Legislature(1995 - 1996)

05/02/1996 11:30 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                                                                               
                             MINUTES                                           
                    SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                           May 2, 1996                                         
                           11:30 a.m.                                          
                                                                               
  TAPES                                                                        
                                                                               
  SFC-96, #107-A, Side 1 (000-575)                                             
  SFC-96, #107-A, Side 2 (575-075)                                             
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Senator Rick Halford,  Co-chairman, convened the  meeting at                 
  approximately 11:30 a.m.                                                     
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  All committee  members (Co-chairmen Halford  and Frank,  and                 
  Senators                                                                     
  Donley, Phillips, Rieger, Sharp, and Zharoff) were present.                  
                                                                               
  ALSO  ATTENDING:  Representative  Joe Green;  Representative                 
  Jerry  Mackie;  Dan  Lasota,  Fairbanks  Assemblymen;  Nancy                 
  Slagle,  Director,  Division  of Budget  Review,  Office  of                 
  Management   and   Budget;   Sam   Kito,  III,   Legislative                 
  Liaison/Special  Assistant,  Dept.  of   Transportation  and                 
  Public Facilities; Dwight  Perkins, Special Assistant, Dept.                 
  of Labor; Janice Adair, Director,  Division of Environmental                 
  Health, Dept.  of Environmental  Conservation; Paul  Grossi,                 
  Director, Division of Workers' Compensation, Dept. of Labor;                 
  Juanita  Hensley, Chief,  Driver Services,  Dept. of  Public                 
  Safety;  Eleanor  Roser,  aide  to  Representative   Barnes;                 
  Melinda  Gruening,  aide   to  Representative  Green;  Terri                 
  Tibbett,  aide to  Representative Grussendorf; and  aides to                 
  committee members and other members of the legislature.                      
                                                                               
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SB 216 -  OMNIBUS STATE FEES & COST ASSESSMENTS                              
                                                                               
            Discussion was had with Janice Adair, Paul Grossi,                 
            Dwight Perkins, Nancy Slagle,  and Sam Kito,  III.                 
            A draft CSSB 216 (Fin) (version "K," dated 5/1/96)                 
            was distributed for review  by members and adopted                 
            as  the  mark-up  vehicle.   An  amendment  by Co-                 
            chairman Frank was  adopted.   CSSB 216 (Fin)  was                 
            REPORTED OUT of committee with a $22.0 fiscal note                 
            from   Dept.    of   Environmental    Conservation                 
            (Statewide Pub.Services), zero notes from Dept. of                 
            Military &  Veterans  Affairs, and  Office of  the                 
            Governor (OMB)  as well  as the  following revenue                 
            notes:                                                             
                                                                               
                                                                               
            Dept. of Revenue                        $6,000.0                   
            Dept. of Labor                             384.5                   
            Dept. of Education                          30.0                   
            Dept. of Natural Resources                  10.0                   
            Office of the Governor (Human Rights)        5.1                   
            Dept. of Commerce & Economic Development   841.3                   
            Dept. of Environmental Conservation (Lab.) 100.0                   
                                                                               
            [The foregoing action was  subsequently RESCINDED,                 
            and the bill was held for further review.]                         
                                                                               
  HB  57 -  LICENSING REQUIREMENTS FOR DRIVERS                                 
                                                                               
            Discussion  was  had  with  Representative  Green,                 
            Juanita  Hensley,   and  Melinda  Gruening.     An                 
            amendment  lowering  the  age from  25  to  22 was                 
            adopted.    The bill  was  then held  in committee                 
            pending  return  of  Co-chairman Halford  who  had                 
            temporarily left the meeting.                                      
                                                                               
  HB 110 -  CONFIDENTIALITY OF MOTOR VEHICLE RECORDS                           
                                                                               
            Discussion  was  had  with  Juanita  Hensley   and                 
            Eleanor Roser.   CSSSHB  110 (STA)am  was REPORTED                 
            OUT of committee with a $3.9  fiscal note from the                 
            Dept. of Public Safety showing a revenue reduction                 
            of ($50.0).                                                        
                                                                               
  HB  361  -    CAPITAL  PROJECT  MATCHING  GRANT  FOR  INDIAN                 
  RESERVATION                                                                  
                                                                               
            Testimony was presented by  Representative Mackie.                 
            No action was taken on the bill.                                   
                                                                               
  HB 386 -  CRUELTY TO ANIMALS                                                 
                                                                               
            Testimony  was presented by  Terri Tibbett and Dan                 
            Lasota.    A  draft  SCS  CSHB 386  (version  "O,"                 
            Luckhaupt,  5/2/96) was  adopted.   The  bill  was                 
            subsequently held in committee.                                    
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SENATE BILL NO. 216                                                          
                                                                               
       An  Act relating  to fees  or assessment  of  costs for                 
       certain   services   provided   by  state   government,                 
       including  hearing  costs related  to  the real  estate                 
       surety  fund;  fees  for  authorization  to  operate  a                 
       postsecondary educational institution or for an agent's                 
       permit   to  perform   services  for   a  postsecondary                 
       educational   institution;   administrative   fees  for                 
       self-insurers   in   workers'   compensation;  business                 
       license fees;  fees for  activities related  to coastal                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
       zone   management,   training  relating   to  emergency                 
       management response,  regulation  of    pesticides  and                 
       broadcast chemicals,  and subdivision plans  for sewage                 
       waste  disposal  or  treatment;  and  providing  for an                 
       effective date.                                                         
                                                                               
  Co-chairman  Halford  advised  that in  order  to  avoid the                 
  accumulation of amendments that occurred for SB 215, a draft                 
  CSSB  216 (Fin) (version "K", dated 5/1/96) was prepared for                 
  review  by  members.    He  further referenced  a  sectional                 
  analysis of the bill.  The Chairman then called for a motion                 
  for adoption of  the draft  as a mark-up  vehicle.   Senator                 
  Randy Phillips  so MOVED.  No objection  having been raised,                 
  CSSB 216 (Fin) was ADOPTED.                                                  
                                                                               
  Co-chairman   Halford   explained   that   new   substantive                 
  provisions include:                                                          
                                                                               
       1.   Language  that  allows  municipalities  to  charge                 
  prisoners           for   the   cost  of   incarceration  of                 
                      municipal prisoners.                                     
                                                                               
       2.   A gasohol repealer.                                                
                                                                               
  The Co-chairman next referenced Amendment No. 3, proposed by                 
  the  Dept. of  Environmental  Conservation.   JANICE  ADAIR,                 
  Director,  Division   of  Environmental  Health,   Dept.  of                 
  Environmental  Conservation,  came  before  committee.   She                 
  explained that the  amendment would allow the  department to                 
  charge a fee for review of  subdivision plans to ensure they                 
  comply with waste water  laws under Title 46.   Authority is                 
  presently vested in the department unless adopted by a local                 
  government.  Anchorage and Valdez  have elected to take over                 
  this function.  The department is thus not involved in those                 
  reviews.  The department reviews subdivision plans to ensure                 
  proper disposal  of  sewage  in  areas  where  there  is  no                 
  community system.   Language within Amendment  No. 3 was  in                 
  the  original  bill  but  taken  out  by  Senate  Labor  and                 
  Commence, in part  because the department had  general funds                 
  to support the activity.   Those funds have since  been cut.                 
  Without fee authority, the department will no longer be able                 
  to review subdivision plans.                                                 
                                                                               
  Co-chairman Halford asked if subdivision  plan review by the                 
  Dept. of  Environmental Conservation  was required  by other                 
  law.   Ms. Adair responded,  "No, Sir.  It's  under Title 46                 
  only."                                                                       
                                                                               
  Senator Sharp asked  if most  of the plans  are designed  by                 
  registered  engineers.   Ms.  Adair answered  affirmatively.                 
  She explained that  engineers lay out subdivisions  based on                 
  Title 29  requirements.   However, there  is no  requirement                 
  (within that title) that engineers ensure that sewage can be                 
  properly  disposed of.  That requirement is within the Dept.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  of Environmental Conservation, and DEC  has been relied upon                 
  to provide that part of the review.                                          
                                                                               
  In response to a further question regarding fees, Ms.  Adair                 
  said the fiscal note was based  on a flat rate based on  the                 
  size  of  the  subdivision.     Senator  Sharp  attested  to                 
  complaints  from  constituents  who  have  hired  registered                 
  engineers to do work that must be submitted to DEC  when the                 
  department does not have a registered engineer reviewing the                 
  work.  Ms. Adair said the  department is required to have  a                 
  registered engineer review the work.                                         
                                                                               
  Senator  Sharp  expressed  concern  over  a  flat  fee.   He                 
  attested  to  complaints  from  those  with   professionally                 
  designed subdivisions who are  delayed by department  review                 
  and reworking of subdivisions that have  not had the benefit                 
  of professional  assistance.  Ms. Adair  acknowledged having                 
  heard similar complaints on a number of department programs.                 
  She concurred in need to deal with the problem.                              
                                                                               
