Legislature(1993 - 1994)
04/23/1994 09:00 AM JUD
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE April 23, 1994 9:00 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Robin Taylor, Chairman Senator Rick Halford, Vice-Chairman Senator George Jacko Senator Suzanne Little MEMBERS ABSENT Senator Dave Donley OTHERS PRESENT Representative Cynthia Toohey Representative Brian Porter COMMITTEE CALENDAR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 299(HES) "An Act relating to revocation of a driver's license for illegal possession or use of a controlled substance or illegal possession or consumption of alcohol; and providing for an effective date." CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 315(JUD) "An Act relating to the unauthorized use of or unauthorized interference with transmission and delivery of subscription cable services; and amending the definition of the offense of theft of services and the penalties for its violation." CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 302(STA) "An Act excluding certain sports officials and certain recreational activities sanctioned by an employer from coverage provided under workers' compensation; and providing for an effective date." CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 333(RES) "An Act amending the Alaska Land Act to define the term `state selected land' for the purpose of recognizing mining locations, and giving retrospective effect to the amendment; and providing for an effective date." CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 410(STA) "An Act relating to real estate appraisers and the Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers." SENATE BILL NO. 279 "An Act relating to operating or driving a motor vehicle, commercial motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft." SENATE BILL NO. 372 "An Act relating to community local options for control of alcoholic beverages; relating to the control of alcoholic beverages; relating to the definition of `alcoholic beverage'; and providing for an effective date." CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 367(HES) "An Act relating to health care and insurance for health care; to review and approval of health insurance rates and rating factors; relating to certain civil actions against health care providers; to coordination of insurance benefits and to determination and disclosure of fees paid to an insured or health care provider; relating to the offense of operating a commercial motor vehicle while intoxicated and the offense of operating a motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft while intoxicated; relating to presumptions arising from the amount of alcohol in a person's breath or blood; relating to the rate of interest on certain judgments and decrees; to excise taxes on cigarettes; amending Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure 26, 27, 68, 79, and 82 and Alaska Rules of Evidence 802, 803, and 804; repealing Alaska Rule of Civil Procedure 72.1; and providing for an effective date." CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 161(STA) "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." SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 18 Requesting the governor to offer the United States Congress $10,000,000,000 in cash, or other terms that may be negotiated between the state and the federal government, to purchase all federal land, water, or land and water, including any surface or subsurface interests, in Alaska other than military reservations and federal offices, to have the federal government relinquish all dominion, control, and regulatory authority over all land, water, or land and water, including surface or subsurface interests, in Alaska other than military reservations and federal offices, and providing a bonus if certain federal agencies are removed from the state within six months of the federal sale to the state and relinquishment of control. SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 79(HES) "An Act relating to recovery from a parent or legal guardian of wilful or malicious destruction of property by a minor." PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION HB 299 - See State Affairs minutes dated 4/11/94. HB 315 - See State Affairs minutes dated 3/30/94 and 4/6/94. HB 302 - NO PREVIOUS ACTION. HB 333 - See Resources minutes dated 3/21/94. HB 410 - NO PREVIOUS ACTION. SB 279 - See State Affairs minutes dated 3/9/94 and 3/11/94. See Judiciary minutes dated 3/28/94. SB 372 - NO PREVIOUS ACTION. SB 367 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated 3/28/94, 3/30/94, 4/6/94 and 4/7/94. See Judiciary minutes dated 4/8/94. SB 161 - See State Affairs minutes dated 4/2/93 and 4/7/93. See Judiciary minutes dated 4/14/93 and 4/20/93. SCR 18 - See Resources minutes dated 4/8/94 and 4/11/94. See Judiciary minutes dated 4/18/94. HB 79 - See Health, Education & Social Service minutes dated 2/2/94. See Judiciary minutes dated 4/18/94. WITNESS REGISTER Eric Musser, Legislative Assistant Representative Brian Porter State Capitol Juneau, AK 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Supports HB 315. Gary Haines Vice-President of Prime Cable Servicing Anchorage, Kenai, Soldotna, and Bethel. POSITION STATEMENT: Supports HB 315. Pat Smutz Alaska State AFL-CIO 2501 Commercial Drive Anchorage, Alaska 99501 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 302. Jack Heesch, President Alaska Softball Association Box 201608 Anchorage, Alaska 99520 POSITION STATEMENT: Supports HB 302. Jack Phelps, Aide Representative Pete Kott State Capitol Juneau, AK 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced HB 333. Diane Lauber Anheiser Bush 321 Highland Drive Juneau, Alaska 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 372. Resa Jerrel National Federation of Independent Business 9159 Skywood Lane Juneau, Alaska 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 372. Pat Sharrock, Director Alcoholic Beverage Control Board 550 W. 7th Ave., Suite 350 Anchorage, Alaska 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Supports SB 372. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 94-38, SIDE A Number 001 CHAIRMAN ROBIN TAYLOR called the Judiciary Committee meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. SENATOR TAYLOR invited REPRESENTATIVE CYNTHIA TOOHEY to review her bill, CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 299(FIN) am (DRIVER'S LICENSE REVOCATION:ALCOHOL/DRUGS). After a short discussion, SENATOR HALFORD moved to pass HB 299 from committee with individual recommendations. Without objections, so ordered. SENATOR TAYLOR introduced HB 315 (THEFT OF SUBSCRIPTION TV SERVICES) sponsored by REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER. Before his legislative assistant, ERIC MUSSER, gave his testimony on the bill, SENATOR TAYLOR indicated the bill would not be leaving the committee today, but testimony would be taken on the bill in preparation for passing the bill from committee at the next meeting. Number 054 MR. MUSSER explained briefly that HB 315 is to place in statute the penalties for the unauthorized use, distribution, or sale of subscription cable services. He said presently Alaska's theft of services statute, AS 11.46.200, is very broad and unenforceable in the theft of cable services. MR. MUSSER explained the bill first, under AS 11.46.200(A)(4) makes it a Class A misdemeanor to maintain, whether physically or electronically, an unauthorized device to a TV set. Under (4)(B) manufacturing, assembling, distribution, or marketing the converter boxes becomes a Class C felony. Number 097 SENATOR LITTLE asked where the illegal devices were available. MR. MUSSER explained GARY HAINES from Prime Cable has some samples and noted the manner in which they were acquired. He showed an example of a cable box at the time of subscription, the illegal box, and explained the prohibitions. SENATOR LITTLE questioned the degree of crime in the scenario just described by MR. MUSSER. MR. MUSSER said it would be theft in the third degree as described in page 2, line 16. SENATOR LITTLE wanted to know how to catch these thieves. MR. MUSSER deferred to GARY HAINES, Vice-President of Prime Cable, who explained some are detected from anonymous calls, and some are detected through FBI sting operations, since it is against federal law. Number 162 MR. HAINES showed a list from a sting from Global Network which showed a large number of persons in Anchorage who had purchased the illegal box, and he explained how a great deal of money is made from the boxes. He explained it wasn't just an Anchorage problem, but was spreading throughout the state. MR. HAINES outlined how a person could steal one of his legal boxes and purchase a test chip out of California for $19.00, which makes an even higher profit. Number 191 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER joined the meeting at this time and expressed his appreciation to the committee for hearing the bill, and he outlined the problems with the statutes keeping up with the increase in cable theft. He explained how difficult it was to determine how many hours someone has used a pirate box, and he reviewed the penalties for theft. SENATOR HALFORD indicated he had a problem with the level of penalty, and found it difficult to make it a Class C penalty, because of other Class C penalty categories. He suggested changing it to a Class A misdemeanor. SENATOR TAYLOR suggested the bill could be changed under the title. SENATOR LITTLE discussed her understanding of two separate offenses, one for possessing the pirate box, and one for selling it. Number 240 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER approved the idea of changing the penalties. SENATOR HALFORD conceptually moved to adjust the penalties so that Section 1 would be a Class A misdemeanor and Section 2 a Class B misdemeanor. He also moved to have the bill written consistent as a Judiciary committee substitute. Without objections, so ordered. SENATOR TAYLOR requested his staff to prepare the committee substitute to be shown to REPRESENTATIVE PORTER before bringing it to committee on Monday. SENATOR TAYLOR introduced a work draft for SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 302(JUD), workers compensation for recreational activities, and warned the committee members it was a controversial subject since it dealt with the "bunkhouse rule." He explained there had been worker's compensation wars around the legislature for years. SENATOR JACKO asked what the bunkhouse rule was, and SENATOR TAYLOR suggested it could be answered by someone from REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE'S staff or PAT SMUTZ, legislative director for the AFL-CIO. Number 260 MR. SMUTZ explained the bunkhouse rule was a worker at a remote work site, under the control of the employer, was covered by workers compensation 24 hours a day. SENATOR LITTLE asked what changes the bill would make. MR. SMUTZ said the committee substitute deletes the House versions on page 2, lines 12 through 15, and would make a major modification of the worker's compact. If you were engaged in a recreational activity at a remote site, you wouldn't be covered by worker's compensation. MR. SMUTZ claimed it would be a backward step in the worker's compensation, and he discussed the traditional means for negotiating compromises between labor and management, as well as the Alaska Labor/Management Worker's Compensation Ad Hoc Committee. At that time, he said labor gave up major concessions in quite a bit of insurance premium reductions, and it worked out as a major compromise, a system that seems to work. He claimed at the end of session, there is always a special interest that wants to modify the law. He described a number of remote camps, and he didn't see any one from those camps supporting the change. He was curious as to the specific interest, but he was not aware of any problems. Number 313 SENATOR TAYLOR asked MR. SMUTZ to comment on the proposed committee substitute which addresses the officials who are on a contractual basis at a sports event involving softball, and he described a group of legislators, who would be playing softball in the afternoon. He thought this was the main thrust of the legislation from REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE'S position. MR. SMUTZ said it was called the softball rule, and he described an example of a large company that went Outside and recruited a ringer to play on their company team. The ringer, a woman, was hurt and she was denied worker's compensation. It went to court where it was decided it was a condition of hire and was covered under workers compensation. He thought there was a perception problem as to whether these people are covered by workers compensation. MR. SMUTZ said he was not too familiar with the umpire part of the legislation, but thought it involved official who contract as individuals to be umpires and referees, although they wanted to be considered as individual contractors - not necessarily employees. MR. SMUTZ, in answer to a question from SENATOR TAYLOR, said the AFL-CIO was neutral on the bill. SENATOR TAYLOR explained in the example given by MR. SMUTZ, the ringer would not be covered if the committee substitute passed, and he explained in page 2, line 8 the language that would exclude activities of a personal nature away from employer provided facilities. Employer sanctioned activities do not include recreational activities unless the activity occurs at a remote job site or on the employment premises. SENATOR TAYLOR was interrupted by JACK HEESCH, President of the Alaska Softball Association, who explained the court interpreted the employer provided rule to include that if you pay the fee to rent the field, which you do when you pay a fee to enter a league, some of that money is transferred to the Municipality Parks and Rec. for rental of the fields. The court interpreted that as being an employer provided facility as the result of the rental of the field through the entry of the team into a league. SENATOR TAYLOR clarified the meaning as even after HB 302 has been passed, that MR. HEESCH believed if the employer paid for the rental of field that somehow becomes employment premises. Number 369 MR. HEESCH said they were eliminating "employer provided" and specifying "employer premises." SENATOR TAYLOR used a hypothetical example of Fred Meyers having a softball team, and even if Fred Meyers buys them their uniforms, pays costs and fee rental of a field, that is not employment premises? MR. HEESCH said that was correct. SENATOR TAYLOR said those players would not be covered by worker's compensation as he interprets the legislation. SENATOR TAYLOR explained somehow he had modified the remote camp rule by deleting it, and MR. SMUTZ agreed. There was a argument as to whether workers playing ball at a remote camp were covered or those playing ball in a Fred Meyers' parking lot. SENATOR TAYLOR said the committee substitute would eliminate coverage for those in the urban setting, but those in a remote setting would still be covered or any activity - even mountain climbing - over which the employer has no control. MR. SMUTZ was not sure what the employers in logging camps could do, but he did know athletic equipment was provided. He explained the remote circumstances where recreation is part of the camp life and the necessity of workers compensation 24 hours a day. Number 413 SENATOR LITTLE clarified that activities provided at a remote site are part of the benefit package that comes with the job and is a negotiated part of the contract between the employer and employee. MR. SMUTZ, in speaking for union sites, described the recreation activities, and he used the North Slope as an example of using the activities as an enticement to stay. SENATOR TAYLOR wanted to know where the line is drawn between the employer who provides all kinds of equipment and events here in town, and are not covered, but in logging communities their employers are basically under a cloud now because they have to be covered. He clarified most of his communities are remote sites. This brought a question from SENATOR LITTLE asking how there can be a remote site with employees involved in recreational activities fifty miles from camp. SENATOR TAYLOR said Prince of Wales Island has 2000 miles of road and the deepest caves ever discovered. He explained it was going to become a national park, but presently loggers on the Island can spend off duty time spelunking. If an employee is injured, the employer is responsible, but SENATOR TAYLOR doesn't think that is appropriate. MR. SMUTZ described the difference on the employees on the North Slope who have to observe a certain amount of control in their activities. He suggested limitations on where the loggers may travel might be a negotiable item in a contract. MR. SMUTZ explained restrictions were difficult, but he didn't think the committee substitute for HB 302 properly addresses the problem, and would only create more problems. SENATOR TAYLOR said the original bill certainly draws a line on every employee living at this time, and he referred to page 2. MR. SMUTZ said it would probably be determined in future court cases, but MR. HEESCH indicated continued support for the bill. Number 463 SENATOR TAYLOR explained how, in refereeing three games on Sandy Beach, the referee might be covered on one but not the other two. MR. HEESCH explained that most of the officials worked for organizations in such groups as the Juneau Sport's Association, under contract as independent contractors. He quoted the IRS as being in agreement, as well as the Department of Labor, but he also elaborated on the vagaries of insurance rules that has made it expensive. Number 495 SENATOR LITTLE said she had a clear understanding of the original bill, but was not willing to support the committee substitute. SENATOR TAYLOR called for a vote on SENATOR HALFORD'S move to adopt the new committee substitute for House Bill No. 302(JUD). The role was taken with the following results: SENATORS TAYLOR, HALFORD, and JACKO voted "yea," and SENATOR LITTLE voted "nay." SENATOR TAYLOR stated the motion carried. It was decided the bill would go next to Rules. SENATOR HALFORD moved to pass SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 302(JUD) from committee. SENATOR LITTLE objected, and explained the committee substitute addressed a situation that could be more properly addressed in individual cases, where there are problems through agreements between employers and employee at remote work sites. She thought it would make a sweeping change in all remote sites, where there aren't problems, and seems highly inappropriate. She urged the bill not be passed from committee, since she didn't think it would benefit the State as a whole. SENATOR TAYLOR called for a vote on SENATOR HALFORD'S move to pass SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 302(JUD). The role was taken with the following results: SENATORS TAYLOR, HALFORD, and JACKO voted "yea," and SENATOR LITTLE voted "nay." SENATOR TAYLOR stated the motion carried. SENATOR TAYLOR introduced HB 333 (MINING LOCATIONS ON STATE SELECTED LAND) sponsored by REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT, and invited JACK PHELPS, Aide to REPRESENTATIVE KOTT, to testify. MR. PHELPS explained there was currently a provision in state law that allows mining locations on state land and state selected land, but there is no Alaska statute defining "state selected land." He further explained the problems encountered by the miners who have federal claims on land that has been selected by the state, and he said the bill would provide a definition that corrects the problem. MR. PHELPS said it would allow a certain mechanism for a person with an unpatented federal claim to convert that claim to a state claim once the land is conveyed to the state. He referred the definition to page 1, lines 7 through 10. SENATOR TAYLOR asked if there were questions about the definition, and SENATOR LITTLE asked about a person having an unpatented federal claim. SENATOR TAYLOR explained the process of getting from staking to patent - lengthy and expensive. MR. PHELPS claimed there were many unpatented federal claims in the state, and he said many are on lands that are under state selection of about 21 million acres. He explained the bill would allow the miner, whose land was claimed by the state, to convert their claims to state claims. Any royalties from the mining would flow to the state rather than the state government. Number 553 SENATOR LITTLE asked if it gave retrospective effect to amendment, and MR. PHELPS referred her to Section 3 for clarity as to retroactively. He also explained about the retroactive date of April 14, 1966. SENATOR LITTLE asked if he knew of anyone opposed to the bill, and MR. PHELPS said he was not aware of anyone, but he said there may be some individual miners who may not realize the benefit of overstaking. He reviewed the wide support from miners to industry for the bill. There was a brief discussion of restaking a mining claim. SENATOR HALFORD moved to pass CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 333(RES)(MINING LOCATIONS ON STATE SELECTED LAND) from committee with individual recommendations. Without objections, so ordered. SENATOR TAYLOR introduced CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 410(STA) and explained it was an Act relating to real estate appraisers. Since there was no sponsor present, SENATOR TAYLOR directed his committee aide, KEVIN SULLIVAN, to review the bill. Number 590 MR. SULLIVAN explained the bill had been brought to committee advocated by the Department of Commerce, and he further explained the House version basically certifies the appraisers in the State of Alaska to conform to federal requirements. MR. SULLIVAN quoted FRED FERRARA from the Appraisers Association in Anchorage as being opposed to the legislation and would prefer to keep the two year of practical experience. The federal requirement as embodied in HB 410 does not require two years of training experience. SENATOR LITTLE clarified the license would only require 120 hours of educational experience. She questioned whether the appraisers who do not meet the 120 hours of training would not be recognized as certified appraisers. She wanted to know if the state was increasing or decreasing the requirements. MR. SULLIVAN explained in the aggregate the state is actually decreasing because, as this measure is before us, we are no longer abiding by the current law .... TAPE 94-38, SIDE B Number 001 ...... referring to the classroom hours. He said if the bill was adopted as is, it would just be the classroom hours. SENATOR TAYLOR said the Board could modify or change that by regulation. MR. SULLIVAN said the 120 hours being required is greater than is presently in state law. He reviewed the changes again in current law and in the new legislation, and said the two year provision would be deleted. SENATOR TAYLOR said it was also a sunset bill moving them from 1994 to 1998. SENATOR HALFORD said it gave the regulatory board control what was formerly in statute, and he explained how the provisions could be changed by the board. SENATOR LITTLE asked if the board was under the Department of Labor, but she was told it is under the Department of Commerce. SENATOR TAYLOR asked for committee opinion on MR. FERRARA'S concern about returning the two year experience back into the legislation. SENATOR HALFORD asked about an audit, but MR. SULLIVAN did not have any such information in the bill packet. SENATOR LITTLE said she supported retaining the two year internship requirement, and she explained the importance of an accurate appraisal of property. She thought the legislation might require more stringent rules from the board, but SENATOR TAYLOR quoted House language that said just the opposite. MR. SULLIVAN explained the Senate version had retained the two year internship requirements, but the Department of Commerce has asked for the House version be moved for obvious reasons. In answer to a question by SENATOR HALFORD, SENATOR TAYLOR reported the bill had been introduced on the House side by the Labor and Commerce Committee by request. The Senate version is SB 361. SENATOR LITTLE moved a conceptual amendment to make it comparable to the Senate Labor & Commerce version, which would add in the two year internship requirement. SENATOR HALFORD asked to defer action on the bill until the advocate for the bill was determined. SENATOR TAYLOR also noted other inconsistencies in the two bills. Number 056 SENATOR LITTLE withdrew her motion, and the bill was held for further changes. Number 068 SENATOR TAYLOR returned SB 279 (DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED LAWS) to committee and noted a Judiciary Committee substitute has been prepared, even though it is a Governor's bill. SENATOR TAYLOR reviewed some concerns in the committee with the accident that occurred in Anchorage where a multiple DWI offender had killed a woman and her daughter. The committee felt the need for something more thus the increase the penalty for a third time offender to a Class C felony. He said the legislation also provided for forfeiture provisions for a vehicle used in the commitment of a crime. SENATOR TAYLOR moved to adopt CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 279(JUD) (version Ford, 4/22/94). Without objections, so ordered. SENATOR HALFORD moved to pass CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 279(JUD) (DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED LAWS) from committee with individual recommendations. Without objections, so ordered. Number 091 SENATOR TAYLOR introduced SB 372 (ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES: LOCAL OPTION & MISCELLANEOUS) sponsored by the Senate Judiciary Committee by Request and began taking testimony on the bill. DIANE LAUBER explained the Anheiser Bush Companies, whom she represents, is proud of their leadership role in promoting responsible use of its products, and she described their " know when to say when" educational advertising campaign as being effective. She said the company has been strong supporters of the designated driver campaign and were the first major brewer to produce a non-alcoholic malt beverage. She also described programs in schools and colleges to discourage underage consumption of all alcohol and to provide alternatives to the use of intoxicating beverages. MS. LAUBER said their company opposes a tax increase on beer, and she claimed beer in Alaska is already taxed at a rate nearly 50% higher than the national average. She outlined the increases that have been made previously, and she warned a 20% increase in taxes would not translate into an increase of 20% in taxes collected if federal experience is any indication. She cited studies to show that higher taxes is not a deterrent to the abuse of alcohol by alcoholics. She claimed the vast majority of beer is consumed by responsible users, and she reviewed the health benefits of daily consumption of moderate amounts of alcoholic beverages. She explained the company did not object to paying their fair share of taxes, but the continued increase in federal and state taxes was more than an adequate tax on the beer drinkers in the state. RESA JERREL introduced herself as the state director for the National Federation of Independent Business/Alaska and expressed the opposition of the business group to SB 372, especially the section on page 30, section 58 of the work draft of the proposed committee substitute which would raise the taxes on alcoholic beverages. She quoted the last survey of her membership that by 92%, they wanted to reduce government spending before increasing present taxes. SENATOR JACKO asked if her survey referred to alcohol or taxes in general, and she said it mentioned taxes in general. MS. JERREL said she did ask a question: "If the legislature believes it has to increase taxes, which one do you think is the fairest?" She said they listed, first sales taxes, second personal income tax, with alcohol and tobacco tax as third. Next, SENATOR TAYLOR called on PATRICK SHARROCK, Director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, to testify. Number 162 MR. SHARROCK began by thanking the committee for introducing the bill, and he reviewed elements of the law that have been discussed. He said the primary issue involved in this legislation is the rewriting of the local option provisions that allow incorporated communities and unincorporated villages around the state to implement one of the five local option provisions to restrict alcoholic beverages in the communities. MR. SHARROCK said there were currently 112 cities and villages that have exercised their local option, with one village, ST. MARYS, that tried to change their option. He said the residents thought they were voting on one result, but their vote resulted in another. MR. SHARROCK read from an article in the Anchorage paper, April 18, 1993 which reported in order for a city to adopt a less strict law, the city manager explained the city must first repeal their ban entirely, and hold a second election to select what level of restriction they wanted. He said this was a difficult procedure for many of the voters in these villages, many of whom, he said, can't speak English. MR. SHARROCK claimed the main ingredient of this legislation retains the same options that are under current law, but puts them into three categories in terms of what the city can do, and he referred to Section 1, page 1, for an explanation of the options. SENATOR TAYLOR clarified there would be no need for a vote to repeal an option before voting for a different standard. MR. SHARROCK thought this legislation was particularly important for the rural areas which deals with the issue on a day to day basis. He referred to page 1, Section 1 which would prohibit a package store from soliciting or receiving orders from an agent in a local option area, and he explained examples. MR. SHARROCK discussed with SENATOR TAYLOR a number of complaints about sending unsolicited alcoholic beverage information, which keeps the package stores from direct mailing to people. Number 203 MR. SHARROCK said the next provision relates to HB 504, which lists the limitation of military personnel going into veteran or other clubs where the current law says they have to be military uniform. He said this would be changed in this legislation. MR. SHARROCK said the legislation would restrict package stores to shipping only to the purchaser, and he explained examples of abuses. SENATOR JACKO asked how this was a problem, and MR. SHARROCK said the problem is the package store, which under current regulations must have full identification of the person to whom the alcohol will be sent. A file must be maintained showing what has been submitted from the purchaser in the form of identification. SENATOR TAYLOR and MR. SHARROCK discussed various scenarios where this would be illegal. MR. SHARROCK noted another board complaint is sending "high octane" alcohol to the Bush, and he said this legislation would prohibit the shipment of 150 proof rum and everclear, which he said has no business in the Bush. MR. SHARROCK explained in Sections 7 and 8, the director would be required to give renewal notice to licensees whose licenses are expiring, requires the licensee to file a renewal application by January 1, and increases the penalty for late applications to $500. MR. SHARROCK complained the board has never been able to provide consistent and equal enforcement around the state for persons who don't file their applications in a timely manner. MR. SHARROCK said Section 8 addresses a problem which repeals provisions regarding denial of a new license in a municipality that has prohibited sale except by a municipal owned liquor store. It prohibits issuance of a new license or permit in certain cities or in an established village when certain local options are approved, and he used the example of working with a restaurant in Government Hill in Anchorage for specific approval of a time when beer and wine could be sold after school children had gone home. MR. SHARROCK mentioned several other "glitches" that would be fixed by the legislation. Up until biennial renewal, local governments could protest, statutorily using the words "under law," and he explained the ramifications of this. It took away municipalities right to protest for unpaid sales taxes on an annual basis, and this would be corrected. They discussed triggering sanctions within the ABC Board. Number 269 Kenai protests every year. MR. SHARROCK mentioned another glitch which was to take away reference to half-year licenses, which has affected about 190 half- year licenses. Also, another technical matter deals with notices, which must be given to package stores where there has been a local option imposed by the community. Under current law the Board is suppose to notify every package store in the state by registered mail, and he explained why this has been modified. Lastly, he explained a modification to the definition of "alcoholic beverage," because it was brought to MR. SHARROCK'S attention by legal professionals across the state who had written to Long's Drug in Anchorage asking that a list of about 30 products not be shipped to certain people in various communities. MR. SHARROCK explained that alcohol can be extracted from some of these products such as hairspray for consumption. He further explained this change in the definition of alcohol is not to bring those types of products under Title 4, as alcoholic beverages, but, if there is possession by those persons or an intent to consume, search warrants can be granted and the products seized. SENATOR LITTLE questioned his reference to "those persons." MR. SHARROCK said he was referring to residents of a community. She asked if he meant communities where alcohol has been prohibited. MR. SHARROCK answered it was not necessarily, but explained it would depend on whether the alcohol was being extracted from the product. Then it could be seized. SENATOR LITTLE asked if he was making a delineation between hair- spray and a refined product that would be manufactured by an individual. He said she was correct and there was some discussion among committee members. SENATOR TAYLOR related an incident of abuse in his community of a well known cold preparation, which contains alcohol. MR. SHARROCK said this type of abuse of a product would fall into play in an area that had local option if the product was intended as an alcoholic beverage. SENATOR LITTLE asked how it would be known if these products were ordered for illicit purposes. MR. SHARROCK said he had been told it was easy to make that determination if there are large quantities of those products going into communities where it would seem that large quantities would not be consumed. SENATOR JACKO expressed some concerns in regards to local options since he owns a grocery store. He asked what would happened if a high school student working in the store inadvertently sold one of these products. MR. SHARROCK clarified the legislation would only provide for enforcement when there was a problem. Number 341 SENATOR LITTLE expressed a problem with the provision that alcohol over 100 proof not be allowed to be shipped to dry communities, and thought it would be up to the specific community rather than having the state impose the restriction. SENATOR JACKO agreed with SENATOR LITTLE'S concern, and asked about his statement that it had no business in the Bush. MR. SHARROCK quoted remarks about the dangers of everclear since it is 90% alcohol and quick consumption is catastrophic. SENATOR TAYLOR asked if some communities specifically asked not to have everclear in their community, and MR. SHARROCK said he was correct. SENATOR TAYLOR understood some communities restrict package stores from shipping to people, but SENATOR LITTLE thought there should be a better way. She thought communities should be given the ability to prohibit entirely over 100 proof alcohol if they choose to do so. MR. SHARROCK clarified it was for 150 proof, and only applies to those communities that have adopted a local option election. SENATOR TAYLOR clarified a package store could ship those products to a person in another community where it was not prohibited. MR. SHARROCK said this was covered on page 3, Section 6, and he reviewed the provisions in the subsections. SENATOR TAYLOR wanted it be sure it was clear the restrictions only applied to those areas where a vote has occurred. SENATOR LITTLE asked MR. SHARROCK if he had a sense of the communities that have restrictions about whether or not this is acceptable to the community, and MR. SHARROCK said he had not. SENATOR LITTLE referred to Section 6(H)(1) and asked it was current law. MR. SHARROCK said it was. SENATOR TAYLOR clarified the new law had to do with the an alcoholic beverage containing more than 75% by volume. Number 402 SENATOR JACKO ask for clarification on MR. SHARROCK'S remark that everclear had "no business in the Bush." He wondered if he implied it had more business in urban Alaska than it does in rural Alaska. MR. SHARROCK said he only tried to relate the kinds of stories the ABC Board has heard in terms of abuse of alcohol in rural areas, and he admitted alcohol abuse occurred other places as well. He reiterated his remarks about local option in relation to high proof product. SENATOR LITTLE repeated her feeling it should be an option of the local government, and there was a discussion of outlawing everclear in the whole state. SENATOR TAYLOR explained only two states in the United States allowed the sale of everclear - Georgia and Alaska. SENATOR LITTLE continued to feel that it was an imposition of a restriction on one segment of our state, but she also thought everclear was a terrible substance. Number 447 SENATOR TAYLOR pointed to page 3 lines 14 and 14 of the committee substitute and explained it pertained to those areas that have restricted the sale of alcoholic beverages. Both SENATOR HALFORD and SENATOR LITTLE were concerned about equal protection, and SENATOR TAYLOR was not sure, but said it provides for some restriction to comply with the local option of the areas. SENATOR HALFORD suggested getting rid of everclear in the state, and followed his remark with a proposed amendment to do so. There was some discussion about making it a conceptual amendment and whether to ban possession or sale. SENATOR TAYLOR asked for the adoption of CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 372(JUD). Without objections, so ordered. SENATOR HALFORD proposed an amendment to ban from sale in Alaska any alcoholic beverage above 76% by volume. Without objections, so ordered. SENATOR LITTLE proposed an amendment to delete lines 14 and 15 on page 3, including or and placing a . after month. Without objections, so ordered. Number 578 SENATOR LITTLE asked if the taxes included in the legislation were part of the budget or considered as revenues. SENATOR TAYLOR said no they would have been included in the budget package yesterday. In reference to the taxes proposed in the legislation, SENATOR LITTLE felt she could support them if there was a provision in the bill that the revenues gained by the new tax would be used for some purpose such as alcohol prevention programs, but she has a concern there is no specific purpose for the new funds. SENATOR TAYLOR described the use of the funds for treatment programs, and there was a discussion of including an intent the money go to alcohol treatment programs. SENATOR HALFORD explained there would be no dedication unless there was a constitutional amendment. TAPE 94-39, SIDE A Number 001 SENATOR HALFORD moved to pass CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 372(JUD) (ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES: LOCAL OPTION & MISC.) from committee with individual recommendations. Without objections, so ordered. SENATOR TAYLOR introduced SB 367 (HEALTH CARE REFORM COMMITTEES) and suggested the committee members look at the bill carefully, since he said it has within it the "bad baby statute," which provides for a statute of limitations for the pediatricians of the state that have been complaining for years about a twenty year plus statute of limitations. This reduces it to eight and fixes it. He said it had two committees within it and has to go to the Finance Committee to get to the floor. SENATOR LITTLE said she didn't like it, but SENATOR TAYLOR said they stripped most of the bad stuff out of it. He said there were just two advisory committees left. SENATOR HALFORD posed a hypothetical of a child being born following the mother taking a drug that was questionable like DES, and 20 years later finding something is wrong. He asked if the bill prevented recourse by the child. SENATOR TAYLOR said it didn't, because in those instances that's a product the mother took, and he explained this is a statute having to do with the child itself - whether the child can sue the doctor who delivered. He said the bill would also cover pediatricians and midwives. Number 048 SENATOR LITTLE asked for clarification that the child had a ten year limitation, and SENATOR TAYLOR said he had not changed that one. He said SENATOR RIEGER had fixed that one at eight years. SENATOR LITTLE posed a hypothetical of a nine year old child, and asked if the parents could bring a suit against the physician for anything occurred during birth. She asked if that was correct? SENATOR TAYLOR said the committee looked at the number of suits that had been brought by anyone over eight years old. He said a "bad baby" is usually noticed before eight years have passed. SENATOR HALFORD continued to ask about the things that don't come out for 20 years, a provision as to when the effect is discovered, and the use of a prescription drug. SENATOR TAYLOR explained the provisions in the bill, when the discovery occurs, and the order of the normal statutes of limitations. SENATOR HALFORD used the example of a mother given DES, and the child growing to young womanhood finds she has substantial reproductive problems and will never be able to have children. He asked if she could sue. Number 093 SENATOR TAYLOR said it would depend whether or not there was any fraud or collusion by the parent, guardian, or health provider. SENATOR HALFORD declared it was simple negligence by a doctor who should have known not to prescribe DES. SENATOR TAYLOR said there would have to be intentional concealment, fraud, or conclusion. There was a discussion of intentional or gross negligence for anything not compensated, and SENATOR HALFORD had harsh comments about the liability system that discriminates against good samaritans who are getting no compensation. SENATOR TAYLOR thought there should be some limitation short of 21 years, and he reviewed the limitations of the legislation. SENATOR HALFORD concluded the best tort reform was eliminating lawyers, but SENATOR TAYLOR said it wouldn't change the injury. Number 134 SENATOR HALFORD moved to adopt CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 367(JUD). Without objections, so ordered. SENATOR HALFORD explained the bill gives a committee member a compensation of $400 per day plus expenses for serving on the committee on page 3, line 25 and page 6, line 17. SENATOR HALFORD said it was excessive and increases the fiscal note. He moved to reduce the $400 to $200 in both cases. SENATOR TAYLOR thought this was overly generous, and SENATOR JACKO moved the compensation be reduced to $100. The motion was moved from committee without objections, so ordered. SENATOR TAYLOR called for a vote on SENATOR HALFORD'S move to pass CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 367(JUD) (HEALTH CARE REFORM COMMITTEES) from committee. The roll was taken with the following results: SENATORS TAYLOR, HALFORD, and JACKO voted "yea," and SENATOR LITTLE voted "nay." SENATOR TAYLOR stated the bill was passed from committee. SENATOR TAYLOR returned SB 161 INTEREST RATES: (JUDGMENTS-TAXES- ROYALTIES) by Request of the Governor to committee, and he reviewed the testimony from the State for a rate. He had requested his aide, KEVIN SULLIVAN, to prepare a committee substitute for a flat rate that is adjusted annually from a formula set so everyone each year knows what the interest will be, and not be facing 10.5% as is today on judgements. He asked for the current interest rate, and MR. SULLIVAN explained the formula he used amounts to 8% today. SENATOR JACKO moved to pass CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 161(JUD) (INTEREST RATES: JUDGMENTS/TAXES/ROYALTIES) from committee with individual recommendations. Without objections, so ordered. SENATOR TAYLOR returned his own bill, SCR 18 (PURCHASE FEDERAL LAND FROM THE UNITED STATES) to committee. He explained this resolution would purchase federal land by the State of Alaska for $10 billion. SENATOR JACKO moved to pass SCR 18 (PURCHASE FEDERAL LAND FROM THE UNITED STATES) from committee with individual recommendations. Without objections, so ordered. SENATOR TAYLOR introduced SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 79(HES) (DAMAGE TO PROPERTY BY MINORS) to committee. Committee Aide, KEVIN SULLIVAN explained it was an act relating to recovery from a parent or legal guardian of wilful or malicious destruction of property by a minor. SENATOR TAYLOR commented this was a bill omn which SENATOR DONLEY had expressed concern, and MR. SULLIVAN described how his concerns were met in the bill. SENATOR TAYLOR decided to hold the bill until SENATOR DONLEY returned. There being no further business to come before the committee, the meeting was adjourned by SENATOR TAYLOR.