Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/27/1996 01:30 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                   SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE                                  
                         March 27, 1996                                        
                           1:30 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
                                                                               
 Senator Robin Taylor, Chairman                                                
 Senator Lyda Green, Vice-Chairman                                             
 Senator Mike Miller                                                           
 Senator Al Adams                                                              
 Senator Johnny Ellis                                                          
                                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
                                                                               
 None                                                                          
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 207                                                           
 "An Act authorizing the issuance and sale of revenue bonds to fund            
 public wastewater systems, nonpoint source water pollution control            
 projects, including solid waste management systems, and estuary               
 conservation and management projects; authorizing the use of the              
 Alaska clean water fund to pay and secure the bonds and to pay                
 costs related to issuance and administration of  the bonds;                   
 authorizing certain measures to secure payment of the bonds; and              
 amending Alaska Rule of Civil Procedure 3."                                   
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 268                                                           
 "An Act relating to release before trial in cases involving                   
 controlled substances."                                                       
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 277                                                           
 "An Act relating to charitable gaming and gaming on state ferries;            
 and providing for an effective date."                                         
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 272                                                           
 "An Act relating to small claims actions; relating to actions that            
 may be heard by a magistrate; relating to representation by an                
 attorney in civil actions in which a corporation is a party and to            
 representation by an attorney in certain civil claims asserted by             
 assignment; amending Rules 11(a)(4), 15(c), and 17(b), Alaska                 
 District Court Rules of Civil Procedure; and providing for an                 
 effective date."                                                              
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 446 am                                                         
 "An Act allowing home rule municipalities to bring actions for                
 certain injunctive relief relating to nuisances."                             
                                                                               
 SENATE CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 57(TRA)                                          
 "An Act relating to driver's licensing; and providing for an                  
 effective date."                                                              
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 459(JUD) am                                             
 "An Act relating to the jurisdiction governing a trust, to                    
 challenges to trusts or property transfers in trust, to the                   
 validity of trust interests, and to transfers of certain trust                
 interests."                                                                   
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
                                                                               
 SB 207 - See Community & Regional Affairs minutes dated 2/5/96,               
          2/14/96, and 2/21/96, and State Affairs minutes dated                
      2/29/96.                                                                 
      See Judiciary minutes dated 3/20/96.                                     
                                                                               
 SB 268 - See Judiciary minutes dated 3/13/96, 3/22/96, 3/25/96.               
                                                                               
 SB 277 -  See Judiciary minutes dated 3/20/96.                                
                                                                               
 SB 272 - No previous Senate committee action.                                 
                                                                               
 HB 446 - No previous Senate committee action.                                 
                                                                               
 HB 57 - See Senate Transportation minutes dated 2/22/96 and                   
     2/27/96.                                                                  
                                                                               
 HB 459 - No previous Senate committee action.                                 
                                                                               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
                                                                               
 Keith Kelton                                                                  
 Dept. of Environmental Conservation                                           
 410 Willoughby Ave. Ste. 105                                                  
 Juneau, AK  99801-1795                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports CSSB 207(JUD)                                 
                                                                               
 Senator Loren Leman                                                           
 Alaska State Capitol                                                          
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-1182                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Sponsor of SB 268                                      
                                                                               
 Senator John Torgerson                                                        
 Alaska State Capitol                                                          
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-1182                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of SB 272                                       
                                                                               
 Mr. Al Tamagni                                                                
 7001 Oakwood Dr.                                                              
 Anchorage, AK  99507                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on SB 272                                    
                                                                               
 Bob Manley                                                                    
 324 E. Cook                                                                   
 Anchorage, AK  99501                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on SB 272 and HB 459                         
                                                                               
 John George                                                                   
 NAII                                                                          
 3328 Fritz Cove Rd.                                                           
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports HB 57                                         
                                                                               
 Mark Johnson                                                                  
 Dept. of Health and Social Services                                           
 P.O. Box 110616                                                               
 Juneau, AK  99811-0616                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports HB 57                                         
                                                                               
 Juanita Hensley                                                               
 Division of Motor Vehicles                                                    
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 Box 20020                                                                     
 Juneau, AK  99802                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports HB 57                                         
                                                                               
 Chris Christensen                                                             
 Alaska Court System                                                           
 303 K St.                                                                     
 Anchorage, AK  99501-2084                                                     
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on SB 272                                    
                                                                               
 Laurie Otto                                                                   
 Deputy Attorney General                                                       
 Department of Law                                                             
 P.O. Box 110300                                                               
 Juneau, AK                                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports SB 268                                        
                                                                               
 Dick Thwaites                                                                 
 500 L Street, Suite 301                                                       
 Anchorage, AK  99501                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports HB 459                                        
                                                                               
 Joe Ryan                                                                      
 Legislative Aide to Rep. Vezey                                                
 Alaska State Capitol                                                          
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-1182                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified for the sponsor of HB 459                    
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-29, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN ROBIN TAYLOR  called the Judiciary Committee meeting to             
 order at 1:36 p.m.  A quorum was present with Senators Green,                 
 Adams, Miller and Chair Taylor.  The first order of business before           
 the committee was SB 207.                                                     
         SB 207 REVENUE BONDS: WATER & WASTE PROJECTS                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR ADAMS moved for the adoption of CSSB 207(JUD) (version F).            
 SENATOR TAYLOR objected for the purpose of discussion and explained           
 the requested amendments were incorporated into the committee                 
 substitute.                                                                   
                                                                               
 KEITH KELTON, representing the Department of Environmental                    
 Conservation, stated DEC is satisfied with this version.                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR removed his objection to the motion to adopt the               
 committee substitute, therefore, so moved.                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR ADAMS moved and asked unanimous consent that CSSB 207(JUD)            
 be moved from committee with individual recommendations.  There               
 being no objection, the motion carried.                                       
         SB 268 PRETRIAL RELEASE FOR CERTAIN OFFENSES                         
                                                                              
 SENATOR LEMAN stated version K accommodates the Chair's concerns              
 and is similar to the original version of the bill.  Language was             
 included on page 2, lines 27 through 31, to address previously                
 discussed concerns about firearms and knives.                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR added that references to AS 04 were omitted from               
 version K.  SENATOR LEMAN agreed the bill title was changed and any           
 reference to alcohol was removed, making the bill more similar to             
 the original version of SB 268.                                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR felt lines 19 through 21 to be too restrictive as it           
 would prevent a person who might need to use a portable                       
 communications device in the course of employment from doing so,              
 when that person has only been alleged to have committed a crime.             
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN clarified the court would consider the list of                  
 conditions, as well as the person's previous record.  It has become           
 increasingly difficult to keep repeat drug offenders off the                  
 streets in the Municipality of Anchorage: the offenders are dealing           
 drugs within hours of an arrest.  In such a case, a judge would               
 have the ability to decide which conditions would be appropriate.             
 Police are finding that cellular phones are a tool of the drug                
 trade.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 099                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked if version K includes conditions of release              
 under AS 12.30.020, the domestic violence statute.  SENATOR LEMAN             
 replied AS 12.30.020 is the general authority for conditions.                 
 Section 2 ensures that general bail conditions, plus the conditions           
 laid out in SB 268, are considered for domestic violence offenses.            
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR questioned whether the same restriction on portable            
 telephone use apply to domestic violence offenders.  SENATOR LEMAN            
 indicated it could be, but the bill does not provide for that                 
 explicit authority.  This legislation provides that particular                
 condition only for release before trial involving controlled                  
 substances.                                                                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR ADAMS asked if on page 2, line 27, the words "possession or           
 control" were supposed to replace the word "person."  SENATOR                 
 TAYLOR believed that language was only to apply to knives, and                
 subsection (4) pertains to controlled substances.                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR ADAMS inquired whether Section 2 is in concert with the               
 Governor's domestic violence legislation.  SENATOR TAYLOR replied             
 the Governor's legislation is quite comprehensive; Section 2 is one           
 small step.                                                                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN moved the adoption of CSSB 268(JUD) (version K).                
 There being no objection, the motion carried.                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN moved CSSB 268(JUD) out of committee with individual            
 recommendations.  There being no objection, the motion carried.               
 Number 187                                                                    
        SB 277 GAMING: FERRIES, VIDEO LOTTERY & MISC                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR explained the proposed committee substitute: limits           
 those who may be able to utilize gaming permits and devices in the            
 state; prohibits funds from flowing to political entities, and                
 significantly narrows the definition of what constitutes a                    
 charitable organization.                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR moved to adopt CSSB 277(JUD) (version K).  SENATOR             
 ELLIS objected.  SENATOR ADAMS asked for a review of the changes              
 made in the proposed committee substitute.                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR stated the original bill would have eliminated                 
 pulltabs and replaced them with video lottery machines.  A previous           
 witness from the pulltab industry believed the introduction of                
 video lottery machines will eliminate the pulltab industry over               
 time, and because many charitable organizations did not want to               
 lose pulltab business, the section eliminating the use of pulltabs            
 was removed.  Nothing else in the committee substitute is different           
 from the original bill.                                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR ADAMS if a permittee could contract out either the pulltab            
 or video lottery permit.  SENATOR TAYLOR affirmed the permittee               
 could not.                                                                    
 Number 231                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS believed video lottery gaming will expand the                   
 gambling industry in the state because video machines can be                  
 programmed to provide an array of games.  The California courts               
 have interpreted video lotteries as slot machines, and Native                 
 organizations use that interpretation as their statutory basis for            
 major casinos and mini casinos that have proliferated throughout              
 that state.  Regardless of the Native aspect, the escalation of the           
 kind of gambling represented by this bill is a significant                    
 expansion of gambling.  He questioned the move against such                   
 activity by the majority last year.  He asked Senator Taylor if he            
 agreed with the interpretation of the California court decision               
 regarding the operation of mini and maxi casinos.  In addition, he            
 asked if video lottery machines must be programmed to keep an                 
 electronic record of gaming activity, and whether the bill                    
 explicitly requires such records to be kept.                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR replied it is his understanding the Division would             
 have the authority to impose that type of regulation.                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS asked if the bill explicitly directs the Division to            
 do so.  SENATOR TAYLOR responded the bill does not order the                  
 Division to set up a recording device.  Regarding Senator Ellis'              
 first question, he responded the U.S. Supreme Court just rendered             
 a decision which says the states have retained the authority to               
 regulate casino gaming.  That decision is a direct reversal of the            
 lower court decision and will have significant ramifications on the           
 Native gaming casinos across the United States.                               
                                                                               
 Number 285                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS questioned whether Senator Taylor intended to require           
 recordkeeping by statute as opposed to regulation.  SENATOR TAYLOR            
 stated he would have no problem with that, and would take the                 
 suggestion under consideration.                                               
       SB 272 SMALL CLAIMS CT JURISDICTION & PROCEDURE                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR TORGERSON, sponsor of SB 272, explained the purpose of the            
 bill is fourfold: it allows creditors without legal representation            
 in relatively small claims cases; it increases the maximum amount             
 of a claim from $5,000 to $10,000; it allows a motion to practice             
 in small claims court; and allows service for small claim cases on            
 defendants outside Alaska.  SB 272 amends existing statute so the             
 corporation can appear without an attorney in cases under $10,000,            
 and amends three court rules.  The legislation was introduced on              
 behalf of an attorney in his district.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 320                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHRIS CHRISTENSEN, general counsel to the judicial branch,                    
 discussed two primary components of SB 272.  It raises the                    
 jurisdictional limit of the small claims court from $5,000 to                 
 $10,000.  The Supreme Court opposes an increase of that magnitude             
 because although there has been no increase since 1986, the federal           
 CPI has only increased 32.8 percent since 1986.  That would equate            
 to $6,650 in 1996 dollars.  The Court System believes the change to           
 $10,000 will cause cases of much greater evidentiary complexity to            
 be placed before magistrates, and would prefer an incremental                 
 change, raising the current amount to $7,500.                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked about the second component regarding attorneys           
 having to appear on behalf of creditors.                                      
                                                                               
 MR. CHRISTENSEN stated the Supreme Court has not yet reviewed that            
 portion of the bill, therefore he cannot state a position.  He                
 relayed comments from some district court judges who expressed                
 concern about how the proposed court rule changes will change the             
 nature of small claims court in ways that are detrimental to the              
 system as a whole.  The primary effect of SB 272 is to make it                
 easier and cheaper for collection agencies to engage in commercial            
 litigation.  Collection agencies attempt to collect money on behalf           
 of a third party.  Section 4 provides that collection agencies will           
 no longer have to use an attorney when they go into small claims              
 court on behalf of another business or individual.  The individual            
 judges who have commented worry that collection agencies are not              
 bound by the same set of ethical rules that licensed attorneys are            
 bound by.  Collection agencies have no prohibitions on conflict of            
 interest, no rules on candor with the court, no rules regarding               
 fairness to the other parties, no rules regarding communication               
 with the other party, and no rules with regard to the degree of               
 truthfulness they have to maintain.  The same judges are also                 
 concerned that Section 5 will make it easier for agencies and                 
 others who are familiar with the small claims process to take                 
 advantage of the lack of familiarity the defendant has with the               
 small claims process.  Section 5 allows the court to grant a                  
 decision based on a summary judgment motion which would almost                
 invariably be filed by the plaintiff.  Court rules require the                
 magistrate or clerks to assist the litigants in a small claims case           
 by providing legal advice to both sides.  If a plaintiff filed a              
 summary judgment motion, the judge would not be able to offer                 
 assistance to the defendant.  A defendant in such a case would                
 eventually take far more clerical time keeping defendants informed            
 and prepare documents.                                                        
                                                                               
 MR. CHRISTENSEN continued.  Section 6 will allow out-of-state                 
 service on defendants.  Presently, court rules only allow a small             
 claims plaintiff to serve an out-of-state defendant in                        
 landlord/tenant cases and in cases involving motor vehicles.  This            
 particular issue was visited by the Supreme Court Small Claims                
 Committee the last time the limit was changed.  The magistrates and           
 clerks in small rural courts are not trained and qualified in long            
 arm jurisdiction.  Current law excepts landlord/tenant cases and              
 motor vehicle cases because the plaintiff can serve the                       
 Commissioners of Commerce and Public Safety if the defendant is               
 out-of-state.                                                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR ADAMS asked if the Court System used federal figures to               
 determine the CPI.  MR. CHRISTENSEN replied it did.                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR ADAMS asked if the figure would be higher than $6,650 if              
 the Alaska CPI was used.  MR. CHRISTENSEN answered he was under the           
 impression the federal figure for Anchorage was used.                         
                                                                               
 Number 400                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked Senator Torgerson if he would object to a                
 limit of $7,500.  SENATOR TORGERSON indicated he did not.                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR ADAMS asked if the fiscal note would change if the limit              
 were placed at $7,500.  MR. CHRISTENSEN believed the figure would             
 be lower because the number of new cases would decrease, and would            
 be less complex since they would be of lower value.                           
                                                                              
 SENATOR TAYLOR felt the collection agencies should be held more              
 accountable and be required to hire a person with some legal talent           
 to represent them.  Regarding Section 6, he shared Mr.                        
 Christensen's concern that out-of-state cases are complex.                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR moved to delete Sections 4 and 6, and to change                
 every place that the bill reflects $10,000 to $7,500.  There being            
 no objection, the motion carried.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 445                                                                    
                                                                               
 AL TAMAGNI testified from Anchorage in support of SB 272.  The                
 court takes a narrow approach as to what is good for the court                
 which is not always what is good for the public.  People with small           
 automobile accident claims over $5,000 have no access to the court            
 system.  He would prefer to see the limit raised to $15,000 because           
 if you adjust the $5,000 for cost-of-living increases since 1986,             
 the amount would be $3,200.  SB 272 will open the doors of the                
 court to people who cannot get access now.  He recommended keeping            
 the limit at $7,500 but indexing it annually.                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR noted he thought an incremental approach to be most            
 practical, and agreed with Mr. Tamagni that people's courts should            
 be expanded.                                                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER moved SB 272 as amended out of committee with                  
 individual recommendations.  There being no objection, the motion             
 carried.                                                                      
         HB 446 NUISANCE INJUNCTION BY HOME RULE MUNI                         
                                                                              
 SHIRLEY ARMSTRONG, aide to Representative Rokeberg, sponsor of HB             
 446, gave the following summary of the bill.  HB 446 was requested            
 by Mayor Mystrom as it will help municipalities suppress nuisances            
 and provide a mechanism for civil abatement of premises.  It would            
 enjoin nuisances within the jurisdictions of municipalities when              
 real property is being used for illegal activity, such as drugs,              
 gambling or prostitution, and is an attempt to assist                         
 municipalities to close down crack houses or similar enterprises              
 when the landlord ignores repeated notices or citations.  Current             
 law mandates the Attorney General to enjoin the properties, but if            
 that office is not inclined to do so due to lack of funding or                
 unwillingness to enforce the statute, the public can enjoin a piece           
 of property, however most people do not have the financial                    
 resources or legal talent to pursue such action.                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR commented injunctive relief is available in Title 9.           
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS expressed strong support of HB 446 but questioned               
 where in the process the word "shall" was changed to "may."  MS.              
 ARMSTRONG answered that change was made on the House floor in                 
 response to concerns made by small municipalities who rely on the             
 state to enjoin the nuisance.  Currently a municipality that wants            
 to pursue such a situation independently must get power of attorney           
 from the state. The process is complicated and cumbersome.                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS stated he understood that language was changed                  
 because one complaint was received from the City of Ketchikan.  He            
 objected to the House accommodating that request.  He moved to                
 return the word "may" to "shall" because otherwise the aggressive             
 action necessary to rid neighborhoods of crackhouses will not take            
 place.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 554                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. ARMSTRONG pointed out the Municipality of Anchorage is awaiting           
 passage of this legislation to pursue 22 nuisances.  She referred             
 to an article in the Alaska Star about the Polar Bear Bar in the              
 Spenard area.                                                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS agreed that situation will get immediate attention.             
 He repeated his motion to change the bill back to its original                
 language.  SENATOR TAYLOR objected because the word "shall" will              
 require two entities to take action, both the state and                       
 municipality, and no entity will have priority.                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS reminded Senator Taylor of other situations in which            
 the state was given the power to act but could not do so due to               
 limited resources.  He repeated that the legislation needs to have            
 more teeth.                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. ARMSTRONG noted the Municipality of Anchorage agreed to the               
 language change because some areas of the state prosecute these               
 types of problems under state statute.  SENATOR TAYLOR stated if              
 the word "shall" was used, the state would be shifting the burden             
 to the municipalities without providing the resources to do so.               
                                                                               
 The motion to change the word "may" to "shall" on line 8 failed               
 with Senators Ellis and Adams voting "yea" and Senators Taylor,               
 Green and Miller voting "nay."                                                
                                                                               
 SENATOR ADAMS felt the committee made a mistake by not passing the            
 amendment, as it would give local control back to municipalities.             
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR pointed out the subjects covered within the bill are           
 prostitution, illegal activity involving a place of prostitution,             
 and illegal activity involving alcoholic beverages, a controlled              
 substance, an imitation controlled substance, or gambling or                  
 promoting gambling.                                                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN moved HB 446am out of committee with individual                 
 recommendations.  There being no objection, the motion carried.               
 TAPE 96-29, SIDE B                                                            
           HB  57 LICENSING REQUIREMENTS FOR DRIVERS                          
                                                                              
 MELINDA GRUENING, legislative assistant to Representative Joe                 
 Green, explained the intent of the measure is to establish a                  
 graduated drivers license system.  Currently 16 to 21 year old                
 drivers comprise 6.2 percent of Alaskan drivers but account for               
 13.9 percent of all accidents and 28 percent of all fatal crashes.            
 A large majority of those accidents happen in the early hours of              
 the morning.  HB 57 will ease the novice driver, under controlled             
 conditions, into the driving environment by creating a provisional            
 license.  Nighttime driving hours will be restricted between the              
 hours of 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. with the exception of travelling             
 the most direct route to and from work.  A licensee with a                    
 provisional license could only accumulate 8 points during a 12                
 month period.  After a one-year period, if the provisional licensee           
 has demonstrated a safe driving record, an unrestricted driver's              
 license would be issued.  HB 57 is designed to allow the Department           
 of Public Safety (DPS) to take advantage of new federal funding to            
 implement such legislation.                                                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN moved to adopt the committee substitute.  SENATOR               
 ELLIS objected to the motion and asked Representative Green to                
 speak for the bill.                                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN offered to answer questions.  SENATOR                
 ELLIS asked about the fiscal impact of the legislation.                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN replied that a majority of the costs would be            
 reimbursed by a federal grant.  HB 57 will help protect teenagers             
 against themselves, and while their reflexes and ability to drive             
 may be better than an older person, their concentration may be less           
 than someone more mature.  This bill will get teenagers through the           
 most critical period and is designed to be a protective measure,              
 not an intrusive one.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 500                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR ADAMS expressed concern about the point system on page 3              
 because it decreases the amount of accumulated points from 12 to 8.           
 This topic was debated in the Transportation Committee, and a                 
 compromise amount of 10 points was discussed.                                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN observed the original amount of points in the            
 bill was was raised from 6 to 8 points.  He emphasized that a                 
 driver's license is a privelege.                                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN felt to accumulate 8 to 12 points in one year to                
 require a good deal of irresponsible behavior.                                
                                                                               
 JOHN GEORGE, representing the National Association of Independent             
 Insurers (NAII), testified in support of the bill.  On a personal             
 note, he stated as Assistant Fire Chief of the Auke Bay Fire                  
 District, he has responded to many late night automobile accidents.           
 He believes this bill will ensure the safety of teenagers by                  
 creating a curfew.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 458                                                                    
                                                                               
 MARK JOHNSON, Chief of the Emergency Medical Services Section of              
 the Department of Health and Social Services, testified in support            
 of HB 57 as data from hospitals show that teenagers treated for               
 motor vehicle accidents are double the rate of other drivers.  The            
 cost for hospitalization of that group averages over $20,000.                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked if Mr. Johnson had reviewed statistical                  
 information from other states that have implemented a similar                 
 program.  MR. JOHNSON replied he had reviewed information provided            
 by DPS and from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's                  
 newsletter.                                                                   
                                                                               
 JUANITA HENSLEY, Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, DPS,             
 testified in support of HB 57 and noted widespread support for the            
 legislation by other national and international groups.  The                  
 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) made                   
 available incentive grants to Alaska and North Carolina several               
 years ago to help implement and study a graduated license system to           
 see if it does save lives.  HB 57 is a step forward in that                   
 process.  Alaska has already implemented a "use it, lose it"                  
 sanction system for driver's licenses.  Because driver education is           
 not provided to students, they learn by trial and error.                      
 SENATOR ADAMS asked how many points a teen driver would get for two           
 curfew violations.  MS. HENSLEY answered each violation receives              
 two points.  After accumulating four points, DMV would send a                 
 letter to the licensee providing him/her the option of eliminating            
 two points by taking a defensive driving class.                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked Ms. Hensley to explain the changes made in the           
 proposed committee substitute.                                                
                                                                               
 MS. HENSLEY stated the original bill disallowed a licensee between            
 the ages of 16 and 17 to get a provisional license until he/she had           
 held an instructional permit for a period of six months.  At the              
 age of 18 through 20, a licensee would have to have a provisional             
 license for one year before being granted full driving priveleges.            
 The proposed committee substitute removes the provision for 18 to             
 20 year olds, and would allow a 15 year old who obtained an                   
 instructional permit for six months prior to obtain a provisional             
 driver's license at age 16 after passing a test.                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS asked if exceptions to driving during the curfew                
 hours were discussed when the bill was heard in the House and who             
 decides what the most direct route to and from work would be.                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN answered the House did consider longer curfew            
 hours from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.  Most of the discussion centered           
 around the fact that teenagers do not need to be out between the              
 hours of 1:00 and 5:00 unless it is for working purposes because              
 there is a rapid escalation of accidents during those hours.                  
 Regarding the second question, the police officer would determine             
 the most direct route, and could call the place of employment to              
 verify where the driver was enroute to and from.                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS asked if an officer would also determine whether the            
 driver was driving from a legitimate activity during curfew hours,            
 such as a school function.  REPRESENTATIVE GREEN replied the                  
 officer would make that determination, but it could be appealed by            
 the driver.                                                                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS stated he was trying to clarify whether driving to              
 and from work would be the only legitimate reason to drive during             
 curfew hours.  REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated if this bill becomes               
 law, the teenager would need to be driven by someone else during              
 curfew hours for any activity other than work.                                
                                                                               
 MS. HENSLEY clarified if a teenage driver has a driver over the age           
 of 25 in the car, then the provisional license driver would be able           
 to drive during curfew hours.                                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS questioned why the age of 25 was used.  MS. HENSLEY             
 commented the insurance industry uses the age of 25 to determine              
 that a driver is no longer a higher risk.  Current law allows a               
 person with an instructional permit to drive in a car with a 19               
 year old; that would be changed because it is believed a 25 year              
 old is more mature.  She noted that age was chosen arbitrarily.               
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS believed young people feel contempt for the laws when           
 they differentiate by age for various activities, and felt that               
 provision in the bill needs more thought.                                     
                                                                               
 MS. HENLSEY remarked New Zealand and the province of Ontario have             
 successful graduated license programs based on novice driving,                
 rather than age.                                                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS removed his objection to the adoption of SCSHB                  
 57(JUD) therefore the motion carried.                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER moved SCSHB 57(JUD) out of committee with individual           
 recommendations.  There being no objection, the motion carried.               
          HB 459 TRUSTS & PROPERTY TRANSFERS IN TRUST                         
                                                                              
 JOE RYAN, legislative aide to Representative Al Vezey, sponsor of             
 HB 459, asked Dick Thwaites to provide the committee with an                  
 overview of the legislation.                                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR ELLIS asked why the sponsor was not available to testify on           
 HB 459.  MR. RYAN replied Representative Vezey was attending a                
 House Judiciary committee hearing at this time.                               
                                                                               
 DICK THWAITES, an estate planning attorney, gave the following                
 summary of HB 459.  The measure addresses Alaska statutes in the              
 area of trust and probate law (Title 13) and other related                    
 statutes, including the statute of frauds, the rule against                   
 perpetuities, and other sections of the code.  The Alaska statutes            
 are not comprehensive in the area of trust law; they are general              
 and generic.  HB 459 will create several types of trusts defined as           
 irrevocable family trusts.  They are asset protection trusts which            
 essentially give the same protections to a family that a                      
 corporation gives to a business.  Assets unencumbered by spousal or           
 child support rights, creditor's claims, collateral interests of              
 banks, could be transferred into a trust which would allow the                
 grantor of the trust to be among the class of beneficiaries.  Under           
 present law, if a grantor is a beneficiary of an irrevocable trust,           
 the grantor is deemed to have the power to control the trust,                 
 therefore it is accessible by the grantor's creditors.  HB 459 will           
 change the statute to allow the trust to be irrevocable and for the           
 grantor to be among the class of beneficiaries.  It would allow for           
 a family nest egg, and provides an exception to the rule of                   
 perpetuities.  Alaska is in a beneficial position in that it does             
 not have a lot of trust law and case law to encumber the                      
 establishment of such trusts, as Missouri did.  This type of trust            
 will provide an alternative for individuals who might want to pass            
 property to offshore trusts; Alaska would be the unique                       
 jurisdiction within the United States to accomplish that.  This               
 type of trust provides certain estate tax advantages yet does not             
 avoid income, estate, or gift taxes.  The fact that Alaska has no             
 state income tax adds to its appeal as a situs jurisdiction.  The             
 trustee of the estate would have to be an Alaska resident                     
 (according to the Permanent Fund dividend definition), an Alaska              
 Trust Company, an Alaska State bank with trust powers, or a                   
 national banking association with trust powers having its principle           
 place of business in the State of Alaska.  If large sums of money             
 are transferred to Alaska, it is likely large banks will establish            
 Alaska trust companies as wholy owned subsidiaries.                           
                                                                               
 BOB MANLEY testified on his own behalf in support of HB 459.  He              
 suggested the language "some or all" on page 2, line 11, and on               
 page 3, line 1, be changed to approximately 10 percent of the trust           
 assets to enhance the benefits to Alaska and its financial                    
 institutions.                                                                 
                                                                               
 MR. THWAITES agreed with Mr. Manley's philosophy, but believed                
 imposing such a limit would discourage clients.  He suggested that            
 change be considered in the future.                                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR GREEN moved CSHB 459(JUD)am out of committee with                     
 individual recommendations.  There being no objection, the motion             
 carried.                                                                      
 SENATOR TAYLOR adjourned the meeting at 3:10 p.m.                             
                                                                               

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