  In  response to a  question from  Senator Rieger,  Ms. Adair                 
  said  that  authority  to  review   subdivisions  is  in  AS                 
  46.03.090.  Amendment  No. 3 would simply  provide authority                 
  to change fees  for review.  Co-chairman  Halford voiced his                 
  understanding that authority to review does not constitute a                 
  requirement to  review.    He  suggested that  there  is  no                 
  enforcement mechanism.  Ms. Adair concurred.  She added that                 
  the chances of  a subdivision having failing,  on-lot septic                 
  systems rises when  the department has not  done the review.                 
  The  department has  assisted developers  modify subdivision                 
  layout or size of the lots to preclude problems.  If that is                 
  not done, the purchaser ends up "getting stuck with the bill                 
  to develop a sewage system that can be accommodated on their                 
  lot."  Review is thus a preventive exercise.                                 
                                                                               
  Co-chairman  Halford  said  he  had  a  problem  with  small                 
  subdivisions of large lots.  He suggested that review should                 
  not be  necessary for  subdivisions of  less than  four lots                 
  where none of the lots are  smaller than several acres.  Ms.                 
  Adair concurred  that subdivisions cited by  the Co-chairman                 
  are generally not  a problem.   The department tends not  to                 
  review larger subdivisions due to lack of staff.                             
                                                                               
  Discussion followed concerning requirements  embodied within                 
  HB 80.                                                                       
                                                                               
  Additional discussion  followed regarding division  of large                 
  parcels (10 acres  was used as  an example) into two  halves                 
  and whether or not  that should come under DEC review.  When                 
  Senator  Rieger  cited  an example  of  10  acres  posed for                 
  subdivision  into  one-acre lots,  Ms.  Adair said  it would                 
  probably be subject to DEC review  if on-lot sewage disposal                 
  is involved.  The department would review the lots to ensure                 
  that  they are  developable.   If  the subdivision  would be                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  hooking up to  a community sewage  system, the situation  is                 
  different.   If a lot  must accommodate sewage  disposal, it                 
  will  probably  also  have to  accommodate  drinking  water.                 
  Further discussion of developability followed.                               
                                                                               
  Co-chairman  Halford voiced  need to exempt  subdivisions of                 
  less than  four  lots where  no lot  is less  than one  acre                 
  before he could support the language within Amendment No. 3.                 
  The fee will give the department  ability to set, drive, and                 
  run the program.  The program must have bounds.  While there                 
  is no direct  enforcement mechanism  in terms of  recording,                 
  there is still a general requirement.   Ms. Adair asked that                 
  she be given an opportunity  to contact department engineers                 
  to  determine  whether  one  acre  would be  an  appropriate                 
  cutoff.  Senator Sharp expressed support for comments by the                 
  Co-chairman.  He  voiced reluctance  to provided ability  to                 
  charge  fees  for a  program for  which  "I get  nothing but                 
  complaints  that  DEC shouldn't  even  be in  the business,"                 
  particularly when professional engineers do the design work.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Discussion followed among members regarding costs associated                 
  with redesign and delay  of an entire season due  to failure                 
  to gain  timely approval  of designs.   Co-chairman  Halford                 
  directed that Ms.  Adair work  with department engineers  to                 
  return appropriate amendment language to committee.                          
                                                                               
  PAUL GROSSI,  Director, Division  of Workers'  Compensation,                 
  Dept. of Labor,  next came before committee.   He referenced                 
  Section 4 and advised that it  would allow the department to                 
  assess a  fee upon  self-insurers, similar  to that  charged                 
  employers  who  have  to  purchase  a  workers' compensation                 
  insurance  policy.   The  fee would  be  4% on  the previous                 
  year's claim experience.   That would be similar to  the 2.7                 
  percent premium tax assessed against  employers who purchase                 
  workers' compensation insurance.   Co-chairman Halford asked                 
  if there was  significant opposition.  Mr.  Grossi responded                 
  negatively.  He acknowledged that no  one wants to pay more.                 
  However,  those  who   are  self-insured  view  this   as  a                 
  significant  service  in   that  they  can  save   money  by                 
  exercising control over their own claims.                                    
                                                                               
  DWIGHT  PERKINS,  Special  Assistant, Dept.  of  Labor, next                 
  spoke before  committee.   He referenced  an updated  fiscal                 
  note   and   explained   that   it   reflects   removal   of                 
  municipalities,  school  districts,  and regional  education                 
  attendance  areas  per  action  taken  in Senate  Labor  and                 
  Commerce.                                                                    
                                                                               
  Co-chairman Halford  referenced CSSB 216 (Fin) and explained                 
  that  Amendment No.  4 was  included with  exception of  the                 
  requirement that the municipality charge a  fee no less than                 
  the state fee.   Amendment No. 5, adding an  application fee                 
  on  the exploration  incentive  credit,  was also  included.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Amendment  No.  3  containing the  DEC  fee  for subdivision                 
  review remains the only outstanding amendment.                               
                                                                               
  Senator  Zharoff  inquired   regarding  marine  and   harbor                 
  facility fees within Section  7 (Page 3) of the bill.  NANCY                 
  SLAGLE, Director,  Division  of  Budget  Review,  Office  of                 
  Management and Budget,  explained that language would  allow                 
  municipalities to charge fees to  cover operation and repair                 
  work at state harbor and  marine facilities.  Municipalities                 
  have not previously  been able to charge  sufficient amounts                 
  to  maintain  the  facilities.     SAM  KITO,  III,  Special                 
  Assistant/Legislative Liaison, Dept.  of Transportation  and                 
  Public  Facilities,  advised   of  100  marine   and  harbor                 
  facilities owned  by the  state.   There  are contracts  for                 
  management  and operation  of  approximately 84  facilities.                 
  The proposed  bill  would allow  the  department  additional                 
  authority to contract and require that a community establish                 
  a fund  to take  care of extended  deferred maintenance  and                 
  replacement  costs  of  float   facilities  within  harbors.                 
  Senator Zharoff asked  for a list of  facilities impacted by                 
  the bill.                                                                    
                                                                               
  Co-chairman Halford  directed  that the  meeting be  briefly                 
  recessed.                                                                    
                                                                               
                       RECESS - 12:00 NOON                                     
                     RECONVENE - 12:10 P.M.                                    
                                                                               
  Janice Adair  from the  Dept. of Environmental  Conservation                 
  returned to committee and offered the following language for                 
  incorporation within Amendment No. 3:                                        
                                                                               
       The fees authorized by this  subsection may not be                      
       levied for reviews  of subdivisions being  divided                      
       into four lots or less where  each lot is at least                      
       one acre in size.                                                       
                                                                               
  The foregoing  would exclude  larger subdivisions  that gave                 
  rise to committee concern.  Co-chairman Halford asked if the                 
  department  would   support  inclusion   of  the   foregoing                 
  amendment as the bill makes its way through the House.   Ms.                 
  Adair  responded  affirmatively.   Senator  Sharp  MOVED for                 
  adoption of Amendment No. 3 as  redrafted by the department.                 
  No objection having been raised, Amendment No. 3 was ADOPTED                 
  as redrafted.                                                                
                                                                               
  Senator Rieger  MOVED to  tighten the  title to  reflect the                 
  content of the  bill.   No objection having  been raised,  a                 
  title amendment was ADOPTED.                                                 
                                                                               
  Co-chairman  Halford  noted  that  associated  fiscal  notes                 
  should reflect  program receipt  increases and  general fund                 
  decreases.  He suggested that fiscal notes not be considered                 
  new  revenue sources for  net adds to  the operating budget.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Members concurred in that understanding.                                     
                                                                               
  Senator Sharp  MOVED  for passage  of  CSSB 216  (Fin)  with                 
  individual recommendations and accompanying  fiscal notes.No                 
  objection having been  raised, CSSB  216 (Fin) was  REPORTED                 
  OUT* of committee  with a  $22.0 fiscal note  from Dept.  of                 
  Environmental  Conservation  (Statewide  Pub.Services), zero                 
  notes from Dept. of Military & Veterans Affairs,  and Office                 
  of the  Governor  (OMB) as  well  as the  following  revenue                 
  (program receipt) notes:                                                     
                                                                               
            Dept. of Revenue                        $6,000.0                   
            Dept. of Labor                             384.5                   
            Dept. of Education                          30.0                   
            Dept. of Natural Resources                  10.0                   
            Office of the Governor (Human Rights)        5.1                   
            Dept. of Commerce & Economic Development   841.3                   
            Dept. of Environmental Conservation (Lab.) 100.0                   
                                                                               
  Co-chairman Frank  and Senator  Sharp  signed the  committee                 
  report with a "do pass" recommendation.  Co-chairman Halford                 
  and  Senators  Phillips,  Rieger,  and  Zharoff  signed  "no                 
  recommendation."                                                             
                                                                               
  [*See pages 8 and  9 of these minutes for  action rescinding                 
  passage of CSSB 216 (Fin).]                                                  
                                                                               
                                                                               
  CS FOR SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 110(STA) am                     
                                                                               
       An  Act  relating  to  the  confidentiality  of certain                 
       information in motor vehicle records.                                   
                                                                               
  Co-chairman  Halford  directed that  CSSSHB  110  (STA)am be                 
  brought  on  for   discussion.    ELEANOR  ROSER,   aide  to                 
  Representative  Barnes, came before  committee and  read the                 
  sponsor  statement  (copy  on file  in  the  original Senate                 
  Finance Committee file  for HB  110) into the  record.   She                 
  noted  that  the  bill  responds  to constituents  who  were                 
  stalked by  individuals who  obtained  the victim's  address                 
  from   the   division   of  motor   vehicles.      In  1994,                 
  confidentiality of license plate information was included in                 
  the President's  crime package.   The intent was  to protect                 
  personal   privacy  and   only   disclose  information   for                 
  permissible uses.                                                            
                                                                               
  Businesses  that  purchase   lists  (banks,  credit  unions,                 
  insurance companies) will still  be able to do so,  but they                 
  will  be required  to abide  by restrictions imposed  by the                 
  Federal Act.                                                                 
                                                                               
  If Alaska is not in compliance with federal law by September                 
  13,  1997,  division  of motor  vehicle  employees  could be                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  liable for fines of  $2,500.00 per day; and the  state could                 
  be  subject  to  fines  of  $5,000.00  until  compliance  is                 
  achieved.                                                                    
                                                                               
  The  legislation  is supported  by  the Council  on Domestic                 
  Violence and Sexual Assault and  the Dept. of Public Safety.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Senator Randy Phillips  voiced his preference for  a January                 
  1, 1997, effective date due to logistical computer problems.                 
  Co-chairman  Halford expressed  concern  over delay,  citing                 
  problems   associated   with   open  records   and   federal                 
  compliance.    JUANITA HENSLEY,  Chief  of Driver  Services,                 
  Division of  Motor Vehicles,  Dept. of  Public Safety,  came                 
  before committee.   She  advised that  lack of  an effective                 
  date  provides  the  division ample  time  to  implement the                 
  program.  Co-chairman  Halford said  it appears the  sponsor                 
  removed immediate  effective date provisions  to accommodate                 
  implementation concerns.   Lack of  an effective date  would                 
  enact  the bill  90  days after  passage.   The  Co-chairman                 
  advised that he would not  support a further change  without                 
  agreement  of the  sponsor.  Eleanor  Roser said  that while                 
  there would be no problem with a change of effective date to                 
  January 1,  1997, need for  the bill to return  to the House                 
  for concurrence poses  a problem  because of  a shortage  of                 
  time.                                                                        
                                                                               
  In  response to  an inquiry  from Senator  Rieger,   Juanita                 
  Hensley explained that  records could still be  released for                 
  legitimate business  purposes.   Under  subsection  (e),  an                 
  individual  may instruct  DMV  not  to  release his  or  her                 
  information.   That would keep  personal information totally                 
  private and  confidential.  Those receiving  information for                 
  legitimate  business   purposes  would   not   be  able   to                 
  disseminate information  that  is  to  remain  confidential.                 
  Mrs.  Hensley acknowledged that what is released is a policy                 
  call for the legislature.  The state may be more restrictive                 
  than federal law, but it cannot be less restrictive.                         
  Discussion  followed  regarding   check-off  provisions   on                 
  applications which would allow individuals  to elect to keep                 
  records private.                                                             
                                                                               
  Mrs.  Hensley further  commented upon  development  of model                 
  language used within the proposed bill.                                      
                                                                               
  END:      SFC-96, #107-A, Side 1                                             
  BEGIN:    SFC-96, #107-A, Side 2                                             
                                                                               
  Senator Sharp MOVED  for passage  of CSSSHB 110(STA)am  with                 
  individual  recommendations  and accompanying  fiscal notes.                 
  No  objection  having  been  raised,  CSSSHB 110(STA)am  was                 
  REPORTED OUT of committee with a  fiscal note from the Dept.                 
  of  Public  Safety  showing a  cost  of  $3.9  and a  ($50.)                 
  reduction in revenues.   Co-chairmen  Halford and Frank  and                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Senators Phillips,  Rieger, and  Sharp signed the  committee                 
  report with a "do pass" recommendation.  Senators Donley and                 
  Zharoff signed "no recommendation."                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
  CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 216(FIN)                                              
                                                                               
       An Act  relating to  fees, assessments,  and costs  for                 
       certain  functions  of  state  or municipal  government                 
       including  hearing costs  related  to the  real  estate                 
       surety  fund,  fees  for  authorization  to  operate  a                 
       postsecondary educational institution or for an agent's                 
       permit  to   perform  services   for  a   postsecondary                 
       educational institution,  fees of the  state Commission                 
       on Human Rights, administrative  fees for self-insurers                 
       in workers' compensation, fees relating to applications                 
       for   exploration   incentive   credits,   charges   to                 
       prisoners,  marine  and   harbor  facility  use   fees,                 
       business  license fees,  fees for training  relating to                 
       management  of  hazardous   substances  and   emergency                 
       management response, fees for  regulation of pesticides                 
       and broadcast  chemicals;  and  subdivision  plans  for                 
       sewage waste disposal  or treatment; relating to  a tax                 
       exemption; and providing for an effective date.                         
                                                                               
  At this point  in the meeting, Co-chairman Frank  asked that                 
  CSSB 216 (Fin)  be brought back  before committee.  He  then                 
  MOVED  to rescind  committee action  passing the  bill.   He                 
  expressed  a  preference  for  subdivision  review   at  the                 
  municipal rather than  state level and  voiced need to  more                 
  closely review  the fee section.   No objection  having been                 
  raised,  committee   action  passing  CSSB  216   (Fin)  was                 
  RESCINDED.                                                                   
                                                                               
  [Co-chairman  Halford left the meeting at this time, and Co-                 
  chairman Frank assumed the chair.]                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
  HOUSE BILL NO. 57                                                            
                                                                               
       An Act  relating to  driver's licensing; and  providing                 
       for an effective date.                                                  
                                                                               
  MELINDA  GRUENING, aide  to  Representative Joe  Green, came                 
  before committee.  She explained that the intent of the bill                 
  is to establish a graduated  driver's licencing system.   At                 
  the present time, individuals 18 to 20 years old  constitute                 
  6.2 percent  of all  Alaskan drivers  but  account for  13.9                 
  percent of  the accidents and  28 percent of  fatal crashes.                 
  Among  this  age group,  a large  majority of  the accidents                 
  occur in the early hours of the morning.  Teens are twice as                 
  likely to be involved in fatal crashes as adults.                            
                                                                               
                                                                               
  The intent of  the legislation  is to ease  a young  driver,                 
  under controlled conditions, into the driving environment by                 
  increasing the amount of  behind-the-wheel driving practice,                 
  increasing exposure to progressively more difficult  driving                 
  experiences,   and  requiring  them  to  earn  full  driving                 
  privileges by demonstrating  a safe and responsible  driving                 
  record.                                                                      
                                                                               
  The proposed bill would establish a graduated system whereby                 
  a 14-year old  may apply for a  learner permit.  At  age 16,                 
  providing  a  driver has  held  a  permit for  at  least six                 
  months,  he or  she  could  be  graduated to  a  provisional                 
  license.  The  provisional license would restrict  nighttime                 
  driving between 1:00  a.m. and 5:00 a.m.,  with an exception                 
  for driving to and from work.                                                
                                                                               
  The other difference  between an unrestricted license  and a                 
  provisional license is  that the licensee is only allowed to                 
  accumulate 8 points in a 12-month  period rather than the 12                 
  points allowed for an unrestricted  license.  If the  holder                 
  of a provisional license demonstrates  a safe driving record                 
  in the one-year provisional period, an  unrestricted license                 
  can be awarded.                                                              
                                                                               
  Thirteen  states presently  have laws  that limit  teenagers                 
  from operating motor  vehicles during late evening  or early                 
  morning  hours.   Studies  show that  nighttime restrictions                 
  significantly reduce accidents.                                              
                                                                               
  HB 57  is designed to  allow the Dept.  of Public Safety  to                 
  take  advantage  of  new federal  funding  to  implement the                 
  legislation.    Federal  law   passed  in  1993  established                 
  monetary incentives for  states that implement  programs for                 
  young drivers.   That federal  funding is  reflected in  the                 
  fiscal note.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Ms. Gruening  next attested  to wide  support for  the bill.                 
  She further advised of changes to  the bill as it progressed                 
  through  the  Senate.    The  original bill  covered  novice                 
  drivers 16 through  21.  It  now covers ages 14  through 17.                 
  The House bill was  limited to 6 points.   Senate committees                 
  increased the number to 8.                                                   
                                                                               
  In  response  to  a  question  from Senator  Sharp,  JUANITA                 
  HENSLEY, Chief, Driver Services, Division of Motor Vehicles,                 
  Dept. of  Public Safety, again  came before committee.   She                 
  said there is  presently no  requirement that an  individual                 
  have an instruction  permit between the  ages of 14 and  16.                 
  The  proposed bill  requires  the permit  for  at least  six                 
  months prior to application for a provisional license at 16.                 
  The instruction permit would require the  teen to drive with                 
  a person 25 years or  older.  At 16 the teen could  obtain a                 
  one-year provisional  license with curfew restrictions.   On                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  the  teen's  17th   birthday,  he  or   she  could  get   an                 
  unrestricted license.                                                        
                                                                               
  Discussion  of curfews  followed  between Mrs.  Hensley  and                 
  Senator  Randy  Phillips.   Mrs.  Hensley stressed  that the                 
  intent is not to restrict young people but to save lives and                 
  provide  teenagers  some  behind-the-wheel  training.    She                 
  further  commented  on  the   lack  of  driving   experience                 
  associated with the  prom night  accident on the  Kenai.   A                 
  national survey indicates 74 percent of the parents surveyed                 
  support a curfew.                                                            
                                                                               
  Mrs. Hensley  noted that,  in  Alaska, the  average cost  of                 
  hospitalization   for  a   crash   involving  teenagers   is                 
  $18,000.00.  That does not include  doctor fees and the cost                 
  of rehabilitation.                                                           
                                                                               
  Co-chairman Frank referenced a note from Co-chairman Halford                 
  indicating  interest in effecting a  change in the age (from                 
  25  to  19) of  the driver  that  must accompany  a teenager                 
  utilizing an instructional  permit.  Mrs. Hensley  said that                 
  21 is the  limit under the  federal incentive program.   She                 
  further attested to the fact that Alaska applied for and was                 
  awarded a $77.0  grant.  The  proposed bill would allow  the                 
  state to receive the funds to  implement a graduated license                 
  program.  The model program for a graduated license provides                 
  a range of 21 to 25.  Representative Green selected 25 since                 
  that  is  the age  at  which  insurance breaks  occur.   Co-                 
  chairman Frank expressed  a preference for 22  since that is                 
  the age  at which  most individuals  graduate from  college.                 
  Senator Randy Phillips MOVED to change  the age set forth on                 
  Page 2,  line 2, from  25 to 22.   No objection  having been                 
  raised, the Amendment was ADOPTED.                                           
                                                                               
  Brief  discussion  followed  regarding  application  of  the                 
  foregoing amendment to  SCSHB 57 (Jud)  or a draft SCSHB  57                 
  (9-LS0269\K, Ford,  4/26/96).   Senator  Rieger  voiced  his                 
  understanding   that  the   draft   removes  the   nighttime                 
  restrictions.  Senator Sharp expressed  a reluctance to make                 
  that change.   Mrs.  Hensley voiced  department support  for                 
  SCSHB 57 (Jud),  noting that  nighttime provisions (Page  2,                 
  lines 19 through  27) would allow  young people to drive  at                 
  night when going to and from employment.  REPRESENTATIVE JOE                 
  GREEN  reiterated  that  teenagers  have  the  most  driving                 
  accidents between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00  a.m.  Those four hours                 
  are the wrong time to be out driving.                                        
                                                                               
  Co-chairman  Frank  advised of  his  understanding that  Co-                 
  chairman Halford preferred removal of the curfew restriction                 
  per the draft committee  substitute.  He then directed  that                 
  the bill be held pending comments from the Co-chairman.                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
  CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 386(JUD)                                               
                                                                               
       An Act relating to cruelty to  animals and to the power                 
       of first and second class  boroughs to prohibit cruelty                 
       to animals.                                                             
                                                                               
  Senator  Phillips  noted  that  both he  and  Representative                 
  Grussendorf  introduced  legislation  on  the  same  subject                 
  matter and  subsequently worked together in development of a                 
  draft SCS  CSHB 386  (9-LS1203\O, Luckhaupt,  5/2/96).   Co-                 
  chairman Frank said  the committee would hear  testimony but                 
  would not move the bill at this time.                                        
                                                                               
  TERRI TIBBETT, aide to Representative Grussendorf, explained                 
  that the bill lowers the criminal standard by which a person                 
  may  be prosecuted for acts of neglect  or cruelty.  It also                 
  gives first  and second  class boroughs  authority to  enact                 
  ordinances to prohibit  cruelty to  animals, and it  exempts                 
  commercial  farm   animals  and   commercial  farmers   from                 
  municipal  regulation.  It further provides the Commissioner                 
  of the  Dept. of  Environmental Conservation  the option  to                 
  regulate commercial  farm animals and commercial farmers, if                 
  he or she chooses.                                                           
                                                                               
  In response to an inquiry from  Senator Rieger,  Ms. Tibbett                 
  directed  attention to  the definition  of "commercial  farm                 
  animal" and "commercial  farmer" set forth at Page  2, lines                 
  22 through 28.                                                               
                                                                               
  Co-chairman Frank  inquired regarding concerns  expressed by                 
  dog  mushers  and  trappers.    Ms. Tibbett  explained  that                 
  trappers  presently   have  a  defense   to  prosecution  in                 
  statutes.  It ties the defense  to the fact that the conduct                 
  was necessarily  incident  to  lawful  hunting  or  trapping                 
  activities.    Mushers  also  have  a statutory  defense  in                 
  language that says  that "It is  a defense to a  prosecution                 
  that  the  conduct of  the  defendant conformed  to accepted                 
  veterinary practices."  Ms. Tibbett  advised that members of                 
  "Mush  with  Pride," a  group  that provides  guidelines and                 
  standards  of  care  for  mushers,  indicated  members  felt                 
  protected under current statute AS 11.61.140.                                
                                                                               
  Co-chairman Frank asked if the proposed  bill does more than                 
  merely   grant  powers  to   municipalities.    Ms.  Tibbett                 
  explained that the bill would not give nor take away rights,                 
  except for  provisions relating  to first  and second  class                 
  boroughs.   The bill  primarily lowers the criminal standard                 
  by which  people may  be prosecuted  to make  it easier  for                 
  prosecutors.    Co-chairman Frank  voiced  his understanding                 
  that  was   accomplished  by  changing   "intentionally"  to                 
  "knowingly," the latter of  which is a lower standard.   Ms.                 
  Tibbett concurred, advising of a change from "recklessly" to                 
  "with criminal negligence" in relation to criminal  neglect.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Discussion followed regarding composition of the  "Mush with                 
  Pride" group.                                                                
                                                                               
  DAN  LASOTA,   Fairbanks  Assemblyman,   next  came   before                 
  committee.  He explained that the assembly had been tracking                 
  the bill since  inception, due  to the  fact that  Fairbanks                 
  finds itself in the  unusual position of only being  able to                 
  examine cases  of animal  cruelty relating to  dogs and  not                 
  other kinds of animals.  That  results from a varied history                 
  of  voter-approved and  legislatively  granted powers.   The                 
  assembly asked that the  legislature, through resolution, do                 
  something similar to  what is  accomplished by the  proposed                 
  bill.    The  current  draft  clarifies  the  situation  for                 
  farmers.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Co-chairman Frank directed that SCS CSHB 386 be held pending                 
  Co-chairman Halford's return to the meeting.  Senator Donley                 
  MOVED  for  adoption of  SCS  CSHB  386 (version  "O")  as a                 
  working document.  No objection having been raised, SCS CSHB                 
  386 (Fin) was ADOPTED.                                                       
                                                                               
                                                                               
  HOUSE BILL NO. 361                                                           
                                                                               
       An Act relating  to municipal capital  project matching                 
       grants for a  municipality organized under federal  law                 
       as an Indian  reserve; and  providing for an  effective                 
       date.                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JERRY MACKIE came before committee in support                 
  of his bill and acknowledged a companion bill in the Senate,                 
  introduced by Senator Zharoff.  The Representative explained                 
  that the bill attempts to address  a problem relating to the                 
  capital matching grant program as  it applies to Metlakatla.                 
  Metlakatla is not  defined as other municipalities  since it                 
  is a municipality  organized under federal law  as an Indian                 
  reserve.  Although Metlakatla had received grants until last                 
  year, it is unclear whether language qualifies the community                 
  to receive  capital matching grants.  The community was thus                 
  denied grants other than an unincorporated matching grant.                   
                                                                               
  HB 361 would  allow Metlakatla  to receive capital  matching                 
  grants.  The  community continues to receive state  funds in                 
  other  revenue  sharing and  municipal  assistance programs.                 
  The proposed bill is drafted with  the same language used in                 
  other  municipal funding.   The administration  supports the                 
  bill; there has been no opposition.                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Mackie acknowledged questions raised in other                 
  committees asking if  passage of the proposed  bill allowing                 
  an Indian reserve to receive the funds would "open the doors                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  to  tribes   that  claim   sovereignty"  and  other   Native                 
  organizations that are not municipalities.   He advised that                 
  the answer  is,  "No."   He further  referenced an  attorney                 
  general's opinion  to that  effect, pointed  to language  at                 
  Page 1, lines 6 through 8, and stressed that it applies only                 
  to  Metlakatla.   The  bill is  accompanied  by zero  fiscal                 
  notes.                                                                       
                                                                               
  Senator  Zharoff  noted  that the  administration's  capital                 
  matching grant  program includes  "passage of  this bill  as                 
  well."  Co-chairman Frank directed that  the bill be held in                 
  committee pending return of Co-chairman Halford.                             
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting was recessed at approximately 1:07 p.m.                          
                                                                               

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