Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/02/1994 01:40 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                   SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE                                  
                         March 2, 1994                                         
                           1:40 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
                                                                               
 Senator Robin Taylor, Chairman                                                
 Senator Rick Halford, Vice-Chairman                                           
 Senator Dave Donley                                                           
 Senator Suzanne Little                                                        
                                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Senator George Jacko                                                          
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 321                                                           
 "An Act relating to the taking of a legible set of fingerprints               
 when a person is arrested, upon initial appearance or arraignment,            
 upon the conviction of the person, and when the person is received            
 at a correctional facility, and providing that the set of                     
 fingerprints shall be provided to the Department of Public Safety;            
 relating to criminal and crime records and information; requiring             
 the reporting of information concerning homicides and suspected               
 homicides to the Department of Public Safety for analysis;                    
 requiring the Department of Public Safety to participate in the               
 Federal Bureau of Investigation, Violent Crimes Apprehension                  
 Program."                                                                     
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 286                                                           
 "An Act extending the termination date of the Board of Parole; and            
 providing for an effective date."                                             
                                                                               
 CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 157(TRA)                                               
 "An Act relating to limitations on outdoor advertising signs,                 
 displays, and devices."                                                       
                                                                               
 CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 184(L&C)                                               
 "An Act relating to civil liability of certain nonprofit                      
 corporations and of volunteers of certain nonprofit corporations;             
 and providing for an effective date."                                         
                                                                               
 CS FOR SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 17(RES)                                    
 Relating to reauthorization of the Magnuson Fishery Conservation              
 and Management Act.                                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
                                                                               
 SB 321 - No previous action to record.                                        
                                                                               
 SB 286 - See Labor & Commerce minutes dated 2/15/94.                          
                                                                               
 SB 157 - See Transportation minutes dated 3/23/93, 3/30/93,                   
          2/10/94, and 2/15/94.                                                
                                                                               
 SB 184 - See Labor & Commerce minutes dated 4/13/93 and                       
          1/25/94.                                                             
                                                                               
 SJR 17 - See Resources minutes dated 2/23/94.                                 
                                                                               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
                                                                               
 Senator Rick Halford                                                          
 Prime Sponsor                                                                 
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Reviewed SB 321 and offered two amendments.            
                                                                               
 Steve Branchflower, Assistant District Attorney                               
 Department of Law                                                             
 310 K Street, Suite 520                                                       
 Anchorage, Alaska 99501-1975                                                  
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SB 321.                                      
                                                                               
 Greg Cooper, VICAP Program Manager                                            
 Federal Bureau of Investigations                                              
 Quantico, Virginia                                                            
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Reviewed VICAP.                                        
                                                                               
 Richard Collum, Executive Director                                            
 Alaska Parole Board                                                           
 Department of Corrections                                                     
 P.O. Box 112000                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska 99811-2000                                                     
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Reviewed the amendments to SB 286 and the              
                      Parole Board.                                            
                                                                               
 Michael Stark, Assistant Attorney General                                     
 Department of Law                                                             
 Council, Department of Corrections and the Parole Board                       
 P.O. Box 110300                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300                                                     
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Reviewed the amendments to SB 286 and the              
                      Parole Board.                                            
                                                                               
 Senator Steve Frank                                                           
 Prime Sponsor                                                                 
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SB 157, reviewed SB 184.                     
                                                                               
 Jim Frey                                                                      
 SR Box 360                                                                    
 Gakona, Alaska 99586                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Expressed concerns with SB 157.                        
                                                                               
 Don Butler, Representative                                                    
 Boy Scouts of America                                                         
 United Way                                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska                                                                
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Reviewed SB 184.                                       
                                                                               
 Senator Little                                                                
 Prime Sponsor                                                                 
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SJR 17.                                      
                                                                               
 Richard Lauber                                                                
 Pacific Seafood Processors Association                                        
 321 Highland Drive                                                            
 Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SJR 17.                                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
                                                                               
 TAPE 94-13, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
  CHAIRMAN ROBIN TAYLOR  called the Judiciary Committee meeting to             
 order at 1:40 p.m.  He introduced  SB 321  (FINGERPRINTING AND CRIME     E    
 RECORDS) as the first order of business before the committee.                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR HALFORD explained that SB 321 establishes a uniform system            
 to deal with fingerprinting and it adopts the Violent Crimes                  
 Apprehension Program (VICAP).  The VICAP program has information on           
 unsolved crimes which should help with major serial type cases.               
 VICAP identifies the fingerprint and the crime print in order to              
 prosecute crimes more effectively.  He noted his amendment which              
 was a clarification of the definition of information.  The                    
 amendment by the Department of Public Safety adds violent sexual              
 assaults to the VICAP provisions.  Senator Halford offered those              
 amendments for the committee's review.                                        
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN TAYLOR held the two amendments until the conclusion of the           
 testimony so that the committee could review them.                            
                                                                               
 STEVE BRANCHFLOWER, Assistant District Attorney in the Department             
 of Law, explained that he assists police officers with their cases            
 in order to make better cases.  He informed the committee of the              
 increase in murders in the last few years, especially in Anchorage.           
 The conspiracy bill and the juvenile waiver bill would be a great             
 help in facing this increase in murders.  He pointed out that the             
 legislature could also help prosecutors and police officers through           
 the Uniform Homicide Reporting section of SB 321.  This amendment             
 would guarantee that police across the state would work with VICAP            
 administrators in the prompt sharing of important information;                
 receiving information in a timely manner is very important.  He               
 encouraged the committee to view the video prepared by Greg Cooper.           
 The video features a serial killer who was arrested and prosecuted            
 in Juneau.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Mr. Branchflower described how VICAP evolved.  Before VICAP, there            
 was no national information clearinghouse to compare information.             
 He stated that VICAP, a national computer data information center,            
 collects and analyzes reports of violent crimes, specifically                 
 murder.  He explained that VICAP deals with three categories of               
 homicides:                                                                    
 (1) solved or unsolved homicides which seem to be random in nature,           
 sexually oriented, or those appearing not to have a motive, part of           
 a series of homicides;                                                        
 (2) missing persons suspected of being part of a series of                    
 homicides; and                                                                
 (3) dead bodies suspected of being victims of homicide.                       
                                                                               
 Number 145                                                                    
                                                                               
 A police officer would fill out a VICAP questionnaire detailing all           
 phases of the crime from victimology to physical evidence.  This              
 information is programmed into the VICAP computer and then a search           
 of the database occurs in order to uncover similar patterns of                
 homicide.  Mr. Branchflower noted that if similarities are found,             
 VICAP assists the local law enforcement agencies in coordinating              
 investigations.  He said that this had been successfully used in              
 many Anchorage cases.  He informed the committee that VICAP is                
 located in the Behavioral Sciences Unit of the FBI which allows               
 access to expertise in various areas.  VICAP provides law                     
 enforcement with an important tool, especially helpful for remote             
 states like Alaska.                                                           
                                                                               
 Mr. Branchflower recognized that the VICAP database depends upon              
 reliable information.  Passage of SB 321 would specify that law               
 enforcement officers and prosecutors in Alaska want to participate            
 nationally.  He observed that accurate reporting would increase the           
 chances of catching a murderer before he does more harm.  He                  
 applauded the Department of Public Safety's amendment adding that             
 violent sexual assaults must also be reported.  He pointed out that           
 four other states have passed similar legislation.  He expressed no           
 surprise at the zero fiscal note, many Alaskan officers are doing             
 this on a voluntary basis now.  SB 321 is needed.  He believed that           
 identifying arrested convicts with fingerprints is necessary to               
 notify prosecutors and officers of the type of individual before              
 them, and more importantly, to assist law enforcement protection.             
 Passage of SB 321 would ensure that the data base would                       
 systematically and continuously input fingerprints.  He indicated             
 a slight increase in the burden on the Department of Corrections              
 (DOC), but the fingerprint process should become self-sufficient.             
                                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 244                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE asked if the entire state currently has the                    
 equipment and capability to do fingerprinting.  STEVE BRANCHFLOWER            
 deferred to DOC.  Mr. Branchflower stated that the equipment would            
 not be a large investment and would probably already be present in            
 most police offices.                                                          
                                                                               
 GREG COOPER, VICAP Program Manager, clarified that VICAP's mission            
 is to facilitate the cooperation, communication, and coordination             
 between law enforcement agencies around the country and support               
 their efforts to investigate, identify, track, apprehend, and                 
 prosecute the targeted violent serial killer.  The VICAP national             
 data clearinghouse is involved in case matching, multi-agency                 
 investigative task forces and major case management consultation.             
 VICAP provides research, publication, training, and investigative             
 resources in order to have efficient and effective investigations             
 regarding a serial killer.                                                    
                                                                               
 From a policy and administrative perspective, Mr. Cooper supported            
 any effort to increase VICAP's admissions; the success of the case            
 matching capability is contingent upon the amount and accuracy of             
 these unsolved homicides.  He informed the committee that                     
 currently, the VICAP database contains over 8,000 cases which seems           
 small in comparison to the 22,000 homicides per year.                         
 Approximately 69 percent of those homicides are unsolved.  He                 
 explained that much of the reason for the decrease in the ability             
 to solve homicides was related to the serial killer phenomena.  A             
 serial killer often travels over county and state jurisdictions               
 which emphasizes law enforcement's difficulty in communicating with           
 each other.  VICAP attempts to coordinate law enforcement                     
 organizations in an interdependent manner.  In conclusion, he                 
 applauded the efforts to increase VICAP admissions.                           
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN TAYLOR thanked Mr. Cooper for his testimony.  He asked if            
 there were any questions from the committee.                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY moved to adopt Senator Halford's amendment,                    
 Amendment 1.                                                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE asked if Amendment 1 would require that                        
 fingerprinting be done at a correctional facility.  SENATOR HALFORD           
 clarified that Amendment 1 replaces (d) with more specific                    
 language.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Hearing no objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY moved to adopt the Department of Public Safety's               
 amendment, Amendment 2.  CHAIRMAN TAYLOR pointed out that the                 
 insert for page 5, line 1 did not specify exactly where to insert             
 the new language.  SENATOR DONLEY moved to adopt Amendment 2 with             
 drafting corrections.  The insert was said to be placed on page 5,            
 line 1, after "committed."  Hearing no objections, Amendment 2 was            
 adopted.                                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR HALFORD moved that the adopted amendments be incorporated             
 into a Judiciary CS and that CSSB 321(JUD) be moved out of                    
 committee with individual recommendations.  Hearing no objections,            
 it was so ordered.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 362                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN TAYLOR introduced  SB 286  (CONDITIONS OF PAROLE; EXTEND BD     D    
 OF PAROLE) as the next order of business before the committee.                
                                                                               
 RICHARD COLLUM, Executive Director of the Alaska Parole Board,                
 thanked Chairman Taylor and his staff for preparing some amendments           
 today.  He explained that there were two amendments:  one which               
 would allow one board member to set conditions and the other                  
 amendment would extend the board for ten years.  He pointed out               
 that the sponsor statement contains a typographical error, there              
 are currently 700 felons on parole supervision.                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE asked if the members of the board had to be approved           
 every four years.  RICHARD COLLUM clarified that each member is               
 appointed to a five year term with one member being appointed each            
 year.  The Board of Parole falls under the Title 44 sunset                    
 provisions of being reviewed every four years, Legislative Audit              
 does a report every four years.  Mr. Collum noted that Legislative            
 Audit suggested extending the board for ten years.  The audit would           
 then be every ten years.                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY noted constituents' complaints regarding the board.            
 The complaints suggested that the board discouraged victims from              
 attending the meetings.  He stated that he reviewed the written               
 notification given to victims, it did not seem to have any                    
 problems.  He inquired as to the possibility that a negative                  
 perception was being given orally.  RICHARD COLLUM was sure that              
 the board members and their staff were not discouraging victims.              
 Mr. Collum noted that they rely on institutional probation officers           
 and field probation officers to do much of the notification.  Mr.             
 Collum stated that currently, they had encouraged teleconference              
 testimony by victims.  There was some question regarding whether              
 they would actually do the teleconferencing or whether the                    
 institutions would even permit that.                                          
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN TAYLOR expressed concern regarding the need for repealers            
 in other sections in order to accomplish the ten year provision.              
 He asked if the ten year provision was of major significance.                 
 RICHARD COLLUM stated that the board does not object to four years;           
 the ten year extension was offered due to Legislative Audit's                 
 suggestion.  The bill was originally heard on the four year basis.            
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY inquired as to the board's role with the furlough              
 program.  RICHARD COLLUM deferred to the Department of Corrections,           
 the Parole Board does not have a role in furlough program.                    
                                                                               
 Number 430                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR HALFORD asked why the first six sections of SB 286 were               
 retroactive to 1986.                                                          
                                                                               
 MICHAEL STARK, Assistant Attorney General and Counsel to the Alaska           
 Department of Corrections and the Parole Board, explained that                
 sections 1-6 were intended to fix loopholes.  The Parole Board is             
 a part-time board which meets every few months and the present                
 statutes require decisions by the board be approved by a quorum of            
 the board, three members.  He noted that traditionally, a single              
 board member, usually in Juneau, would be responsible for setting             
 the supplemental conditions.  There are some standard conditions              
 that apply to every mandatory parolee.                                        
                                                                               
 Mr. Stark informed the committee that recently some prisoners                 
 awaiting release to mandatory parole are challenging the                      
 establishment of their supplemental parole conditions because those           
 decisions were made by a single board member.  In order for the               
 board to set supplemental conditions of mandatory parole, frequent            
 meetings by the board would be required which would create an                 
 unnecessary drain on the State's treasury.  He believed that a                
 single board member is competent to set supplemental conditions and           
 furthermore, the prisoner can object or appeal the proposed                   
 conditions to the entire board.  In response to Senator Halford, he           
 said that sections 1-6 were retroactive to January 1, 1986 because            
 that is when the statute was first enacted which should eliminate             
 some of the litigation and expenses.  This clarifies that the board           
 is not required to meet to set these conditions, the board can                
 delegate that responsibility to one board member.                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR HALFORD asked if there are pending lawsuits on that issue.            
 MICHAEL STARK said yes, there are a number of lawsuits pending.               
 CHAIRMAN TAYLOR asked if the litigation was only on the issue of              
 one board member setting supplemental conditions.  MICHAEL STARK              
 said no, but it is a significant issue that is pending.  Mr. Stark            
 noted that he hoped to moot out this issue by the adoption of the             
 committee substitute.                                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR HALFORD inquired as to the board's thoughts on having two             
 lists of the board's conditions of parole:   one of mandatory                 
 requirements and the other of permissive requirements.  He                    
 indicated the need to require that a parolee "shall" not possess or           
 control firearms or other dangerous weapons.                                  
 The committee was informed that there are thirteen standard                   
 conditions of which Senator Halford's concern was one.  Weapons,              
 violation of the law, alcohol, association with felons, and others            
 apply to everyone on discretionary or mandatory parole.                       
                                                                               
 MICHAEL STARK noted that a number of inmates have challenged the              
 board's adoption of regulations making mandatory what the                     
 legislature considers discretionary with the board.                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR HALFORD suggested that the thirteen standards be put into             
 the regulations.  MICHAEL STARK said that those standards are                 
 currently reflected in statute.  CHAIRMAN TAYLOR said that they               
 would review this and perhaps, offer an amendment.                            
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN TAYLOR held SB 286 for further review.                               
                                                                               
 Number 520                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN TAYLOR introduced  SB 157  (PROHIBITED HIGHWAY ADVERTISING)     )    
 as the next order of business.                                                
                                                                               
 SENATOR FRANK, Prime Sponsor, explained that SB 157 would allow               
 advertising for directional signing for highway dependent                     
 businesses.  Currently, federal law prohibits off premises                    
 advertising on federally aided highways.  He noted that the state             
 law goes further, the federal law allows off premises signing for             
 areas zoned commercial or industrial.  He directed the committee to           
 section 2 on page 3 of SB 157, where authorization for the                    
 department's airspace leasing program would be put into statutes.             
 Business on or adjacent to the highway can lease right-of-way space           
 from the department or the state to put up a sign.  The Tourist               
 Orientational Directional Signing (TODS) program authorized by the            
 federal government would also be placed in statutes.                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE stated that she had the responsibility of writing              
 and enforcing the Soldotna sign ordinance.  She asked if SB 157               
 would override a municipality's ability to have stricter signing              
 regulations.  SENATOR FRANK said yes, but only to a limited degree.           
 SB 157 does not allow a municipality to prohibit a sign authorized            
 in section 1 of the bill.                                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR HALFORD indicated that it would be controlled by zoning.              
 SENATOR FRANK agreed, signs would only be allowed in areas zoned              
 commercial or industrial.                                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE emphasized the need to have an exemption for                   
 municipalities who currently have or wish to have their own signing           
 regulations.                                                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR FRANK said that he would be willing to consider language              
 speaking to Senator Little's concerns.  Allowing for limited                  
 signing is an important element of SB 157.  He pointed out the need           
 to review that concern with care so as not to lose the intent of              
 the bill.                                                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE agreed that the intent of SB 157 should not be lost.           
 She stated that Soldotna had restrictive sign regulations in order            
 to comply with state regulations.  She felt some loosening would              
 occur, but cities such as Soldotna should not be forced to loosen             
 their current regulations.                                                    
                                                                               
 TAPE 94-13, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 590                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR HALFORD felt that the national sign ordinance was a                   
 national disgrace.  He stated that he wanted the minimum mandate              
 necessary in order not to lose federal funds.  From that point,               
 municipalities should be allowed to make their own regulations.               
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE inquired as to the possibility that federal funds              
 would be lost through the passage of SB 157.  SENATOR FRANK said              
 no, SB 157 does not go as far as the federal law allows.                      
 Currently, state law does not allow the exemption allowed in                  
 federal law for signing on property zoned commercial or industrial.           
 SB 157 opens a limited window of opportunity for commercial or                
 industrial zoned areas.                                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR HALFORD referred to page 2, lines 15-18 of SB 157 when                
 asking why an individual business must document at least 75                   
 percent; why not 25 percent, 50 percent, or a significant portion             
 of their revenue.  Would that effect federal funds?  He inquired of           
 the 20 mile restriction.  He expressed the need to know what could            
 be done for these businesses to have informative signs regardless             
 of whether 75 percent of their business comes from 20 miles away.             
                                                                               
 SENATOR FRANK explained that SB 157 attempts to provide highway               
 dependent businesses an opportunity under state law to loosen the             
 current restrictive signing laws.  He indicated that they are                 
 attempting to help the general public while staying within the                
 federal guidelines.  He stated that he was open to suggestions                
 regarding the percentage of the business and the mileage                      
 requirements.                                                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR HALFORD asserted that as long as municipalities can adopt             
 their own standard, he would support the minimum standard that                
 would not jeopardize federal funding, in the unincorporated areas.            
 He expressed concern with saying that if a business deals mainly              
 with tourists then they would be allowed to have signs while a                
 business dealing mainly with locals would not be allowed the same             
 signing.                                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR FRANK explained that some are compelled by the notion that            
 visitors could not find their way without signing; whereas locals             
 know where things are located.                                                
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN TAYLOR informed the committee that a group in Wrangell               
 purchased green highway signs, built to specs by the Department of            
 Transportation (DOT).  DOT has not allowed them to put up these               
 signs on the highway.  They are informative signs noting the                  
 direction to the restroom, the campground, etcetera.  He did not              
 understand that situation.                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR FRANK reiterated his desire to present something that would           
 work.  He felt that they had broad bipartisan support for SB 157.             
 He indicated that they try to be sensitive to highway dependent               
 businesses while not promoting a proliferation of billboards.                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR held SB 157.                                                   
                                                                               
 JIM FREY stated that he did auto repair work at a gas station on              
 Tok Highway.  He expressed concern with SB 157.  CHAIRMAN TAYLOR              
 pointed out that the committee is trying to open up SB 157.                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN TAYLOR said that the committee would work with Senator               
 Frank to come up with a CS and some amendments.  SB 157 will be               
 rescheduled as soon as possible.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 481                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN TAYLOR introduced  SB 184  (VOLUNTEERS AND EMPLOYEES OF              
 NONPROFITS) as the next order of business before the committee.               
                                                                               
 SENATOR FRANK, Prime Sponsor, explained that SB 184 would limit the           
 liability of nonprofit agency volunteers.  He said that he is                 
 trying to promote volunteerism of nonprofit agencies; nonprofit               
 volunteers should not be held liable for actions that are not                 
 grossly negligent, reckless, or intentional misconduct.  SB 184               
 requires that in order for nonprofit agencies to be exempt, the               
 agency would have to carry insurance, at least $200,000 per                   
 individual claim or $500,000 for all claims.  He noted that a small           
 nonprofit agency would not be required to carry insurance; small              
 meaning administrative operating costs of less that $100,000 in the           
 previous year and the nonprofit must be exempt from the Internal              
 Revenue Code.                                                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY pointed out that the Department of Law's memorandum            
 is different than SB 184.  The memorandum stated that the liability           
 of the nonprofit agencies would not be effected.  SENATOR FRANK was           
 not sure that the April 28, 1993 memorandum was still applicable.             
 Senator Frank noted that the scope of the bill had been limited due           
 to concerns of the Labor & Commerce Committee.  This memorandum               
 could speak to a different bill.                                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY said that there are many types of nonprofit                    
 agencies; he was not sure that nonprofit agencies should be                   
 insulated.  CHAIRMAN TAYLOR noted that SEAC, the Sierra Club, and             
 Green Peace are nonprofit.  Chairman Taylor expressed concern with            
 insulating those groups.  SENATOR DONLEY asked if the American Nazi           
 Party was nonprofit.  Senator Donley stated that he did not want to           
 give unlimited liability to all nonprofit groups solely because               
 they are nonprofit.                                                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR FRANK suggested that perhaps, a narrower definition of the            
 envisioned nonprofit agencies could be used.  He said that he was             
 thinking of United Way type agencies.                                         
                                                                               
 DON BUTLER, representing the Boy Scouts of America and the United             
 Way, suggested setting the limits of liability required higher.               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN TAYLOR discussed a pedophile case in Ketchikan, where the            
 pedophile was a Boy Scout leader.  He said that the Ketchikan case            
 illustrates the importance to not shield against those activities.            
                                                                               
 SENATOR FRANK reviewed the Labor & Commerce version of SB 184.  He            
 thought that they had removed employees and corporations.  The                
 focus of SB 184 was on the immunity of the volunteers.  He assumed            
 that the case Chairman Taylor cited should be considered                      
 intentional conduct.  CHAIRMAN TAYLOR agreed that the case was                
 criminal conduct, intentional.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 358                                                                    
                                                                               
 DON BUTLER suggested that upping the limit of liability that                  
 nonprofit agencies should carry would be beneficial.  He noted that           
 they carry a $15 million blanket.                                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE noted that SB 184 exempts nonprofit agencies                   
 operating with less that $100,000 a year administrative costs.  She           
 said that most nonprofit agencies operate under $100,000.  She                
 inquired as to the reasoning behind that amount.  SENATOR FRANK               
 stated that the amount was a way to distinguish between larger and            
 smaller nonprofit agencies.  Senator Frank felt that most nonprofit           
 agencies would be above that $100,000 amount.                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR FRANK inquired of the committee's thoughts regarding if the           
 bill was only limited to volunteers with the standard as stated on            
 page 2, line 11 subsection (d).  SENATOR LITTLE thought that was a            
 good approach, but she did not understand (b); would it apply only            
 up to the amount of liability insurance carried by the entity.                
                                                                               
 SENATOR FRANK explained that the original intent was that if you              
 were going to allow for some immunity, limited liability, for                 
 volunteers or corporations, they should be required to carry some             
 insurance.  If they were a large nonprofit corporation, they would            
 need insurance in which case their liability would be limited to              
 the amount of the insurance.  This would eliminate expensive claims           
 that could bankrupt a nonprofit corporation.                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY clarified that corporations can only be sued up to             
 the amount of their insurance or gross.  SENATOR FRANK agreed.                
 SENATOR DONLEY noted that this only applies to nonprofit                      
 corporations carrying a minimum insurance of $200,000 per                     
 individual, which means they could be sued up to $200,000.                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE asked if nonprofits are currently required to have             
 liability insurance.  SENATOR TAYLOR explained that they would be             
 required to carry liability insurance if they are grantees of the             
 state.  The state requires an indemnification agreement.                      
 Nonprofits are defined under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue                
 Code.                                                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR said that he could envision many different                     
 situations.  He used two nonprofits in Wrangell that are daycare              
 centers with volunteers and salary workers as an example.  If the             
 daycare center was coloring eggs and one of the volunteers boiling            
 water for the eggs tripped and spilled the boiling water on a                 
 couple of kids.  He said that the employee would be immune and the            
 nonprofit could not be sued because the situation would probably              
 not be considered gross negligence.  He pointed out the two                   
 different mindsets in the legislature:  one view is concerned with            
 people being individually accountable for their criminal                      
 activities, while another view is concerned with not making the               
 individual accountable civilly.  He expressed the need for more               
 work on SB 184.                                                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR FRANK offered to work with the committee to meet the intent           
 of the bill without causing any harm.                                         
                                                                               
 Number 238                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN TAYLOR introduced  SJR 17  (MAGNUSON FISHERY CONSRV & MGT            
 ACT) as the last order of business before the committee.                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE, Prime Sponsor, explained that SJR 17 asks Congress            
 to retain current geographic composition of the North Pacific                 
 Fishery Council.  Alaska needs to retain its designated seats on              
 that council.  She noted the changes that the new CS encompasses:             
 changes "will" to "may" on page 2, line 4 of the resolution, and              
 five names were added to the list of the copies of the resolution.            
 She pointed out the position paper in the committee packets.  She             
 urged favorable consideration of the committee.                               
                                                                               
 RICHARD LAUBER stated support for SJR 17.                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE moved SJR 17 out of committee with individual                  
 recommendations.  Hearing no objections, it was so ordered.                   
 There being no further business before the committee, Chairman                
 Taylor adjourned the meeting at 3:05 p.m.                                     
                                                                               
                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects