Legislature(1993 - 1994)
04/06/1994 01:40 PM JUD
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE April 6, 1994 1:40 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Robin Taylor, Chairman Senator Rick Halford, Vice-Chairman Senator George Jacko Senator Dave Donley Senator Suzanne Little OTHERS PRESENT Senator Bert Sharp COMMITTEE CALENDAR SENATE BILL NO. 293 "An Act relating to the authority of the commissioner of natural resources to reconvey, or relinquish an interest in, land to the United States if that land or interest being reconveyed or relinquished is identified in an amended application for a land allotment under federal law." SENATE BILL NO. 370 "An Act providing an exemption from gambling laws for gambling conducted by cruise ships for their ticketed passengers in the offshore water of the state outside of ports; defining `cruise ship'; and providing for the licensing of certain cruise ships before they can conduct gambling in the offshore water of the state." HOUSE BILL NO. 373 "An Act relating to investments of the permanent fund involving equity interests in and debt obligations secured by mortgages on real estate; and providing for an effective date." SENATE BILL NO. 333 "An Act relating to disclosure of close economic associations by certain state employees and to the prohibition against nepotism in the executive branch of state government; and providing for an effective date." SENATE BILL NO. 342 "An Act relating to risk based capital for insurers; and providing for an effective date." SENATE BILL NO. 127 "An Act authorizing capital punishment, classifying murder in the first degree as a capital felony, and establishing sentencing procedures for capital felonies; authorizing an advisory vote on instituting capital punishment; and providing for an effective date." PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION SB 293 - See Resources minutes dated 3/23/94. SB 370 - No previous action to record. HB 373 - No previous action to record. SB 333 - See State Affairs minutes dated 3/16/94. SB 342 - See Labor & Commerce minutes dated 3/15/94. SB 127 - See Judiciary minutes dated 11/16/93 and 2/7/94. WITNESS REGISTER Bryce Edgmon, Aide Senator George Jacko State Capitol Juneau, AK 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 293. Tom Hawkins, Senior Vice-President Bristol Bay Native Corporation P.O. Box 100220 Anchorage, Alaska 99510 POSITION STATEMENT: Supports SB 293. Don Stolworthy, Director Charitable Gaming Division Department of Revenue P.O. Box 110440 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0440 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 370. Tom Dow Princess Tours 2815 2nd Ave., Suite 400 Seattle, Washington 98119 POSITION STATEMENT: Supports SB 370. Bill Scott, Executive Director Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation Department of Revenue P.O. Box 25500 Juneau, Alaska 99802-5500 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 373. Randy Welker, Auditor Legislative Audit Division Legislative Affairs Agency P.O. Box 11330 Juneau, Alaska 99811-3300 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 333. Kevin Richie, Director Division of Personnel/EEO Department of Administration P.O. Box 110201 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0201 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 333. Dave Walsh, Director Division of Insurance Dept. of Commerce & Economic Development P.O. Box 110805 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0805 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 342. Jerry Reinwand 2 Marine Way #219 Juneau, Alaska 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 370. Susan Burke, Attorney Gross & Burke 424 North Franklin Juneau, Alaska 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 370. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 94-30, SIDE A Number 001 CHAIRMAN ROBIN TAYLOR called the Judiciary Committee meeting to order at 1:40 p.m. (Due to a malfunction in the taping of the first tape of the committee meeting, the minutes for SB 293 have been compiled from the log notes, a newspaper article from the December 24, 1993 issue of THE BRISTOL BAY TIMES, the ANCSA Technical Amendment Package, and correspondence from BBNA-Realty and the Bristol Bay Native Corporation.) SENATOR TAYLOR introduced SB 293 (NATIVE ALLOTMENTS ON STATE LAND) and invited the sponsor, SENATOR GEORGE JACKO, to review the bill. SENATOR JACKO explained the bill would resolve long-standing Native allotment applications in Wood-tikchik State Park, the state is proposing two options that will circumvent federal adjudication and quicken the process. The state Department of Natural Resources is offering to relocate allotments in the state park to unencumbered parcels of equal size anywhere in the state. There was a discussion between SENATOR TAYLOR and SENATOR JACKO about which state lands would be exchanged, the value basis of the exchanged land, and whether it would be an acre for acre exchange. SENATOR JACKO explained it would be on an acre for acre exchange. SENATOR JACKO said it would provide an opportunity for an allotment applicant with a valid application as of December 18, 1971 and whose application remains pending as of October 14, 1992, to amend the applicants land description. He said the exchange is purely voluntary on the part of the allottee. This legislation resolves allottee/State conflicts over land primarily in State park areas. SENATOR DONLEY asked about a clear title to the exchanged land, and SENATOR JACKO said there would be clear titles. SENATOR JACKO directed his aide, BRYCE EDGMON, to continue the testimony. "The allotments originally came under the Native Allotment Act of 1906, which was sunsetted in 1991 with the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. As a result, many applications for allotments were filed in 1971. But in 1961 the State had selected land that is now Wood-Tikchik State Park as part of its statehood entitlement. The park itself was created in 1978 with the mandate to protect the area's fish and wildlife breeding and support systems, and to preserve the continued use of the area for subsistence and recreation. Applicants for allotments in the state park must prove use and occupancy of their parcel to the potential exclusion of others prior to 1961." SENATORS JACKO, LITTLE, and DONLEY discussed with MR. EDGMON as to who makes the selections, the 1971 claims, customary use and trapping, the role of the Bristol Bay Native Corporation, protected areas, and no-net loss. SENATOR LITTLE asked about the amount of land involved, and SENATOR JACKO answered it was 1.6 million acres. SENATORS TAYLOR and HALFORD discussed possible claims, where the land was located within the state parks, the number of acres, trust land, replacement land, BLM land, tax advantages, and the manner in which the lands were to be swapped. TOM HAWKINS, of the Bristol Bay Native Corporation was brought into the discussion, and his remarks are quoted from the BRISTOL BAY TIMES: "This past summer, on the urging of TOM HAWKINS, chief executive officer of the Bristol Bay Native Corporation, a meeting was held with representatives of the state DNR, the federal BLM, BBNC and BBNA. Out of that came an agreement that BLM would work on 10 case files a month during the winter, meaning that it would send out 90-day letters for ten applicants each month. The letters give notice of interested parties that they have 90 days to make comments for or against the application. Last year, REPRESENTATIVE DON YOUNG sponsored an amendment to ANCSA that allows valid alotees to relocate their parcel of state land to other state land. The relocation must be voluntary. The state DNR and REPRESENTATIVE LYMAN HOFFMAN are seeking a similar amendment to state law." The was considerably more discussion on natural resources, the Statehood Act, the BLM, state park land, trespassing, title problems, and many options. SENATOR HALFORD moved to pass SENATE BILL NO. 293 (NATIVE ALLOTMENTS ON STATE LAND) from committee with individual recommendations. Without objections, so ordered. SENATOR TAYLOR introduced SB 370 (ALLOW GAMBLING ON CRUISE SHIPS) sponsored by the Senate Transportation Committee and asked SENATOR SHARP to review the bill. (Due to a malfunction in the taping of the first tape of the committee meeting, the minutes for SB 370 have been compiled from the log notes, Sponsor Statement, the Sectional Summary, and correspondence from Princess Tours, Royal Cruise Line, Regency Cruises, Cunard, and Crystal Cruises, all in support of SB 370.) SPONSOR STATEMENT: "Senate Bill 370 authorizes to the Department of Commerce and Economic Development to license cruise ships to conduct gambling outside of three nautical miles of state ports. Casino gambling on cruise ships has been a well established practice for over twenty years, but state laws prohibit the practice on waters under state jurisdiction. By allowing limited gambling activities in these waters, the state benefits from the collection of annual licensing fees of $5,000 to $15,000 depending on the size of the ship. Casino gambling on cruise ships has no impact whatsoever on Alaskan communities, and polled residents have approved of the established cruise ship gambling by a significant majority (more than 5 to 1). In the interest of taking advantage of this potential resource of revenue, I urge your support of SB 370. SENATOR SHARP disputed the fiscal note from the Charitable Gaming Division which projected the need for two additional positions with operating expenses of $140.4 thousand. In addition, the analysis was, "Based upon the licensing fee structure in SB 370 and the scheduled number of vessels sailing in Alaska waters in 1994, total program receipts should equal $295.0 thousand." There was some discussion as to whether it would exclude the state ferries, and SENATOR SHARP said it would. DON STOLWORTHY, Director of the Charitable Gaming Division defended the fiscal note for the Department of Revenue, and he referenced subsection (d) on page 2, lines 8 through 11. There was general discussion among the committee members about the administration of the provisions, the amount of money involved, taxing provisions, and exemptions. TOM DOW, Vice-President of Princess Tours read his letter of support for SB 370: (Somewhat abbreviated) "This letter is offered in support of SB 370. This legislation would allow gambling aboard cruise ships within Alaskan waters for ticketed cruise passengers. Cruise ships within Alaskan waters would be required to pay a fee to the state for a license prior to conducting gambling under this legislation. Cruise ships have offered gambling as an ancillary entertainment activity for their passengers in Alaska for over twenty years. Alaska Competes in the international marketplace. Onboard gambling has become generally accepted as one of the variety of activities offered by cruise lines in all the major cruising destinations. The public policy concerns related to gambling are not compromised by the passage of SB 370. There is no impact to Alaskan families or communities or to the "peace and tranquility" of any area of Alaska as a result of these activities aboard cruise ships. Research clearly shows that Alaskans appreciate the importance of tourism to the economy of the state. It also shows that Alaskans don't favor prohibiting the traditional operation of casinos aboard and never have. Although gambling has never been a primary reason to choose an Alaskan cruise, both passengers and travel agents have come to expect gambling as a part of the package of activities, which they would find in a world class cruise vacation. Eliminating gambling within Alaskan waters would mean that Alaskan cruises would offer something less than that which is available to passengers on the same ships when they are sailing in other locations. ... " SENATOR TAYLOR decided to hold the bill for now. SENATOR TAYLOR introduced HB 373 (PERMANENT FUND INVESTMENTS IN REAL ESTATE) by Request of the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee, and invited BILL SCOTT, Executive Director for the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation to testify on the legislation. (Due to a malfunction in the taping of the first tape of the committee meeting, the minutes for HB 373 have been compiled from the log notes, and selected parts of the Memorandum from the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation as presented by MR. SCOTT.) MR. SCOTT: "HB 373 and SB 245 were originally identical bills introduced by the Legislative Budget & Audit Committee at the request of the Board of Trustees. The Trustee's goal is to amend the Permanent Fund's list of authorized investments to provide for up to 100 percent ownership in real estate investments. HB 373 - which would accomplish the Trustee's goal - passed the House nearly unanimously with only one vote in opposition. ... The Board of Trustees requests that you move the House Bill, HB 373 as originally introduced, from your committee, and here are the reasons why the Corporation supports this version over CSSB245(L&C). Existing Investments - The fund currently owns approximately 10 investments with a market value in excess of $100 million. If for some reason, the Fund determines that it would be in our best interest to buy out our partners, even if only on a temporary basis in order to find new partners, the $100 million limitation would prevent that opportunity. New Investments - Real estate is an increasingly competitive market, and finding good new investments is getting harder all the time. for example, the Fund has made now new purchases in the first quarter of this calendar year and there are no closings scheduled for the second quarter either. Safety - Although $100 million is a great deal of money it is only y two-thirds of one percent of a $15 billion Fund, and in the past, the Fund has made investments larger than this. For example, it has not been uncommon for the Fund to own as much as $400 million of a single issue of U.S. Treasury bonds. The primary reasons your Fund managers are seeking changes in the existing real estate statute are: (1) to gain increased management control over the Fund's real estate investments; and (2) to help the Board of Trustees reach their real estate asset allocation target. We have been trying to reach that 10 percent target for about ten years and have never come much closer than we are today. It is our view that the Fund will be unable to reach its desired real estate asset allocation until there is relief provided from the 40% ownership rule. Besides the control issue and the need to make larger investments to reach the asset allocation targets, there are other reasons to allow your Permanent Fund to purchase up to 100 percent ownership in properties. The first is that the Fund sometimes loses excellent investment opportunities simply because sellers are unwilling or unable to wait for the Fund to identify co-investment partner, or because our co-investment partner ultimately decides to take the entire investment. The Fund invests in real estate to maximize the risk and return benefits of diversification. There is nothing in the bill which would hinder that, and much that would enhance it. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I request that you give their concerns serious consideration." (Thus ends MR. SCOTT'S prepared testimony.) There was a short question and answer session among the committee members and MR. SCOTT. SENATOR LITTLE moved to pass HOUSE BILL NO. 373 (PERMANENT FUND INVESTMENTS IN REAL ESTATE) from committee with individual recommendations. Without objections, so ordered. SENATOR TAYLOR introduced SB 333 (DISCLOSURE OF EXECUTIVE BRANCH CLOSE ASSOCIATIONS) at the request of the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee, and asked RANDY WELKER, Legislative Auditor, to review the legislation. (Due to a malfunction in the taping of the first tape of the committee meeting, the minutes for SB 333 have been compiled from the log notes, and selected parts of the Memorandum from RANDY WELKER, the Legislative Auditor for the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee.) MR. WELKER: "This memorandum is provided to briefly summarize the contents of Senate Bill 333. The bill introduced by the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee is in response to an audit released last year. The impetus for the suggested changes comes primarily from our audit of the Department of Public Safety's Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection (FWP). However, the problem identified is not limited to only FWP. Other public officials with discretionary authority could also be placed in a conflict of interest position. Section 1 of the bill establishes a requirement for disclosure of the formation or maintenance of a close economic association similar to that contained in the Legislative Ethics Act. The bill also requires a public officer, if it appears feasible and in the best interests of the state, to refrain from taking or with- holding official action in a matter that directly involves a person with whom the public officer has a close economic association. However, if taking or withholding official action is not avoidable, the public officer shall immediately disclose the action to the public officer's designated supervisor. The bill requires a supervisor, to whom a public officer has made a disclosure, to make a written determination of whether the officer's involvement could constitute a conflict of interest. The supervisor could reassign duties to avoid the conflict or the supervisor may direct the divestiture or removal by the officer of the financial interest given rise to the conflict. Section 2 of the bill is a change to the nepotism prohibition in statute. As the result of an isolated circumstance we found at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute, we are recommending that the statute be expanded. Currently the only relationship that is prohibited is that a person may not be employed in the same department or agency if they are the spouse of, or related by blood to, the executive head of a principal state department agency. We are recommending that the statute be expanded to include all supervisory/subordinate relationships (not just a relationship to the commissioner) and that the definition of relationship is expended to include a regular member of the officer's household. I appreciate the Committee's consideration of this legislation. If enacted, this legislation will help improve the public perception and clarify the legislature's disapproval of close economic associations by public officials who have discretion in taking or withholding official action that may affect the public officer or a person with whom the public officer has an economic association." MR. WELKER presented some recommendations for suggested changes in AS 39.90.020, AS 24.60.090, and AS 39.52.960. There was some discussion among the committee members about close economic ties, first and second cousins, and how disclosures should be determined. KEVIN RICHIE, Director for the Division of Personnel/EEO, Dept. of Administration, answered questions by SENATOR LITTLE on class action suits, infringements, and adverse actions. SENATOR JACKO moved to pass SENATE BILL NO. 333 (DISCLOSURE OF EXECUTIVE BRANCH CLOSE ASSOCIATIONS) from committee with individual recommendations. Without objections, so ordered. SENATOR TAYLOR introduced SB 342 (RISK BASED CAPITAL FOR INSURERS) and invited DAVE WALSH, Director of the Division of Insurance, for the Department of Commerce and Economic Development, to explain the legislation. (Due to a malfunction in the taping of the first tape of the committee meeting, the minutes for SB 342 have been compiled from the log notes, and selected parts from the Bill Analysis as presented by MR. WALSH.) RISK BASED CAPITAL - "Risk based capital is an amount of capital and surplus calculated by an insurer using a formula derived by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), that will be used for determining whether regulatory action is needed and if regulatory action is needed, of what type. All insurers will use the same formula to calculate their risk based capital levels but the actual levels resulting from the formula will vary by insurer based upon the risks associated with that insurer's operations. For life and health insurers, the formula for risk based capital incorporates risks associated with the insurer's assets, adverse mortality and morbidity, changes in interest rates, and other business risks. For property and casualty insurers \, the formula incorporates asset or default risk, credit risk, underwriting risk, and other business risks. The formula uses asset, reserve, reinsurance, and premium amounts in the insurer's annual financial statement to calculate a level of risk based capital levels are "authorized control level risk based capital." Three other risk based capital levels are determined by applying percentages to the "authorized control level risk based capital": 200% for a "company action level risk based capital", 150% for a "regulatory action level risk based capital" and a factor of 70% for a "mandatory control level risk based capital." Depending on where an insurer's actual capital and surplus falls within these different risk based capital levels, the director will take the actions outlined in the proposed legislation. Unlike current Alaska law that requires insurers to maintain a single minimum amount of capital and surplus that is identical for each class of insurer, requiring each insurer to calculate and report its risk based capital to the director will: 1. Require insurers to take actions that would provide greater safety from insolvency, thereby providing greater protection to consumers. 2. Provide guidance and assistance to regulators in identifying weak insurers. 3. Provide the legal authority for the director to intervene before insolvency occurs or before an insurer's capital and surplus falls below a level appropriate for that insurer. Risk based capital will more accurately reflect an insurer's solvency. Alaskan insurers fair well under this proposed risk based capital legislation and currently have capital and surplus levels higher than the amount indicated in the risk based capital formula. The proposed risk based capital legislation is based on the NAIC risk based capital model law that has been adopted as a minimum standard for state accreditation under the NAIC Accreditation Program. The NAIC Accreditation Program establishes minimum standards of regulation through adoption of statues and procedures. State accreditation is granted by the NAIC after on-site review verifying that these minimum standards are met. The alaska Division of Insurance received its accreditation in December 1992 and is committed to maintaining the standards of the NAIC Accreditation Program. SENATOR JACKO moved to pass CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 342(L&C) (RISK BASED CAPITAL FOR INSURERS) from committee with individual recommendations. Without objections, so ordered. SENATOR TAYLOR returned CSSB 127 (CAPITAL PUNISHMENT FOR MURDER) for the purposes of moving the bill from committee. SENATOR LITTLE objected and moved to rescind the committee substitute for SB 127. SENATOR HALFORD objected, and SENATOR TAYLOR said the bill would continue to be held. SENATOR TAYLOR returned SB 370 (ALLOW GAMBLING ON CRUISE SHIPS) to committee to hear testimony from JERRY REINWAND, owner of the Alaska Peddler gift shops, protesting the practice by the Costa Cruises of promoting gift shops that have participated in the promotion of their shops for a fee to cruise lines. MR. REINWAND explained the cruise lecturers reinforce their recommendations by handing out copies of the shopping maps showing the location of local participating stores, and he had copies of the 1993 Juneau, Alaska recommended stores. He also presented an article about the practice in Nassau, the Bahamas, from the May 23, 1993 issue of the FORT LAUDERDALE SUN-SENTINEL outlining the problems between the Nassau's Bay Street merchants and the cruise lines. SENATOR LITTLE asked how the shops were selected and how much was paid for the promotion. MR. REINWAND indicated it was a "hefty" amount. SENATOR TAYLOR moved the following Amendment #1: Page 1, line 3, after " ports; ": Insert " requiring certain disclosures in connection with promotions s on board cruise ships and making violation of that provision an unfair trade practice; " Page 1, line 12: Delete " and" Insert " (2) the operator of the cruise ship agrees to comply with all state laws, including those related to unfair trade practices; and " Renumber following paragraph accordingly. Page 3, after line 1: Insert the new bill sections to read: " *Sec. 3. AS 45.50.471(b) is amended by adding a new paragraph to read: (37) violating AS 45.50.474 (on board promotion). *Sec. 4. AS 45.50 is amended by adding a new section to read: Sec. 45.50.474. REQUIRED DISCLOSURES IN PROMOTIONS ON BOARD CRUISE SHIPS. A person may not conduct a promotion on board a cruise ship that mentions or features a business in a state port that has paid something of value for the purpose of having the business mentioned or featured, unless the person conducting the promotion clearly and fully discloses orally and in all written materials used in the promotion that the featured businesses have paid to be included in the promotion. A violation of this section constitutes an unfair trade practice under AS 45.50.471. In this section, "cruise ship" has the meaning given in AS 11.66.275." After some discussion among the committee members with MR. REINWAND the motion was passed. Next, SENATOR TAYLOR invited SUSAN BURKE, representing the Princess Tours to testify, and she suggested some solutions. TAPE 94-31, SIDE A Number 001 MS. BURKE suggested the title should be CRUISE SHIP EXEMPTION. Line 8, page 1, delete " LICENSING " and insert "EXEMPTION " in the the title of the statute. Line 8 and 9, page 1, delete "The department shall license" and begin the sentence with "A cruise ship ..." Delete the word "to" and insert the word "may", and she explained the changes including paying their money. On page 2, line 1, instead of calling it the "licensing fee" you would call it the "exemption fee". Finally, she said to address the concerns about enforcement, inspectors, and administrative regulation simply delete subsection (d) lines 8 through 11 on page 2. MS. BURKE explained she had conceived of the bill as being along the lines conceptually that SENATOR HALFORD indicated, but it will also address the concerns from the Department of Revenue. SENATOR TAYLOR asked if the committee understood the amendments, but SENATOR LITTLE expressed a concern about problems with the cruise ships and the recourse by the State of Alaska. MS. BURKE answered that any of the actual conditions for the exemptions are set out in Section 2 which is part of the criminal code, and the permission to conduct gambling activities applies only if the cruise ships conform to the paragraphs in Section 2. She explained this was supported by criminal authority. SENATOR TAYLOR asked about several problems in state interest that might arise. MS. BURKE said no one has a fundamental right to gamble, and she explained the lest amount of connection between the purpose and the achievement of the purpose. She thought it was easy to demonstrate that an inability to open the casinos during Alaska cruises outside of port creates a competitive disadvantage for the Alaska cruise market. She suggested there was a potential for Alaska to lose out in visitor destination competition and should be limited to exemptions to cruise ships in a constitutional sense. SENATOR HALFORD offered the testimony from MS. BURKE as a conceptual amendment. SENATOR LITTLE questioned whether or not this was doable under our constitution and regulations. SENATOR TAYLOR thought it was, but probably unique. SENATOR DONLEY suggested the conceptual committee substitute be drafted and shown to the legal department for comment. SENATOR LITTLE it could be addressed in the Finance Committee. There were no further objections to the conceptual amendment, the amendment was passed. SENATOR DONLEY asked about some concerns from the Department of Revenue, and MR. STOLWORTHY described a visit last summer from the IRS on the taxation of the activity. He said there was no way to know how much money is gambled in Alaska waters. He thought the payoffs in the casinos are not as high as those in Los Vegas so the overhead is not nearly as high, and he explained the adjusted gross income. He indicated there was no real way to conjecture on the amount of taxes that might be due. SENATOR TAYLOR suggested these concerns should be discussed in the Finance Committee. SENATOR DONLEY asked MR. STOLWORTHY about his recommendation on taxes on the gross, and the discussion indicated it would be a complicated process. SENATOR LITTLE moved to pass CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 370(JUD) as amended (ALLOW GAMBLING ON CRUISE SHIPS) from committee with individual recommendations. Without objections, so ordered. SENATOR TAYLOR said there was a motion pending on SB 127 (CAPITAL PUNISHMENT FOR MURDER) to rescind actions in adopting a committee substitute. He checked with SENATOR HALFORD for objections, and he had none. SENATOR TAYLOR said there being no objection to the motion to rescind, motion is granted. He explained the committee has now rescinded the adoption of the committee substitute, placing the motion back before the committee. SENATOR TAYLOR then withdrew the motion to adopt the committee substitute. SENATOR HALFORD moved to pass SB 127 (CAPITAL PUNISHMENT FOR MURDER) from committee with individual recommendations. Both SENATORS JACKO and LITTLE objected. SENATOR DONLEY, on the substance of the main bill, expressed his concerns the constitutional questions have not been addressed. He said this is the appropriate committee to examine whether or not, under our state constitution, we can do this or not. He said it was important to have this testimony on the record, and he said it was a huge question. SENATOR DONLEY opined there were different levels within this bill, such as specific levels of homicide to which it should apply. He thought the bill was inconsistent in its present form and affords the opportunity for the death penalty in many more circumstances than is provided for life without parole. He also thought this inconsistency also makes it constitutionally suspect, because the difficulty should be the maximum penalty, and it should be in ascending penalty up to that point, and not have more death penalty crimes than you have life without parole crimes. He reiterated his belief there were problems with the bill as presented. There was some raillery by SENATOR HALFORD to change the title. SENATOR TAYLOR called for a vote on Senate Bill No. 127. The roll was taken with the following results: SENATORS TAYLOR and HALFORD voted "yea," and SENATORS JACKO, LITTLE, AND DONLEY voted "nay." SENATOR TAYLOR to SENATOR LITTLE: "Am I missing something; you said you wanted to vote on the bill. You said we should be voting on the bill." SENATOR LITTLE: "That doesn't mean I wanted it to go out of committee." SENATOR DONLEY: "You understand where I'm coming from. If we're going to have a hearing, we need to examine those questions, I think." SENATOR TAYLOR: "I'm sorry I wasted my time, and yours." There being no further business to come before the committee, the meeting was adjourned at 3:30 by SENATOR TAYLOR.