Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

03/01/2006 08:30 AM JUDICIARY


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 252 DEFINITION OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
+= SB 301 CHANGE OF VENUE IN CIVIL CASES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= SB 249 REPORTING BAIL AND RELEASE INFORMATION TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
= SJR 20 CONST. AM: BENEFITS & MARRIAGE
Moved SJR 20 Out of Committee
= SB 216 BAIL RESTRICTIONS
Moved CSSB 216(JUD) Out of Committee
= SB 222 PROTECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
Heard & Held
= SB 284 SENTENCING FOR ALCOHOL-RELATED CRIMES
Heard & Held
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 1, 2006                                                                                          
                           8:43 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ralph Seekins, Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Charlie Huggins, Vice Chair                                                                                             
Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                         
Senator Hollis French                                                                                                           
Senator Gretchen Guess                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 20                                                                                                  
Proposing an amendment to the  section of the Constitution of the                                                               
State of Alaska relating to marriage.                                                                                           
     MOVED SJR 20 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 252                                                                                                             
"An Act relating  to the definition of 'child  abuse and neglect'                                                               
for  child protection  purposes; and  providing for  an effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
     SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 301                                                                                                             
"An  Act  relating to  granting  certain  defendants an  absolute                                                               
right to change  venue in civil actions; setting  venue for civil                                                               
actions based on employment at  the employer's principal place of                                                               
business;  allowing  multiple  defendants  to  control  venue  by                                                               
agreement; amending Rule 3, Alaska  Rules of Civil Procedure; and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 249                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to criminal justice information."                                                                              
     SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 216                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to bail."                                                                                                      
     MOVED CSSB 216(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 222                                                                                                             
"An  Act  relating to  breaches  of  security involving  personal                                                               
information,  consumer report  security freezes,  consumer credit                                                               
monitoring,  credit  accuracy,   protection  of  social  security                                                               
numbers, disposal  of records, factual declarations  of innocence                                                               
after identity  theft, filing  police reports  regarding identity                                                               
theft,  and furnishing  consumer credit  header information;  and                                                               
amending Rule 60, Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure."                                                                             
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 284                                                                                                             
"An Act  relating to  sentencing for the  commission of  a felony                                                               
while under the influence of alcohol."                                                                                          
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SJR 20                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CONST. AM: BENEFITS & MARRIAGE                                                                                     
SPONSOR(s): JUDICIARY                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
02/14/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/14/06       (S)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
02/16/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/16/06       (S)       <Pending Referral>                                                                                     
02/21/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/21/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/21/06       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/28/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/28/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/28/06       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 301                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CHANGE OF VENUE IN CIVIL CASES                                                                                     
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) SEEKINS                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
02/14/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/14/06       (S)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
02/22/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/22/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/22/06       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/01/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 249                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: REPORTING BAIL AND RELEASE INFORMATION                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) FRENCH                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
01/23/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/23/06       (S)       JUD                                                                                                    
02/15/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/15/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/15/06       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/01/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Liz Boario                                                                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to SJR 20                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Doug Veit                                                                                                                       
Craig, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to SJR 20                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Belinda Sessions                                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to SJR 20                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Tammy Davis                                                                                                                     
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to SJR 20                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mo McBride                                                                                                                      
No address provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to SJR 20                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Dr. Kathy Sweeney                                                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to SJR 20                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Susan Parkes, Deputy Attorney General                                                                                           
Department of Law                                                                                                               
PO Box 110300                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0300                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 216                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Portia Parker, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                              
Department of Corrections                                                                                                       
431 N. Franklin, Suite 400                                                                                                      
Juneau, AK 99801                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 216                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                         
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of SB 284                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Dave Stancliff, Legislative Aide                                                                                                
Staff to Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding SB 284                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
David Lawer, Senior Vice President                                                                                              
First National Bank of Alaska                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to SB 222                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Robert Fagerstrom                                                                                                               
Nome, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to SB 301                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Michael Shider, Attorney                                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to SB 301                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
James Miller                                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 301                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Wilford Ryan                                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 301                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  RALPH   SEEKINS  called  the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 8:43:58 AM.  Present were Senators                                                             
Hollis French, Charlie Huggins,  Gene Therriault, Gretchen Guess,                                                               
and Chair Ralph Seekins.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
             SJR 20-CONST. AM: BENEFITS & MARRIAGE                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RALPH SEEKINS announced SJR 20 to be up for consideration.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:44:35 AM                                                                                                                    
LIZ BOARIO  informed the  committee that  she was  testifying for                                                               
herself  as  well  as  her  husband. She  echoed  a  remark  from                                                               
previous testimony  that SJR 20 was  discriminatory and divisive.                                                               
She said it  dishonors the hallmarks of Alaska and  of the United                                                               
States  Constitution, specifically  the Equal  Protection Clause.                                                               
She has  not heard  serious argument that  the resolution  is not                                                               
harmful. Instead what she is  hearing is the mantra regarding the                                                               
people's  will,  and  history  is  full  of  tragic  examples  of                                                               
majority  manipulation.  She  suggested   there  were  plenty  of                                                               
serious  issues  that need  attention  without  people having  to                                                               
create  new  ones  where  none  exist. She  said  she  is  deeply                                                               
saddened  to   witness  what  she   saw  as  a   polite  charade.                                                               
Constitutional amendments  are historically  used to  make things                                                               
better for the  people and SJR 20 would hurt  talented people who                                                               
work for the betterment of all Alaskans.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:48:02 AM                                                                                                                    
DOUG  VEIT testified  in opposition  to SJR  20. He  said it  was                                                               
patently  discriminatory; it  singles out  a particular  class of                                                               
people and  systematically deprives  them of economic  and social                                                               
resources simply  because of  their membership  in the  class. He                                                               
suggested  there  were specific  reasons  for  the separation  of                                                               
church  and state.  He said  he has  not heard  any testimony  of                                                               
support for the resolution that passes the logic test.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:51:23 AM                                                                                                                    
BELINDA SESSIONS testified  in opposition to SJR 20  and said she                                                               
spoke  for  her  partner  as  well. She  said  the  Alaska  State                                                               
Constitution should  guarantee basic rights, not  take them away.                                                               
She  described her  23-year lesbian  relationship  and said  they                                                               
gladly pay taxes, attend church,  volunteer in the community, and                                                               
contribute monetarily  to organizations  that help the  needy. If                                                               
the  Legislature  succeeds  in  overturning  the  Alaska  Supreme                                                               
Court, Alaska  will be  guilty of  discrimination by  giving some                                                               
employees  better  benefits  packages   than  others.  It  is  an                                                               
employment issue and not a marriage issue, she stated.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:53:47 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  SESSIONS commented  that equitable  benefits packages  would                                                               
increase  the  ability  of  the schools  to  recruit  and  retain                                                               
teachers. She urged the committee to reject the resolution.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:54:58 AM                                                                                                                    
TAMMY  DAVIS  testified  in  opposition  to  SJR  20.  She  noted                                                               
previous  testimony  in opposition  to  the  resolution has  been                                                               
wrought with thoughtful, heartfelt,  and intelligent comments. It                                                               
is  her opinion  that SJR  20 mandates  unequal compensation  for                                                               
equal work for individuals who  choose domestic partnership as an                                                               
alternative to church or state-sanctioned  union as well as those                                                               
who are not able by law  to come into a legally binding marriage.                                                               
She urged  the committee  to support the  civil liberties  of all                                                               
Alaskan citizens and reject the resolution.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:56:46 am                                                                                                                    
MO MCBRIDE  testified in opposition  to SJR  20. She said  she is                                                               
not in  one of the  groups affected by  the issue but  feels very                                                               
strongly   that  the   Alaska   State   Constitution  was   being                                                               
threatened.  She suggested  committee  members transpose  another                                                               
group of people  into the resolution, such as  Hispanics, and see                                                               
whether  that seemed  like  a fair  resolution.  She said  adding                                                               
exclusionary  language to  the Constitution  is against  what the                                                               
creators of the  document intended. She said  the Preamble states                                                               
very clearly  they wanted to  transmit to  succeeding generations                                                               
the  heritage of  political, civil,  and religious  liberty. They                                                               
reiterated it again in the  inherent rights section of Article 1.                                                               
She strongly urged the committee to reject the resolution.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:59:38 AM                                                                                                                    
KATHY SWEENEY  testified in opposition to  SJR 20. She said  as a                                                               
licensed  healthcare  official  she found  it  unfathomable  that                                                               
elected  officials  were  writing  legislation  that  would  deny                                                               
healthcare to citizens  of Alaska. She considered  the irony that                                                               
recently United  States Senator Lisa Murkowski  addressed members                                                               
of  the committee  along  with the  entire  Legislative body  and                                                               
encouraged  them to  work towards  improving  healthcare for  all                                                               
Alaskans.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Other  legislative  committees  are working  diligently  to  make                                                               
Alaska an  attractive state for  young professionals to  come and                                                               
fulfill employment roles,  she stated. SJR 20  works against that                                                               
goal.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SWEENEY  noted that  more  than  99  percent of  people  who                                                               
testified  have  opposition to  the  resolution.  Members of  the                                                               
committee have  suggested the  issue was  one of  much contention                                                               
yet  she  saw  no  evidence  of  it.  She  said  abortion  was  a                                                               
contentious  issue  and  if  that   were  the  issue  before  the                                                               
committee there  would be much  heated debate on both  sides, yet                                                               
testimony on SJR 20 was one-sided.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:04:02 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  SWEENEY  suggested  that  when it  comes  to  politics,  the                                                               
majority of  Americans are paralyzed  by apathy and  suggested it                                                               
was   due   to  elected   officials   not   listening  to   their                                                               
constituents.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS closed public testimony.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS announced a brief recess at 9:05:48 AM.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:10:25 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS asked for discussion among committee members.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GENE THERRIAULT  commented the  issue was  difficult and                                                               
should not  be taken lightly.  It would require a  super majority                                                               
to pass the  Senate since it would be an  amendment to the Alaska                                                               
State  Constitution. He  said the  debate had  been good  and the                                                               
language of SJR  20 would be modified throughout  the process and                                                               
so   he  moved   SJR  20   out  of   committee  with   individual                                                               
recommendations.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH objected.  He  said the  measure  was brought  in                                                               
response to  a unanimous Alaska  Supreme Court decision  that was                                                               
penned by one of the more  conservative members of the court. The                                                               
proposal seeks  to overturn that  decision. The Court  found that                                                               
the state  could not deny  health benefits to  long-term partners                                                               
of  its  gay  employees  consistent  with  the  Equal  Protection                                                               
Clause. He said  this was a clear message of  equal pay for equal                                                               
work.  He said  he could  not let  SJR 20  go forward  because it                                                               
chips away  at the  Equal Protection Clause  of the  Alaska State                                                               
Constitution.  He said  that  was  more than  he  could bear  and                                                               
maintained his objection.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS announced a brief recess at 9:13:22 AM.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:13:35 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS  brought the  committee meeting  back to  order and                                                               
asked for further discussion.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT stated  a three-two vote out  of committee did                                                               
not amount to  a two-thirds vote and he did  not know whether the                                                               
measure  would see  a two-thirds  vote  on the  Senate Floor.  He                                                               
contended  legislators continually  hear  testimony on  decisions                                                               
that  the Court  makes  and said  it  is the  way  the system  is                                                               
designed.  He  insisted  that  suggesting  an  amendment  to  the                                                               
Constitution could  not be unconstitutional  and that  the voters                                                               
should be trusted to do the  right thing. He said since voters in                                                               
his district  voted 4-1 in  favor of the Marriage  Amendment, SJR                                                               
20 deserved  further discussion and  should not be halted  in the                                                               
first committee of referral.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:15:49 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GUESS suggested  SJR 20 was not what  people were looking                                                               
for.  She  expressed  sadness  that Alaskans  have  had  to  come                                                               
forward and  speak about their  sexuality in front of  camera and                                                               
that  the  Legislature was  going  to  continue that  process  by                                                               
moving the  resolution out of  committee. She said the  issue was                                                               
about asking  the majority to vote  on minority rights and  it is                                                               
wrong and  discriminatory. She  said she would  vote to  keep the                                                               
resolution in  committee to  die and  voiced support  for letting                                                               
Alaska move forward.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEEKINS  said  he interpreted  the  Alaska  Supreme  Court                                                               
opinion to  mean that the  1998 Marriage Amendment did  not speak                                                               
to the issue.  He said footnote 38 says the  Court recognized the                                                               
benefit programs became discriminatory  only after the electorate                                                               
adopted  the Marriage  Amendment in  1998. The  courts have  said                                                               
that the people  have forced the state to  treat same-sex couples                                                               
as though they  were married even though they are  not. The state                                                               
needs to  ask the people whether  that was their intent.  He said                                                               
it was the right of the  people to decide whether they accept the                                                               
Alaska Supreme Court ruling.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:19:09 AM                                                                                                                    
Roll call  proved SJR 20  passed out of  committee on a  3-2 vote                                                               
with Senators  Huggins, Therriault,  and Seekins voting  yea; and                                                               
Senators French and Guess voting nay.                                                                                           
CHAIR SEEKINS announced a brief recess at 9:19:44 AM.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                    SB 216-BAIL RESTRICTIONS                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:21:12 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR RALPH SEEKINS announced SB 216 to be up for consideration.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR CHARLIE  HUGGINS spoke approval of  the amendment offered                                                               
by Senator French the previous day.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HOLLIS FRENCH moved Amendment 2.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                      24-LS1300\F.1                                                             
                                                         Luckhaupt                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                      A M E N D M E N T 2                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
OFFERED IN THE SENATE                         BY SENATOR FRENCH                                                                 
     TO: CSSB 216(   ), Draft Version "F"                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Page 1, lines 3 - 4:                                                                                                            
     Delete all material and insert:                                                                                            
   "* Section 1. AS 11.56.310(a) is amended to read:                                                                        
          (a)  One commits the crime of escape in the second                                                                    
     degree if, without lawful authority, one                                                                                   
               (1)  removes oneself from                                                                                        
                    (A)  a correctional facility while under                                                                    
          official detention;                                                                                                   
                    (B)  official detention for a felony or for                                                                 
          extradition; or                                                                                                       
                    (C)  official detention and, during the                                                                     
          escape or at any time before being restored to                                                                        
          official detention, one possesses on or about oneself                                                                 
          a firearm;                                                                                                            
               (2)      violates    AS 11.56.335   or   11.56.340                                                           
     [AS 11.56.340] and, during the  time of the unlawful evasion                                                               
     or at any time before  being restored to official detention,                                                               
     one possesses on or about oneself a firearm; or                                                                            
               (3)  removes, tampers with, or disables the                                                                      
     electronic monitoring  equipment, or leaves  one's residence                                                               
     or   other  place   designated   by   the  commissioner   of                                                               
     corrections  for the  service  by  electronic monitoring  of                                                               
     official detention for a felony.                                                                                           
   * Sec. 2. AS 11.56.320(a) is amended to read:                                                                              
          (a)  One commits the crime of escape in the third                                                                     
     degree if one                                                                                                              
               (1)  removes oneself from official detention                                                                     
     during  any   lawful  movement   or  activity   incident  to                                                               
     confinement   within   a   correctional   facility   for   a                                                               
     misdemeanor; or                                                                                                            
               (2)      violates    AS 11.56.335   or   11.56.340                                                           
     [AS 11.56.340] and leaves or attempts to leave the state.                                                                  
   * Sec. 3. AS 11.56 is amended by adding a new section to                                                                   
read:                                                                                                                           
          Sec. 11.56.335. Unlawful evasion in the first degree.                                                               
     (a) A  person commits the  crime of unlawful evasion  in the                                                               
     first  degree  if, while  charged  with  or convicted  of  a                                                               
     felony,                                                                                                                    
               (1)  the person fails to return to official                                                                      
     detention  within the  time  authorized following  temporary                                                               
     leave  granted for  a specific  purpose  or limited  period,                                                               
     including leave granted under AS 33.30.181; or                                                                             
               (2)  while on furlough under AS 33.30.101 -                                                                      
     33.30.131,  the  person fails  to  return  to the  place  of                                                               
     confinement  or  residence  within the  time  authorized  by                                                               
     those having direct supervision.                                                                                           
          (b)  Unlawful evasion is a class C felony.                                                                            
   * Sec. 4. AS 11.56.340(a) is amended to read:                                                                              
          (a)  A person commits the crime of unlawful evasion in                                                            
     the second degree if, while charged with or convicted of a                                                             
     [FELONY OR A] misdemeanor,                                                                                                 
               (1)  the person fails to return to official                                                                      
     detention within the time authorized following temporary                                                                   
     leave granted for a specific purpose or limited period,                                                                    
     including leave granted under AS 33.30.181; or                                                                             
               (2)  while on furlough under AS 33.30.101 -                                                                      
     33.30.131, the person fails to return to the place of                                                                  
     confinement or residence within the time authorized by                                                                     
     those having direct supervision."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Page 1, following line 12:                                                                                                      
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
   "* Sec. 6. AS 33.30.141(b) is amended to read:                                                                           
          (b)       The failure of a prisoner on a furlough to                                                                  
                    return   to  the  place  of   confinement  or                                                               
                    residence within the  time specified by those                                                               
                    having  direct supervision over  the prisoner                                                               
                    is an unlawful  evasion under AS 11.56.335 or                                                           
                    11.56.340 [AS 11.56.340]."                                                                              
          (c)                                                                                                                   
Renumber the following bill section accordingly.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS objected for explanation.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH  explained  the  amendment  would  establish  two                                                               
classes  of  unlawful  evasion. Unlawful  evasion  in  the  first                                                               
degree would be that which occurs  when a person is being held on                                                               
a felony charge.  Unlawful evasion in the second  degree would be                                                               
that which  occurs when a person  is being held on  a misdemeanor                                                               
charge. There is  a reference on the bottom of  page 2 to explain                                                               
what would  happen to a  prisoner who does  not come back  from a                                                               
furlough.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:23:52 AM                                                                                                                    
SUSAN PARKES,  Deputy Attorney General, Department  of Law (DOL),                                                               
said  she supports  Amendment 2  but noted  Section 4  amends the                                                               
current unlawful evasion  but it doesn't change the  title of the                                                               
crime. She  said the title of  the crime needed to  be changed so                                                               
that it reads "unlawful evasion in the second degree."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GENE  THERRIAULT  moved  an amendment  to  Amendment  2.                                                               
Conceptually insert the suggested title for Section 4.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:25:46 AM                                                                                                                    
Hearing no  objections, the conceptual  amendment to  Amendment 2                                                               
was adopted.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS removed his objection.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:26:14 AM                                                                                                                    
Hearing no further objections, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   THERRIAULT  pointed   out   that   the  Department   of                                                               
Corrections would  be expected to  handle more escorts  and asked                                                               
Ms. Parker the reason for the zero fiscal notes.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
PORTIA  PARKER, Deputy  Commissioner,  Department of  Corrections                                                               
(DOC) said  they have very  few escorting situations and  the DOC                                                               
does them  already. Also when  the DOC performs the  escorts, the                                                               
offender or the offender's family pays for it in advance.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT asked for clarification  whether the DOC would                                                               
be offering drug and alcohol treatment on site.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. PARKER  said they accommodate  the provider to come  into the                                                               
facility to do the assessment.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGGINS  moved  CSSB  216(JUD)  out  of  committee  with                                                               
individual recommendations and attached  fiscal notes. Hearing no                                                               
objections, the motion carried.                                                                                                 
9:28:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
           SB 222-PROTECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:31:07 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR RALPH SEEKINS announced SB 222 to be up for consideration.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GRETCHEN  GUESS, sponsor,  asked  for  the testimony  of                                                               
David Lawer.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:31:46 AM                                                                                                                    
DAVID  LAWER,  Senior  Vice President,  First  National  Bank  of                                                               
Alaska testified  on Section  1, Personal  Information Protection                                                               
Act. He said  SB 222 has far reaching implications,  not only for                                                               
financial institutions  but also for  every person in  the state.                                                               
He said the bill poses substantial  risks for all people and that                                                               
violations would  be brought about for  situations where personal                                                               
information was not even divulged.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:33:57 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.   LAWER   asserted   financial  institutions   have   intense                                                               
information   security  systems   yet   they   can  be   breached                                                               
unintentionally.  He  said he  left  his  computer on  the  night                                                               
before and the janitor could  have accessed his accounts. He said                                                               
SB 222  would make  the bank  notify over  55,000 people  of that                                                               
security breach.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:36:08 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. LAWER  said the bank  shares personal information  with other                                                               
entities such as  their credit card system. Taking the  bill to a                                                               
personal level, he  said as a landlord,  he possesses information                                                               
regarding his tenant and said he  would be in violation of SB 222                                                               
if he were  to leave a rent  check on his desk at  home. He hoped                                                               
that was  not the  intended consequences  of the  legislation. He                                                               
advised the committee that he  had technical amendments suggested                                                               
by other banking officials to submit.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:38:27 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR THERRIAULT noted  he and Senator Guess  were studying the                                                               
different suggestions made  and were attempting to  strike a fair                                                               
balance. He asked  the reason that the public  shouldn't expect a                                                               
tighter security system at the bank.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LAWER conceded  the consumer  should expect  better security                                                               
and said  his computer  at work  has a series  of passwords  as a                                                               
firewall. His  worry was  that simply by  having a  janitor alone                                                               
his office with his computer would  be a breach of security as he                                                               
sees  the bill  written.  Nevertheless, under  the definition  of                                                               
security breach  the bank would  be obliged to notify  the 55,000                                                               
customers of the incident.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:41:24 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH  questioned whether  it would be  a breach  when a                                                               
person attempted  to access a  computer but  was halted due  to a                                                               
password request.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. LAWER  said yes since there  was no definition of  "breach of                                                               
security" in the bill.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS  stated for edification, that  "breach of security"                                                               
is  defined on  page 3,  line  29, and  "information systems"  is                                                               
defined on page 24, line 12 in version I.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:43:53 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GUESS  said  she  was  unclear  whether  Mr.  Lawer  was                                                               
suggesting  that the  bill sponsors  add violations  for security                                                               
breaches within Section 1.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LAWER  responded  it  was   the  position  of  the  banker's                                                               
association that  the violation be  "the failure to  disclose the                                                               
fact  of unauthorized  disclosure of  the information,"  and they                                                               
need only alert the person  whose information they have reason to                                                               
believe was compromised.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:46:08 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS asked  the number  of people  in the  bank systems                                                               
that have access to information  that would be protected under SB                                                               
222.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.   LAWER  said   everyone.  Every   account  starts   with  an                                                               
application  and   every  application   contains  not   only  the                                                               
customer's name but also one or more of the other elements.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS asked whether they  were required by federal law to                                                               
obtain a person's social security number.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. LAWER said correct.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS  asked Mr. Lawer  to describe security  measures as                                                               
pertained to by federal law.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LAWER said  they perform  periodic risk  assessments and  in                                                               
circumstances where  they detect the possibility  of unauthorized                                                               
disclosure  they notify  customers about  that circumstance.  The                                                               
regulations  are   fluid.  The  bank  is   examined  and  audited                                                               
annually, including  the security system  and the systems  of the                                                               
entities they contract  with. The scope of  the audit continually                                                               
increases  and  as a  result,  identifies  the need  for  greater                                                               
security measures.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:49:08 AM                                                                                                                    
Credit card companies are a good  example. The bank is obliged to                                                               
see to the integrity of that security system as well.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEEKINS asked  whether the  federal  regulators audit  the                                                               
security practices of the bank's contractors.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. LAWER said yes.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS asked  whether they meet the same  standards as the                                                               
bank.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. LAWER said he suspected they meet higher standards.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS asked whether the  auditors generally find areas of                                                               
weaknesses.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LAWER   said  auditors  have   a  different   perception  of                                                               
weaknesses.  For instance  the last  audit suggested  a need  for                                                               
seven character  passwords that include  at least one  number. He                                                               
questioned whether  that constituted  a weakness in  the security                                                               
system.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEEKINS  asked  Mr.  Lawer  his opinion  of  the  risk  of                                                               
unauthorized penetration of the bank's security system.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. LAWER said he believed  their only exposure was internal. The                                                               
bank's  computer  systems  cannot   be  accessed  by  anyone  not                                                               
connected  internally. The  greater risk  is of  exposed physical                                                               
records and the bank has suffered a burglary in the past.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:52:44 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS  asked  Mr.  Lawer  whether  his  bank  had  clear                                                               
policies  for  employees  on  how  to  comply  with  all  privacy                                                               
policies.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. LAWER said yes. They  support extensive personnel policies as                                                               
well as other procedures relating to information security.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS announced a brief recess at 9:53:35 AM.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:53:53 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS held the bill in committee.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
          SB 284-SENTENCING FOR ALCOHOL-RELATED CRIMES                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:54:31 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR RALPH SEEKINS announced SB 284 to be up for consideration.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GENE THERRIAULT  advised  committee  members there  were                                                               
questions  in the  previous  bill hearing  that  his staff  would                                                               
answer.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DAVE STANCLIFF,  Staff to  Senator Therriault,  brought committee                                                               
members  up to  speed on  the  bill. There  are three  conceptual                                                               
changes that the drafters are  working on. In response to Senator                                                               
Guess's question  about the  definition of  "alcoholic beverage,"                                                               
it would be the same as "consumption of alcohol."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:57:05 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  STANCLIFF  continued  with  reference  to  Senator  French's                                                               
suggestion  for considering  multiple DUIs.  Staff is  working on                                                               
language to  say if a person  is convicted of three  or more DUIs                                                               
that  the judge,  who would  have  the discretion  to impose  any                                                               
length  up  to a  lifetime  ban,  could  use the  new  sentencing                                                               
option. The Department of Law has  stated that the use of alcohol                                                               
monitoring devices is exceptionally effective.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:59:03 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR THERRIAULT said during the  previous day's discussion, he                                                               
failed  to bring  to  light  that the  bill  would  only be  made                                                               
applicable under the certain crimes listed under AS 11.41.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  STANCLIFF added  AS 11.41  is  the section  of statute  that                                                               
deals with felonies  and crimes against persons,  such as murder,                                                               
rape  and assault.  The minimum  in that  section would  be third                                                               
degree assault.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  THERRIAULT asked  for testimony  from the  Department of                                                               
Law.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:01:10 AM                                                                                                                   
DOUG  WOOLIVER, Assistant  Attorney  General,  Department of  Law                                                               
(DOL), noted  that there would be  no way for the  courts to know                                                               
whether anyone  has violated the  conditions of  probation unless                                                               
the person was  arrested on another offense. He said  it wasn't a                                                               
problem but just wanted to let them know.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HOLLIS FRENCH  said SB  249,  which is  his bill,  would                                                               
assist in letting  the officers do a search  to determine whether                                                               
they were violating the terms of their probation.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:03:08 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. WOOLIVER agreed.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT  asked Mr. Wooliver whether  a private citizen                                                               
would be  able to report  when a person was  violating conditions                                                               
of probation or parole.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOOLIVER said  yes and  then it  would be  up to  the police                                                               
whether they followed up on it.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH noted  an officer  could then  get a  warrant and                                                               
arrest the person.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS held the bill in committee.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
             SB 301-CHANGE OF VENUE IN CIVIL CASES                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:05:15 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR SEEKINS announced SB 301 to be up for consideration.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT  FAGERSTROM  informed the  committee  that  he sent  in  a                                                               
public opinion  message (POM)  the day before  and wished  to add                                                               
that  he served  in United  States Navy  and in  the Alaska  Army                                                               
National  Guard. He  is aware  of  the uniform  code of  military                                                               
justice (UCMJ). He has  served on a jury in Nome  and he has also                                                               
been a defendant and a plaintiff.  He said he knows the high cost                                                               
of litigation and  does not believe that any  Legislature has the                                                               
right to second-guess the American  way of justice. He maintained                                                               
that the system does not need to be fixed and opposed the bill.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:08:00 AM                                                                                                                   
MICHAEL SCHUEIDER,  attorney, testified in opposition  to SB 301.                                                               
He said  the reason that court  proceedings are held in  the city                                                               
where the incident occurred is  because the people who live there                                                               
have an  interest in the  conduct that  occurs in their  town. He                                                               
asked the  committee to  imagine they  were legally  crossing the                                                               
street when an  out-of-town citizen runs them  over and seriously                                                               
injures  them. If  SB 301  were enacted,  they, along  with their                                                               
lawyer and  staff, doctor, and  any other witnesses would  be the                                                               
ones who  would have  to travel  to the  city where  the offender                                                               
lived in order to hold the court proceedings.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:10:53 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. SCHEUIDER said he is aware  that the committee has heard some                                                               
outcomes  that they  might not  approve of  but the  jury is  the                                                               
entity that  heard all the  facts, not the committee  members. He                                                               
said he  recently tried  a case  in Bethel and  the jury  did not                                                               
award  to the  defense. He  suggested  the system  works in  most                                                               
jurisdictions  in  the  United  States.  Insurance  is  a  hugely                                                               
lucrative industry  that gets  paid to take  risks and  they make                                                               
money on those risks, he stated.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:12:55 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR   THERRIAULT  expressed   concern  over   the  unintended                                                               
consequences of the  bill, but he disagreed  with Mr. Schueider's                                                               
suggestion that the  situation was fine because  of the insurance                                                               
factor. He noted  the committee has heard  testimony that western                                                               
Alaska does not  fit the bell curve and is  lopsided to the point                                                               
where attorneys boast about large jury awards.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. SCHUEIDER  responded the committee members  must make certain                                                               
that things  are out of  balance before passing  the legislation.                                                               
He  respectfully suggested  the  committee was  not hearing  both                                                               
sides of the issue.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEEKINS asked  Mr. Schueider  whether he  was a  member of                                                               
Alaska Action Trust.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:16:10 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. SCHUEIDER  affirmed he is  a member,  a past chairman,  and a                                                               
frequent participant.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS  said Alaska Action Trust  attempted to demonstrate                                                               
that  a  defendant has  a  right  to trial  by  its  peers and  a                                                               
plaintiff has  the same  right. He asked  whether there  was case                                                               
law that  showed the plaintiff has  an absolute right to  a trial                                                               
by the plaintiff's peers and that  a plaintiff gets to decide the                                                               
venue.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. SCHUEIDER responded the plaintiff  is constrained by existing                                                               
venue  rules. The  circumstances  and existing  law define  where                                                               
cases must  be brought. He  said it wasn't that  plaintiff's have                                                               
an  absolute right  to choose  venue, plaintiff's  have the  fact                                                               
that determine where venue is  appropriate and the existing rules                                                               
provide fair venue for both parties in most settings.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:18:59 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  SEEKINS asked  Mr. Schueider  whether he  agreed that  the                                                               
Alaska rules of  general procedure on venue are  subject to state                                                               
statute, which could be modified.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SCHUEIDER said  by a  two-thirds majority,  yes. He  said he                                                               
does not challenge the power  of the Legislature but he contended                                                               
the bill  was poor  public policy and  would generate  many worse                                                               
outcomes than the current system.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEEKINS said  he  would  look at  Rule  3,  which he  said                                                               
subordinates  the  court's  authority  to  change  venue  to  the                                                               
Legislature without having to change the rule.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:20:35 AM                                                                                                                   
JAMES  MILLER,  owner  and  general  manager  of  Alaska  Weather                                                               
Operations, testified  in support of  the bill. His  company does                                                               
construction work for up to 60  communities in Alaska. He said it                                                               
was important to maintain impartial  juries and that is sometimes                                                               
difficult to obtain due to village sizes and location.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:23:38 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  FRENCH asked  Mr.  Miller to  imagine  being a  landlord                                                               
whose  tenants trashed  his property  to the  tune of  $5,000 and                                                               
then moved to another city.  The landlord and his witnesses would                                                               
probably have  to drop the claim  because they would not  be able                                                               
to handle all the travel costs to get to the changed venue.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. MILLER  agreed that was a  good point. He said  it works both                                                               
ways. He suggested that the bill  should state a provision for an                                                               
impartial jury.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:27:22 AM                                                                                                                   
WILFORD  RYAN,   member  of  Alaska  Air   Carriers  Association,                                                               
testified in  support of SB  301. He said businesses  should have                                                               
the opportunity to defend themselves in their home area.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:30:45 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR SEEKINS held SB 301 in committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Seekins adjourned the meeting at 10:33:45 AM.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects