Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

03/29/2006 08:30 AM JUDICIARY


Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 343 HARASSMENT/ASSAULT/STALKING TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 343(JUD)AM Out of Committee
+= HB 272 CARD ROOMS & OPERATIONS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 29, 2006                                                                                         
                           8:42 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                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 343(JUD) am                                                                                               
"An  Act creating  the  crimes  of harassment  in  the first  and                                                               
second  degree, amending  the  crime of  stalking,  and adding  a                                                               
definition  of   'medical  professional'   to  the   assault  and                                                               
harassment statutes."                                                                                                           
     MOVED CSHB 343(JUD) am OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 272(FIN) am                                                                                               
"An  Act  relating  to  card   rooms  and  card  operations,  and                                                               
permitting issuance of  a license to own a card  room and conduct                                                               
card games  in a  municipality of the  state if  the municipality                                                               
has  adopted  an  ordinance,  ratified   by  a  majority  of  the                                                               
municipal voters  voting on the question,  authorizing card rooms                                                               
and card games in that municipality."                                                                                           
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 343                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: HARASSMENT/ASSAULT/STALKING                                                                                        
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) LYNN                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
01/09/06       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/6/06                                                                                
01/09/06       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/09/06       (H)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
01/27/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
01/27/06       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/27/06       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/10/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/10/06       (H)       Moved CSHB 343(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/10/06       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/13/06       (H)       JUD RPT CS(JUD) NT 3DP 4NR                                                                             
02/13/06       (H)       DP: WILSON, GRUENBERG, ANDERSON;                                                                       
02/13/06       (H)       NR: GARA, COGHILL, KOTT, MCGUIRE                                                                       
02/22/06       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
02/22/06       (H)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
02/27/06       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
02/27/06       (H)       Moved CSHB 343(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/27/06       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
03/01/06       (H)       FIN RPT CS(JUD) NT 8DP 2NR                                                                             
03/01/06       (H)       DP: HAWKER, HOLM, STOLTZE, WEYHRAUCH,                                                                  
                         MOSES, FOSTER, MEYER, CHENAULT;                                                                        
03/01/06       (H)       NR: KELLY, JOULE                                                                                       
03/20/06       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
03/20/06       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 343(JUD) AM                                                                              
03/22/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/22/06       (S)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
03/29/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 272                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CARD ROOMS & OPERATIONS                                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) KOTT                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
04/18/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/18/05       (H)       L&C, JUD, FIN                                                                                          
04/21/05       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
04/21/05       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
04/21/05       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
04/22/05       (H)       L&C RPT 2DP 2DNP 2NR                                                                                   
04/22/05       (H)       DP: KOTT, ANDERSON;                                                                                    
04/22/05       (H)       DNP: CRAWFORD, GUTTENBERG;                                                                             
04/22/05       (H)       NR: LEDOUX, ROKEBERG                                                                                   
04/26/05       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
04/26/05       (H)       Moved CSHB 272(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/26/05       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/27/05       (H)       JUD RPT CS(JUD) NT 2DP 1DNP 3NR                                                                        
04/27/05       (H)       DP: KOTT, ANDERSON;                                                                                    
04/27/05       (H)       DNP: DAHLSTROM;                                                                                        
04/27/05       (H)       NR: GRUENBERG, GARA, MCGUIRE                                                                           
04/29/05       (H)       FIN AT 8:30 AM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
04/29/05       (H)       Moved CSHB 272(FIN) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/29/05       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
04/30/05       (H)       FIN RPT CS(FIN) 2DP 1DNP 4NR                                                                           
04/30/05       (H)       DP: FOSTER, MOSES;                                                                                     
04/30/05       (H)       DNP: KELLY;                                                                                            
04/30/05       (H)       NR: HOLM, WEYHRAUCH, MEYER, CHENAULT                                                                   
05/03/05       (H)       MOVED TO BOTTOM OF CALENDAR                                                                            
05/03/05       (H)       ADJOURNED TO 5/4                                                                                       
05/04/05       (H)       BEFORE THE HOUSE                                                                                       
05/07/05       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
05/07/05       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 272(FIN) AM                                                                              
05/08/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/08/05       (S)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
03/23/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/23/06       (S)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
03/29/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 343                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Michael Sica, Legislative Aide                                                                                                  
Staff to Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding HB 343                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Anne Carpeneti, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                      
Criminal Division                                                                                                               
Department of Law                                                                                                               
PO Box 110300                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0300                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding HB 343                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vernon Marshall, Lobbyist                                                                                                       
Capitol Consultants, LLC                                                                                                        
PO Box 35148                                                                                                                    
Juneau, AK 99803                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 343                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Portia Parker, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                              
Department of Corrections                                                                                                       
431 N. Franklin, Suite 400                                                                                                      
Juneau, AK 99801                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions and testified in support                                                              
of HB 343                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Daniel Colang, Board President                                                                                                  
Alaska Correctional Officers Association                                                                                        
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 343                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
May Barney, Correctional Officer                                                                                                
Fairbanks Correctional Center                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 343                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Michael O'Hare, Legislative Aide                                                                                                
Staff to Representative Pete Kott                                                                                               
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 272                                                                                        
                                                                                                                              
Ryan Makinster, Legislative Aide                                                                                                
Staff to Senator John Cowdery                                                                                                   
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding HB 272                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
Guy Warren                                                                                                                      
Presbytery of Alaska                                                                                                            
No address provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 272                                                                        
                                                                                                                              
Ruth Blanchard                                                                                                                  
Houston, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 272                                                                           
                                                                                                                              
Linda Coy                                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 272                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Debbie Joslin                                                                                                                   
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 272                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Marie Toothman                                                                                                                  
Houston, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 272                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Link Fannon                                                                                                                     
Houston, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 272                                                                           
                                                                                                                              
Pamela Samash                                                                                                                   
Nenana, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 272                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Perry Green                                                                                                                     
No address provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 272                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Rosemary Burnett                                                                                                                
Houston, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 272                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Bob Chaffone                                                                                                                    
Saginaw, Michigan                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on HB 272                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Robert Hall                                                                                                                     
Houston, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 272                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Susan Duck                                                                                                                      
No address provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 272                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  RALPH   SEEKINS  called  the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 8:42:53 AM.  Present were Senators                                                             
Charlie  Huggins,  Gene  Therriault, Gretchen  Guess,  and  Chair                                                               
Ralph Seekins.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
               HB 343-HARASSMENT/ASSAULT/STALKING                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:43:50 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  RALPH SEEKINS  announced CSHB  343(JUD)  AM to  be up  for                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BOB LYNN introduced  the bill, which was requested                                                               
by  correctional  officers  across  the state  as  a  measure  of                                                               
protection  from inmates  who assault  them  with bodily  fluids.                                                               
Currently, most assaults with bodily  fluids or feces can only be                                                               
charged as a  class B misdemeanor. The bill creates  the crime of                                                               
harassment in  the first degree  for anyone who  subjects another                                                               
person  to  offensive  physical  contact  with  human  or  animal                                                               
"blood,  mucus,  saliva,  semen,  urine,  vomit,  or  feces"  and                                                               
classifies that crime as a class A misdemeanor.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Twenty-six  states have  enacted  similar legislation  and 19  of                                                               
those classify the  assaults as felonies. Alaska  should at least                                                               
raise this crime up one level  and provide for a minimum sentence                                                               
of  60   days  in  jail   when  the  offensive  is   directed  at                                                               
correctional officers, law enforcement, and first responders.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:47:50 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN urged  the committee  to move  the bill  out                                                               
today.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:48:27 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GENE  THERRIAULT referred to  page 2, line 17,  and asked                                                               
the reason for including animal bodily fluids.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL  SICA, Staff  to Representative  Bob Lynn,  responded the                                                               
bill protects  more than just  correctional officers  although it                                                               
is important  to note that  the Point McKenzie  Correctional Farm                                                               
does have animals.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:49:18 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Hollis French joined the committee.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS  advised that kids  often have fights with  cow and                                                               
horse manure. He asked whether that was considered.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  suggested that law enforcement  officers and                                                               
prosecutors have discretion as to who they seek to prosecute.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. SICA  added the harassment  statute specifies that  one would                                                               
have to commit the act with the intent to annoy or harass.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:50:47 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH  noted the statute  requires intent, which  is the                                                               
highest  level  of  criminal  liability.  He  asked  whether  the                                                               
Department of Law  (DOL) considered lowering that  to a "knowing"                                                               
standard in order to make it easier to prosecute.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. SICA deferred to the Department of Law.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:52:22 AM                                                                                                                    
VERNON MARSHAL, Lobbyist, testified in support of the bill.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:53:47 AM                                                                                                                    
ANNE  CARPENETI, Assistant  Attorney General,  Department of  Law                                                               
(DOL) advised that the Department supports the bill.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  restated his earlier question  regarding lowering                                                               
the  intent standard  to a  "knowing" standard,  at least  in the                                                               
case of harassment in the first degree.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI agreed  that "knowing" would be  an easier standard                                                               
to  prove.  Several  of  the  provisions  under  AS  11.61.120(a)                                                               
preserve the  First Amendment  rights to  expression. HB  343 was                                                               
drafted to cross-reference the current  statute. It would be easy                                                               
to  prove that  a person  who engaged  in this  type of  behavior                                                               
intended to annoy  somebody because the acts are  so specific and                                                               
unpleasant.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH suggested there could be  a case of a first degree                                                               
[misdemeanor] with  a knowing standard  and then a  second degree                                                               
[misdemeanor]  with an  intentional  standard and  they would  be                                                               
reversed in severity.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI  said she  was not concerned  given the  subject of                                                               
the act.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:57:43 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  THERRIAULT asked  Ms. Carpeneti  the reason  for putting                                                               
the act under harassment. The  definition of "harass" is to annoy                                                               
or torment  repeatedly. He  asked whether  one instance  could be                                                               
defined as harassment.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI responded under AS  11.61.120(a)(5) it would be. In                                                               
the harassment law, some of  the provisions deal with speech such                                                               
as offensive telephone calls at  odd hours. For physical contact,                                                               
one time  would be enough  for the DOL  to be able  to prosecute.                                                               
She  said she  did  not know  the reason  for  drafting it  under                                                               
harassment but said it was a logical place for it.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:59:52 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS  posed  the  hypothetical  situation  of  children                                                               
throwing horse manure at each  other and asked whether that would                                                               
be a violation of the law.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI  replied since  they are  juveniles the  conduct of                                                               
harassment would be very difficult to prove.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PORTIA  PARKER, Deputy  Commissioner,  Department of  Corrections                                                               
(DOC)  introduced herself  and said  the Department  does support                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEEKINS  asked  Ms.  Parker   how  often  these  types  of                                                               
incidences occur in the correctional system.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  PARKER advised  the DOC  surveyed the  state facilities  and                                                               
reported  that  approximately  150  incidences of  this  type  of                                                               
harassment  occurs  each  year.  Currently they  deal  with  this                                                               
situation in the  system but the bill would  heighten the penalty                                                               
and reduce the instances.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:02:13 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS noted  that the fiscal notes showed  zero. He asked                                                               
whether  there  might  be  a  fiscal  impact  from  an  increased                                                               
sentence.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. PARKER responded  that it would have a fiscal  impact for the                                                               
DOC in  the form of  a sixty-day  sentence for those  charged and                                                               
convicted.  She could  not speculate  as to  the number  of cases                                                               
that would be prosecuted.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGGINS  complimented  the Point  McKenzie  Correctional                                                               
Farm system.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS  asked Ms.  Parker to  address the  issue regarding                                                               
animals.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. PARKER  said that  would be more  for incidences  outside the                                                               
correctional institutions.  Police officers and  first responders                                                               
often deal  with combative people  who might use animal  waste to                                                               
ward them  off. She did  not believe  it was anything  that would                                                               
come up in the correctional facilities.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:05:33 AM                                                                                                                    
DANIEL   COLANG,   President,   Alaska   Correctional   Officer's                                                               
Association, advised the committee  that there were approximately                                                               
700 correctional officers across  the state. He said correctional                                                               
officers "walk  the toughest beat  in law enforcement."  Very few                                                               
people  know what  goes on  behind  the walls  of a  correctional                                                               
institution  but suffice  to  say officers  deal  with people  at                                                               
their  very worst.  Correctional  officers know  the dangers  and                                                               
risks  of their  duties and  the incidences  of officers  getting                                                               
assaulted with bodily fluids are not uncommon.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
OFFICER COLANG  related a personal  situation and stated  the job                                                               
is  dangerous  enough  without  having  to  worry  about  someone                                                               
assaulting them  with bodily fluids. He  encouraged the committee                                                               
to move the bill forward.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:09:05 AM                                                                                                                    
MAY  BARNEY,  Correctional   Officer  at  Fairbanks  Correctional                                                               
Center, testified in support of  the bill. She related a personal                                                               
story of a prisoner assaulting her.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:14:07 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS closed public testimony and called a brief recess.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:15:40 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGGINS  moved  CSHB 343(JUD)  am  from  committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations  and  attached  fiscal  notes.  There                                                               
being no objections, the motion carried.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                 HB 272-CARD ROOMS & OPERATIONS                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:20:07 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS   announced  CSHB  272(FIN)   AM  to  be   up  for                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL O'  HARE, Staff to  Representative Pete  Kott, introduced                                                               
the bill. The  game of poker is seeing a  growing popularity. The                                                               
bill would provide a safe environment  in which to play games and                                                               
would remove  the need for  illegal backroom games. The  types of                                                               
games would include  non-banking card games, such  as poker, pan,                                                               
rummy, bridge,  and cribbage.  Licenses would  be limited  to one                                                               
license for  municipalities for less  than 30,000 people  and the                                                               
limit  for municipalities  with over  30,000 may  not exceed  the                                                               
population divided by that number.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:22:47 AM                                                                                                                    
The  licensee   would  be  required   to  pay   a  non-refundable                                                               
application fee of  $25,000 with the Department  of Revenue (DOR)                                                               
and would post $500,000 cash bond  at least sixty days in advance                                                               
of commencement of  card room operation as well as  a $10,000 fee                                                               
per card table. Licensee would  be required to undergo a personal                                                               
background check  and pay for  investigative costs  incurred over                                                               
the  application   fee.  Licensee  would  be   required  to  host                                                               
quarterly tournament  with proceeds to  be distributed to  a non-                                                               
profit educational institution.  The bill would allow  the DOR to                                                               
impose regulations. The bill would  give back to the community in                                                               
the form of jobs and support of non-profit charities.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Included in the bill packet are  the fiscal notes and a sectional                                                               
analysis and  legal opinion.  The Supreme  Courts of  Montana and                                                               
Oregon have identified that poker is a game of skill.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:26:11 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH asked  Mr. O'Hare whether alcohol  would be served                                                               
at the card rooms.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'HARE  inferred there  was currently  no intention  to allow                                                               
alcohol to be served in the cardrooms.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH  inquired  whether the  bill  prohibited  alcohol                                                               
sales.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'HARE said no.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:28:08 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GUESS  commented that  a  business  could have  multiple                                                               
owners. She  asked Mr.  O'Hare to comment  on whether  all owners                                                               
would have to submit to the background checks.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  O'HARE  said  he  understood  that  everyone  including  the                                                               
directors of the  corporation would need to  be fingerprinted and                                                               
background checked.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS  asked whether  a  minority  owner with  a  felony                                                               
conviction could be part owner of the card room.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'HARE offered to get back to the committee.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS referred  to page  3, lines  29-30, and  asked for                                                               
explanation of the language.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'HARE responded that language  was added in order to enhance                                                               
any investigations that might occur.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:30:26 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS asked the reason for the bill.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  O'HARE advised  that currently  backroom poker  games happen                                                               
all  over the  state, usually  in the  middle of  the night,  and                                                               
without  any level  of  control or  consumer  protection. HB  272                                                               
would  establish a  legal, monitored  and friendly  atmosphere in                                                               
which to play poker.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT noted that bars  are currently allowed to hold                                                               
"poker nights" without the wagering of cash.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS  said it  was his understanding  that HB  272 would                                                               
allow the  house or owner of  the establishment to take  a cut of                                                               
the winnings.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH referred  to an article in the  packet regarding a                                                               
poker  tournament that  uses prizes  for  the winner  in lieu  of                                                               
cash.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:35:04 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS asked  for clarification  whether  the bill  would                                                               
bring  professional poker  playing  into Alaska  by allowing  the                                                               
card room  owner to  take a  "rake." He  asked whether  there was                                                               
anything in the bill that would control "shills."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
RYAN MAKINSTER, Staff to Senator  John Cowdery, offered to answer                                                               
questions. He said  it is currently illegal to play  for money in                                                               
a  public environment  in  Alaska unless  you  are in  somebody's                                                               
home.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:38:43 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  MAKINSTER  advised  the committee  that,  under  the  Indian                                                               
Gaming Regulatory Act, Alaska would  be required to work with any                                                               
Alaska tribes within its class of gaming.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS  asked Mr. O'Hare  whether there was  a committee                                                               
on gambling  and if so,  were any recommendations  suggested from                                                               
that committee.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'HARE observed that a task  force was identified on a gaming                                                               
commission. The  task force has  not made any  recommendations as                                                               
of yet.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  asked whether the  bill provided for any  type of                                                               
table restrictions.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'HARE  informed there were  no stipulations to the  limit of                                                               
tables but each table would cost $10,000.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS noted a discrepancy in the title of the bill.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  O'HARE replied  he did  have  the memo  from legal  services                                                               
alerting the sponsor to that issue.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:42:41 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS  questioned the reason  for removing  the municipal                                                               
option.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'HARE said he did not know.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS asked  how  the  number of  30,000  was chosen  to                                                               
determine the number of card rooms.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  O'HARE replied  initially it  was  a random  number used  to                                                               
separate   Anchorage   and   Fairbanks    out   as   the   larger                                                               
municipalities.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:45:53 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GUESS noted that Anchorage  could have 10 card rooms with                                                               
an unlimited number of tables.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'HARE said correct.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS  referred to page  10 and  asked how the  DOR would                                                               
determine who is  awarded a license. She also noted  that on line                                                               
18 the language seemed very subjective.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'HARE said it was in  order to give the utmost discretion to                                                               
the Department.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS referred  to page  10, line  26 and  asked whether                                                               
that would be legal.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS said he didn't think so.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH said it was  a laudable idea but probably couldn't                                                               
be codified in statute.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:49:46 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS asked for clarification  the actual amount of money                                                               
that a person would  have to put up in order to  open a card room                                                               
with four tables.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'HARE  responded the initial  application fee of  $25,000, a                                                               
$5,000  cash  bond,  and  $10,000   per  table  as  well  as  any                                                               
additional costs associated with the background investigation.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEEKINS  speculated  that  card   rooms  must  be  a  very                                                               
profitable business.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'HARE said it could be.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS asked whether the  license could be sold to another                                                               
person.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'HARE did not believe so.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEEKINS asked  whether the  bill identified  it as  a non-                                                               
transferable license.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'HARE offered to find the section related to that topic.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  asked whether  there were  statutory restrictions                                                               
on how the house  earns the money, such as by the  hand or by the                                                               
half hour.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'HARE said there are no restrictions.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:52:25 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH  asked what the  financial integrity  system would                                                               
be for the purpose of transparency to the state overseer.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'HARE admitted the bill contained no stipulation for that.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH expressed  concern and said it  would be difficult                                                               
to keep  exact track of  how much the  players earn and  how much                                                               
the house earns.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. MAKINSTER informed the committee  that other states do all of                                                               
that in regulation rather than statute.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH commented the State  of Washington requires closed                                                               
circuit  television recording  of the  tables and  the cages.  He                                                               
asked whether HB 272 did the same.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'HARE said  no it does not but the  sponsor would be willing                                                               
to amend the bill to include that.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH asked  about  the effective  dates  and how  they                                                               
envision the process and first licensing.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'HARE did not know. He deferred to the DOR.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:56:37 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GUESS asked  Mr. O'Hare  to  discuss the  rakes and  the                                                               
sideboards around them.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'HARE  replied the bill does  not discuss rakes or  how much                                                               
money the card room would be allowed to make.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS asked how the business hours would be set.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.   O'HARE  informed   that  would   be  addressed   under  the                                                               
regulations.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS asked whether people could play poker online.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'HARE said yes and it was a popular method of playing.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MAKINSTER interrupted  to inform  the committee  that online                                                               
poker playing  is not the same  as plugging into Las  Vegas since                                                               
much of the online business is routed internationally.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS  referred to  page  17,  line  10 and  noted  that                                                               
"cheats at a card game" is a broad and undefined charge.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:01:19 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR FRENCH  asked whether there  would be a prohibition  on a                                                               
bingo operation attached to a card room.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'HARE  said the  bill would  only allow an  owner to  have a                                                               
card room operation.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:06:52 AM                                                                                                                   
GUY  WARREN,  Clerk  for  the  Presbytery  of  Alaska,  testified                                                               
against  the bill.  He said  implementing the  bill would  create                                                               
social  disorder and  would not  serve to  the betterment  of the                                                               
people of the State of Alaska.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:10:37 AM                                                                                                                   
RUTH BLANCHARD,  Houston, testified in  support of the  bill with                                                               
some  amendments,  such as  local  control,  super majority,  and                                                               
municipality change to cites.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
LINDA COY,  Anchorage, testified in  opposition to the  bill. She                                                               
took issue  with the claim  that creating card rooms  would bring                                                               
money into  the state.  She said  that all  pathological gamblers                                                               
started when they were young  and she encouraged the committee to                                                               
abandon the bill.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:13:36 AM                                                                                                                   
DEBBIE JOSLIN, Eagle River, testified  in opposition to the bill.                                                               
She quoted  Warren Buffet as  saying that gambling  begets crime,                                                               
bankruptcy and suicide.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MARIE TOOTHMAN,  Houston, testified in  support of the  bill. She                                                               
said the money  would stay in Alaska and that  people need winter                                                               
entertainment.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
LINK  FANNON, Houston,  testified that  the Houston  city council                                                               
supported the  bill with  a couple of  amendments, such  as local                                                               
control and the super majority vote.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:19:21 AM                                                                                                                   
PAMELA SAMASH, Nenana,  testified in opposition to  the bill. She                                                               
shared  a personal  experience of  how  gambling addictions  have                                                               
destroyed her family.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:23:57 AM                                                                                                                   
PERRY GREEN testified  in support of HB 272. He  claimed that the                                                               
gaming  commission  was doomed  to  failure  because all  of  the                                                               
people on  the commission  were against  gaming. He  claimed that                                                               
billions of dollars  were leaving America due  to online overseas                                                               
games. He  said the cost  for licensing was excessive  but agreed                                                               
with the City of Houston's suggested amendments.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:27:26 AM                                                                                                                   
ROSEMARY BURNETT,  Deputy Mayor of Houston,  testified in support                                                               
of the  bill. She said there  are already after hours  card rooms                                                               
in the MatSu Valley and it is getting out of hand.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BOB CHAFFONE,  Professional poker  player in  Michigan, testified                                                               
that poker  is an addiction but  said it was not  the function of                                                               
the  bill  to  micro-manage  people   and  their  addictions.  He                                                               
testified  in  support  of  the  bill and  said  it  would  be  a                                                               
responsible form of government to regulate the gambling.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT  HALL,  Houston, testified  in  support  of the  bill.  He                                                               
suggested  allowing for  customers to  pre-set limits  as to  how                                                               
much they could lose in a sitting.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:35:29 AM                                                                                                                   
SUSAN  DUCK  said  she  recently   planned  a  poker  tournament.                                                               
Approximately 7,500  players participated and it  was an enormous                                                               
success.   She  did   not  hear   one  complaint   regarding  the                                                               
tournament.  She said  the bottom  line is  that card  playing is                                                               
already  happening and  people are  making  money illegally.  She                                                               
encouraged  the  committee  to organize  and  regulate  the  card                                                               
rooms.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:37:55 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR SEEKINS apologized  that he had to  interrupt testimony. He                                                               
held the bill in committee.                                                                                                     
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Seekins adjourned the meeting at 10:38:26 AM.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects