Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/22/1996 09:20 AM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
MINUTES SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE 22 March 1996 9:20 A.M. TAPES SFC-96, #47, Sides 1 & 2 SFC-96, #48, Side 1 CALL TO ORDER Senator Rick Halford, Co-chairman, convened the meeting at approximately 9:20 A.M. PRESENT In addition to Co-chairman Halford, co-chairman Frank, Senators Phillips, Donley, Rieger and Zharoff were present when the meeting was convened. Senator Sharp arrived later. Also Attending: Mr. Chris Christensen, General Counsel, Judicial Branch, Alaska Court System; Senator Lyda Green; Mr. Brett Huber, aide to Senator Green; Mr. David Schwantes, ret., NEA; Lt. Chris Stockard, Department of Public Safety; Jayne Andreen, Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault; Mr. Ed Viscardi, NEA; Kimberly Homme, Special Assistant to the Commissioner, Department of Education; Kathryn Daughhetee, Fiscal Analyst, Legislative Finance Division; and aides to committee members. SUMMARY INFORMATION 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." Testimony was given regarding the bill by Senator Rieger. Senator Rieger moved amendment #1 and without objection it was adopted. Senator Donley had objection to amendment #2 and it was held. Mr. Chris Christensen, General Counsel, Judicial Branch, Alaska Court System testified before the committee. Co-chairman Halford noted the matter needed further discussion and therefore SB 167 was HELD in committee. CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 177(JUD) "An Act relating to permits to carry concealed handguns." Testimony was given by the sponsor of the bill, Senator Lyda Green and her aide, Mr. Brett Huber. Mr. Huber reviewed all sections of the bill for the committee. Senator Donley moved amendment #1 and without objection it was adopted. Senator Frank moved amendment #2 and without objection it was adopted. Senator Donley moved that in Sec. 3, page 2, line 25 the House version (HB0338b), page 2, line 2 beginning with the word "the..." and ending with the word "possession" on line 4 be added and without objection it was adopted. Senator Donley moved in Section 7, page 4, line 19 delete "11.06.484(a)(1), (2), or (7)", line 22 delete "[11.56.545,]", line 23 delete "[, 11.56.805]" and leave line 24 as is and without objection it was adopted. The following individuals testified before the committee: Mr. David Schwantes, ret., NEA; Lt. Chris Stockard, Department of Public Safety; Jayne Andreen, Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault; Mr. Ed Viscardi, NEA; and Kimberly Homme, Special Assistant to the Commissioner, Department of Education. The bill was HELD in committee pending further action. 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." Senator Rieger said he did not notice that additional crimes could be included in the day fine. The problem with the bill was the treatment of misdemeanants in general. In Alaska misdemeanants are not going to jail. This bill will not relieve prison overcrowding. He introduced two amendments that were recommendations. Amendment #1 makes it the same calculation for daily income for all individuals. Amendment #2 sets day fine minimum not below $40 nor above $4,000. Co-chairman Halford asked if that was a combined total or was it by the day? Senator Rieger said points are assigned for various crimes which are multiplied by the calculation of daily income. Co-chairman Halford said he would like to see the upper limit a little higher. Senator Rieger said crimes against individuals are excluded from day fine. These are misdemeanors. Senator Frank asked what were the crimes. Senator Rieger said they were driving in violation of an instruction permit, fraudulent use of a credit card, concealment of merchandise, contempt of court, petroleum discharge without a discharge contingency plan, interference of constitutional rights, operating a commercial vehicle or being off duty while in possession of alcohol or controlled substance, leaving the scene of an injury accident. Senator Frank asked about the $4,000 maximum. Co-chairman Halford said the fine was based on one's net income. $4,000 is the total fine. Senator Donley asked about the $4,000 cap. Senator Rieger said there should not be a range that is greater than a factor of 100, between the person with the lowest income and the person with the highest income to pay for the same offense. The Supreme Court schedule of fines shows many down around $50 Senator Frank asked what the maximum fine was. Senator Rieger said that for a class A misdemeanor including crimes against persons it is $5,000. Mr. Chris Christensen, General Counsel, Judicial Branch, Alaska Court System was invited to join the committee. He said he just reviewed the amendments and indicated the bill as submitted last year and these amendments to it solved some technical problems with the day fine statute that was passed in 1984. The problem was the Legislature's stated intent in passing what was to help solve Corrections problems by reducing the number of people who were in jail and to increase the State's fine collection so the State could get more income from people who commit criminal acts. The problem is that 90% of those convicted and sent to jail for misdemeanors are convicted of either DWI, refusal to take breathalyzer test, driving with license suspended, driving with license revoked, simple assault or violating a domestic violence restraining order. But all of those fines are excluded from the day fines legislation. A judge cannot give someone a day fine in lieu of a jail sentence for those six offenses. The bill will not reduce the overcrowding. The second problem is that the Department of Law fines collection unit currently brings in a lot of money each year but the percentage of fines they are able to collect is actually quite low and unless they get some new tools that rate is not going to go up. The day fines committee had recommended that the legislature consider prohibiting the issuance or renewal of State licenses and permits to persons who had not paid criminal fines. That would be one new tool. The legislature's intent in passing the day fines law in 1994 will not be met by passage of this piece of legislation. Co-chairman Halford asked if this was not introduced by the Court System. Mr. Christensen said that the original bill was introduced by the Court System and once the law became effective there was a long term study done by a committee made up of judges, representatives from the executive and legislative branches and that was the point at which we were finally able to determine that in fact people were not being sent to jail for all those crimes that were covered by the bill. When the bill was passed by the Legislature in 1994 they had made a policy decision that it did not want to include those six offenses. Subsequent studies showed that those were in fact the offenses that were causing the problems. The reason none of these are covered by the bill is because they either have a mandatory minimum jail sentence or they involve violence against a person. Those are the two categories that the day fines law excluded from coverage. Senator Rieger MOVED amendment #1. Senator Zharoff asked what was the effect of putting a minimum and maximum on. Mr. Christensen said that it was a policy called for by the Legislature. The real effect is if the upper limit insures that people who make a great deal of money won't be paying a fine that is commensurate with the fine of a person with a lower income level. Mr. Christensen gave the committee an example of a minimum and maximum fine and said this would essentially have the effect of putting a cap on what people at upper income levels would pay. Senator Zharoff asked if this was based on gross earnings. Mr. Christensen said that it was a complex formula in which the earnings are calculated. Current law provides the Court to use the defendant's gross income to calculate net daily income and essentially we are looking at net daily income and offsetting the number of dependents. Senator Donley asked if there was any constitutional or other reason for the 100 times the daily income standard? Mr. Christensen said that the law which was originally passed by the Legislature had suggested that there actually be a large range and in looking at this the committee decided that it needed to be lowered because it was getting into the area of excessive fines. Ultimately it is a policy call as to how many days of income should be taken for a particular offense. Senator Donley said this amendment would put a $4,000 cap on any offense. Mr. Christensen said that if someone had enough income they might be getting more than $4,000 for a Class III or V offense. Senator Donley said it appeared that some of the more serious offenses are ones that should have the flexibility to go over $4,000. $40 seems kind of low to put in a statute because this is a State that gives everyone $1,000 a year. Senators Donley and Zharoff discuss that there is a separate fine schedule for corporations depending on what type of crime. Senator Frank and Mr. Christensen discussed indigency. Mr. Christensen said that the indigency forms were quite extensive but the Court could not control determining income. There is a difference and for purposes of determining indigency for a public defender one is required to find out if the person can not afford to pay for a public defender, which means not just their income is looked at, but also what else they might have or what might be coming in such as property. The day fines is just based on a percentage of annual gross income. However, it will be a more difficult, complicated and time consuming system. If the bill is not going to do what the Legislature originally wanted, which is to bring in more fines and reduce overcrowding is it worth the expense to give judges this option? He said one gets the public defender for anything for which one could be sent to jail. Co-chairman Halford referred to amendment #1 and there being NO OBJECTION it was ADOPTED. Senator Donley mentioned that DWI, refusal to take a breathalyzer test, and some of the others that would have generated the most amount of money and was there some reason that they could not be included? Mr. Christensen said that was a policy call for the Legislature. Senator Donley said it would be appropriate to go back and look at those if that is what the Court System is saying that could make this work. The exclusion of those from the statute's applicability should be looked at. Co-chairman Halford said if that were to be gone into the bottom limit should then be a lot higher that $40. Senator Donley said the six categories that seemed to be more serious crimes could have a separate higher range. Co- chairman Halford said that was the substance that really makes the bill work. Day fines could be paid if they were high enough except for one day that they would have to go through the process. Senator Donley said the committee could dissect the fine section from the mandatory time serving section and have the fine section be a day fine flexible for those without effecting the mandatory sentencing provisions. Co-chairman Halford said that Senator Donley should work on this matter and HELD the bill in committee. CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 177(FIN) "An Act relating to permits to carry concealed handguns; and relating to possession of firearms on state ferries." Senator Lyda Green, sponsor of SB 177 was invited to join the committee. This bill was originally introduced to address four problems with the concealed carry permit system. One, the price which was felt to be too high; two, reciprocity; three, ability of people who are concealed permit holders to know where they could travel and it not be a problem for them; and four, the timing of the issuance of hand gun permits. Certain provisions were deleted and more provisions were returned to the bill to make in more strict. A language solution has not been reached with the schools. It was never an intention to cause concern on this issue. Basically it was to allow hand gun permit holders to travel in their daily mission unimpeded. Co-chairman Halford and Senator Green discussed the amendment deleting the changes in schools, school grounds and school areas. Senator Green indicated that it reverted the bill back to the original status. Mr. Brett Huber, aide to Senator Green was invited to join the committee. Section one of the bill was dealt with in amendment #1. Currently the language provides for an affirmative offense for someone holding a permit that is either dropping off or picking up without detour or delay a person or thing on school grounds. This would be deleted. Section two provides for reciprocity for holders of permits of other states that honor Alaska permits as determined by the Department of Public Safety. Section three provides an affirmative defense for AS 11.61.220 allowing a permit holder to possess a firearm in an establishment with a beverage dispensary license. Section four requires the Department of Public Safety provide concealed hand gun permit applicants a copy of the laws and regulations relating to concealed hand gun. Senator Phillips refers to section two. Which states have substantially similar laws to ours regarding concealed weapons? He said that each state has a different qualification for their weapons and so they are not necessarily like ours. He said the State of Washington has had the concealed weapons bill for a very long time but they do not allow concealed weapons in bars. This bill, if passed would allow them in bars. Co-chairman Halford said section two deals with reciprocity and it only applies when it is a defense in a case where it is illegal in the state. The next section of the bill is open and there is another debate on that because there is an alternative way to deal with that proposal. The second section is reciprocity. The biggest difference in the states is there is a class of states that basically consider the permit within whatever the training and all the education requirements as a right. There is another set of states in which you have to basically prove to someone that you have a need to carry to get a permit. That is the biggest difference between states. Co-chairman Halford continued and asked about establishments that serve alcohol. There was some discussion about providing some kind of language which basically said that one could go out to dinner in a restaurant that had a beer and wine license but if one were carrying a concealed weapon under a permit one could not consume alcohol or basically have any alcohol in your system. Senator Green said she would consider that. Senator Donley indicated that the house version incorporated the same language. He asked if that only pertained to concealed weapons and Co-chairman Halford indicated that was correct and that further it only pertained to being in that particular establishment. The normal tolerance for a CCW permit holder in any place is that one cannot be impaired. If one is in an establishment that serves alcohol one may not be impaired but must also have absolute zero tolerance. Mr. Huber continued to section four of the bill and said that it required Department of Public Safety provide applicants a copy of the law and regulations relating to concealed handguns. Section five extends the Department's time period to approve or reject an application. Currently it is fifteen days and in this bill it would extend it to thirty days. The Department could return the fingerprint background checks from the FBI and issue the permits. Senator Phillips asked if permit eligibility information from the FBI or any other agency was being deleted? Mr. Huber noted that the FBI fingerprint check and the Alaska Automated Fingerprint Service check were being retained. This section will extend the time the Department has to issue, accept or reject a permit. Co-chairman Halford indicated that the existing law provided for fifteen days and in this bill it is within thirty days of the receipt of the application. Mr. Huber indicated that the Department concurred with this time period. He continued on to section six and said there was a language change reflected in section nine. The changes delete the requirement to qualify with a specific caliber but maintain the qualification specific to action type. This program is unique to Alaska and also part of the NRA personal protection course that an individual qualify with action type but not specific caliber. He said section seven removes certain misdemeanor violations that preclude obtaining or would be grounds for revoking a permit. Those deleted include criminal trespass in the first and second degree, a portion of the criminal mischief subsection (a)(336). Senator Donley asked if these were the violations that would no longer disqualify someone. Brett Huber indicated that was correct and were removed from the list of misdemeanors that are used in determining qualification or revocation of the permit. Senator Rieger asked what the logic was if an individual convicted of the crime of criminal trespass in the first or second degree should have the right to carry a concealed weapon. Mr. Huber answered that the specific criteria used in looking at offenses was those involving weapons misconduct or violence to a person. Co-chairman Halford asked how long the disability for these offenses was and Mr. Huber indicated that it was five years. Co-chairman Halford said that it included all felonies and the long list of retained misdemeanors. He said there was an adjustment to the list of misdemeanors which are exclusionary for five years from the provisions of being able to apply and go through the process of getting a permit. There was a short discussion among members of these misdemeanors. (switch to side 2 of SFC-96, #47) Senator Frank asked about domestic violence orders and violation of a domestic violence restraining order. Mr. Huber indicated that this misdemeanor was being retained in this bill. He continued on to section eight and said there was a language change corresponding to the language change made in section four. When an individual signs an application in front of Department of Public Safety it is an acknowledgement they have received copies of the regulations and laws pertaining to the concealed program. Section nine removes the requirement to qualify with specific caliber and maintains the requirement to qualify specific to action type. Section ten of the bill deals with the fees and changes the fee cap under current language from $125 to $65 on initial permit issuance and from $60 to $30 on renewal. The second amendment that Senator Green introduced before the committee adjusts the fee cap on initial permit from $65 to $99 in this draft of the bill. The reduction would therefore be from $125 to $99. This is supported by the Department and will allow them the funds they need to issue permits timely and leaves it as a self-sufficient receipts program. Section eleven limits the reasons for revoking a concealed handgun permit and brings it in line with those misdemeanors which are outlined in section seven of the bill. The list of misdemeanors contained in section seven are reasons for revocation. Above that, any other two misdemeanors not contained in that list, some of the ones cited that were being deleted, would be grounds for either suspension or denial of a permit issue. The substantive changes deal with the misdemeanors in section seven and all felonies. Co-chairman Halford wanted to know if the provision that any two misdemeanors is disqualification is being repealed. Mr. Huber indicated that was correct. Section twelve removes some of the restrictions on where a permit holder is allowed to carry. Other than inside school buildings or with the amendment that is to be considered today, all school grounds, state Court facilities, correctional facilities, law enforcement facilities, and where disallowed by State or federal law. Senator Rieger asked what the impetus was for some others that were being deleted such as State or federal offices, facilities providing services to domestic violence or sexual assault and most interesting personal residents who must notice they do not want concealed handguns in their home. What was the reasoning for that? Mr. Huber said that it does not preclude posting notice on personal residence or other business. This section made it a separate misdemeanor violation if an individual ignored one of those notices. He referred to a legal opinion from the Department of Law provided to the Department of Public Safety dated 12 July 1995 stating that it is within the right of a person either in their home or business to post a sign that would disallow sandals and backpacks, concealed carry and all weapons. That is still a right that exists under the law. It takes away this being a separate misdemeanor violation. This was because many people were not sure where they could and could not carry. They are law-abiding citizens and do not want to be in a situation wherein going through their average course of business for the day they would be impeded from carrying or put in a position that if they were going to go to a restaurant or to the bank, they would have to take their gun out and put it in their car and then walk from their car to the grocery store, to the bank, unprotected and then there is more of a chance for problems with the weapon leaving it unattended in a car rather than properly concealed and under the individual's control. Senator Rieger said one could put up a sign stating they did not want concealed handguns in their home because it is no longer a misdemeanor to do that. This now makes it clear where that person can and cannot carry regarding what is going on in the individual's home? Mr. Huber said that it was still a violation to ignore that but it is now under the criminal trespass section. Co-chairman Halford said some on the list were still federal requirements. Any place prohibited by the state or federal government has been left in and is still illegal as a place for carriers. Senator Green said she felt this bill was more clear and covered more locations. Senator Phillips and Co-chairman Halford discussed whether or not a person's property rights superceded a person's right to carry a concealed weapon. Co-chairman Halford indicated that it did and one could post on their home or make it verbally known that an individual could not come into their home with a concealed weapon. Senator Rieger referred to the legal opinion from Department of Law noting the criminal trespass statute says that it is not clear how the Court would rule. Co-chairman Halford said it should be clarified because there is not an intention to change the criminal trespass statute. Senator Frank inquired about the facilities providing services to the victims of domestic violence and sexual assault section. Mr. Huber said the facility itself has the option of putting up a notice. It is important to remember and consider differentiating between a concealed permit holder, which is what is being discussed here, and someone wanting to misuse a weapon. Senator Donley said that under existing law if a person who worked at a domestic violence facility had a concealed carry permit it would be a crime for them to bring it to work. Under this version the domestic violence facility could put up a sign saying no one other than employees or authorized personnel can bring a concealed weapon on this premise. They could also include persons receiving services. Co-chairman Halford said the client may be someone who has gone through the process and gotten a permit because they are afraid of someone and if going to this place says you have to depend on someone else's protection that may be ten minutes away and only be a response and not a protection; if you leave it up to the shelter they are going to decide based on what their people want to do. In some cases they are going to want to protect themselves. Mr. Huber continued on to section thirteen which contains a language change corresponding to specific caliber deletion provided for in section eight. Section fourteen deletes the prohibition on derringers and miniature handguns as allowable firearms for concealed carry by permit holders. Section fifteen provides for three repealers: two class A misdemeanors; residency requirement; and the fee on late renewal. Senator Donley proposed an amendment on page two of the senate (jud) version, line 26 after the reference to "AS 18.65.790" to insert the language that appears in the house version on line 2, after that same reference to read, "the defendant did not consume an intoxicating liquor at the place where the possession occurred and did not consume an intoxicating liquor at any time during the eight hours before the possession". Senator Green did not oppose the amendment. Without objection the amendment was adopted. Senator Donley moved Senator Green's proposed amendment #1 regarding school grounds and without objection it was adopted. Senator Frank moved Senator Green's proposed amendment #2. Senator Sharp asked if the figure of $99 was close to what the study indicated that was to have been done in Anchorage by the sponsor in the house? Mr. Huber said that it was. This figure was arrived at with the Department of Public Safety: $24 for FBI fingerprint check; $35 for the Alaska Automated Fingerprint Check; and $40 for administrative fees. Without objection amendment #2 was adopted. Mr. David Schwantes, ret., NEA was invited to join the committee. He stated that he was present to testify on the school issue but since it was amended out he appreciates the change having been made. However, the simpler and easier it is made for people to carry concealed handguns the more relaxed and careless they are going to become. Further the responsibility for people carrying handguns into private residences should be on the person carrying the gun rather than the person who owns the residence. Senator Donley asked about the gun issue in schools and was this a bad precedence or was it sending the wrong messages to the students. Mr. Schwantes indicated that he did not see any need for there ever to be a concealed gun on the school ground. He said he did not question a police officer in the line of duty or for an assembly to be armed on the school grounds but was not in favour of an off-duty officer or plainclothesman carrying a concealed weapon onto school grounds without first checking with the school authorities. Senator Rieger said that entering a personal residence against the wishes of the owner with a concealed weapon is no longer an offense which disqualifies one from eligibility to carry a concealed weapon. Criminal trespass is one of the violations which is no longer a disqualification. Co-chairman Halford said there was a concern about being able to drop a child off at school; to be able to pull into the parking lot, stay in the car and then go on to your job carrying a concealed handgun. Mr. Schwantes said one could deliver their child to the edge of the school boundary. Lt. Chris Stockard, Department of Public Safety was invited to join the committee and answer their questions. Senator Phillips asked how many requests for concealed weapons had been received. He said 4,019 as of the middle of January. Have there been any complaints regarding existing law? What were the complaints? Lt. Stockard said that he did not have this information but that he would be glad to research it. Co-chairman Halford referred to the administrative provisions of the bill, the fee, the times for response, do they work from the Department's point of view? Lt. Stockard said that the Department was satisfied with the bill as it was and would prefer that it stayed as it was. Co-chairman Halford asked about the operating provisions where there is a change from fifteen days to thirty days; the fees, do they generate the cost; do they work? Lt. Stockard said the current bill works for the Department. However, the department can live with the revised fee and revised administrative timings. Senator Halford asked if the Department had any position on the requirement for qualification by caliber and does the Department require a different qualification by caliber beyond action type in its dealing with weapons. Lt. Stockard reiterated that the Department was satisfied with the law as it was requiring a qualification with a particular caliber and action. A person may carry that size or lower only. The concern with caliber sizes and actions was that someone would qualify with a .22 and then elect to carry a much larger and more difficult caliber. That is why those provisions were in the bill originally. Co-chairman Halford asked if the Department required someone to re-qualify if they go within the same action type from a .40 caliber or 10mm to a .45? Lt. Stockard said that current law would require a modification of the permit if a person goes to a larger caliber than that which they qualify. Co-chairman Halford asked if this was required of a uniformed police officer. Lt. Stockard said that the Department requires a specific individual qualification with every individual weapon which an officer is a authorized to carry. If he wants to carry a weapon other than the issued weapon he must qualify with that specific weapon three times each year as required by the Department. Co-chairman Halford said every licensed peace officer can carry a concealed weapon. And if they are qualified to carry while on duty a .357 or .38 they can, in fact, carry a concealed .45 anywhere, anytime, without qualification on that weapon. Lt. Stockard said that was not correct. The Department of Public Safety only allows a specific weapon for which one has been qualified and certified by the Department. Co-chairman Halford asked if that applied for off duty? Lt. Stockard indicated even off duty. The Department requires specific individualized weapons have the serial numbers and qualification date recorded three times a year. They have to be inspected by the Department armorers. The existing policy calls for only the issue weapon or a like Smith and Wesson manufactured semi-automatic pistol as authorized. The Department has a very limited number of weapons that officers are allowed to qualify with. Jayne Andreen, Executive Director, Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault was invited to join the committee. She stated the council's opposition to the bill. A number of domestic violence offenders are, according to the definition, law-abiding citizens. There is a great concern about removing criminal trespassing and criminal mischief from the standpoint that the way the system works is what actually happens, what is charged and what ends up in a conviction can be very different. A lot of domestic violence ends up being reduced throughout the process and criminal trespass and criminal mischief as two of the charges that exist in domestic violence cases. There is also a concern about removing domestic violence and sexual assault programs from the list of places where permit holders would be prohibited from bringing in a concealed weapon. The discussion that has happened here today does cause concern that it would be left up to the programs or that it could be taken care of by posting a conspicuous sign. She said that the legal opinion from the Department of Law was based on existing law and it may or may not pertain to the bill that is before the committee today. From the program's perspective they need to have a safe environment. The majority of domestic violence and sexual assault programs are residential programs and there are very strict regulations about what one can and cannot do in terms of safety. What comes to mind is that now there is a regulation that requires all medications on the premise to be locked up so that the children do not accidentally have access to them. It is opened up just at the time the medication is needed by a shelter worker and then it is locked back up. It is unimaginable that there would not be an even stricter regulation for weapons to be permitted on the premise. Another concern is why does the emphasis have to be on the program to post a notice rather than the person who has the concealed weapon being able to say they have it. It is understood that these are law-abiding citizens but there is a concern that it includes domestic violence offenders. Senator Donley said he thought section seven is problematic. In discussions with the sponsor she said she would restore the existing language in all but subsection (e) which is the disorderly conduct section. That would then address the criminal trespass first and second degree and criminal mischief that this witness has specifically raised. Senator Donley moved to amend section seven of the bill, page 4, line 19 delete "ll.06.484(a)(1), (2), or (7)", line 22 delete "[11.56.545,], line 23 delete [, 11.56.805]" and leave line 24 as is and without objection it was adopted. Senator Sharp asked if any of the other shelters have postings outside as to what one can bring onto the premises like liquor or weapons? Jayne Adreen said there were no postings other than "no smoking" signs posted inside the buildings. Senator Phillips referred to page seven, lines 14-15 and asked if there was any state law prohibiting weapons in domestic violence shelters. He asked if the domestic violence people come in with a regulation would it be covered under this bill? Senator Donley said they could. Mr. Ed Viscardi, NEA, was invited to join the committee. He supported the change in the bill to exclude weapons from school grounds as this is not a place for deadly weapons. Children understand the significance of a uniformed officer carrying a weapon or an officer being invited onto the school grounds but they do not understand a private citizen carrying a weapon onto the grounds. He was concerned about the qualification for specific caliber. An individual should have to remain with the same caliber or less that they qualify on. Kimberly Homme, Special Assistant to the Commissioner, Department of Education was invited to join the committee. She stated that the State Board of Education took opposition to the concepts that were originally contained in SB 177 dealing with the provisions for concealed handguns on school grounds and thanked the committee for dealing with this matter in the amendments. They still are concerned with the provision allowing concealed weapons in public libraries the State operates and other political subdivisions. Senator Donley said that a regulation could be written saying that one could not bring a gun into a public library on State grounds. Senator Donley asked if the Department of Education supported the suggestion that any plainclothes policeman would have to get permission from the school district to wear a concealed weapon on school grounds. Kimberly Homme said she would have to do research on this matter. One concern was that school administrators know who has weapons. There are weapons that are allowed on school grounds Co-chairman Halford HELD the bill in committee pending further action. ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned at approximately 11:20 A.M.