because transfer does  not occur until or                 
  unless the limited  entry commission approves the  transfer.                 
  He acknowledged limited intrusion of federal law.                            
  Senator Zharoff  MOVED for  passage of  CSHB 107 (FSH)  with                 
  individual recommendations and the accompanying zero  fiscal                 
  note.  No objection  having been raised, CSHB 107  (FSH) was                 
  REPORTED OUT of committee  with a zero fiscal note  from the                 
  Dept. of Fish and Game.   Senator Rieger and Senator Zharoff                 
  signed the committee report with a "do pass" recommendation.                 
  Co-chairman  Halford and Senators  Phillips and Sharp signed                 
  "no recommendation."                                                         
  Co-chairman  Halford  announced that  the  meeting  would be                 
  recessed at this time prior to commencement of work on HB 78                 
  and HB 217.  The meeting was recessed at approximately 10:55                 
  a.m. and scheduled to reconvene at 12:30 p.m.                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects