Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/29/1995 02:30 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                   SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE                                  
                         April 29, 1995                                        
                           2:35 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
                                                                               
 Senator Robin Taylor, Chairman                                                
 Senator Lyda Green, Vice-Chairman                                             
 Senator Mike Miller                                                           
                                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Senator Al Adams                                                              
 Senator Johnny Ellis                                                          
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
 SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 19                                           
 Establishing the Blue Ribbon Commission on Gaming and Gambling and            
 relating to commission recommendations regarding gaming and                   
 gambling in the state.                                                        
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 172                                                           
 "An Act eliminating 'monte carlo' nights as an authorized form of             
 charitable gaming; and providing for an effective date."                      
                                                                               
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 219(FIN)                                                
 "An Act relating to medical care for prisoners; and authorizing               
 special medical parole for severely medically disabled or                     
 quadriplegic prisoners."                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 154                                                           
 "An Act relating to an aggravating factor at sentencing."                     
                                                                               
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 234(JUD)                                                
 "An Act relating to administrative adjudication under the                     
 Administrative Procedure Act."                                                
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 167                                                           
 "An Act relating to day fines in certain criminal cases and release           
 of employment information for use in the collection of criminal               
 judgments."                                                                   
                                                                               
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 13(STA)                                                 
 "An Act requiring persons filing for nomination for, or campaigning           
 for election for, state elective office, persons authorized to make           
 or incur political campaign expenditures before formally filing for           
 nomination to state elective office, and groups acting on behalf of           
 any of these, to file certain election campaign finance disclosure            
 reports."                                                                     
                                                                               
 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            
 voting."                                                                      
                                                                               
 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 39 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated                 
         3/6/95.                                                               
                                                                               
 HB 74 - See State Affairs minutes dated 3/28/95.                              
                                                                               
 HB 13 - See State Affairs minutes dated 4/25/95.                              
                                                                               
 SB 167 -  No previous Senate action.                                          
                                                                               
 HB 42 - See State Affairs minutes dated 3/28/95.                              
     See Judiciary minutes dated 4/22/95 and 4/24/95.                          
                                                                               
 SB 154 - No previous Senate action.                                           
                                                                               
 SB 95 - 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 and 4/24/95.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
                                                                               
 Representative Gene Therriault                                                
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-1182                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HB 39                                        
                                                                               
 Matt Anderson                                                                 
 Emergency Medical Services Section                                            
 Dept. of Health and Social Services                                           
 P.O. Box 110616                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0616                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 39                           
                                                                               
 Patty Swenson                                                                 
 Legislative Aide                                                              
 Alaska State Capitol                                                          
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-1182                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified for sponsor of HB  74                         
                                                                               
 Margot Knuth                                                                  
 Assistant Attorney General                                                    
 Department of Law                                                             
 P.O. Box 110300                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0300                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of SB 154                         
                                                                               
 Julie Jensen-Zarr                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 74                           
                                                                               
 Bruce Botelho                                                                 
 Attorney General                                                              
 Department of Law                                                             
 P.O. Box 110300                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SCR 19                          
                                                                               
 Denny Dewitt                                                                  
 Legislative Aide                                                              
 Alaska State Capitol                                                          
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-1182                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified for sponsor of HB 219                         
                                                                               
 Jayne Andreen                                                                 
 Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault                               
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 P.O. Box 111200                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska 99811-1200                                                     
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in Support of SB 154                          
                                                                               
 Theresa Williams                                                              
 Assistant Attorney General                                                    
 Department of Law                                                             
 1031 W. 4th Ave., Suite 200                                                   
 Anchorage, AK  99501-1994                                                     
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of CSHB 234(JUD)                   
                                                                               
 Chris Christensen                                                             
 Judicial Counsel                                                              
 Alaska Court System                                                           
 303 K St.                                                                     
 Anchorage, AK  99501-2084                                                     
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 167                          
                                                                               
 Jeff Logan                                                                    
 Legislative Aide                                                              
 Alaska State Capitol                                                          
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-1182                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified for sponsor of HB 13                          
                                                                               
 Tom Anderson                                                                  
 Legislative Aide                                                              
 Alaska State Capitol                                                          
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-1182                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified for sponsor of HB 42                          
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-27, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
              SB 172 ELIMINATE MONTE CARLO NIGHTS                             
                                                                              
  CHAIRMAN ROBIN TAYLOR  called the Judiciary Committee meeting to             
 order at 2:35 p.m.  The first order of business was SB 172.                   
                                                                             
 [The following is a verbatim transcript.]                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR:  Next one up is SB 172, "An Act eliminating monte             
 carlo nights,"  at the request of whom, Senator Miller?                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER:  This was put in by the request - I'm not sure, but           
 it was one that we had been working with the Administration on ...            
 this particular area regarding some problems that we could be                 
 having with the Indian Gaming Act... we had been working with the             
 Administration on.                                                            
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR:  Is there anybody here who wishes to testify on SB            
 172?  The basic purpose of this bill is to eliminate, from state              
 law, the right of any person to conduct a monte carlo night for               
 charitable gaming purposes, or any other purpose for that matter.             
 Is there anybody who wishes to testify on this legislation?                   
 Senator Miller, in your opinion, does this, in fact, eliminate                
 monte carlo night, to the best you can tell?                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER:  To the best I can tell, it does.                             
                                                                               
 [End of verbatim transcript.]                                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER specified Section 3 prohibits the activity.                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR stated it is his understanding that under current              
 gambling legislation passed by Congress, Indian tribes are                    
 authorized to conduct gambling operations on their lands, if such             
 gambling forms are authorized by state law.  Conversely, if state             
 law prohibits such gaming, that activity cannot be conducted on               
 Indian land.  Even though money is not exchanged in monte carlo               
 night activities, those types of activities must be prohibited if             
 similar activities are to be prohibited on Indian trust lands.                
 According to the Attorney General, to prevent the expansion of                
 gambling activities into the casino form, the state must terminate            
 the right of any charity to hold monte carlo nights.                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR commented the Senate majority has worked closely               
 with the Administration on this legislation.  The Administration is           
 negotiating in good faith with the Klawock Native Council regarding           
 the development of a casino-type gambling operation on a parcel of            
 land in Klawock.  Several other groups within the state are                   
 petitioning the Secretary of Interior for that privilege.  SB 172             
 would eliminate the opportunity to develop a casino-type                      
 establishment, however bingo, lotteries and pull tabs would still             
 be permitted.  That is the reason the legislation is on a fast                
 track through the Senate.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 156                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN moved SB 172 out of committee with individual                   
 recommendations.  There being no objection, the motion carried.               
              HB 39 AUTHORITY TO PRONOUNCE DEATH                              
                                                                              
 REPRESENTATIVE GENE THERRIAULT, sponsor of HB 39, gave the                    
 following testimony.  HB 39 is the reintroduction of legislation              
 that died in the Senate Rules committee last year due to lack of              
 time.  The measure grants the authority to intensive care                     
 paramedics, physicians assistants, and EMTs to pronounce death in             
 certain circumstances.  Due to the rural nature of Alaska, many               
 volunteer care providers respond to emergency situations where                
 death may occur but are out of contact with a consulting physician.           
 Once CPR is started, the provider cannot stop until the victim is             
 in a location where a physician can pronounce death.  Situations              
 occur in which the provider knows the victim cannot be                        
 resuscitated, yet must continue futile CPR, which can be traumatic            
 to the victim's relatives, and to the provider.  He has worked                
 extensively with state agencies that oversee EMT services to draft            
 concise language.  Section 2 adds a new section to the statute to             
 specify when the authority is granted and the procedure and                   
 information necessary to pronounce death.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 209                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR questioned the definition of "properly administered            
 resuscitation" on page 4, and wondered whether the 30 minute CPR              
 requirement could create provider liability when the victim is not            
 hypothermic.                                                                  
                                                                               
 REP. THERRIAULT repeated under current law, once a provider begins            
 to administer CPR, CPR cannot be stopped until a physician                    
 pronounces death.  The 30 minute limit was arbitrarily chosen, but            
 grants the authority to pronounce death after 30 minutes.                     
                                                                               
 Number 230                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR clarified the 30 minute limit should be considered             
 to be a reasonable standard; not an absolute standard. He expressed           
 concern that by specifying a 30 minute time limit, the risk of                
 someone enforcing it in an illogical situation increases.  He                 
 discussed a situation in Wrangell in which a car accident victim              
 was killed instantly, and fortunately the paramedics were able to             
 contact a physician shortly after arriving on the scene.  However,            
 if the physician was unable to be contacted, it would have been               
 useless to administer CPR for 30 minutes.  He also expressed                  
 concern about the ability to pronounce death.  He recounted a                 
 second situation in which a pilot was pronounced brain dead by the            
 Ketchikan General Hospital but after receiving treatment at                   
 Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, is almost fully recovered.              
                                                                               
 Number 270                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN asked whether any individual administering CPR is               
 still unable to stop administering CPR until a replacement is                 
 available.  REP. THERRIAULT was unsure how current law applies to             
 private individuals.                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 284                                                                    
                                                                               
 MATT ANDERSON, Training Coordinator for the Emergency Medical                 
 Services Section of the DHSS, testified in support of HB 39.  The             
 bill is medically appropriate, was crafted considering current                
 medical techniques and standards, and will be easy to implement.              
 Many of the issues raised by committee members can be adequately              
 addressed by the training program.  He noted the conditions                   
 required for a person to be pronounced dead on page 3 are listed as           
 "or."  He explained the 30 minute time limit for patients who fail            
 to respond to proper resuscitation efforts follows standard medical           
 procedure.  Currently, lay rescuers trained in CPR are advised to             
 do so until: the situation becomes too hazardous; they are                    
 physically exhausted; or until new rescuers relieve them.                     
                                                                               
 Number 315                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN moved CSHB 39(JUD) from committee with individual               
 recommendations.  There being no objection, the motion carried.               
                                                                               
 Number 318                                                                    
             HB  74 ASSAULT BY ADULTS ON CHILDREN                             
                                                                              
 PATTY SWENSON, legislative aide to Representative Bunde, sponsor of           
 HB 74, gave the following testimony.  The impetus for HB 74 was an            
 attack on a 14 year old newspaper boy by three drunk, 20-year old             
 men who ran over the boy with his own snowmachine.  The men were              
 charged with a misdemeanor, and are likely to receive unsupervised            
 probation as their punishment.  HB 74 changes the offense of                  
 assault by a person over 18 on a minor between the ages of 10 and             
 16 to a class C felony.  The minor must receive physical injury               
 requiring medical treatment.  The standard of "knowingly" is used,            
 which calls for a higher mental state, and provides a defense for             
 persons who reasonably believed their victim was 16 years of age or           
 older.                                                                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked why the attackers were not prosecuted to the             
 fullest extent possible under existing law.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 360                                                                    
                                                                               
 MARGOT KNUTH, Assistant Attorney General, replied the physical                
 injury was the result of a punch, not the snowmobile, therefore the           
 crime was considered assault in the fourth degree.  The physical              
 injury must be serious, or a dangerous instrument must be used, to            
 be considered more than a misdemeanor.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 368                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked if under HB 74, the same assault would be                
 classified as a class C felony, only because the bill specifies the           
 age differential.  He questioned if the attack was on a 16 year               
 old, the same misdemeanor classification would apply.                         
                                                                               
 MS. KNUTH repeated the crime is classified a misdemeanor assault if           
 serious physical harm is not caused, and if a dangerous instrument            
 is not used.                                                                  
                                                                               
 JULIE JENSEN-ZARR testified in support of HB 74 via teleconference            
 from Anchorage.  HB 74 has received widespread community support              
 and over 1500 petition signatures from Palmer to Homer because of             
 the assault on a South Anchorage boy.  [The remainder of Ms.                  
 Jensen-Zarr's testimony was indiscernible due to poor                         
 transmission.]                                                                
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN moved CSHB 74 out of committee with individual                  
 recommendations.  There being no objection, the motion carried.               
 Number 410                                                                    
            SCR 19 BLUE RIBBON COMMISSION ON GAMING                           
                                                                              
 [The following is a verbatim transcript.]                                     
                                                                               
 MR. BOTELHO:  Thank you Mr. Chairman.  My name for the record is              
 Bruce Botelho, Attorney General for the state.   I apologize, Mr.             
 Chairman, for not being here when the matter was first called.  The           
 resolution would establish a Blue Ribbon Gaming Commission between            
 now and the 15th of January, 1996, the 1996 legislative session, to           
 study the future of gambling and gaming in the state.  It has been            
 precipitated by a variety of developments in the state, to note               
 three or four of those activities, one has been the push toward               
 cruise ship gambling; second and independent, but certainly tied to           
 it, the interest in undertaking casino gambling through the Indian            
 Gaming Regulatory Act and the request by the Klawock Community                
 Association to negotiate a compact under the federal law here in              
 Alaska and the fact that they would be entitled to play any game              
 which is otherwise authorized in the state.  We also have seen                
 legislation proposed to allow certain forms of gambling on the                
 state ferries, we had various lottery bills in the past, the                  
 legislature has been asked to deal with such activities as                    
 paramutuel betting.  All of these make clear, and certainly the               
 national picture makes clear, that one of the major policy issues             
 facing legislatures around the country, and our state in                      
 particular, is the future of gambling and gaming in the state.                
 Mr. Chairman, the Administration supports this resolution, and                
 would urge its speedy adoption.                                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR:  Any questions by the committee?  Senator Green...            
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN:  I just have... do resolutions require an effective            
 date, since we are appointing a committee?                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR:  It will become effective upon passage.                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN:  It's an automatic?                                            
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR:  Yes.                                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN:  It does not require...                                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR:  It's just a resolution anyhow, which is like an              
 intent of the Senate or an intent of the legislature.                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN:  O.K., it's just that it has a closure date and I              
 just wondered if it had..., if it is automatically in place if it             
 passed.                                                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR:  I don't have any further questions either.  Thank            
 you very much for taking your time to come down.                              
                                                                               
 MR. BOTELHO:  Thank you Mr. Chairman.                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR:  I just wanted you to know that the Judiciary                 
 Committee in the Senate is not a bad place to visit.                          
                                                                               
 MR. BOTELHO:  Every once in awhile, Mr. Chairman.  Thank you.                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN:  Would you like a motion for SCR 19?                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR:  Yes, let there be a motion.                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN:  SCR 19, I move that it be out of committee with               
 individual recommendations.                                                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR:  SCR 19 has been moved from committee with                    
 individual recommendations.  Are there any objections?  There being           
 no objections, it moves from committee.                                       
                                                                               
 [End of verbatim transcript.]                                                 
           HB 219 PAROLE OF TERMINALLY ILL PRISONERS                          
                                                                              
 Denny Dewitt, legislative aide to Representative Mulder, sponsor of           
 HB 219, gave the following testimony.  HB 219 allows a special                
 medical parole for inmates who are either quadripalegics or                   
 bedridden with a terminal condition.  It also allows the Department           
 of Corrections to establish a billing mechanism for medical                   
 services within prisons to help control medical services, similar             
 to a deductible in a traditional health insurance policy.  It will            
 allow the department to place itself secondary to other kinds of              
 coverages that might be available for prisoners.  This provision is           
 particularly important in "soft bed" situations where an individual           
 might be working and have access to health insurance, or are                  
 incarcerated for misdemeanors and maintain their health insurance             
 during that time period.                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 469                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR noted that during testimony in a House committee, it           
 was disclosed that over $340,000 was spent on a prisoner who was              
 terminally ill with AIDS in the last few months of that prisoner's            
 life.  MR. DEWITT replied the amount was $540,000.                            
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked if HB 219 would help alleviate the state from            
 the liability of providing for medical treatment for terminally ill           
 prisoners.  MR. DEWITT explained the bill will put prisoners on               
 special medical parole, which will enable them to become eligible             
 for medicaid.  The quality of care will improve for these                     
 individuals in settings other than prisons, since prisons are not             
 designed to provide that type of care.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 489                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR noted there is a zero fiscal note.  MR. DEWITT                 
 predicted the bill will save money over the long term.                        
           SB 154 AGGRAVATING FACTORS AT SENTENCING                           
                                                                              
 MS. KNUTH testified on behalf of the Department of Law in support             
 of SB 154.  The bill was recommended by the Sentencing Commission             
 and fixes an oversight.  Currently, previous convictions for sexual           
 assault are considered as aggravators when sentencing sexual                  
 assault or sexual abuse perpetrators, however previous sexual abuse           
 convictions are not considered.  SB 154 allows previous sexual                
 abuse convictions to be considered as aggravators when sentencing             
 repeat offenders.  She was unaware of any opposition to SB 154.               
                                                                               
 Number 515                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR commented it is sad that the court system is so                
 strictly regulated in what can and cannot be applied when                     
 sentencing a repeat offender.                                                 
                                                                               
 JAYNE ANDREEN, Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault,               
 testified in support of SB 154.  The CDVSA believes it is very                
 important when dealing with offenders with a high recidivism rate             
 that the court be able to review their full criminal history when             
 making sentencing decisions.                                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN moved SB 154 out of committee with individual                   
 recommendations.  There being no objections, the motion carried.              
              HB 234 ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUDICATIONS                             
                                                                               
 TERESA WILLIAMS, Assistant Attorney General, testified on behalf of          
 the Office of the Governor.  CSHB 234(JUD) makes minor, but                   
 important changes in the Administrative Procedures Act.  It                   
 clarifies the law, saves money, and speeds the process.  The                  
 Administrative Procedures Act contains some archaic language that             
 causes delays and often results in frivolous litigation.  She was             
 unaware of any opposition to the bill.  The bill is expected to               
 reduce hearing costs to both the state and involved parties.  CSHB            
 234(JUD) will allow routine telephonic participation, changes the             
 reimbursement rate for witnesses, expressly authorizes the agency             
 to allow discovery and how it will take place, and codifies                   
 existing court law regarding burden of proof and standard of proof.           
 The bill also clarifies the time period for requesting                        
 reconsideration.                                                              
                                                                               
 Number 560                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked about witness fees and other fees not included           
 in the bill, and expressed concern that the petitioner might be               
 burdened to such an extent that people are discouraged from                   
 petitioning for redress.  MS. WILLIAMS replied the telephonic                 
 participation provision will eliminate the need to have witnesses             
 travel and help reduce costs.                                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR questioned the impact of the changes made in the               
 bill upon the selection of forum, and who would choose what venue             
 the matter should be tried within.  MS. WILLIAMS explained the bill           
 does not really change the selection.  The old language refers to             
 Senate districts that no longer exist; the most comparable                    
 districts are the judicial districts.  SENATOR TAYLOR clarified the           
 bill makes no substantive changes, only clean up changes.  He added           
 that discretion should allow for some adjustment of location of               
 hearing if more appropriate for all parties.                                  
         SB 167 DAY FINES & INFO FOR COLLECTING FINES                         
                                                                              
 CHRIS CHRISTENSEN, general counsel to the Alaska Court System,                
 explained last year the legislature passed legislation authorizing            
 courts to impose day fines for certain misdemeanor offenses.  A day           
 fine is based on the person's annual income.  In the course of                
 implementing this law, certain problems became apparent.  Some of             
 the problems can be rectified by simple amendments to the original            
 law, however other problems are more fundamental.  SB 167 addresses           
 the more technical difficulties, not the fundamental problems.                
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-27, SIDE B                                                            
                                                                               
 MR. CHRISTENSEN replied SB 167 contains technical changes to the              
 law to make it more workable, however the law still contains                  
 fundamental problems.  The legislature's intent in passing the law            
 was to decrease the number of misdemeanor offenders serving jail              
 time, and to increase fine collection rates.  Two problems have               
 occurred.  First, the day fines law excludes most of the                      
 misdemeanor offenses for which people now serve jail time.  About             
 90 percent of the people sent to jail serve time for six offenses:            
 DWI; refusal to take a breath test; driving with a suspended                  
 license; driving with a revoked license; misdemeanor assault; and             
 violation of a domestic violence restraining order.  All six of               
 those crimes are specifically excluded from the day fines law, and            
 it is unlikely that jail sentences for those crimes will be                   
 eliminated by the legislature.                                                
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR questioned the benefit to modifying some of the                
 mandatory sentences to provide for electronic monitoring, coupled             
 with a day fine, as opposed to serving jail time.                             
                                                                               
 MR. CHRISTENSEN felt there were underlying problems with the                  
 concept that would take some time to work through.  He discussed a            
 second problem with the current law.  Judges are unlikely to order            
 the payment of a day fine if the judge does not believe the person            
 will pay the day fine.  In reviewing the state's collection                   
 practices, the day fines committee discovered that current fine               
 collection rates are extremely low and believes the program will              
 not be widely used until the Department of Law receives additional            
 collection tools.  The federal court system is studying the                   
 possibility of preventing a person from renewing a state license              
 until criminal fines are paid.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 560                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. CHRISTENSEN discussed a third fundamental problem pertains to             
 the fine amounts that result from the day fines formula.  The                 
 legislature directed that class A misdemeanors be subject to up to            
 365 day units, a day unit being one day of a person's salary.  When           
 trying to determine a reasonable fine, the committee decreased the            
 amount to 45 day units, yet even at that level some fines are                 
 extreme.                                                                      
                                                                               
 The fourth area of concern, described by MR. CHRISTENSEN, is about            
 fish and game misdemeanor offenses.  The day fines committee                  
 excluded those offenses from its report to prevent the imposition             
 of another layer of complexity to the existing problems.  The                 
 sentencing structure for fish and game offenses is unclear, and               
 contains many different penalty provisions, and many offense                  
 definitions overlap.  The day fines committee recommended that the            
 legislature appoint a special committee or interagency group to               
 assess and restructure fish and game penalty provisions and                   
 definitions of offenses.                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR agreed the legislature needs to make a policy                  
 decision on the fundamental issues raised.  He asked Mr.                      
 Christensen if he believed the bill would be of significant benefit           
 to the court system, even though it is only technical in nature, in           
 light of the late session date.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 512                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. CHRISTENSEN believed if the technical changes are made, the               
 Supreme Court would send the issue back to the day fines committee            
 to see if implementation is possible.                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR announced he would hold the bill in committee to               
 give members further opportunity for review.  He added it could be            
 moved out of committee quickly, if necessary.                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN asked if the sliding fee scale was a common approach            
 to fine assessment.  MR. CHRISTENSEN answered it is a common                  
 approach in Europe, and a few American jurisdictions have started             
 to use it.  He explained the theory is that large fines can be as             
 much of a deterrent to criminal behavior as the threat of a very              
 short jail sentence.  Traditionally fines are imposed without                 
 regard to a person's income, and are generally low.  This approach            
 looks to a person's income to supposedly provide equity in the                
 system.                                                                       
 Number 486                                                                    
             HB  13 CAMPAIGN FILINGS & DISCLOSURES                            
                                                                              
 JEFF LOGAN, legislative aide to Rep. Green, testified on HB 13.  HB           
 13 requires those candidates seeking access to the general election           
 ballot, but whose names will not appear on the primary election               
 ballot, to file campaign disclosure reports during the primary                
 reporting cycle.  Currently these candidates are not required to              
 file campaign disclosure reports until the 30 day pre-general                 
 report.  Therefore the candidates that make it on the general                 
 election ballot are not required to disclose to the public who is             
 contributing money to their campaigns until October.  The bill is             
 supported by the APOC and has a zero fiscal note.                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked if it would be possible for a primary                    
 candidate to dodge this requirement by having another person                  
 solicit and collect money for him/her.                                        
                                                                               
 MR. LOGAN was unsure, but remarked HB 13 covers groups, as well as            
 individuals, therefore to receive campaign contributions, a letter            
 of intent would have to be filed.                                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN moved HB 13 from committee with individual                      
 recommendations.  There being no objections, the motion carried.              
 Number 464                                                                    
              HB  42 ABSENTEE VOTING & USE OF FAX                             
                                                                              
 TOM ANDERSON, legislative aide to Representative Martin, stated the           
 bill was held in committee at the request of Senator Ellis to                 
 review the question of the potential for fraud.                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked if Senator Ellis had received the information            
 he requested.  MR. ANDERSON believed Senator Ellis' staff had                 
 discussed the matter with the Division of Election.  MR. ANDERSON             
 explained the Division of Elections has procedures and policies in            
 place designed to prevent fraud.                                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR noted he had a discussion with an individual who was           
 concerned that by allowing others to waive their right to ballot              
 privacy, his right to ballot privacy could also be eliminated.  He            
 illustrated his point by recounting the Roosevelt election results            
 from the town of Douglas.  All but two residents voted for                    
 Roosevelt, and other voters spent considerable time trying to                 
 influence the two voters to change their votes.  He noted Senator             
 Adams concern about the lack of privacy in small villages.                    
                                                                               
 Number 414                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. ANDERSON explained the individual faxes the ballot; only one              
 person on the receiving end would see the ballot, therefore he did            
 not feel that concern was valid.                                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN asked Senator Taylor if he was assuming that fax                
 results would show up differently in the total.  SENATOR TAYLOR               
 thought that could happen in a very small, town such as Meyers                
 Chuck.                                                                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER commented the faxed ballots would be tallied with              
 the other ballots from the precinct, and not separately.                      
 MR. ANDERSON clarified a person voting by electronic transmission             
 must apply four days in advance.  He added eight states have this             
 function and there have been no problems.                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN  moved CSHB 42 (STA)am with individual                          
 recommendations.  There being no objections, the motion carried.              
 SENATOR TAYLOR adjourned the meeting at 3:40 p.m.                             
                                                                               
                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects