Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/14/1993 01:45 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                   SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE                                  
                         April 14, 1993                                        
                           1:45 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
                                                                               
 Senator Robin Taylor, Chairman                                                
 Senator Rick Halford, Vice-Chairman                                           
 Senator George Jacko                                                          
 Senator Dave Donley                                                           
 Senator Suzanne Little                                                        
                                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
                                                                               
 NONE                                                                          
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 73                                                            
 "An Act relating to the time for filing certain civil actions;                
 and providing for an effective date."                                         
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 69                                                             
 "An Act relating to registration of and information about sex                 
 offenders and amending Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure                     
 11(c) and 32(b)."                                                             
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 155                                                           
 "An Act relating to landlords and tenants, to termination of                  
 tenancies and recovery of rental premises, to tenant                          
 responsibilities, to the civil remedies of forcible entry and                 
 detainer and nuisance abatement, and to the duties of peace                   
 officers to notify landlords of arrests involving certain                     
 illegal activity on rental premises."                                         
                                                                               
 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 11                                                 
 Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of                    
 Alaska relating to repeal of regulations by the legislature.                  
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 112                                                            
 "An Act relating to limited partnerships; and providing for                   
 an effective date."                                                           
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 161                                                           
 "An Act relating to interest rates and calculation of interest                
 under certain judgments and decrees and on refunds of certain                 
 taxes, royalties, or net profit shares; and providing for an                  
 effective date."                                                              
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
                                                                               
 SB 73 -  See Labor & Commerce minutes dated 2/9/93.  See                      
          Judiciary minutes dated 3/31/93.                                     
                                                                               
 SB 69 -  See Labor and Commerce minutes dated 2/2/93.                         
                                                                               
 SB 155 - See State Affairs minutes dated 3/24/93.  See                        
          Judiciary minutes dated 4/2/93 and 4/8/93.                           
                                                                               
 HJR 11 - NONE                                                                 
                                                                               
 HB 112 - NONE                                                                 
                                                                               
 SB 161 - See State Affairs minutes dated 4/2/93 and 4/7/93.                   
                                                                               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
                                                                               
 Colin Maynard                                                                 
 Alaska Society of Professional Engineers                                      
 1400 W. Benson, Suite 500                                                     
 Anchorage, Alaska 99517                                                       
   POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 73.                                        
                                                                               
 Doug Green, Chairman                                                          
 Legislative Liaison Committee                                                 
 Alaska Professional Design Council                                            
 P.O. Box 10-3115                                                              
 Anchorage, Alaska 99510-3115                                                  
   POSITION STATEMENT: Supports SB 73.                                         
                                                                               
 Russell L Winner, Attorney                                                    
 WINNER & ASSOCIATES                                                           
 900 West Fifth Avenue                                                         
 Anchorage, Alaska 89501                                                       
   POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 73.                                          
                                                                               
 Doug Wooliver, Represented Sponsor.                                           
 Representative Ramona Barnes                                                  
 Slip Float 5, Harris Harbor                                                   
 Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                          
   POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 69.                                        
                                                                               
 Liz Dodd                                                                      
 Alaska Civil Liberties Union                                                  
 100 Parks Street                                                              
 Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                          
   POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 69.                                          
                                                                               
 Paul Nelson                                                                   
 Box 150                                                                       
 Haines, Alaska 99827                                                          
   POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 69.                                          
                                                                               
 Marcia McKenzie                                                               
 Council on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault                                 
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 Box 11120                                                                     
 Juneau, Alaska 99811                                                          
   POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 69.                                        
                                                                               
 Arthur H. Snowden, Administrative Director                                    
 Judicial Branch                                                               
 303 K Street                                                                  
 Anchorage, Alaska 99501-2084                                                  
   POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 69.                                          
                                                                               
 Margo Knuth, Asst. Attorney General                                           
 Criminal Division                                                             
 Department of Law                                                             
 P.O. Box 110300                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300                                                     
   POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 69.                                          
                                                                               
 Tim Benintendi, Aide                                                          
 Representative Carl Moses                                                     
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
   POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 112.                                    
                                                                               
 Joseph P. Geldhof, Asst. Attorney General                                     
 Civil Section, Department of Law                                              
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
   POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 161.                                    
                                                                               
 Dan Beardsley                                                                 
 Central Region                                                                
 Department of Transportation & Public Facilities                              
 P.O. Box 196900                                                               
 Anchorage, Alaska 99519-6900                                                  
   POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 161.                                    
                                                                               
 Jeffery C. Ottensen, Chief                                                    
 Right-of-Way & Environment                                                    
 Division of Engineering & Operations                                          
 Department of Transportation & Public Facilities                              
 3132 Channel Drive                                                            
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-7898                                                     
   POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 161.                                    
                                                                               
 Ann Williams                                                                  
 Municipality of Anchorage                                                     
 P.O. Box 196650                                                               
 Anchorage, Alaska 99519-6650                                                  
   POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 161.                                    
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
                                                                               
 TAPE 93-43, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
  Chairman Robin Taylor  called the Judiciary Committee meeting                
 to order at 1:45 p.m.                                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR returned SB 73 (LIABILITY OF DESIGN/                           
 CONSTRUCTION PROFESSIONALS) introduced by SENATOR KELLY, to                   
 committee and directed the teleconference for the bill,                       
 beginning with the Anchorage location to hear COLIN MAYNARD.                  
                                                                               
 MR. MAYNARD, representing the Alaska Society of Professional                  
 Engineers, testified in favor of the bill citing protection                   
 from the present indefinite period of liability.  He described                
 the extent of the suits that could be pursued during this                     
 period of liability due to changes in design or neglect by the                
 owner of the building in question.  MR. MAYNARD discussed why                 
 liability should be discontinued at the end of ten years                      
 unless there was proof of negligence by the design                            
 professionals.  He concluded his testimony by explaining why                  
 he thought the Statute of Repose was fair to all parties                      
 involved in the building profession.                                          
                                                                               
 Next, SENATOR TAYLOR invited DOUG GREEN to testify from                       
 Anchorage.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 057                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. GREEN, representing the Alaska Professional Design Council                
 and the American Institute of Architects, introduced himself                  
 as an architect in support of SB 73.  He reviewed testimony                   
 from previous years on the Statute of Repose defending the                    
 record of the design professionals in protecting the public                   
 and utilizing the most current codes and standard of care.                    
 MR. GREEN explained that having the Statute of Repose would                   
 not lower their current standard of attention.  He further                    
 explained the process involved in construction and the                        
 possible changes made to a project.  He described how the                     
 Statute of Repose would be of benefit to the State of Alaska                  
 and would have no fiscal impact to the legislation.                           
                                                                               
 Number 155                                                                    
                                                                               
 RUSS WINNER, an attorney from the Anchorage firm of WINNER &                  
 ASSOCIATES, was invited to testify.                                           
                                                                               
 MR. WINNER, representing the Alaska Academy of Trial Lawyers,                 
 testified in opposition to SB 73 for what he said were future                 
 victims of buildings that might collapse.  He predicted the                   
 occurrence of calamities for these future victims, and he                     
 described such occurrences as being unfair under the Statute                  
 of Repose.                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. WINNER labeled it "special interest litigation" for the                   
 design professionals involved in construction projects and                    
 questioned the need for special treatment for architects and                  
 engineers.  He suggested it could be compared it to giving                    
 lawyers the same protection, which he said would also be                      
 unfair to the victims.                                                        
                                                                               
 MR. WINNER explained SB 73 was almost identical to a statute                  
 that was previously struck down as unconstitutional by the                    
 Alaska Supreme Court.  He reviewed the constitutional analysis                
 by the supreme court as well as the policy considerations that                
 were present both then and now.  He predicted the Alaska                      
 Supreme Court would strike the present legislation as also                    
 unconstitutional.                                                             
                                                                               
 MR. WINNER said his view was shared by the attorney for the                   
 Division of Legal Services in a letter to REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN                
 PORTER regarding SB 73.  He reviewed the changes between the                  
 six-year Statute of Repose of the previously unconstitutional                 
 legislation to one of ten years in SB 73 which includes gross                 
 negligence as a causative factor.  MR. WINNER reiterated his                  
 objections to the current legislation as being identical to                   
 the previous statutes which he believed would be adjudged                     
 unconstitutional by the Alaska Supreme Court.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 239                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. WINNER explained why he considered it inappropriate the                   
 legislature would consider a piece of legislation after                       
 receiving similar advice from attorneys.  He reviewed the                     
 concerns noted by the Alaska Supreme Court Case in Turner                    
 Construction Co., Inc. v. Scales, 752 P.2d 467 (Alaska 1988)                 
 when it struck down the earlier bill.  MR. WINNER quoted the                  
 court findings that the Statute of Repose violated the state                  
 constitution's equal protection clause.  He said it deprives                  
 innocent victims of a substantial right to recovery in court.                 
                                                                               
 MR. WINNER quoted the Turner court as finding the purpose of                
 the six-year Statute of Repose was to "encourage construction                 
 and avoid stale claims by shielding certain defendants from                   
 potential future liability."  MR. WINNER said he assumed that                 
 was the same purpose for SB 73, and he explained the court's                  
 determination this did not serve this purpose very well                       
 because of the multiple involvement of participants in a                      
 construction project - besides design professionals.  In                      
 addition, he explained how this affirmed the ruling of several                
 superior court judges, who had considered the statute in                      
 earlier cases.                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 273                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. WINNER continued to review the infirmities he saw in SB
 73 such as the allocation of fault among parties to a piece                   
 of litigation after voters approved an initiative abolishing                  
 joint and several liability.  He said the Statute of Repose                   
 would shift liability to owners, lessees, and persons selling                 
 materials, and he claimed for that reason, SB 73 "stinks."                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR explained the committee was nearly out of time                 
 on the teleconference network, and he asked MR. WINNER to                     
 comment on a couple of proposed amendments to SB 73.                          
                                                                               
 MR. WINNER had suggested in a letter to SENATOR TAYLOR in a                   
 letter, in which he explained to the committee might, or might                
 not, enable SB 73 to pass the courts as statutes.  He said it                 
 would make the legislation less onerous to innocent victims.                  
                                                                               
 MR. WINNER also described a judicial committee, headed by                     
 JUDGE KARL JOHNSTON, Presiding Judge for the Third District,                  
 designated to look at major changes in the court system.  MR.                 
 WINNER suggested the outcome of the committee would be to                     
 dramatically shorten the discovery process and to "smoke out                  
 meritless lawsuits early in the process."  He also proposed                   
 it would reduce the need for legislation such as SB 73.                       
                                                                               
 Number 323                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR requested MR. WINNER to address page 2, line                   
 24, *Sec. 2. ..., ACTIONS TO BE BROUGHT IN SIX YEARS, and                     
 asked why MR. WINNER did not propose amendments for that                      
 section.                                                                      
                                                                               
 MR. WINNER thought the meat of the bill was in * Sec. 3, and                  
 SENATOR TAYLOR agreed with his explanation.                                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR checked the teleconference network for others                  
 wishing to testify on SB 73.  Hearing none, the teleconference                
 ended.                                                                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE proposed splitting the recommendations from MR.                
 WINNER into two amendments and moved Amendment #1.                            
                                                                               
  Page 3, line 19, after ";":                                                  
   Delete "or"                                                                 
                                                                               
  Page 3, line 21, after "contract":                                           
   Insert "; or                                                                
    (4)  if the defect was not discovered or could                             
     not reasonably have been discovered by                                    
     the person bringing an action for       personal injury or propert   ert  
     the decedent in a wrongful death action,                                  
     within the period of time set out under                                   
     (a) of this section."                                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR HALFORD objected to the amendment.  SENATOR TAYLOR                    
 asked SENATOR LITTLE to explain the amendment.                                
                                                                               
 Number 377                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE explained the merits of the amendment and urged                
 support.                                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR defended the amendment, and it passed on a 3 -                 
  1 vote.                                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE proposed Amendment #2 based on the letter from                 
 MR. WINNER as follows:                                                        
                                                                               
  Page 3, line 26,                                                             
   Insert a new subsection to Section 3:                                       
    "(e) If any person or entity is found immune                               
     from suit under this section, the finder                                  
     of fact in any section shall not consider                                 
     that person's or entity's actions or                                      
     failure to act for purposes of allocating                                 
     fault and damages pursuant to                                             
     AS 09.17.080."                                                            
                                                                               
 SENATOR HALFORD objected to the amendment.  SENATOR TAYLOR                    
 again asked SENATOR LITTLE to explain the amendment.                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE thought it would encourage support for the                     
 bill.                                                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR JACKO asked for SENATOR LITTLE'S understanding of the                 
 amendment.                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE deferred to SENATOR TAYLOR who said it was less                
 onerous to the sponsors than the first amendment which he                     
 thought might have some open ended aspects.  He explained                     
 Amendment #2 answers the questions he had previously raised                   
 about protection for those involved in the design and                         
 construction of a building when the fault lies elsewhere in                   
 the construction of the building - such as a faulty hidden                    
 beam.                                                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE said the amendment allowed the liability to be                 
 apportioned to those at fault.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 425                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR and SENATOR HALFORD did not agree, saying it                   
 would transfer the fault.  SENATOR LITTLE thought that was a                  
 correct assessment.  SENATOR TAYLOR described a circumstance                  
 under which the amendment would apply, and SENATOR HALFORD                    
 said it might be transferred to someone not at fault.  There                  
 ensued a general discussion among the committee members as to                 
 fault in the construction.                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE offered to withdraw the amendment, but SENATOR                 
 TAYLOR urged the amendment be offered to committee.                           
                                                                               
 Number 483                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR offered Amendment #2 which carried.                            
                                                                               
 The discussion continued with SENATOR JACKO asking if it would                
 apply to bridges.  SENATOR TAYLOR said it would.                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR HALFORD moved to pass CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 73(JUD)                  
 from committee with individual recommendations.  SENATOR                      
 LITTLE objected, and it passed on a 3 - 1 vote.                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR introduced CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 69 (FIN) (SEX                 
 OFFENDER REGISTRATION) sponsored by REPRESENTATIVE RAMONA                     
 BARNES and represented to the committee by DOUG WOOLIVER,                     
 Staff Attorney.                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 505                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR invited MR. WOOLIVER to present the bill for                   
 HOUSE SPEAKER RAMONA BARNES.                                                  
                                                                               
 MR. WOOLIVER reviewed the sectional analysis for CSHB 69                      
 (FIN): "An Act relating to registration of and information                    
 about sex offenders and amending Alaska Rules of Criminal                     
 Procedure 11(c) and 32(b); and providing for an effective                     
 date."                                                                        
                                                                               
 MR. WOOLIVER explained the bill covered crimes of sexual                      
 assault in the first, second, and third degree; sexual abuse                  
 of a minor in the first, second, and third degree; promoting                  
 prostitution in the first degree; and incest and unlawful                     
 exploitation of a minor.  He also explained the bill covered                  
 crimes not only committed in Alaska but those in other                        
 jurisdictions when those persons moved to Alaska.                             
                                                                               
 MR. WOOLIVER said a sex offender in Alaska would have seven                   
 days in which to register, and those who come to Alaska would                 
 have fourteen days in which to register.  He explained the                    
 provisions of the bill would be retroactive to January 1,                     
 1984.  Anyone convicted of two or more sex offenses would be                  
 required to register for life, and anyone with one sex offense                
 would be required to register for fifteen years.  These                       
 periods would commence after their unconditional discharge.                   
                                                                               
 In Subsection (b)(1), MR. WOOLIVER listed the information to                  
 be contained in the registration, including name, address,                    
 place of employment, date of birth, each conviction for a sex                 
 offense for which the duty to register has not terminated,                    
 date, place and court of sex offense conviction, all aliases                  
 used and driver's license number.  All of this information                    
 would be available to the public except for the offenders'                    
 finger prints, drivers license, and aliases.                                  
                                                                               
 MR. WOOLIVER explained this bill was needed since Alaska leads                
 the nation in child sexual abuse and is second in the nation                  
 in sexual assaults, and he cited studies from California and                  
 other places which accused sex offenders of having the highest                
 recidivism rate.                                                              
                                                                               
 MR. WOOLIVER quoted devastating statistics from various                       
 sources on the differences in sex offenders, the large number                 
 of victims, as well as investigations which concluded that                    
 rapists and child sexual abusers were more likely to be                       
 arrested for new sex crimes if they completed psychological                   
 treatment.  MR. WOOLIVER claimed therapy was deemed to be                     
 ineffective, and he quoted a study from Canada that determined                
 that sex offenders were worse after treatment.  He noted the                  
 high number of children abused by sex offenders who grew up                   
 to be sex offenders themselves.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 545                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. WOOLIVER continued his presentation with an assessment                    
 of the pervasive aspects of the present unregistered sex                      
 offender problem in Alaska.  He said there was a lack of                      
 "handy" information on child sex offenders, and the offenders                 
 were found to be in areas where they had ready access to                      
 children.                                                                     
                                                                               
 MR. WOOLIVER concluded his review of HB 69 by specifying the                  
 uses for the registration of sex offenders, and he referred                   
 to a California study which showed overwhelming support from                  
 law enforcement agencies as a beneficial system for aiding                    
 their jobs.  He said there were currently eighteen states with                
 sex offender registration and a couple more have registration                 
 for drug offenses as well.  He reported HB 69 was similar to                  
 registration legislation in the other states.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 577                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE questioned the constitutionally of the bill                    
 since it would increase the sentence of those persons                         
 convicted of a sex offense.                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. WOOLIVER said this was a fair assessment and had been                     
 brought up in other courts, but it has been found the law was                 
 not punitive, but was regulatory - in most of the other cases.                
 He said this did not violate the ex facto provision of laws,                  
 and the courts in Alaska ......                                               
                                                                               
 TAPE 93-43, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
 .... have addressed similar cases in the past as having a                     
 valid regulatory purpose for the law.                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE suggested there might be punitive effects.  MR.                
 WOOLIVER said she was correct, and he explained the actions                   
 of the court in this respect.  He quoted a constitutional case                
 settled by the supreme court in 1990 which has limitations to                 
 the impact on the convicted person.                                           
                                                                               
 In a series of questions, SENATOR JACKO asked about repeat                    
 offenders?  MR. WOOLIVER answered there was a difference in                   
 registration requirements.  SENATOR JACKO asked if the public                 
 disclosure provisions of the legislation were in excess of                    
 those in other states.  MR WOOLIVER'S answer included a review                
 of disclosure provisions from other states which have                         
 withstood challenge.  The right to privacy was also discussed.                
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked MR. WOOLIVER about restrictions in the                   
 dissemination of registration information.  SENATOR TAYLOR                    
 followed up with a series of questions to determine the limits                
 on the dissemination in other states.  He also asked for the                  
 specific proposed regulation in the bill to determine who has                 
 access to the information.                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. WOOLIVER directed the committee to page 4, line 7, (b) to                 
 explain the extent of disclosure in HB 69.                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR thanked MR. WOOLIVER and invited LIZ DODD,                     
 representing the Alaska Chapter of the Civil Liberties Union,                 
 to testify.                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. DODD described the dissemination of information in the                    
 State of Washington from the registry to police offices, who                  
 then decide whether or not to furnish the information.  She                   
 also explained the process of having a hearing to remove the                  
 offender's name from the registry if that person can prove                    
 they have been rehabilitated.                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 071                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. DODD also described the procedures for access to the                      
 registries in other states, but she explained, under HB 69,                   
 any business person could access the registry to find out the                 
 information.  MS. DODD thought this was a problem and would                   
 not protect any children.                                                     
                                                                               
 In her prepared statement, MS. DODD said the ACLU supported                   
 the intended purpose of protecting the public from the chronic                
 sex offenders, but she thought the bill conflicted with the                   
 constitution.  She listed the concerns of the ACLU beginning                  
 with "drowning the privacy rights of persons who have served                  
 their prescribed sentence for the crime."  She objected to the                
 wide-open public disclosure provision as being excessive                      
 retribution rather than public protection.  MS. DODD thought                  
 this would be struck down by the courts and described it in                   
 terms of ex facto restrictions.                                               
                                                                               
 MS. DODD further used the constitution to protest lumping all                 
 sex offenders together for purposes of registration and for                   
 assuming that all sex offenders are chronic and predatory.                    
 She said this false assumption leads to the conclusion that                   
 no offender should be exempted from registration, even those                  
 considered treatable.                                                         
                                                                               
 MS. DODD said there would be no incentive for offenders to                    
 seek treatment, since they would be considered as an                          
 untreatable offender despite any steps they take to correct                   
 their behavior.  She described how this might lead to an                      
 increase in offenses, especially among the borderline                         
 offenders.  She contrasted this to the State of Washington                    
 where the offender can petition the court to waive                            
 registration requirements.  With this legislation, she said                   
 the first time offender would be treated as a repeat offender                 
 regardless of individual circumstances.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 108                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. DODD explained the difference in sex offenses in Alaska                   
 as being alcohol related, where rehabilitation can diminish                   
 the problem.  She further explained this wouldn't be taken                    
 into consideration in the legislation regardless of treatment                 
 or circumstances.  She claimed the registration would                         
 disproportionally impact rural Alaskans most affected by                      
 alcoholism.  MS. DODD illustrated why she thought this would                  
 be a grievous, race-biased error, and she accused HB 69 of                    
 taking the "drift-net" approach.                                              
                                                                               
 MS. DODD concluded with remarks on cruel and unusual                          
 punishment, where perpetrators could be sentenced to extended                 
 periods, or a life time, of social ostracism and on-going                     
 depravation of their basic rights as protected by the U. S.                   
 Constitution.  She described incidents of public ridicule and                 
 vigilantism used in other states.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 133                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. DODD reviewed the ACLU'S position on the provisions in the                
 legislation, HB 69, as being in conflict with the rights                      
 guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution and the Alaska State                     
 Constitution.  She said the legislation was comparable to the                 
 days of the stock and pillory in the public square - and would                
 do little to stop sex offenses.  She expressed concern that                   
 it would increase sex offenses and limit the treatment of                     
 offenders.                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. DODD asked the committee to hold the bill for further                     
 evaluation of statistics in relation to similar legislation                   
 passed in other states.                                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR called on PAUL NELSON from Haines.                             
                                                                               
 MR. NELSON began his testimony by questioning MR. WOOLIVER on                 
 his statistic that Alaska had six times the national rate for                 
 sex offenses and asked if that was accusations or convictions.                
                                                                               
 MR. WOOLIVER thought they were convictions, but he wasn't                     
 completely sure.  SENATOR TAYLOR said he would find out the                   
 correct statistics and report back to the committee.                          
                                                                               
 MR. NELSON quoted from the Constitution of the United States,                 
 Section 9, that the retroactivity clause was in violation of                  
 the constitution.  He thought registration of sex offenders                   
 might be a good idea but suggested a preference for the parole                
 and probation system.  MR. NELSON said the State of Alaska did                
 not need more laws in violation of the constitution and asked                 
 that the bill not be passed from committee.                                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY asked how it violated the constitution?                        
                                                                               
 MR. NELSON quoted the constitution as saying that no law may                  
 be passed which increases the punishment for a criminal who                   
 has already been sentenced.  He said HB 69 would require                      
 people previously convicted to increase their sentence by                     
 registering.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 175                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY said it was within the police power of the                     
 state to provide public protection, and he claimed this was                   
 not a punishment for sex offenders.  It was meant for public                  
 protection purposes.  MR. NELSON disagreed and reiterated his                 
 arguments.                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR suggested that MR. NELSON'S comments should be                 
 directed to MS. DODD.                                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY asked MR. NELSON for some case law on the                      
 subject, and MR. NELSON again referred to the constitution.                   
                                                                               
 MS. DODD gave an explanation from the documents she has read                  
 and concluded it was a process of public protection being                     
 weighed against the punitive nature arising from retroactive                  
 restrictions.  SENATOR TAYLOR asked MS. DODD for a written                    
 report on her information for the committee.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 209                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR next invited MARCIA MCKENZIE, Program Director                 
 for the Council on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault for the                 
 Department of Public Safety, to testify.                                      
                                                                               
 MS. MCKENZIE presented testimony from the council in support                  
 of HB 69, because the council feels it would deter, if not                    
 prevent, future abuses of women and children.  She quoted                     
 statistics from 1991 that the rate of sexual abuse in Alaska                  
 was more than double the nation average.  She said in 1992 the                
 rate of forcible rape rose 28% from the previous year.                        
                                                                               
 MS. MCKENZIE explained that many sex offenders were released                  
 from prison without having completed sex offender treatment,                  
 which makes for a high likelihood of recidivism.  In addition                 
 to the victimization, the cost of the recidivism is high.  She                
 thought anything that could deter this would be beneficial.                   
                                                                               
 MS. MCKENZIE asked some questions about the registration such                 
 as who would be checking on the offender.  She explained it                   
 would be helpful to the shelter programs to do background                     
 checks on potential employees.  For this reason, she said the                 
 council was supportive of the registration concept.                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE offered a conceptual amendment to allow the                    
 information only released to the law enforcement entities,                    
 with such information released to the general public at the                   
 discretion of these entities.                                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked the committee staff to draw up a draft                   
 of SENATOR LITTLE'S conceptual amendment for consideration by                 
 the committee.                                                                
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE offered an additional conceptual amendment,                    
 similar to a provision in the Washington State law, to offer                  
 the offender the right to petition the court to waive the                     
 registration requirement.                                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked ARTHUR SNOWDEN, Administrative Director                  
 for the Judicial Branch, if he wanted to testify.                             
                                                                               
 MR. SNOWDEN, in reference to the first conceptual amendment                   
 by SENATOR LITTLE, said the didn't want the court to begin                    
 sealing public documents.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 268                                                                    
                                                                               
 Next to speak was MARGO KNUTH, Asst. Attorney General,                        
 Criminal Division, for the Department of Law, who explained                   
 that the first conceptual amendment by SENATOR LITTLE might                   
 cause some tort problems for the state.  She said it would put                
 the law enforcement agencies in the position of deciding the                  
 guidelines used to make the decision as to whether disclosure                 
 is appropriate.                                                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR JACKO asked for additional testimony from other states                
 in which registration of sex offenders was done.                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR reported from MR. WOOLIVER that other states                   
 had similar laws using a screening device.  He asked the staff                
 aide to check with MS. KNUTH in writing the amendments.                       
                                                                               
 MR. WOOLIVER said the waiver provision was discussed in House                 
 Committees, and there were objections from those who work with                
 victims of sexual assault.  He said those in other states who                 
 could afford the lawyers to get the waiver, were sometimes the                
 worst offenders.  He said there had been a concern there would                
 be a disproportionate impact on the native population.                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR JACKO asked MR. WOOLIVER if the registration would                    
 impact the large segment of the native population that commit                 
 suicide.                                                                      
                                                                               
 MR. WOOLIVER didn't know of any studies, but did know there                   
 was a high rate of suicide among the victims of sexual abuse.                 
 He quoted testimony from other committees that there wasn't                   
 a higher percentage of sex offenders, but he offered to do                    
 some research.                                                                
                                                                               
 SENATOR JACKO asked whether there could be the option of                      
 electrocution rather than being registered as an offender.                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR said there being no more questions, testimony                  
 on HB 69 would be tabled for another meeting.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 367                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR returned CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 155(JUD) (USE                  
 OF RENTED PROPERTY/LAW VIOLATIONS) to the committee.  SENATOR                 
 HALFORD moved to pass the bill from committee with individual                 
 recommendations.  The bill passed from committee on a 3-2                     
 vote.                                                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR returned HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 11(FLD S)                  
 (REPEAL OF REGULATIONS BY THE LEGISLATURE) to the committee,                  
 and there being no opposition, SENATOR HALFORD moved to pass                  
 HJR 11 from committee with individual recommendations.                        
 Without objections, so ordered.                                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR introduced HOUSE BILL NO. 112 (UNIFORM LIMITED                 
 PARTNERSHIP ACT UPDATE) introduced by REPRESENTATIVE CARL                     
 MOSES.  TIM BENINTENDI, aide to REPRESENTATIVE CARL MOSES, was                
 invited to testify.                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 381                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. BENINTENDI explained the legislation would compete the                    
 upgrade of Alaska's Uniform Limited Partnership Act, and he                   
 reviewed the uniform law as making it legally compatible among                
 states.  He said it would bring Alaska into conformity with                   
 thirty three other states and make the state more attractive                  
 to investors and lenders.                                                     
                                                                               
 MR. BENINTENDI also said it had the support of the Alaska                     
 Uniform Law Commission, and he reviewed previous upgrading on                 
 the Limited Partnership Act, based on the recommended language                
 from the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State                
 Law with the exception of the certificate format.  He reviewed                
 the actions of the sponsor on the short form v. the long form                 
 certificate and referred the members of the committee to the                  
 information in the bill packet from COMMISSIONER DEBORAH BEHR                 
 and several legal firms, all indicating preference for the                    
 notice form of certification.                                                 
                                                                               
 MR. BENINTENDI described Section 1 as putting the notice form                 
 into the statute - replacing the long form and allowing for                   
 the reduction of cumbersome filing requirements.  He explained                
 the long form requirement process in Section 20 to be made                    
 available.  The remaining sections, MR. BENINTENDI explained,                 
 provided compatible amendments.                                               
                                                                               
 MR. BENINTENDI explained the effective date was to coincide                   
 with the effective date of SB 193 to allow for the body of                    
 amendments to become law on July 1, 1993.  He said there were                 
 two fiscal notes and no opposition.                                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE asked for additional explanation on the                        
 legislation, and MR. BENINTENDI explained it would upgrade the                
 laws from 1916.  He further explained how the new legislation                 
 would simplify the business of partnerships, especially where                 
 many partnerships now number in the thousands.                                
                                                                               
 MR. BENINTENDI explained how HB 112 would greatly assist the                  
 Department of Commerce and Economic Development gather,                       
 assimilate, and keep relevant partnership information current.                
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR said he would hold the bill over for a future                  
 meeting.                                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR introduced CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 161(STA)                     
 (INTEREST RATES: JUDGMENTS/TAXES/ROYALTIES) sponsored by the                  
 Senate Rules Committee by request of the Governor.  SENATOR                   
 TAYLOR invited JOE GELDHOF, from the Attorney General's Office                
 to testify on SB 161.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 435                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. GELDHOF began by suggesting that questions relating to the                
 revenue aspects of the bill, Sections 4 and 5, could be                       
 addressed to the Revenue Department, and he offered to get                    
 those persons for testimony.                                                  
                                                                               
 MR. GELDHOF referred to Section 1 which is the interest on                    
 judgment and prejudgment interest, and noted that the                         
 Administration, the Attorney General, and the Department of                   
 Transportation and Public Facilities strongly support a move                  
 into the market rate for setting interest, both for judgement                 
 or prejudgment interest.                                                      
                                                                               
 MR. GELDHOF offered some amendment language for page 2, which                 
 would alter the language in the State Affairs version to                      
 return the bill to a tort reform compromise.  He explained,                   
 in personal injury cases, a person who prevails, might be                     
 entitled to prejudgment interest, but he proposed to change                   
 in other cases, not set by contract, that prejudgment interest                
 would only be paid from the date of the issuance of the                       
 summons.  He offered to answer questions about the proposed                   
 amendment for Section 1.                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY indicated he didn't like the bill, although                    
 would support Section 2, but not the rest of the bill.                        
                                                                               
 Number 518                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR clarified the language MR. GELDHOF was                         
 proposing to amend in Section 1 dealing with when prejudgment                 
 interest would accrue: from the date of entry of the judgement                
 or decree, from the date of injury or harm, when the initial                  
 summons was issued, or when the initial counter claim or                      
 cross-claim was filed - whichever was earliest.                               
                                                                               
 MR. GELDHOF agreed, and SENATOR TAYLOR further explained it                   
 would make a slight difference in letters-of-demand to be sent                
 or notification to be given to the other side.                                
                                                                               
 MR. GELDHOF said that was his understanding of the status quo                 
 in personal injury cases which had been changed in State                      
 Affairs, and he explained his preference for the original                     
 language.  He wanted to force the demand as well as the                       
 settlement - which is the status quo.  He said the amendment                  
 would change a contract provision eliminating the prejudgment                 
 interest, but would propose a "put up or be quiet" approach,                  
 for those who might wait to sue a day before the statute of                   
 limitations before asking for prejudgment interest.  This                     
 would be for personal injury cases only.                                      
                                                                               
 MR. GELDHOF explained for all other cases, the bill proposed                  
 prejudgment interest which would accrue from the date of                      
 summons in non-personal injury cases.                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY argued this didn't make sense and would defeat                 
 the purpose.  He said it would encourage the filing of a                      
 lawsuit instead of mediation.                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 544                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. GELDHOF suggested the committee might want to make the                    
 same provisions for personal injury as a demand, but he                       
 described the breach of time before a lawsuit is filed.  He                   
 also described the involved agencies as not being wild about                  
 prejudgment interest for a period of time before a suit is                    
 filed.                                                                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY chided the Department of Law as defending the                  
 agencies while the "poor little guy" suffers at the hands of                  
 the department for wrongful withholding of payment.  He said                  
 the legislature was there to protect those people against the                 
 thinking contemplated in the bill.                                            
                                                                               
 MR. GELDHOF thought SENATOR DONLEY had some valid                             
 considerations, but he claimed the legislation provided for                   
 the period not specified by contract what and how prejudgment                 
 would be paid.  He reiterated the request of the legislation                  
 for a market interest rate principal, and he defended the                     
 amendment to reverse the changes by the State Affairs                         
 Committee.                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR thanked MR. GELDHOF for his testimony.                         
                                                                               
 TAPE 93-44, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY thought there was a significant number of                      
 people who would be impacted by the legislation and could have                
 a reverse effect by going to a market rate.  He thought this                  
 solution should be reserved for a decision by the legislature                 
 rather than the Commissioner of Revenue.                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY discussed with SENATOR TAYLOR about a possible                 
 constitutional separation of powers question, and he thought                  
 the present low market rate would not be an incentive for                     
 settlement.  SENATOR DONLEY reiterated his concerns for the                   
 legislation with the exception of Section 2, which he thought                 
 made sense for local governments, and he gave a possible                      
 illustration.                                                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR agreed SENATOR DONLEY had given a correct                      
 illustration, but he thought there was a problem that needed                  
 to be addressed, dealing with the fluctuation of interest                     
 rates.  There was a general discussion on the diversity of                    
 interest rates.                                                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR invited DAN BEARDSLEY, representing the                        
 Department of Transportation to testify.                                      
                                                                               
 MR. BEARDSLEY said he echoed many of the concerns that have                   
 been expressed, and he agreed there presently was a period of                 
 no incentive to reach a settlement with some of the eminent                   
 domain cases.  He thought there was less a timing problem, but                
 more of an incentive to settle or to resolve the matter.  His                 
 department favors the market rate as an incentive not to drag                 
 out a case.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 109                                                                    
                                                                               
 In reference to page 3, Section 5, SENATOR TAYLOR agreed with                 
 the way in which it was expressed by SENATOR DONLEY where the                 
 determination is left to the Commissioner of Revenue to decide                
 the market rate.                                                              
                                                                               
 JEFFERY OTTENSEN, Chief of Right-of-Way for the Department of                 
 Transportation, asked to expand on the previous testimony, and                
 SENATOR TAYLOR invited him to do so.                                          
                                                                               
 MR. OTTENSEN referred to line 13 on page 1, where the interest                
 rate appears to be set no later that December 15 and explained                
 it was not an opinion of the Commissioner of Revenue, but is                  
 information based on the average accepted auction price for                   
 auctions of 52-week United States' Treasury bills (T-bills).                  
                                                                               
 There was a general discussion on this manner of setting the                  
 rate.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 141                                                                    
                                                                               
 ANN WILLIAMS, representing the Municipality of Anchorage,                     
 asked to speak to the committee.  She said SENATOR DONLEY had                 
 laid out quite fairly the position of the Municipality of                     
 Anchorage.  She, too, wanted Section 2 to remain in the bill                  
 and thanked SENATOR DONLEY for expressing the concerns of the                 
 Municipality of Anchorage.                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR JACKO moved to pass CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 161(STA)                   
 (INTEREST RATES: JUDGMENTS/TAXES/ROYALTIES) from committee                    
 with individual recommendations.  SENATOR DONLEY objected.                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY said he would have no problem with moving                      
 Section 2, but he thought there should be more public input                   
 on the remainder of the bill.  He reviewed areas of concern                   
 in the legislation and suggested the legislation be revised                   
 over the interim to give a more comprehensive assessment of                   
 the goals for the legislation.                                                
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY suggested removing Section 2 and sending it on                 
 as a separate bill.                                                           
                                                                               
 Before a vote was completed, SENATOR JACKO withdrew his motion                
 to move SB 161.                                                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR thought Section 1 was good, also, and suggested                
 that those members wishing to make changes, to bring some                     
 prepared amendments next Monday.  There was agreement to this.                
                                                                               
 There being no further business to come before the committee,                 
 the meeting was adjourned at 3:31 p.m.                                        
                                                                               
                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects