Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/27/1995 01:30 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                   SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE                                  
                       February 27, 1995                                       
                           1:30 p.m.                                           
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
 Senator Robin Taylor, Chairman                                                
 Senator Lyda Green, Vice-Chairman                                             
 Senator Mike Miller                                                           
 Senator Al Adams                                                              
 Senator Johnny Ellis                                                          
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
 SENATE BILL NO. 46                                                            
 "An Act revising the provision of law under which a minor may be              
 charged, prosecuted, and sentenced as an adult in the district                
 court, and adding to the list of offenses for which a minor may be            
 prosecuted as an adult in the district court."                                
 SENATE BILL NO. 82                                                            
 "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 by a person at least 13 but not yet 21              
 years of age; and providing for an effective date."                           
 SENATE BILL NO.  3                                                            
 "An Act relating to an antitrust exemption for persons engaged in             
 the fishing industry."                                                        
 CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 21(RES)                                                
 "An Act relating to penalties for violations of commercial fishing            
 SENATE BILL NO. 14                                                            
 "An Act relating to criminal mischief."                                       
 SENATE BILL NO.  10                                                           
 "An Act revising Rule 16, Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure,                 
 relating to discovery and inspection in criminal proceedings, to              
 adopt the comparable federal rule."                                           
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
 SB 46  No previous action.                                                    
 SB 82  No previous action                                                     
 SB 3   See Resources Committee minutes dated 1/25/95, 1/27/95,                
 SB 21  See Resources Committee minutes dated 1/25/95 and 2/3/95.              
 SB 14  See Judiciary Committee minutes dated 2/1/95, 2/6/95, and              
 SB 10  See Judiciary Committee minutes dated 2/6/95, 2/8/95, and              
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
 Margot Knuth                                                                  
 Assistant Attorney General                                                    
 Criminal Division                                                             
 Department of Law                                                             
 P.O. Box 110300                                                               
 Juneau,AK  99811-0300                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to SB 46, in support            
 of SB 82, and answered questions on SB 14.                                    
 Jerry McCune                                                                  
 United Fishermen of Alaska                                                    
 211 4th, No. 112                                                              
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 3.                           
 Dorne Hawxhurst                                                               
 Cordova District Fishermen United                                             
 P.O. Box 939                                                                  
 Cordova, AK  99574                                                            
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 3.                           
 Ed Crane                                                                      
 2550 Denali #1201                                                             
 Anchorage, AK  99503                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 3.                           
 Dwight Perkins                                                                
 Special Assistant                                                             
 Department of Labor                                                           
 P.O. Box 21149                                                                
 Juneau, AK  99802-1149                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Supports SB 3                                           
 Dean Paddock                                                                  
 Bristol Bay Driftnetters Assn.                                                
 P.O. Box 20312                                                                
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Supports SB 3                                           
 Kelly Goode                                                                   
 Legislative Aide                                                              
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska  99811                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified for sponsor of SB 21.                         
 Dean Guaneli                                                                  
 Assistant Attorney General                                                    
 Department of Law                                                             
 P.O. Box 110300                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0300                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 10.                          
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
 TAPE 95-8, SIDE A                                                             
 Number 001                                                                    
  CHAIRMAN ROBIN TAYLOR  called the Judiciary Committee meeting to             
 order at 2:00 p.m.  The first order of business was SB 46.                    
 SB 46                                                                         
 SJUD - 2/27/95                                                                
 SB  46 PROSECUTE JUVENILE AS ADULT IN DIST. CT.                           
 SENATOR TAYLOR, sponsor of SB 46, informed committee members he has           
 introduced SB 46 for the purpose of amending and cleaning up the              
 laws applicable to juveniles for which the juvenile is                        
 automatically treated as an adult.  Currently, juveniles are being            
 treated as adults for traffic violations, possession of tobacco,              
 fish and game offenses, and parks offenses.  Alcohol offenses would           
 be treated the same way under SB 46.  The juvenile would no longer            
 come under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health and Social            
 Services, but would be prosecuted in court.  An ordinance passed by           
 the City and Borough of Sitka requires juveniles committing alcohol           
 offenses be charged with an infraction and fined up to $300.  He              
 stated the community, including police officers and substance abuse           
 program workers, are satisfied with this approach to the problem.             
 SENATOR ADAMS commented he is opposed to SB 46 because he does not            
 feel juveniles should end up with criminal records for committing             
 the minor crime of drinking alcohol.  He suggested looking at the             
 violation, since many teenagers do drink.  He preferred reviewing             
 the juvenile justice system.  He expressed concern that no fiscal             
 notes from the Departments of Law and Corrections have been                   
 submitted despite the fact that approximately 1200 cases would be             
 added to their caseloads.  He urged the committee to approach this            
 type of offense as a violation or an infraction.                              
 Number 086                                                                    
 MARGOT KNUTH, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law, gave             
 the following testimony.  SB 46 would refer 1200 minor consuming              
 and minor in possession offenses to the District Court.  She                  
 estimated that many more offenses are committed, and as a result of           
 the enforcement of the "use it, lose it" law, passed last year, the           
 Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is receiving between 200 - 300               
 cases per month.  Statistics from the Department of Health and                
 Social Services (DHSS) reveal the national average of children                
 between the ages of 12 - 17 consuming alcohol on a monthly basis is           
 20 percent, but in Alaska the number is 64 percent.  If this                  
 offense is classified as a misdemeanor, two-thirds of our youth               
 would begin their adult life with criminal records.  From the                 
 prosecutorial standpoint, classifying the offense as a violation              
 rather than a misdemeanor would prevent a criminal conviction on a            
 child's record and would allow for easier processing.                         
 Number 140                                                                    
 SENATOR GREEN questioned where the problem lies and whether the law           
 should be changed.  MS. KNUTH replied the community of Barrow is              
 generating statistics comparing the current number of alcohol                 
 related prosecutions, domestic violence incidents, and inpatient              
 hospital visits before and after the ban on liquor.  Those                    
 statistics are showing the number of all of those offenses has                
 decreased substantially after the ban.                                        
 SENATOR TAYLOR expressed his frustration about the inability of the           
 system to address this problem when the number of people affected             
 is so large.  He agreed with Senator Adams' and Ms. Knuth's                   
 concerns regarding the fiscal impact.  He suggested changing the              
 offense to an infraction, rather than a misdemeanor, and indicated            
 he would bring SB 46 with that change before the committee on                 
 SJUD - 2/27/95                                                                
         SB  82 DRIVER'S LIC REVOCATION;ALCOHOL/DRUGS                         
 The next order of business before the committee was SB 82.  SENATOR           
 MILLER, sponsor of the measure, explained SB 82 is an expansion               
 upon the "use it, lose it" law passed during a previous session.              
 Under existing law, teenagers caught with alcohol lose their                  
 drivers' licenses, but the existing law only applies to state                 
 violations, and over one-half of the violations fall under                    
 municipal ordinances.  SB 82 allows municipalities to apply the               
 same provisions.                                                              
 Number 200                                                                    
 MARGOT KNUTH testified on behalf of the Department of Law in                  
 support of SB 82.  She proposed an amendment which has been made on           
 the House version of the measure.  The current law requires an                
 officer to have both probable cause and to observe the offender               
 using alcohol or a controlled substance.  The legislative intent of           
 the law was not to require the police officer to observe the minor            
 in the act of using alcohol or the controlled substance, however              
 the law can be interpreted that way.  The amendment would insert              
 the words "to believe" after the words "probable cause" on line 7,            
 page 1, and delete the words "and based on personal observation".             
 The same change would be made on page 2, line 17.                             
 SENATOR MILLER moved the adoption of the amendment.  There being no           
 objection, the motion passed.                                                 
 Number 260                                                                    
 MS. KNUTH noted the House made a second amendment on page 2, line             
 23, which clarifies that the municipal ordinance must have                    
 substantially similar provisions and specifies the violations as              
 the use of alcohol or a controlled substance.  The committee took             
 no action on that amendment.                                                  
 SENATOR GREEN moved SB 82 as amended out of committee with                    
 individual recommendations.  There being no objections, the motion            
 SJUD - 2/27/95                                                                
           SB   3 ANTITRUST EXEMPTION FOR FISHERMEN                           
 SENATOR DUNCAN, sponsor of SB 3, read a sponsor statement to the             
 committee.  He noted the Senate passed an identical bill to SB 3              
 last year, however the measure did not reach the House floor for a            
 vote.  SB 3 allows commercial fishermen to form associations to               
 collectively negotiate raw or processed fish prices with                      
 processors, however it does not authorize processors to agree among           
 themselves.  It only covers collective bargaining between fishermen           
 and a processor or a group of processors.  SB 3 gives a state                 
 antitrust exemption as a first step, which is necessary to                    
 obtaining Congressional approval for a federal exemption.  SB 3               
 would stabilize Alaska's fishing industry.  SB 3 also removes                 
 ambiguities between state and federal laws.                                   
 Number 339                                                                    
 JERRY McCUNE, President of the United Fishermen of Alaska,                    
 testified in support of SB 3.  He commented that during a strike in           
 Bristol Bay, the processors were invited to discussions, however              
 under the Sherman Antitrust law, processors cannot collectively               
 gather to discuss prices, therefore they were unable to                       
 SENATOR TAYLOR expressed concern that the passage of SB 3 would               
 create a second step in which the processors will demand the same             
 exemption so that they can collectively gather to determine prices.           
 MR. McCUNE replied SB 3 forbids that practice, as does the federal            
 law.  He added the fishermen are the self employed individuals                
 bargaining with the industry.                                                 
 Number 367                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR agreed, but pointed out that neither party can do              
 that under current law, therefore once one party is given the                 
 exemption, the other might request the same.  MR. McCUNE noted                
 processors can back out of negotiations and post a price.                     
 DORNE HAWXHURST, President of Cordova District Fishermen United               
 (CDFU), testified in support of SB 3.  She stated the CDFU supports           
 the measure for three reasons:  it clarifies ambiguities in                   
 existing state law; it evens the playing field for fishermen; and             
 it removes inconsistencies between federal and state laws.                    
 Number 406                                                                    
 ED CRANE testified on his own behalf in support of SB 3.  He                  
 emphasized the strength of his personal conviction resulting from             
 his many years of involvement in agribusiness.  He stated most                
 other states have an antitrust exemption and he felt SB 3 will help           
 to set the scene for changes necessary to the fishing industry as             
 they must have stability in supply and price to compete in world              
 food markets.  He commented adversarial relationships between                 
 harvesters and processors have to end, and SB 3 will help to make             
 that happen.                                                                  
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked Dwight Perkins and Dean Paddock if they were             
 opposed to SB 3.  Both replied negatively, and Mr. Paddock noted he           
 strongly supported SB 3.                                                      
 SENATOR GREEN moved SB 3 out of committee with individual                     
 recommendations.  There being no objection, the motion passed.                
 Number 442                                                                    
 SJUD - 2/27/95                                                                
 SB  21 FINES FOR COMMERCIAL FISHING VIOLATIONS                              
 KELLY GOODE, legislative aide to Senator Halford, reviewed SB 21              
 for the committee. CSSB 21 (RES) increases punishment for                     
 violations of commercial fishing laws by adding a provision to                
 current law which increases the maximum fine allowable for third              
 and subsequent offenses.  The maximum fine would be $9,000.  A                
 stronger version of CSSB 21 (RES) passed the Senate last year.                
 There being no other witnesses wishing to testify, SENATOR MILLER             
 moved CSSB 21 (RES) out of committee with individual                          
 recommendations.  There being no objection, the motion passed.                
 SJUD - 2/27/95                                                                
           SB  14 INCREASED PENALTIES FOR JOYRIDING                           
 The committee took up the next order of business, SB 14.  SENATOR             
 ADAMS asked for clarification regarding which version was under               
 discussion.  SENATOR MILLER moved the adoption of Version G, dated            
 2/9/95, as the working version.  There being no objection, the                
 motion passed.                                                                
 Number 473                                                                    
 MARGOT KNUTH gave the following review of Version G of SB 14 for              
 committee members.  Version G approaches the problem of joyriding             
 in Alaska in an incremental way.  Joyriding offenses have doubled             
 over the past two years, creating a significant problem.  The                 
 original version of SB 14 changed the first joyriding offense to a            
 felony, however after the Departments of Law, Public Safety and               
 Health and Social Services expressed concern that the desired                 
 results might not be achieved, different approaches have been                 
 reviewed.  Over one-half of the offenders are juveniles, therefore            
 the Department of Law (DOL) proposed those offenders be treated as            
 adults, as they are under current law if they are driving while               
 MS. KNUTH gave a sectional analysis of the bill.  In Section 1, a             
 first joyriding offense would be treated as a misdemeanor, however            
 a second offense would be considered a felony if the offender has             
 turned 18.  The first misdemeanor offense would be counted against            
 the offender if he/she recommits.  In Section 3, passengers riding            
 in a joyridden vehicle would be charged with a Class B misdemeanor.           
 Section 4 requires the court to order restitution for the victim              
 when the offense is committed by a juvenile offender.  Section 5(f)           
 specifies that those offenders who are not in a felony class can              
 perform community work service in lieu of all but 24 hours of a               
 sentence of imprisonment.  Section 6 imposes a mandatory 3 day                
 minimum jail sentence for the offense of joyriding, even as a                 
 misdemeanor.  Section 6 was added by the Division of Legal Services           
 to keep the sanctions for joyriding by juveniles consistent with              
 those for adults convicted of joyriding.                                      
 MS. KNUTH noted the DHSS and DOL are concerned about carrying over            
 the mandatory minimum 3 day jail sentence for juveniles since a               
 court could order a jail sentence for up to one year for a Class A            
 Misdemeanor.  She asked that Sections 5 and 6 be removed so that              
 juvenile offenders would go to juvenile detention facilities if               
 they were sentenced to jail time.                                             
 Number 536                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR moved to amend CSSB 14 (JUD) to delete Section 5 and           
 Section 6.  There being no objection, the motion passed.                      
 MS. KNUTH continued.  Sections 7 and 8 allow the court to suspend             
 a person's driving privileges for the offense of joyriding.                   
 SENATOR ADAMS questioned Senator Leman's amendment to delete that             
 provision (lines 15 - 18, page 4).  MS. KNUTH noted those lines               
 contain no time frame, which may have been a technical error.  She            
 explained, by adopting Senator Leman's amendment, a first joyriding           
 offense would bring a license revocation of 30 days, a second                 
 offense would bring a 1 year revocation.                                      
 Number 572                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR moved the adoption of Senator Leman's amendment to             
 delete on page 4, lines 15-18:                                                
 "Upon a subsequent conviction of a person for an offense                     
 described in (a)(1) of this section, the court shall revoke                   
 the person's license, privilege to drive, or privilege to                     
 obtain a license and may not grant the person limited license                 
 SENATOR ADAMS requested that after changes are made, the bill be              
 held over to the next meeting to provide members adequate time to             
 review it.  There was no opposition to that request.  SENATOR                 
 TAYLOR noted there being no objection to the adoption of the                  
 amendment, the motion passed.                                                 
 MS. KNUTH continued with the sectional analysis.  She stated                  
 Section 9 allows juveniles to be prosecuted in District Court, as             
 an adult, and if the offense is joyriding or passenger joyriding,             
 the offender will appear in District Court.                                   
 SENATOR TAYLOR announced CSSB 14 (JUD) would be held over until               
 Wednesday, March 1.                                                           
 TAPE 95-9, Side A                                                             
 SJUD - 2/17/95                                                                
                SB  10 CRIMINAL DISCOVERY RULES                               
 The committee took up SB 10 as the next order of business.  SENATOR           
 MILLER moved the adoption of Version K, dated February 27, 1995, as           
 the working version.  There being no objection, the motion passed.            
 SENATOR ADAMS questioned the need for SB 10 in light of the Supreme           
 Court ruling.                                                                 
 DEAN GUANELI, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law,                  
 testified.  He explained that the Supreme Court reviewed and                  
 adopted the Criminal Rules Committee recommendations and further              
 revised them.  He noted some people, including John Salemi, felt              
 those changes did not go far enough, especially in the area of                
 criminal discovery rules.  Neither the Criminal Rules Committee nor           
 the Supreme Court adopted Mr. Salemi's ideas.  In addition, some of           
 the revisions the Supreme Court adopted make it even more difficult           
 for the prosecution to use information acquired from the defense.             
 For example, the Supreme Court included a sentence that reads,                
 "Information obtained by the prosecutors under this rule may be               
 used only for cross examination or rebuttal of defense testimony."            
 Mr. Guaneli explained that the prosecution could not use                      
 information acquired by the defense on expert testimony until cross           
 examination or rebuttal occurs, which prevents prosecutors from               
 using such information in structuring cases.  A second revision               
 affects expert testimony and requires the defense attorney to write           
 a summary of the expert's testimony for the prosecution.  Mr.                 
 Guaneli felt the summary to be of little use to the prosecution.              
 He felt these practices were objectionable.                                   
 MR. GUANELI explained that Version K of CSSB 10 (JUD) repeals and             
 reenacts Rule 16 of the Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure instead            
 of setting out the new rule and showing the specific changes, which           
 is a change from previous versions.                                           
 Number 136                                                                    
 SENATOR ADAMS again questioned the need for SB 10.                            
 SENATOR TAYLOR commented that SB 10 would make a subtle,                      
 sophisticated policy change and he noted a bill requiring a two-              
 thirds majority vote recently failed on the Senate floor.  He                 
 commented that unless the committee is successful in achieving                
 something that has a strong working relationship on both sides of             
 the aisle, it would be a waste of time to put it to a full vote.              
 Secondly, he expressed concern that if the bill was passed into               
 law, the Supreme Court might rewrite the rule under the separation            
 of powers.  He noted the Supreme Court was gracious in                        
 accommodating the legislature by addressing the issue in a timely             
 Number 176                                                                    
 SENATOR MILLER reiterated the concern of adequate support for the             
 measure on the Senate floor.                                                  
 SENATOR TAYLOR stated the bill would be held in committee.                    
 There being no further business before the committee, SENATOR                 
 TAYLOR adjourned the meeting at 3:04 p.m.                                     

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