Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/24/1995 01:36 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                   SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE                                  
                         April 24, 1995                                        
                           1:36 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                                                           
 HOUSE BILL NO. 200                                                            
 "An Act reassigning responsibility for the custody of persons                 
 pending their arraignments, commitment to the custody of the                  
 commissioner of corrections, or admission to a state correctional             
 facility, and authorizing the commissioner of corrections to employ           
 guards for emergencies on the same basis as the commissioner of               
 public safety, as partially exempt service employees; and providing           
 for an effective date."                                                       
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 28(FIN) am                                              
 "An Act relating to the possession of weapons within the buildings            
 of, grounds of, or on the parking lot of preschools, elementary,              
 junior high, and secondary schools or while participating in a                
 school-sponsored event; requiring the expulsion or suspension of              
 students possessing deadly weapons on school grounds; requiring               
 reports to the Department of Education concerning those expulsions            
 or suspensions; and relating to school lockers and other containers           
 provided in a public or private school by the school or the school            
 SENATE BILL NO. 115                                                           
 "An Act relating to the establishment, modification, and                      
 enforcement of support orders and the determination of parentage in           
 situations involving more than one state; amending Alaska Rule of             
 Administration 9; amending Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure 79 and             
 82; and providing for an effective date."                                     
 SENATE BILL NO. 116                                                           
 "An Act relating to administrative establishment of paternity and             
 establishing paternity by affidavit; relating to child support                
 enforcement; and providing for an effective date."                            
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 42 (STA) am                                             
 "An Act relating to absentee voting, to electronic transmission of            
 absentee ballot applications, and to delivery of ballots to                   
 absentee ballot applicants by electronic transmission, and enacting           
 a definition of the term 'state election' for purposes of absentee            
 CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 5(FIN) am                                   
 Proposing amendments to the Constitution of the State of Alaska               
 relating to terms of legislators.                                             
 CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 95(L&C)                                                
 "An Act relating to automobile liability insurance for uninsured or           
 underinsured motor vehicles; and providing for an effective date."            
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
 HB 200 - No previous Senate action to report.                                 
 CSHB 28 (Fin)am - No previous Senate action to report.                        
 SB 115 - SB 115 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes             
      dated 4/12/95.                                                           
 SB 116 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated                
 CSHB 42 (Sta)am - See State Affairs minutes dated 3/28/95 and                 
     Judiciary minutes dated 4/22/95.                                          
 CSHJR 5 (Fin)am - See Judiciary minutes dated 4/22/95.                        
 CSSB 95 (L&C) - See Labor and Commerce minutes dated 2/28/95,                 
     3/21/95, and 3/28/95.                                                     
     See Judiciary minutes dated 4/12/95, 4/19/95.                             
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
 Dennis DeWitt                                                                 
 Legislative Aide                                                              
 Alaska State Capitol                                                          
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-1182                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified for sponsor of HB 200                         
 Lt. Ted Bachman                                                               
 Alaska State Troopers                                                         
 Dept. of Public Safety                                                        
 5700 E. Tudor Rd.                                                             
 Anchorage, AK  99507-1225                                                     
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 200                                     
 Patty Swenson                                                                 
 Legislative Aide                                                              
 Alaska State Capitol                                                          
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-1182                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified for sponsor of HB 28                          
 Margot Knuth                                                                  
 Assistant Attorney General                                                    
 Department of Law                                                             
 P.O. Box 110300                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0300                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:    Answered questions on HB 28                           
 Peggy Robinson-Wilson                                                         
 Vice President, Anchorage School Board                                        
 P.O. Box 196650                                                               
 Anchorage, AK  99519-6650                                                     
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 28                           
 Sheila Peterson                                                               
 Department of Education                                                       
 801 W. 10th St., Suite 200                                                    
 Juneau, AK  99801-1894                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:    Testified in support of HB 28                         
 Representative Con Bunde                                                      
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-1182                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:    Sponsor of HB 28                                      
 Art Peterson                                                                  
 350 N. Franklin St.                                                           
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:    Testified in support of SB 115                        
 Marilyn May                                                                   
 Assistant Attorney General                                                    
 Department of Law                                                             
 1031 W. 4th Ave., Suite 200                                                   
 Anchorage, AK  99501-1994                                                     
  POSITION STATEMENT:    Answered questions on SB 115                          
 Glenda Straube                                                                
 Child Support Enforcement Division                                            
 Department of Revenue                                                         
 550 W. 7th Ave., Suite 410                                                    
 Anchorage, AK  99501                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:    Testified in support of SB 115 and SB 116             
 Stuart Hall                                                                   
 Office of the Ombudsman                                                       
 P.O. Box 113000                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-3000                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:    Testified in support of SB 115                        
 Don Koch                                                                      
 Division of Insurance                                                         
 Dept. of Commerce & Economic Development                                      
 P.O. Box 110805                                                               
 Juneau, AK  99811-0805                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:    Answered questions on SB 95                           
 Representative Gene Therriault                                                
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-1182                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HJR 5                                        
 Chris Christensen                                                             
 Alaska Court System                                                           
 303 K Street                                                                  
 Anchorage, AK  99501                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HJR 5                                      
 Charles McKee                                                                 
 P.O. Box 143452                                                               
 Anchorage, AK  99514                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:  No position stated                                      
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
 TAPE 95-25, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
  CHAIRMAN ROBIN TAYLOR  called the Judiciary Committee meeting to             
 order at 1:36 p.m.  The first order of business before the                    
 committee was HB 200.                                                         
                  HB 200 CUSTODY OF PRISONERS                                 
 DENNY DEWITT, legislative aide to Representative Mulder, sponsor of           
 the measure, gave the following testimony.  HB 200 completes the              
 move of community jails from the Department of Public Safety to the           
 Department of Corrections by making the technical changes required            
 to change authority to the Commissioner of the Department of                  
 Corrections.  Both the Hickel budget and the Knowles budget                   
 proposals, in both the House and Senate versions, make the                    
 financial transfer.                                                           
 Number 037                                                                    
 SENATOR ADAMS asked about the number of employee transfers included           
 in the financial transfer.  MR. DEWITT replied a contract function            
 is transferred; local agencies provide those services under                   
 contract.  The House budget contained two departmental positions to           
 manage the program; the Senate version contained one position.                
 Jail employees are municipal employees, however the state does pay            
 for some employee expenses under the contract.                                
 SENATOR TAYLOR stated he understood the program to be managed by a            
 Dept. of Public Safety employee one-quarter time, yet through the             
 committee process, two full-time positions were added to administer           
 a single form of contract, signed by 14 people.                               
 Number 080                                                                    
 MR. DEWITT believed the House Finance subcommittee included two               
 positions based on the premise that more than simple contract                 
 management would be necessary; supervision and other functions                
 would be added.  The additional functions were part of the reason             
 for the transfer to the Dept. of Corrections.  A recommendation               
 from the Task Force on Community Jails suggested more technical               
 assistance from the Department in the operation and supervision of            
 community jails.                                                              
 SENATOR TAYLOR noted HB 200 has a referral to the Senate Finance              
 Committee where that issue can be reviewed.                                   
 Number 102                                                                    
 LT. TED BACHMAN, Alaska State Troopers, presented the following               
 testimony.  Since July 1, 1994, he administered the contracts for             
 the Department of Public Safety.  The community jails program                 
 consists of 15 municipally owned and operated jails throughout the            
 state, primarily in rural areas.  They are staffed by approximately           
 70 people, who require initial screening and training.  The jails             
 respond to between 2 and 5 civil law suits per year which require             
 research, recordkeeping, and other activities associated with the             
 suits.  The program position monitors prisoner intake and time                
 served as well as expenditures and contract compliance.  Although             
 the contracts were unified and standardized, monitoring monthly               
 operations and compliance oversight must still occur.                         
 Number 138                                                                    
 SENATOR GREEN moved HB 200 out of committee with individual                   
 recommendations.  There being no objection, the motion carried.               
         HB  28 POSSESSION OF GUNS ON SCHOOL PROPERTY                         
 PATTY SWENSON, staff to Representative Bunde, sponsor of HB 28,              
 testified.  HB 28 brings Alaska into compliance with the federal              
 Gun Free Schools Act.  It prohibits the possession of guns within             
 school buildings, or on school grounds, and elevates the crime from           
 a class B to a class A misdemeanor.  HB 28 allows locker searches             
 if notice is posted prominently in the schools.  Locker searches              
 are constitutional as long as notice of the policy is posted.                 
 Locker searches would be permitted only for weapons, guns, and                
 drugs.  Other items found during a search could not be used against           
 a student.  Personal items, such as backpacks, could not be                   
 searched without probable cause.  To comply with the Gun Free                 
 Schools Act, schools must change data gathering methods regarding             
 weapons' incidences.  HB 28 mandates reporting requirements that              
 will comply with the federal legislation and improve data gathering           
 on expulsions and weapon possession.  Currently no adequate                   
 statewide data gathering program regarding the age, grade, and                
 number of students expelled or suspended for weapons possession or            
 drug violations exists.  HB 28 mandates expulsion for one year for            
 possession of deadly weapons on school grounds.  The measure gives            
 school administrators the ability to modify expulsions or                     
 suspensions on a case-by-case basis.  Some weapons are exempted               
 with permission, i.e. those used for drill team competitions.                 
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked Ms. Swenson if she has reviewed the proposed             
 Senate Judiciary committee substitute and amendment.  MS. SWENSON             
 replied affirmatively and stated the sponsor does not object to the           
 proposed changes.                                                             
 SENATOR TAYLOR explained the changes as follows.  On page 2, line             
 16, the phrase, "or on the parking lot immediately adjacent to" was           
 changed to read, "or on the school parking lot of."  He noted the             
 change was made to clarify the parameter of the law.                          
 SENATOR GREEN moved to adopt the Senate Judiciary committee                   
 substitute (Luckhaupt, 4/24/95).  SENATOR ELLIS objected, and asked           
 if any other changes were made.  SENATOR TAYLOR explained there is            
 an amendment to be offered.  He maintained the objection for the              
 purpose of discussion.                                                        
 SENATOR ELLIS asked for clarification of the parameters under which           
 a locker search could occur, and whether that provision is based on           
 case law, or the new federal law.                                             
 Number 233                                                                    
 MARGOT KNUTH, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law,                  
 explained the basis of the locker search provisions in HB 28 are              
 existing law under both the U.S. and Alaska Constitutions.  The               
 provision is not required by the federal Firearms on School Grounds           
 Act, but is consistent with U.S. Supreme Court case law.                      
 Essentially, school lockers are the property of the school,                   
 therefore students' expectation of privacy in the school lockers is           
 reduced and the school may set criteria for reasonable searches.              
 HB 28 codifies existing law so that schools will be able to look to           
 the statute to determine what the parameters are to conduct                   
 searches.  Notices must be at least two inches high, and the search           
 or examination must not be more intrusive than reasonably necessary           
 to meet the objectives of the search.                                         
 Number 260                                                                    
 SENATOR ELLIS questioned whether it was the privacy provision in              
 the Alaska Constitution, or the probable cause provision of the               
 federal constitution, that prevents the search of backpacks and               
 personal items.                                                               
 MS. KNUTH replied that protection is provided in both the U.S. and            
 Alaska Constitutions, but more so under Alaska's search and seizure           
 Number 271                                                                    
 SENATOR ELLIS asked about the notification requirements in HB 28.             
 MS. KNUTH responded lines 19-21 on page 4 contain that directive;             
 it is anticipated that notice will be continuously posted during              
 the school year.  SENATOR ELLIS clarified the notice is continuous            
 and used as a standing announcement.                                          
 SENATOR ADAMS asked if a person gives up the right to privacy when            
 using a locker owned by a municipality or school district.  MS.               
 KNUTH explained the individual never had that right with respect to           
 the locker.  Part of the basis is that the search is for                      
 contraband, and most particularly for weapons.  The right to search           
 is a balance between the expectation of the right of privacy and              
 the right of other students and school officials to protection.               
 SENATOR ADAMS commented he was uncomfortable with that provision.             
 Number 303                                                                    
 SENATOR ELLIS asked if the posting of the search notice could occur           
 simultaneously with the search.  MS. KNUTH stated she would expect            
 the notice to precede any searches, but it is possible that the               
 notice might be posted on the first day of school and a search                
 could occur on the same day.  Such a situation would technically              
 comply with the statute, however that would be a one-time hardship            
 to the student.                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS expressed concern that when teaching young people               
 respect for laws, those laws need to be thorough and well                     
 constructed, otherwise students learn disrespect for the laws.  He            
 suggested amending the bill to prevent simultaneous notice posting            
 and searching.                                                                
 Number 330                                                                    
 SENATOR GREEN asked if the same locker search policy is in effect             
 under current law.  MS. KNUTH stated locker searches are currently            
 permissible.  She added the notification element was included to              
 provide better communication about that policy and instill an                 
 improved sense of trustworthiness on the part of the school.                  
 MS. KNUTH discussed the proposed amendment.  The amendment changes            
 the language on page 2, lines 18-19, from "who otherwise may                  
 lawfully possess a deadly weapon or a defensive weapon" to "21                
 years of age or older."  This allows a certain group of people to             
 possess weapons on school grounds, the intent being that an adult             
 should be able to possess a defensive or deadly weapon, most                  
 specifically an unloaded firearm, in the trunk of a motor vehicle             
 or in a closed container in a motor vehicle.  The House amended the           
 bill and removed the "21 years of age or older" language and                  
 replaced it with "who otherwise may lawfully possess a deadly                 
 weapon or a defensive weapon."  Section 8 on page 3 prohibits                 
 students from carrying such weapons.  The House amendment would               
 permit a student expelled from school for a firearm violation to              
 qualify as somebody who would otherwise be able to lawfully possess           
 a weapon.  The amendment would prevent such an occurrence.                    
 Number 356                                                                    
 PEGGY ROBINSON-WILSON, Vice President of the Anchorage School                 
 Board, testified on SCS CSHB 28(JUD).  The Anchorage School                   
 District has had experience in expelling students for bringing guns           
 and other deadly weapons on campus.  She noted the word "school"              
 was inserted in front of the words "parking lot" on page 2, line              
 16, and page 3, line 3, in the proposed Senate Judiciary committee            
 substitute at her request.  The change was requested to clarify               
 potential jurisdictional issues that could arise at the school                
 located in the Fifth Avenue parking garage in Anchorage.                      
 SHEILA PETERSON, Special Assistant to the Commissioner of the                 
 Department of Education, testified in support of SCS CSHB 28(JUD),            
 primarily Section 6.  When the federal government reauthorized the            
 Education Act, it included a section dealing with the Gun Free                
 School Act. If the state does not have this legislation in place by           
 October 20, federal funds will be at risk.  Those funds equaled               
 approximately $90 million in 1995.  Safety in the schools is of               
 paramount concern to everyone; this measure provides school                   
 districts with tools to ensure that schools are safe.                         
 Number 420                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked if there was continued objection to the                  
 adoption of the Senate Judiciary committee substitute.  There being           
 none, the motion carried.                                                     
 SENATOR GREEN moved to adopt Amendment #1.  There being no                    
 objection, the motion carried.                                                
 Number 427                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked Representative Bunde if lines 20-21 on page 2            
 could be interpreted to mean a person could have a loaded weapon in           
 a motor vehicle.  REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE explained that language was            
 difficult to draft, but is intended to cover such things as a filet           
 knife, as a parent might pick up a child from school on the way               
 home from a fishing trip.  A firearm must be in the trunk or in a             
 case and must be unloaded.  SENATOR TAYLOR asked if there are no              
 circumstances under which a person could have a loaded firearm.               
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE replied, "That is correct, assuming you are              
 not a peace officer or something like that."                                  
 Number 443                                                                    
 SENATOR ELLIS asked if there is a section in the bill defining                
 "closed container."  REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE stated there is not, but            
 he considered a closed container to be a gun case.                            
 SENATOR ELLIS asked if the closed container has to be locked.  He             
 noted many states are passing legislation making parents liable for           
 unlocked gun cases.                                                           
 MS. KNUTH replied the container does not have to be locked; those             
 containers could be as simple as a cardboard box with a lid.  It is           
 the same term used in the search and seizure law.  REPRESENTATIVE             
 BUNDE commented he assumed the term to mean the gun case, so that             
 it is not readily accessible and would prevent a person from using            
 a gun on impulse.                                                             
 SENATOR GREEN moved SCS CSHB 28(JUD)am out of committee with                  
 individual recommendations.  There being no objection, the motion             
 Number 481                                                                    
         SB 115 UNIFORM INTERSTATE FAMILY SUPPORT ACT                         
 ART PETERSON, of the law firm Dylan & Findley, testified in his              
 role as a Uniform Law Commissioner for Alaska.  SB 115 represents             
 the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), promulgated by             
 the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws                
 (NCCUSL) to replace the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support             
 Act (URESA), also promulgated by the NCCUSL.  In several decades of           
 experience with URESA, enacted by all jurisdictions, numerous                 
 problems arose; the most significant being the problem of multiple            
 jurisdiction and multiple court orders.  Multiple court orders can            
 conflict with each other, cause confusion for both the obligee and            
 obligor, prevent the child from receiving the appropriate amount of           
 support, and cause confusion in the administrative agencies and               
 courts.  SB 115 resolves those problems by providing for the                  
 avoidance of multiple court orders.  SB 115 was created in 1992,              
 after a several year study by NCCUSL.  It has already been adopted            
 by 21 states and has been introduced in several other states this             
 year.  This legislation is anticipated to eventually replace URESA            
 in all jurisdictions.                                                         
 Number 518                                                                    
 SENATOR ADAMS stated the Attorney General's Office is interested in           
 deleting the reference to the Alaska Rule of Administration 9.  He            
 asked Mr. Peterson's position on that deletion.                               
 MR. PETERSON responded he would support the deletion.  He noted the           
 bill title would need to be amended, as well as Section 6 on page             
 26.  He stated the Supreme Court voted to adopt that Rule change,             
 therefore its inclusion is unnecessary.                                       
 Number 530                                                                    
 MARILYN MAY, Assistant Attorney General, concurred with Mr.                   
 Peterson's description of the amendment.  She verified the Rule               
 change was made by the Supreme Court.                                         
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked how SB 115 would impact a divorced couple                
 whose support order was issued in Alaska, but have since moved at             
 separate times to Oregon.  MS. MAY stated UIFSA provides a method             
 for determining which state has continuing exclusive jurisdiction,            
 and it is only that state that has the power to modify an existing            
 support order.  In the scenario described, the Alaska order would             
 remain in effect until one of the parties requested a modification            
 of the order.  That could occur in Oregon, because under UIFSA that           
 would most likely be the state with exclusive jurisdiction.  Either           
 party could make the request of the Oregon tribunal.                          
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked if that is existing law.  MS. MAY stated under           
 existing law it is possible there could be two separate orders.               
 The Alaska order would remain in effect but a new order might be              
 established in Oregon.  If one of the parties moved back to Alaska,           
 Alaska could collect on its order, which could differ from the                
 amount on the Oregon order.  Currently under URESA, there can be              
 two orders of differing amounts.  The law provides that a person              
 cannot double collect, however there is often argument about which            
 amount is to be collected.  Under UIFSA, if a party requested                 
 Oregon to modify the Alaska order, it would be modified and the               
 Alaska order would no longer be effective.                                    
 Number 564                                                                    
 SENATOR GREEN asked if ample provision exists for everyone to be              
 represented in court, or at all levels of the hearing process so              
 that there are no surprises.  MS. MAY commented that UIFSA is more            
 clear than URESA in that way, and provides a specific right to be             
 represented by an attorney.  It allows states to establish or                 
 modify orders administratively if allowable under state law.                  
 GLENDA STRAUBE, Director of the Child Support Enforcement Division            
 (CSED), stated the most important part of SB 115 is the elimination           
 of the multiple order system which is a nationwide problem.  The              
 most difficult collection cases for CSED are the interstate cases,            
 which comprise 44 percent of the caseload.  If SB 115 is enacted,             
 CSED estimates additional collections of $340,000 per year for the            
 state share of the AFDC reimbursement, and about $680,000 in direct           
 payments to children in non-AFDC cases.  CSED does not anticipate             
 any additional operating expenditures.  The bill standardizes forms           
 across state lines and allows direct income withholding.                      
 STUART HALL, Ombudsman, emphasized that enactment of SB 115 will              
 assist many who sought the Ombudsman's help with CSED.  In FY 94              
 and 95 to date, the Ombudsman's Office has assisted almost 1700               
 individuals with complaints against CSED, many of whom were                   
 custodial parents who depend on CSED to collect support from an               
 out-of-state parent.  A large number of those complaints came from            
 single parents concerned about the slow pace of case establishment            
 and child support collection.  SB 115 will streamline the                     
 establishment process and prompt speedier collections, and would              
 help reduce the Ombudsman's caseload.  The bill will allow an                 
 Alaska order to be taken to another state, and to obtain payments             
 directly from employers.                                                      
 Number 577                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR questioned the number of the Ombudsman's cases                 
 related to CSED.  MR. HALL responded approximately two-thirds of              
 their cases involve CSED.  He has discussed those complaints with             
 Ms. Straube and Commissioner Condon.  SB 115 would significantly              
 streamline the process and reduce the level of clientele                      
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked if the frustration stems from the fact that              
 CSED decides which order will be enforced when multiple orders                
 exist.  MR. HALL stated he was unqualified to answer that question,           
 but repeated that the frustration stems from the fact that multiple           
 orders exist.                                                                 
 MR. PETERSON noted that Senator Taylor was correct, and added that            
 SB 115 would streamline the process by providing for agency                   
 enforcement of the orders, simplify the process, eliminate some of            
 the court backlog, and thereby minimize delays.  When multiple                
 court orders are challenged, a lengthy procedure takes place, and             
 the courts have to resolve the issue.  Under UIFSA, that problem              
 will be eliminated, therefore subsequent handling of the order will           
 be simplified.                                                                
 Number 554                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR spoke of the high transient population in Alaska,              
 and attributed the large number of out-of-state cases to that fact.           
 He thought the State of Alaska was handling a lot of enforcement              
 cases for people living elsewhere, instead of the state agency                
 where the client resides.  He cited previous testimony from CSED,             
 in which the fact that Alaska was opting to go with the most                  
 expensive of the multiple orders without justification, was                   
 disclosed.  He was concerned that policy be curtailed.                        
 SENATOR TAYLOR also discussed the fact the legislature needs to               
 eventually make a policy call on the Aid to Families with Dependent           
 Children (AFDC) program when both divorced parents have been judged           
 to be competent parents but custody is awarded to one parent.  When           
 the custodial parent chooses to go on AFDC for six months, he                 
 believes the CSED should issue an automatic petition to move those            
 children to the other parent who is willing to support them and has           
 a job.                                                                        
 Number 535                                                                    
 MS. STRAUBE replied CSED has no legal jurisdiction over custody or            
 visitation rights.  SENATOR TAYLOR spoke about the effect of the              
 layoff in Wrangell on his constituents, and that most of those                
 paying child support probably cannot afford to hire an attorney to            
 request a reduction in payments.  MS. STRAUBE explained if the                
 support order was administratively established, a person can                  
 directly request a modification, at no cost.  SENATOR TAYLOR asked            
 if out-of-state orders can be modified directly by CSED.  MS.                 
 STRAUBE responded they cannot.                                                
 SENATOR GREEN asked for clarification of the modification process.            
 MS. STRAUBE replied CSED can modify administrative orders directly,           
 and if, after reviewing financial records, the modification is                
 approved, a change of 15 percent is made.                                     
 TAPE 95-25, SIDE B                                                            
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked if CSED modifies payments if the support order           
 is a court order, and the recipient requests an increase based on             
 an increase in the obligor's income.  MS. MAY responded that only             
 the court can change a court order.  The CSED can provide forms,              
 but the parent must appear in court.                                          
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked Ms. May to work with committee staff to draft            
 language to delete the reference to the Alaska Rule of                        
 Administration 9, as requested by Senator Adams.  She agreed to do            
 so.  He announced a proposed committee substitute would be brought            
 before the committee at the next meeting.                                     
          SB  95 INSURANCE AGAINST UNINSURED DRIVERS                          
 Number 481                                                                    
 DON KOCH, Division of Insurance, clarified CSSB 95(JUD), Version O,           
 addresses the Tumbleson issue, discussed at the previous meeting.             
 SENATOR ELLIS moved to adopt CSSB 95(JUD).  SENATOR GREEN objected.           
 MR. KOCH explained Version O.  It addresses the Tumbleson issue by            
 restating that uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is                
 excess and either one can be triggered by a shortfall in the funds            
 needed to cover a particular loss.                                            
 Number 454                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR discussed Mr. Lessmeier's projection that State Farm           
 Insurance would have to double the cost of premiums under this                
 interpretation, even though State Farm paid claims according to               
 this interpretation in the past.                                              
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked why the Division of Insurance would allow an             
 insurance carrier to double rates when the premise upon which                 
 claims are paid has not changed.  MR. KOCH replied the cost of this           
 coverage has increased over time, but that cost is borne by those             
 who voluntarily purchase the coverage, since purchase of the                  
 insurance is optional.  He was unsure of the basis State Farm uses            
 to settle claims since that information would not be made available           
 to the Division unless a complaint was filed, or unless an                    
 examination was conducted.  The Division's actuarial section is               
 taking a hard look at the basis for rate increases.                           
 SENATOR TAYLOR stated there was some confusion in the testimony and           
 statements made.  He reiterated he could not find any justification           
 for a projected rate increase when the interpretation for claims              
 payments used by the carrier in the past was confirmed by a court.            
 MR. KOCH commented the two don't necessarily relate, and the                  
 reasons for additional costs are independent of the court decision.           
 If the carrier was settling on the basis of excess, they may have             
 had an adverse experience with that approach that would suggest the           
 need for higher rates.                                                        
 Number 394                                                                    
 SENATOR ADAMS maintained objection to the motion.  He asked if the            
 Division supports Sections 4 and 6 (the repealer sections).  MR.              
 KOCH answered he was not specifically aware of the statute sections           
 being repealed.  SENATOR TAYLOR clarified Section 6 makes the bill            
 retroactive to 1990 so that the intent of the 1990 law is restated.           
 He added most carriers have been operating under that                         
 interpretation, therefore it should not affect them.  MR. KOCH                
 Number 370                                                                    
 SENATOR GREEN asked if other lawsuits were pending or might be                
 revisited due to the retroactive clause.  SENATOR TAYLOR noted to             
 his knowledge, there have only been two cases.                                
 SENATOR GREEN requested the bill be held until Friday for further             
 review of Sections 4 and 6.  She expressed concern that rate                  
 increases will discourage people from buying the insurance.                   
 MR. KOCH noted the rates are based on the experience, and if State            
 Farm has had an experience that suggests the need for a rate                  
 increase, it will file an application for review by Division                  
 actuaries who will determine the validity.  The rate level is                 
 determined by the loss history.                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR commented the bill was introduced at the request of            
 the industry to restructure the high mandatory offer of                       
 uninsured/underinsured coverage because of reinsurance                        
 difficulties.  MR. KOCH explained the bill passed in 1990 required            
 the insurance industry to offer coverage in the amount of                     
 $1,000,000/$2,000,000.  CSSB 95(JUD) changes the amount to                    
 $1,000,000/$1,000,000 to compromise with the industry.                        
 Number 285                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR commented he had been receiving a lot of support for           
 this measure from insurance agents statewide until the second court           
 decision created controversy over the triggering mechanism.  The              
 legislation originated because carriers could not limit the amount            
 of the coverage, and rates had to be determined accordingly.  Those           
 rates were higher than necessary and prevented carriers from                  
 competing in the field.  He repeated the bill would be heard on               
 Friday, April 28.                                                             
         SB 115 UNIFORM INTERSTATE FAMILY SUPPORT ACT                         
 SENATOR TAYLOR brought SB 115 back before the committee.  SENATOR             
 ADAMS moved to adopt Amendment #1 as follows.                                 
 Page 1, line 3, delete: "amending Alaska Rule of                              
    Administration 9;"                                                         
 Page 26, lines 13-15, delete Section 6                                        
 Page 26, lines 19-21 should read:                                             
 Sec. 8.  AS 25.25.313(c), added by sec. 3 of this Act, take                  
 effect January 1, 1996 only if AS 25.25.313(c) receives the                   
 two-thirds majority of each house required by art. IV, sec.                   
 15, Constitution of the State of Alaska.                                      
 SENATOR ADAMS noted the Department did not contest any of the                 
 changes when discussed in the House.                                          
 There being no objection to the adoption of the amendment, the                
 motion carried.                                                               
 SENATOR ADAMS moved SB 115 as amended from the Judiciary Committee            
 with individual recommendations.  There being no objection, the               
 motion carried.                                                               
          SB 116 PATERNITY; CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT                         
 MS. STRAUBE explained SB 116 allows the CSED to administratively              
 establish paternity in a more expedient manner.  New federal                  
 guidelines require paternity to be established in 75 percent of               
 child support orders within six months.  Paternity must be                    
 established prior to the issuance of an order.  Due to court                  
 backlogs, cases remain on court dockets for six months.  If                   
 paternity can be established administratively, the process will be            
 shortened by at least six months.  The same standards used by the             
 court will be used, and full due process will be provided to those            
 affected.  The fiscal cost of $72.7 thousand will generate $850               
 thousand per year in AFDC reimbursements.  SB 116 also allows the             
 biological parents and step parents of children born in wedlock to            
 sign an affidavit as to who the biological parents are, without               
 appearing in court.  This bill should appease both obligors and               
 Number 170                                                                    
 SENATOR ADAMS moved and asked unanimous consent that SB 116 be                
 moved to the next committee of referral with individual                       
 recommendations.  There being no objection, the motion carried.               
 Number 145                                                                    
 CHARLES McKEE testified via teleconference from Anchorage.  He                
 expressed frustration that he was not able to testify on several              
 bills before the committee.                                                   
          HJR  5 LIMITING TERMS OF STATE LEGISLATORS                          
 REPRESENTATIVE GENE THERRIAULT, sponsor of HJR 5, asked about the            
 change in the Senate Judiciary Committee substitute which requires            
 a person to wait three consecutive sessions before running for                
 office again on page 1, line 12.                                              
 SENATOR TAYLOR stated that was changed for no particular reason.              
 REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT questioned how the committee substitute             
 would impact elected municipal officials who already have term                
 limits, most of which are shorter.  After discussion,                         
 REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT clarified the committee substitute                  
 prevents a municipality from setting a term limit longer than what            
 is established in the bill.                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT stated his preference for the original              
 language in the bill.  He asked if the Senate Judiciary Committee             
 would prepare a fiscal note of $2200 to accompany the measure to              
 cover the cost of placing the question on the ballot.                         
 SENATOR TAYLOR stated the committee would, and added the Finance              
 Committee should review the bill.                                             
 SENATOR MILLER moved adoption of SCS CSHJR 5 (JUD) (4/22/95, Cook,            
 Version D).  SENATOR ADAMS objected for the purpose of hearing                
 testimony from the Court System.                                              
 Number 066                                                                    
 CHRIS CHRISTENSEN, general counsel to the Judicial branch,                    
 testified in opposition to the section of HJR 5 that relates to               
 term limits for judicial officers.  The court believes the drafters           
 of Alaska's Constitution designed a judicial appointment and                  
 retention system which is considered a model and has been copied by           
 a number of other states.  The court system does not believe that             
 model will be improved by the changes made in HJR 5.  The court               
 takes no position on term limits for others contained in the bill.            
 MR. CHRISTENSEN noted that arguments made against term limits for             
 legislators are equally applicable to judicial officers.  The                 
 retention election serves as the ultimate term limit for judicial             
 officers.  Also, judicial officers who have served 15 years have              
 valuable experience.  He responded to three specific reasons cited            
 in the sponsor statement to limit terms.  Regarding public support            
 in both opinion polls and electoral results, there is no                      
 groundswell of public support for term limits for judges,                     
 especially in light of the fact the idea came into being only three           
 days ago.  Second, the sponsor states term limits will provide a              
 flow of new legislators with new ideas.  The public wants judges              
 who enforce laws as written, not judges with new ideas.  Third, the           
 sponsor believes term limits will level the playing field for                 
 challenges to entrenched incumbents.  Leveling the playing field              
 only applies to contested elections; judicial officers have                   
 retention elections.  A fourth reason in support of term limits is            
 that it will force people to sit out for three years and get back             
 in touch with their communities.  That argument does not apply to             
 judges since they live and work where they serve.                             
 MR. CHRISTENSEN discussed negative results that could occur if term           
 limits were imposed on judicial officers.  First, the judicial                
 retirement system would cost more to the state because judges would           
 be removed at the point in time they become vested.  Over the long            
 run, more people would be drawing money out of the judicial                   
 retirement system.  Second, unlike legislators, most of whom have             
 an outside career, judges are required by the rules of judicial               
 conduct to completely give up the practice of law when they become            
 judges.  At the end of their 15 year term, judges will have to                
 start a new career. This may serve as a disincentive to successful            
 lawyers, to take a pay cut to become a judge, and then have to                
 begin a new legal career at the age of 50.                                    
 TAPE 95-26, SIDE A                                                            
 SENATOR ADAMS removed his objection to the adoption of SCS CSHJR 5            
 SENATOR MILLER moved SCS CSHJR 5(JUD) out of committee with                   
 individual recommendations.  SENATOR ADAMS objected.  The motion              
 passed with Senators Green, Miller and Taylor voting "Yea," and               
 Senators Ellis and Adams voting "Nay."                                        
              HB  42 ABSENTEE VOTING & USE OF FAX                             
 TOM ANDERSON, legislative aide to Representative Martin, sponsor of          
 the measure, deferred the question of waiving the right to privacy            
 issue to Mr. Gaguine.                                                         
 SENATOR ADAMS suggested getting an outside opinion of the issue.              
 JOHN GAGUINE, Assistant Attorney General, gave the following                  
 testimony.  While reviewing the minutes of the Constitution, he               
 found there was discussion on this issue among two delegates.  One            
 asked, "How can secrecy be guaranteed if, as in the case of a blind           
 person, or in the case of a person who cannot read, the election              
 judges might have to assist."  The second delegate responded, "The            
 right of secrecy is not an absolutely unqualified right.  It is               
 like the right to freedom of speech, the classic example is that              
 the right to freedom of speech does not give one the right to yell            
 'FIRE' in a crowded theater."  After the discussion, the amendment            
 was adopted by a voice vote.                                                  
 Number 131                                                                    
 SENATOR ADAMS commented that discussion referred only to a person's           
 physical or mental ability.  MR. GAGUINE agreed, but stated he                
 quoted that to propose that the delegates did not intend this right           
 to be an absolute restriction.  He spoke to the fact that the bill            
 requires the voter casting a faxed ballot to acknowledge that they            
 are waiving whatever rights they have to absolute secrecy.  He                
 believed, if the law were challenged, the court would apply a                 
 balancing test, and would find that the minimal intrusion on ballot           
 secrecy is outweighed by the fact that this bill enfranchises                 
 people who would otherwise not be able to vote.                               
 Number 159                                                                    
 SENATOR GREEN asked if anyone sees absentee ballots when they are             
 received.  MR. GAGUINE replied that at the receiving end, the                 
 ballot is commingled, therefore no one at that end could connect              
 the voter with the ballot.  He clarified he was referring to the              
 operator at the sending end.                                                  
 Number 174                                                                    
 SENATOR MILLER commented it is possible to connect a name with an             
 absentee ballot in a small election, therefore there is no                    
 guarantee of secrecy even with absentee ballots.                              
 Number 187                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR discussed the history of the constitutional freedom            
 of speech, and questioned Mr. Gaguine's reference to Messerly v               
 State, which says that Alaska's society's interest in knowing the             
 identity of a person who publishes an ad concerning a municipal               
 bond proposition outweighs that person's right, under free speech,            
 to privacy.                                                                   
 MR. GAGUINE answered that Messerly v State became invalid as of 10            
 days ago since the U.S. Supreme Court issued a differing opinion.             
 Number 220                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked Mr. Gaguine to review the statutes governing             
 the APOC reporting requirements to determine if repeal of any of              
 that statute is necessary.  MR. GAGUINE offered to pass the request           
 to Nancy Gordon, Assistant Attorney General, in Anchorage.  SENATOR           
 TAYLOR felt it was important to inform the public of changes made             
 in light of the Supreme Court decision.                                       
 Number 232                                                                    
 SENATOR ADAMS asked about technical implementation of the bill, and           
 potential disclosure of ballot information from phone line problems           
 or human error.                                                               
 MR. GAGUINE assumed the court would take those types of occurrences           
 into account when applying a balancing test.  He personally                   
 considered the possibility of those types of problems occurring to            
 be a policy decision.                                                         
 Number 260                                                                    
 SENATOR ELLIS requested the bill be held in committee for further             
 study and discussion.  SENATOR TAYLOR replied the bill would be               
 heard again on Friday, April 28.                                              
 SENATOR TAYLOR adjourned the meeting at 3:35 p.m.                             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects