Legislature(2001 - 2002)

05/11/2002 03:56 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                    
                   SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE                                                                                 
                          May 11, 2002                                                                                          
                            3:56 p.m.                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Robin Taylor, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator John Cowdery                                                                                                            
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                                                                            
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Dave Donley, Vice Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                         
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 135(JUD) am                                                                                               
"An Act relating to municipal fees for certain police protection                                                                
services and to a tenant's activities that result in the                                                                        
imposition of those fees."                                                                                                      
     MOVED SCS CSHB 135(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                   
PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                              
HB 135 - See CRA minutes dated 3/27/02.                                                                                         
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
Mr. Nathan Johnson                                                                                                              
Staff to Representative Gretchen Guess                                                                                          
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified for the sponsor of HB 135.                                                                     
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
TAPE 02-32, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 001                                                                                                                      
CHAIRMAN ROBIN TAYLOR called the Senate Judiciary Committee                                                                   
meeting to order at 3:56 p.m. Senators Ellis, Cowdery and Chair                                                                 
Taylor wee present. The committee took up CSHB 135(JUD) am.                                                                     
     CSHB 135(JUD)am-EXCESSIVE POLICE SERVICES:FEES/ TENANCY                                                                
MR.  NATHAN  JOHNSON,  staff  to  Representative  Gretchen  Guess,                                                              
sponsor of HB 135,  told members the impetus for  HB 135 came from                                                              
community  patrols   and  police  officers  because   of  nuisance                                                              
properties,  such  as  drug  houses,   in  the  community.  Alaska                                                              
currently has  an abatement law but  it sets a very  high standard                                                              
that is difficult for the police  to meet resulting in chronically                                                              
problematic properties.  HB 135 allows a municipality  to adopt an                                                              
ordinance  that would allow  it to  assess a  fee to the  property                                                              
owner for excessive  police visits. The fee may be  a lien against                                                              
the  property,  which gives  the  municipality leverage  to  bring                                                              
absentee  landlords to  the  table. He  noted  that often  outside                                                              
banks that  own these  properties are not  that interested  in the                                                              
conduct  that occurs  on  their properties.  The  fee  may not  be                                                              
imposed for calls related to domestic  violence, child neglect, or                                                              
stalking. The bill includes a provision  that prohibits a fee from                                                              
being imposed  if the  landlord took  prompt corrective  action to                                                              
remedy the problem.  The legislation modifies  the landlord-tenant                                                              
law  to  give  the landlord  grounds  for  eviction  so  that  the                                                              
landlord  cannot  be unfairly  charged  for  the behavior  of  the                                                              
tenants.  He  informed  members that  the  Alaska  Association  of                                                              
Realtors, the Alaska Mortgage Bankers  Association, the Ketchikan,                                                              
Fairbanks  and  Anchorage  Police Departments,  the  Alaska  Peace                                                              
Officers   Association,   the   Alaska   Municipal   League,   the                                                              
Municipality of  Anchorage and STAR  support this  legislation. He                                                              
added that this bill is one of the  priorities of the Municipality                                                              
of Anchorage.                                                                                                                   
SENATOR COWDERY asked if the bill has a fiscal impact.                                                                          
MR. JOHNSON  said there  is no fiscal  note as CSHB  135(JUD)am is                                                              
merely enabling legislation.                                                                                                    
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR  said  he had  a  proposed  committee  substitute                                                              
prepared (labeled Cook  4/29/02) that says the fee  may not exceed                                                              
the actual cost  of the excessive responses. He  noted that change                                                              
was added  to place a limitation  on what a municipality  might do                                                              
so that it could not use this as a revenue generator.                                                                           
SENATOR COWDERY  moved to adopt the proposed  committee substitute                                                              
as the work draft.                                                                                                              
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR  announced  that without  objection,  the  motion                                                              
carried.  He then  informed members  that his  staff, Mike  White,                                                              
worked closely  with Representative Guess on this  legislation. He                                                              
asked Mr.  Johnson to  inform members  of any  other changes  were                                                              
made in the committee substitute.                                                                                               
MR. JOHNSON  explained that the  committee substitute  expands the                                                              
options for  giving service to the  property owner in  response to                                                              
Chairman  Taylor's concerns.  It  gives law  enforcement  officers                                                              
service  options   other  than  certified   mail.  He   said  that                                                              
Representative Guess is pleased with that change.                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR  thanked Mr. Johnson and Representative  Guess for                                                              
bringing this legislation forward.                                                                                              
SENATOR  ELLIS  moved  SCS  CSHB   135(JUD)  from  committee  with                                                              
individual recommendations and its  accompanying zero fiscal note.                                                              
CHAIRMAN  TAYLOR  announced  that   without  objection,  SCS  CSHB                                                              
135(JUD)  moved from committee.  He then  announced the  committee                                                              
would stand in recess subject to a call of the Chair.                                                                           

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