Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

04/04/2006 08:30 AM JUDICIARY


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 318 LIMITATION ON EMINENT DOMAIN TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 408 DEFINITION OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS CSHB 408(JUD) Out of Committee
+ HB 400 CONFISCATION OF FIREARMS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 4, 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. 318(FIN) am                                                                                               
"An Act limiting the exercise of eminent domain."                                                                               
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 408(FIN) am                                                                                               
"An Act relating  to the standard of proof  required to terminate                                                               
parental  rights in  child- in-need-of-aid  proceedings; relating                                                               
to  a  healing  arts  practitioner's   duty  to  report  a  child                                                               
adversely  affected   by  or  withdrawing  from   exposure  to  a                                                               
controlled  substance  or  alcohol;  relating  to  disclosure  of                                                               
confidential or privileged information  about certain children by                                                               
the   Departments    of   Health   and   Social    Services   and                                                               
Administration;  relating to  permanent  fund  dividends paid  to                                                               
foster children  and adopted children;  amending Rule  18, Alaska                                                               
Child in  Need of Aid  Rules of  Procedure; and providing  for an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
     MOVED SCS CSHB 408(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 400(FIN)                                                                                                  
"An  Act relating  to confiscation  of  firearms during  disaster                                                               
emergencies."                                                                                                                   
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 318                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: LIMITATION ON EMINENT DOMAIN                                                                                       
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) MCGUIRE, HOLM, HAWKER                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
01/09/06       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 12/30/05                                                                              
01/09/06       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/09/06       (H)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
01/11/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
01/11/06       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/11/06       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
01/25/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
01/25/06       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/25/06       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/01/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/01/06       (H)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
02/03/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/03/06       (H)       Moved CSHB 318(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/03/06       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/06/06       (H)       JUD RPT CS(JUD) NT 3DP 1NR 2AM                                                                         
02/06/06       (H)       DP: WILSON, ANDERSON, MCGUIRE;                                                                         
02/06/06       (H)       NR: GRUENBERG;                                                                                         
02/06/06       (H)       AM: GARA, KOTT                                                                                         
02/09/06       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
02/09/06       (H)       Moved CSHB 318(FIN) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/09/06       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
02/10/06       (H)       FIN RPT CS(FIN) NT 2DP 3NR 3AM                                                                         
02/10/06       (H)       DP: HAWKER, MEYER;                                                                                     
02/10/06       (H)       NR: KERTTULA, JOULE, WEYHRAUCH;                                                                        
02/10/06       (H)       AM: STOLTZE, HOLM, FOSTER                                                                              
02/21/06       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
02/21/06       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 318(FIN) AM                                                                              
02/22/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/22/06       (S)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
03/02/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/02/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/02/06       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/09/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/09/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/09/06       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/21/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/21/06       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
03/22/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/22/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/22/06       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/28/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/28/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/28/06       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/30/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/30/06       (S)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
04/04/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 408                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: DEFINITION OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
01/30/06       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/30/06       (H)       HES, FIN                                                                                               
02/07/06       (H)       HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/07/06       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/07/06       (H)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
02/09/06       (H)       HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/09/06       (H)       Moved CSHB 408(HES) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/09/06       (H)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
02/15/06       (H)       HES RPT CS(HES)NT 3DP 2NR                                                                              
02/15/06       (H)       DP: GARDNER, GATTO, WILSON;                                                                            
02/15/06       (H)       NR: ANDERSON, CISSNA                                                                                   
02/22/06       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
02/22/06       (H)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
03/01/06       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
03/01/06       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
03/07/06       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
03/07/06       (H)       Moved CSHB 408(FIN) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/07/06       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
03/08/06       (H)       FIN RPT CS(FIN) NT 3DP 5NR                                                                             
03/08/06       (H)       DP: KELLY, MEYER, CHENAULT;                                                                            
03/08/06       (H)       NR: HAWKER, STOLTZE, KERTTULA, JOULE,                                                                  
                         MOSES                                                                                                  
03/20/06       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
03/20/06       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 408(FIN) AM                                                                              
03/22/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/22/06       (S)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
03/22/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/22/06       (S)       <Bill Hearing Postponed to 03/23/06>                                                                   
03/23/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/23/06       (S)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
03/28/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/28/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/28/06       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/30/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/30/06       (S)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
04/04/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 400                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CONFISCATION OF FIREARMS                                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) COGHILL                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
01/27/06       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/27/06       (H)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
02/13/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/13/06       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/13/06       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/17/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/17/06       (H)       Moved CSHB 400(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/17/06       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/21/06       (H)       JUD RPT CS(JUD) 4DP 1NR 1AM                                                                            
02/21/06       (H)       DP: COGHILL, ANDERSON, KOTT, MCGUIRE;                                                                  
02/21/06       (H)       NR: GARA;                                                                                              
02/21/06       (H)       AM: GRUENBERG                                                                                          
03/07/06       (H)       FIN AT 9:00 AM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
03/07/06       (H)       Moved CSHB 400(FIN) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/07/06       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
03/09/06       (H)       FIN RPT CS(FIN) NT 7DP 1NR                                                                             
03/09/06       (H)       DP: KELLY, STOLTZE, JOULE, HAWKER,                                                                     
                         WEYHRAUCH, MEYER, CHENAULT;                                                                            
03/09/06       (H)       NR: KERTTULA                                                                                           
03/24/06       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
03/24/06       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 400(FIN)                                                                                 
03/27/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/27/06       (S)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
04/04/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Craig Johnson, Legislative Aide                                                                                                 
Staff to Representative Lesil McGuire                                                                                           
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 318                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Peter Putzier, Senior Assistant Attorney General                                                                                
Department of Law                                                                                                               
PO Box 110300                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0300                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding HB 318                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
John Baker, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                          
Natural Resources Section                                                                                                       
Department of Law                                                                                                               
PO Box 110300                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0300                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding HB 318                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Luke Hopkins, Assembly member                                                                                                   
Fairbanks North Star Borough                                                                                                    
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Posed a question regarding how HB 318 would                                                              
affect the 100-mile trail in Fairbanks.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Michael Nelson                                                                                                                  
Glennallen, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 318                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Kevin Richey, Realtor                                                                                                           
No address provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 318                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Tammy Sandoval, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                             
Office of Children's Services                                                                                                   
Department of Health & Social Services                                                                                          
PO Box 110601                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99801-0601                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Responded to questions regarding HB 408                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Rynnieva Moss, Legislative Aide                                                                                                 
Staff to Representative John Coghill                                                                                            
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Responded to questions regarding HB 408                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative John Coghill                                                                                                     
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 400                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Dean Guaneli, Chief Assistant Attorney General                                                                                  
Department of Law                                                                                                               
PO Box 110300                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0300                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding HB 400                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Brian Judy                                                                                                                      
National Rifleman's Association                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 400                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Michael Nelson                                                                                                                  
Glennallen, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 400                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Austin Mahaulkey                                                                                                                
Glenallen, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 400                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  RALPH   SEEKINS  called  the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 8:42:27 AM.  Present were Senators                                                             
Hollis French,  Gretchen Guess, Charlie Huggins,  and Chair Ralph                                                               
Seekins.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
              HB 318-LIMITATION ON EMINENT DOMAIN                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:43:30 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  RALPH SEEKINS  announced CSHB  318(FIN)  AM to  be up  for                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PETER PUTZIER,  Senior Assistant Attorney General,  Department of                                                               
Law  (DOL),  and CRAIG  JOHNSON,  Staff  to Representative  Lesil                                                               
McGuire, introduced themselves for the record.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS  asked the witnesses  who has the power  of eminent                                                               
domain under current law.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSON submitted a list to the committee members.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS speculated  that many people were not  aware of all                                                               
the entities  that have power  of eminent domain. He  referred to                                                               
page 2 of the bill and asked  Mr. Putzier to comment on who would                                                               
exercise eminent  domain for all  the items listed  under Section                                                               
2, paragraph 3.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PUTZIER responded  it would  be  in part  the Department  of                                                               
Transportation   and   Public   Facilities   (DOTPF)   under   AS                                                               
09.55.240(a)(3) or possibly a  housing finance company, depending                                                               
on the particular project.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEEKINS  asked  Mr.  Putzier   to  describe  an  organized                                                               
borough.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUTZIER  said that  was under  Title 9 but  did not  have the                                                               
statute with him.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:47:43 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS  asked  Mr.   Putzier  whether  an  unincorporated                                                               
community  in the  State of  Alaska could  utilize the  powers of                                                               
eminent domain to build a public building.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUTZIER  responded the bill  wouldn't authorize  the entities                                                               
to utilize those powers. Title  35 gives broad authority to build                                                               
public buildings and public works if  the demand is there and the                                                               
DOTPF generally gives the authority to build.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:49:44 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS  admitted  he  had  a problem  with  that  if  the                                                               
committee were trying  to limit the number of  entities that have                                                               
power of eminent domain. A city  or a village is really a private                                                               
entity. He  said anyone could form  a community and claim  that a                                                               
public use facility was needed.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUTZIER responded that the bill  does not allow any entity to                                                               
transfer  authority of  eminent domain  to private  entities. Any                                                               
project  is  subject  to  review and  there  are  very  stringent                                                               
standards and  protections. He said  the concerns that  the Chair                                                               
was raising were  already addressed in Alaska  Statutes and under                                                               
Civil Rule.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:51:45 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS referred  to Section  2 (a)(5)  and asked  whether                                                               
that didn't refer to a private-to-private transfer.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:53:06 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Gene Therriault joined the meeting.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUTZIER clarified  that the Chair was  speaking about present                                                               
law.  He said  what is  reflected  is "value  judgments" of  past                                                               
legislative  sessions.  He  admitted   that  it  was  potentially                                                               
possible under  paragraph (5)  that a  private transfer  could be                                                               
done.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS  asked whether paragraph  6 contemplated  a private                                                               
transfer.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUTZIER  said yes,  potentially. It seems  to be  a provision                                                               
set  up  to provide  access  to  farms.  He suggested  that  past                                                               
legislators considered  access to  farms a  high priority  at the                                                               
time.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS opined telephone,  telegraph, and fiber optic lines                                                               
could be  privately owned as well  as sewerage for not  less than                                                               
ten families.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUTZIER  responded that telephone lines  remained under state                                                               
authority so  there could be a  taking and the take  could remain                                                               
in public  ownership with a right  given to somebody to  use that                                                               
land.  He conceded  there was  an element  of private  takings in                                                               
many of the current statute provisions.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS  asked Mr. Putzier  whether there is a  conflict in                                                               
Section 3, subsection (d).                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PUTZIER said  that  the DOL  tried to  address  that in  the                                                               
following   sections  where   it  forbids   a  private-to-private                                                               
transfer.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:56:20 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS asked Mr. Putzier  the effect if the committee were                                                               
to amend subsection (d) to say,  "the power of eminent domain may                                                               
not be exercised to acquire  private property for the purpose for                                                               
transferring title  to the  property to  a private  person except                                                               
for the purposes set forth in this chapter."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PUTZIER responded  AS 09.55  is  quite broad.  He asked  the                                                               
committee to allow him to  examine that statute before committing                                                               
to an opinion.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEEKINS said  the committee  could narrow  it down  to say                                                               
"except as provided in .240(a)."                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT  said he saw  the potential conflict  that the                                                               
Chairman  was trying  to  avoid  and that  he  was attempting  to                                                               
clarify legislative intent. The language  he suggested was a good                                                               
attempt to address it, he noted.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HOLLIS   FRENCH  agreed  with  Senator   Therriault.  He                                                               
suggested the  limitations on  pages 3  and 4  of the  bill would                                                               
still apply to the list laid out in the CS.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS said:                                                                                                             
     Constitutionally   we've  provided   for  transfer   of                                                                    
     property used for  a private way of  necessity. Some of                                                                    
     the things that  we've put farther down  in the statute                                                                    
     have already been  provided for in the  earlier part of                                                                    
     the statute.  I try  to read the  whole thing  from (a)                                                                    
     down  and I  get  confused and  I'd  like to  eliminate                                                                    
     that.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PUTZIER said  the concern  over his  suggested amendment  is                                                               
that anything  under AS 09.55.240(a)  would be open to  some kind                                                               
of a  private-to-private transfer  and that  could be  over broad                                                               
because (a)  lists a  very broad  smattering of  potential public                                                               
uses. He  said he didn't  know if  the Department wanted  to open                                                               
the door  to say that private  transfers are allowed on  each and                                                               
every one of  those circumstances. As presently  written there is                                                               
no explicit authority to allow a private-to-private transfer.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:00:01 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS countered  AS 09.55.240(a)(6)  specifically states                                                               
"private  roads leading  from highways  to residences,  mines, or                                                               
farms" and so  that indicates the state is  gaining title through                                                               
eminent domain.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PUTZIER suggested  that if  there  were certain  private-to-                                                               
private  transfers that  the Legislature  wanted to  protect then                                                               
that should be listed as an exception.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:01:06 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GRETCHEN  GUESS  asked  for  clarification  whether  the                                                               
current  statute  allows   for  private-to-private  transfer  for                                                               
public use.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUTZIER said yes, theoretically  but it hasn't been tested in                                                               
Alaska and it  would be subject to challenge. He  said there is a                                                               
specific statute  in Title 38  where the Legislature  has allowed                                                               
for the  delegation of eminent  domain power to  certain entities                                                               
to acquire right of way in association with pipelines.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:03:18 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS stated the statute  confers to grant eminent domain                                                               
powers  to certain  entities. He  said  he wanted  to clarify  in                                                               
statute the entities that have  clear power of eminent domain and                                                               
the situations for  which they can exercise that  power. He cited                                                               
an  "Alyeska  Pipeline  case"  and  said  it  appeared  that  the                                                               
pipeline company could, upon delegation  from the state, exercise                                                               
the power of eminent domain.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:05:23 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  PUTZIER  responded  that  was  a  rare  instance  where  the                                                               
Legislature has  specifically delegated that power,  acting as an                                                               
agent for the State of Alaska.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  asked whether  the state  delegates the  power of                                                               
eminent domain in a blanket  delegation or whether the delegation                                                               
was narrow to the specific purposes to the entity.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PUTZIER  said eminent  domain  statutes  are construed  very                                                               
narrowly.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH  asked  for  clarity   whether  the  natural  gas                                                               
authority was a private entity.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS  said it is  not a public  corporation nor is  it a                                                               
state entity so it would be a private person.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUTZIER said  AS 09.55.240(d)(2) was placed in  the bill with                                                               
the recognition that the Legislature  has previously made certain                                                               
judgments  about  the entities  to  which  the power  of  eminent                                                               
domain  was given.  Utilities are  the most  common example.  The                                                               
intent  of the  bill  was  narrowly focused  and  didn't mean  to                                                               
revisit the 12 entities that  currently have the power of eminent                                                               
domain.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:09:17 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GUESS clarified  that  anyone on  the  current list  can                                                               
continue to use eminent domain.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUTZIER  said that  was the  intent of the  bill. The  DOL is                                                               
trying to place parameters on  the circumstances under which they                                                               
can do a private-to-private transfer.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEEKINS  asked  whether  the  Knik  Arm  Bridge  and  Toll                                                               
Authority could still exercise power  in the Anchorage and Mat-Su                                                               
boroughs.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUTZIER said yes as long as it is for public use.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:10:25 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  CHARLIE HUGGINS  asked  the process  for  how a  private                                                               
mining company finds a place to put in a tailings area.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PUTZIER  said  the  company wouldn't  have  the  ability  to                                                               
exercise eminent domain.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS argued that as  he reads the statute, the company                                                               
would be allowed to take property to do so.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUTZIER countered a private entity  did not have the power to                                                               
do that  but a state  entity, such  as the Department  of Natural                                                               
Resources,  could  exercise  eminent   domain  in  the  company's                                                               
behalf,  although   it  would   have  to   be  approved   by  the                                                               
Legislature.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEEKINS noted  that  (d) under  Section  3 prohibits  that                                                               
action from happening.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUTZIER said that raises a  good point and the Legislature is                                                               
working  to restrict  situations  exactly such  as  the one  that                                                               
Senator Huggins posed.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS  said he thought  the focus was on  situations such                                                               
as  the taking  of someone's  home to  give it  to a  condominium                                                               
project for the purpose of increasing the tax base.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUTZIER  replied that was  taken into account and  the intent                                                               
was to protect all of those  existing uses and not to curtail the                                                               
power of the existing entities that are in statutes.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:13:39 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS said he was confused.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS expressed  concern that as the bill  is written a                                                               
private company,  such as a  Wal-Mart could take a  person's home                                                               
in order to build a store.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSON countered that would not qualify for public use.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  commented that once  the bill is passed  it would                                                               
be a lot  harder for a private  company to ask a  state entity to                                                               
use their eminent domain powers to help them in a development.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:15:46 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS  said  long  ago the  courts  redefined  the  term                                                               
"public use"  to include  "for the public  welfare." He  said the                                                               
committee should carefully  define the term "public  use" if they                                                               
are going to use it.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSON  recognized  that  there  are  legitimate  uses  for                                                               
eminent domain and  that the bill sponsor tried  to keep existing                                                               
law as  it stands  with the  exception of  the private-to-private                                                               
transfer  and the  recreational aspect.  Those are  the only  two                                                               
areas that HB 318 is trying  to affect, although they are open to                                                               
making the bill stronger, if the committee sees fit.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:18:19 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS expressed  concern that the bill  could shut down                                                               
resource development.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSON responded  that issue  is specifically  addressed in                                                               
the bill.  In addition, the  bill also  provides that if  a large                                                               
mine  comes  into existence,  it  would  be a  relatively  simple                                                               
process to enact legislation to allow for development to happen.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS noted that the State  of Alaska hasn't seen a major                                                               
problem  yet but  the  potential exists.  Referring  to the  Kelo                                                               
case,  he said  he leans  more toward  Justice Thomas's  decision                                                               
than with  how the majority  of the court  ruled on the  case. He                                                               
expressed  concern that  the bill  was  convoluted, unclear,  and                                                               
hard to understand. He said he  would prefer to sit down and make                                                               
the entire statute fit together more clearly and concisely.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:23:16 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS continued  there is still the question  of what the                                                               
effect  would  be if  the  committee  wanted to  allow  political                                                               
subdivisions  to have  power  to be  able to  have  the power  of                                                               
eminent  domain  within  their  jurisdiction  but  with  a  super                                                               
majority.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH  offered  to explain  his  amendment  titled  24-                                                               
LS1083\XA.14. He  said it would  encapsulate the  instances under                                                               
which a municipality could exercise power of eminent domain.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSON  noted  the  original  intent of  the  bill  was  to                                                               
severely  curtail   the  ability  of  municipalities   and  other                                                               
entities to use eminent domain.  There was a similar amendment in                                                               
the House  Judiciary Committee  but it was  not as  complete. The                                                               
sponsor would  support the  amendment but it  might not  pass the                                                               
House floor session.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:27:17 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS asked  Senator French  if  he could  add the  word                                                               
"public" before hearing on line 12.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:29:47 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH did so and then moved Amendment 4.                                                                               
                                                    24-LS1083\XA.14                                                             
                                                           Bullock                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                      A M E N D M E N T 4                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
OFFERED IN THE SENATE by Senator French                                                                                         
     TO:  CSHB 318(FIN) am                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Page 6, line 19, following "AS 09.55.240(e).":                                                                                  
     Insert "However, a municipality may exercise the power of                                                                  
eminent domain to acquire private  property from a private person                                                               
for the purpose of transferring  title to the property to another                                                               
private  person for  economic development  and  for the  purposes                                                               
expressed in AS 09.55.240(e) if                                                                                                 
               (1)  the municipality does not delegate the power                                                                
     of eminent domain to another person;                                                                                       
               (2)  before issuing the notice in (3) of this                                                                    
     subsection, the  municipality makes  a good faith  effort to                                                               
     negotiate the purchase of the property;                                                                                    
               (3)  written notice is provided at least 90 days                                                                 
     before  the  hearing to  each  owner  of  land that  may  be                                                               
     affected by the exercise of eminent domain;                                                                                
               (4)  the municipality holds a hearing on the                                                                     
    exercise of eminent domain after adequate public notice;                                                                    
               (5)  the governing body of the municipality                                                                      
     approves  the exercise  of eminent  domain  by a  two-thirds                                                               
     majority vote; and                                                                                                         
               (6)  in the case of a second class city, an                                                                      
     ordinance  is adopted,  the ordinance  is  submitted to  the                                                               
     voters for  approval at  the next general  election or  at a                                                               
     special election  called for that purpose,  and the exercise                                                               
     of eminent domain is approved by  a majority of the votes on                                                               
     the question."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS objected and asked  whether Senator French wanted                                                               
to specify a two-thirds vote on line 16.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS  asked the  reason someone  would request  a public                                                               
ballot on a second-class city.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSON  responded second-class  cities  don't  have a  city                                                               
assembly or an organized governmental body.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS asked then who writes the ordinance.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSON advised it would be  a city manager. He said he would                                                               
support Senator Huggins' suggestion.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS called a brief recess at 9:32:59 AM.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:36:55 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS called the meeting back to order.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH   suggested  an  amendment  to   Amendment  4  by                                                               
inserting language on  line 16 to require that  the government or                                                               
elected body  of a  second-class city adopt  that ordinance  by a                                                               
two-thirds  majority.  Hearing  no objections  the  amendment  to                                                               
Amendment 4 was adopted.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS removed his objection  to Amendment 4. Hearing no                                                               
further objections, Amendment 4 was adopted.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH moved Amendment 5.                                                                                               
                                                    24-LS1083\XA.13                                                             
                                                           Bullock                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                      A M E N D M E N T 5                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
OFFERED IN THE SENATE by Senator French                                                                                         
     TO:  CSHB 318(FIN) am                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Page 4, following line 15:                                                                                                      
     Insert a new subsection to read:                                                                                           
          "(f)  Only the state may delegate the power of eminent                                                                
     domain."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Reletter the following subsection accordingly.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS objected for the purpose of explanation.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  explained Amendment 5  would add new  language to                                                               
clarify that  only the  state may delegate  the power  of eminent                                                               
domain. The only entity in the  State of Alaska that can delegate                                                               
the power  of eminent domain is  the State itself and  not any of                                                               
its political subdivisions.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS removed his objection. Hearing no further                                                                         
objections, Amendment 5 was adopted.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH moved Amendment 6.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                                                    24-LS1083\XA.12                                                             
                                                           Bullock                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                      A M E N D M E N T 6                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
OFFERED IN THE SENATE by Senator French                                                                                         
     TO:  CSHB 318(FIN) am                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Page 4, line 8:                                                                                                                 
     Delete ";"                                                                                                                 
     Insert "."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Page 4, line 9:                                                                                                                 
     Delete all material.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Page 4, following line 15:                                                                                                      
     Insert a new subsection to read:                                                                                           
          "(f)  Notwithstanding the limitations on the power of                                                                 
     eminent  domain  in  (d)  and   (e)  of  this  section,  the                                                               
     legislature  may  approve  the exercise  of  eminent  domain                                                               
     against private property in an  Act, the subject of which is                                                               
     limited  to  the transfer  of  the  property for  a  purpose                                                               
    otherwise restricted under (d) or (e) of this section."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Reletter the following subsection accordingly.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS objected for the purpose of explanation.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:39:42 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH  said he  subtitled it  the "Guess  Amendment" and                                                               
explained that  it was  meant to capture  her suggestion  to make                                                               
the exercise of eminent domain as public as possible.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEEKINS   removed  his   objection.  Hearing   no  further                                                               
objections, Amendment 6 was adopted.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT said he didn't  have an objection to Amendment                                                               
6 but  said if the Legislature  chose to ignore that  statute and                                                               
insert  something  into another  bill  at  the last  minute  they                                                               
probably could.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:41:46 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. JOHNSON expressed  support for the integrity  and strength of                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS  commented that Senator  Therriault was  correct in                                                               
                                   th                                                                                           
that  the bill  would  bind the  24   Legislature  but no  future                                                               
Legislatures because  it is a  subject covered under  the Uniform                                                               
Rules.  He referred  to page  4, line  25 and  asked Mr.  Putzier                                                               
whether a person  has to live in  a home for 91  days before it's                                                               
protected.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSON  answered the  question and  said they  wrestled with                                                               
trying to  define the home.  They wanted to prevent  someone from                                                               
throwing up a house simply for  the purpose to prevent the taking                                                               
by eminent domain.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS said a person could  rent the house for 90 days and                                                               
then buy it  and eminent domain couldn't touch it  since the bill                                                               
merely states, "inhabited for 90 days."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSON suspected that situation might not pass the test.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:46:27 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS disagreed.  He said  the  bill would  allow a  new                                                               
homeowner  a  90-day  window  for  someone  to  exercise  private                                                               
transfer of his home for eminent domain purposes.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSON  suggested  that  situation would  be  part  of  the                                                               
disclosure in the real estate acquisition.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:48:11 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. JOHNSON admitted that the  sponsor struggled with writing the                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH suggested  the committee could take  out the lines                                                               
"by the owner" on page 4, line 25.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSON  said he was handed  a note from a  realtor that says                                                               
the title  insurance company  would identify  any kind  of notice                                                               
recorded against a property and it would raise a red flag.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEEKINS  clarified  that  there   is  still  a  window  of                                                               
opportunity within the 90 days  for an instance of eminent domain                                                               
to begin.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:51:25 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS  reiterated  that  the  committee  was  trying  to                                                               
protect the private home.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSON said  during construction of the bill  they looked at                                                               
making someone  qualify for  a permanent  fund dividend  (PFD) at                                                               
that address.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS  asked Mr. Putzier  to clarify whether Page  5 line                                                               
31 was  establishing the right  to provide  for a "to  and along"                                                               
provision, which would  allow a pathway or trail along  a body of                                                               
water.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUTZIER deferred the question to John Baker.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:53:53 AM                                                                                                                    
JOHN BAKER, Assistant Attorney General,  Department of Law (DOL),                                                               
Natural   Resources  Section,   responded  to   Senator  Seekins'                                                               
question and said it would allow  that but it would have to occur                                                               
in  the circumstance  that the  route was  necessary in  order to                                                               
reach the public land or waterway.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   SEEKINS  expressed   concern  that   the  provision   was                                                               
establishing  a  "tooling along"  concept  rather  than the  most                                                               
direct route.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BAKER responded  it would have to be shown  that there was no                                                               
other reasonable access.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS clarified  that it was not the  intent to establish                                                               
a  private  action for  "tooling  along"  pathways that  are  not                                                               
necessary.  He  informed  Mr.  Johnson that  he  had  no  further                                                               
questions today. He asked Mr.  Putzier to help draft an amendment                                                               
for the  definition of a  "privately owned residence"  that would                                                               
include a residence that was held in a trust.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. PUTZIER acknowledged that was a valid concern.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:57:37 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS  referred to page 1,  line 14 and asked  whether it                                                               
would  be  a  better  idea  to use  the  words  "privately  owned                                                               
residence" rather than "personal residence."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSON agreed to the change.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS asked  Mr. Johnson whether they  have defined small                                                               
boat harbor.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSON said they have that  on the radar and will discuss it                                                               
the next meeting.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS  asked Mr. Luke  Hopkins whether the  committee has                                                               
addressed his concerns.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:01:16 AM                                                                                                                   
LUKE  HOPKINS, Assembly  Member,  Fairbanks  North Star  Borough,                                                               
referred  to page  5,  line 31  and said  he  was confused  about                                                               
whether or not the Fairbanks North  Star Borough would be able to                                                               
continue work  on a  100-mile loop  trail that  would be  used to                                                               
gain access out  of the populated area to public  lands. He asked                                                               
for someone to get back to him on that subject.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL  NELSON,  Glennallen,  testified  in  opposition  to  the                                                               
subject of eminent  domain. He said HB 318 doesn't  do enough for                                                               
private property owners.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN RICHEY, Realtor, complimented  the committee for their work                                                               
on the bill.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS held the bill in committee at 10:06:37 AM.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          HB 408-DEFINITION OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:07:28 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR RALPH SEEKINS announced CSHB 408(FIN) AM to be up for                                                                     
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
RYNNIEVA MOSS, Staff to Representative John Coghill, and TAMMY                                                                  
SANDOVAL, Deputy Commissioner, Office of Children's Services,                                                                   
introduced themselves for the record.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS moved Amendment 1. Page 6, line 10, after the                                                                     
words "healing arts" insert ", as defined in AS 47.17.290(13).                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Hearing no objections, the committee adopted Amendment 1.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS moved Amendment 2.                                                                                                
                                                      24-GH2021\L.1                                                             
                                                           Mischel                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                      A M E N D M E N T 2                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
OFFERED IN THE SENATE                                                                                                           
     TO:  SCS CSHB 408(   ), Draft Version "L"                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Page 5, lines 3 - 18:                                                                                                           
     Delete all material and insert:                                                                                            
   "* Sec. 6.  AS 47.10.093(j) is repealed and reenacted to                                                                 
read:                                                                                                                           
          (j)  The department may publicly disclose information                                                                 
     pertaining to a  child or an alleged perpetrator  named in a                                                               
     report  of harm  described  under (i)  of  this section,  or                                                               
     pertaining  to  a  household  member of  the  child  or  the                                                               
     alleged  perpetrator,  if  the   information  relates  to  a                                                               
     determination, if any, made by  the department regarding the                                                               
     nature and  validity of a  report of harm under  AS 47.17 or                                                               
     to   the   department's    activities   arising   from   the                                                               
     department's investigation  of the report.  The commissioner                                                               
     or the commissioner's designee                                                                                             
               (1)  shall withhold disclosure of the child's                                                                    
     name, picture, or other information  that would readily lead                                                               
     to  the  identification  of  the  child  if  the  department                                                               
     determines  that the  disclosure  would be  contrary to  the                                                               
     best interests of the child, the child's siblings, or other                                                                
     children in the child's household; or                                                                                      
               (2)  after consultation with a prosecuting                                                                       
     attorney,  shall  withhold  disclosure of  information  that                                                               
     would reasonably  be expected to  interfere with  a criminal                                                               
     investigation or proceeding or  a criminal defendant's right                                                               
     to a fair trial in a criminal proceeding."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:09:13 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  GRETCHEN  GUESS objected  for  the  opportunity to  read                                                               
Amendment 2.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS announced a brief recess at 10:09:35 AM.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:11:02 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  HOLLIS  FRENCH  questioned  the  witness  regarding  the                                                               
instances  under  which  the  Department  of  Health  and  Social                                                               
Services (DHSS) could make a public disclosure.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SANDOVAL  said in  a  nutshell  they  have the  occasion  to                                                               
respond to  the media with  regard to fatality or  near fatality.                                                               
They  realized  that  HB  53   was  only  about  that  particular                                                               
incident.  There have  been requests  for information  about what                                                               
DHSS had been  doing with the family and the  law would not allow                                                               
them to  disclose that  information but part  of the  story would                                                               
already  be  in   the  media.  The  amendment   would  allow  the                                                               
Department to disclose information with  regard to what they have                                                               
done in serious circumstances.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEEKINS  clarified  that  it  would  only  allow  them  to                                                               
disclose  information for  instances such  as near  fatalities or                                                               
fatalities.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. SANDOVAL said correct.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS added that the amendment  would allow DHSS to go back to                                                               
past reports of harm and disclose other information as well.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH noted  that  it was  a balancing  act  to do  the                                                               
disclosures so  as to let  the public  know they are  doing their                                                               
job while not revealing whom the family is.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:14:02 AM                                                                                                                   
MS. SANDOVAL said  that is something that they  have to consider.                                                               
The assessment  of the family  involves concern for  the children                                                               
and their safety. The Department  would only share information as                                                               
to the reason they made certain determinations.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  stated that  it allows  the Department  to defend                                                               
itself against charges of inaction and negligence.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. SANDOVAL agreed.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH  asked   whether  healthcare  practitioners  have                                                               
reviewed the bill.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS said  she has worked closely with  the Public Defender's                                                               
Office and with the Office of Public Advocacy.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS  withdrew her objection  and the  committee adopted                                                               
Amendment 2.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS  moved to report  SCS CSHB 408(JUD)  from committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations   and  attached  fiscal  notes.                                                               
Hearing no objections, the motion carried.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS moved  to adopt the State  Concurrent Resolution on                                                               
the title change. Hearing no objections, the motion carried.                                                                    
Chair Seekins announced a brief recess at 10:17:25 AM.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                HB 400-CONFISCATION OF FIREARMS                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:20:34 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  RALPH  SEEKINS  announced  CSHB  400(FIN)  to  be  up  for                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHN COGHILL,  Sponsor, introduced  the bill.  He                                                               
said it was in response  to Hurricane Katrina where the community                                                               
had a tough time getting control  of the area. The bill addresses                                                               
a situation  where there is  near anarchy.  It proposes to  add a                                                               
new  section  to  AS  26.23.200  that states  that  there  is  no                                                               
authority granted or  implied under the Alaska  Disaster Act that                                                               
authorizes  the   confiscation  of  a  firearm   lawfully  owned,                                                               
possessed, or carried by law-abiding citizens.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:24:04 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  CHARLIE  HUGGINS  posed   a  hypothetical  situation  of                                                               
martial law.  He asked whether  that would change the  ability to                                                               
confiscate privately owned weapons.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL did not know.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGGINS asked  Representative  Coghill  to describe  the                                                               
circumstances  that   happened  during  Hurricane   Katrina  that                                                               
ultimately brought forth HB 400.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL advised that  the National Guard and local                                                               
sheriff's department  were involved in confiscating  weapons from                                                               
citizens.  The  National Rifle  Association  sued  the local  law                                                               
enforcement  over the  issue  but  he didn't  know  how the  suit                                                               
turned out.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DEAN  GUANELI, Chief  Assistant Attorney  General, Department  of                                                               
Law (DOL), responded to Senator  Huggins' question of martial law                                                               
and advised that  the governor has the authority  to make certain                                                               
declarations such  as martial  law. HB  400 addresses  a disaster                                                               
situation,  which  is  carefully  defined in  Alaska  law.  In  a                                                               
situation where  the governor declares  martial law,  it probably                                                               
does not remove anybody's constitutional rights.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:29:28 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR HOLLIS  FRENCH said for  the record there was  nothing in                                                               
the bill  to stop legitimate  law enforcement efforts  to prevent                                                               
looters, thieves and rioters.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL agreed.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:31:49 AM                                                                                                                   
AUSTIN MAHAULKEY,  Glennallen, testified that he  agreed with the                                                               
original  bill  but since  then  it  has  been amended.  He  took                                                               
exception  to line  11 and  said if  a peace  officer can't  take                                                               
weapons how can he designate someone  else to do it. He suggested                                                               
the committee delete the entire section.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL NELSON,  Glennallen, testified against the  bill. He said                                                               
the US Constitution  allows citizens the right to  bear arms. The                                                               
United  States military  is mainly  over seas,  while Russia  and                                                               
China  are next  door.  Who is  to say  during  martial law  that                                                               
citizens don't  have the right  to protect themselves,  he asked.                                                               
He said he preferred the original version of the bill.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
BRIAN  JUDY,   National  Rifleman's  Association,   testified  in                                                               
support of  the bill.  He referred to  Hurricane Katrina  of 2005                                                               
and  advised the  committee that  after the  disaster law-abiding                                                               
citizens   were  stripped   of  their   firearms  by   local  law                                                               
enforcement.  The   bill  clarifies   that  during  a   state  of                                                               
emergency, law-abiding  citizens will  be assured of  their right                                                               
to bear arms and protect themselves against looters and thieves.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:35:58 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR SEEKINS closed public testimony.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGGINS  asked  Representative Coghill  whether  he  was                                                               
concerned over  the amount  of non-support  the bill  was getting                                                               
from Glennallen.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL responded  he wanted to craft  the bill in                                                               
such  a  way so  that  people  could  help the  authorities  gain                                                               
control  over a  disaster situation.  He indicated  he was  happy                                                               
with the bill as it stood.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS  referred to  line 8 and  asked whether  the person                                                               
could be considered eligible for rehire.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  said he'd be  open to suggestions  and be                                                               
willing to discuss that option.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GRETCHEN  GUESS  asked  for  clarification  whether  the                                                               
statute  could  force  an  elected   official  to  forfeit  their                                                               
position.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GUANELI advised  that the  Legislature could  set parameters                                                               
that govern the holding of public  office. To the extent that the                                                               
Legislature could  pose those kinds  of requirements, then  it is                                                               
within their authority to say  that a person convicted of certain                                                               
offenses  they would  forfeit the  constitutional  right to  bear                                                               
arms. The  Legislature could  also force  an elected  official to                                                               
forfeit a position of public office, he stated.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS said he understood  that the official would have to                                                               
resign.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:43:09 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR GUESS said  she would like to know where  else in statute                                                               
it states that an elected official must forfeit their position.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  noted that  any forfeiture would  have to                                                               
go through due process.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS held the bill in committee.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Seekins adjourned the meeting at 10:46:41 AM.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                

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