Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

04/25/2006 08:30 AM JUDICIARY


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 308 CALLER ID HACKERS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 308(JUD)am Out of Committee
+= SB 307 LANDLORD REMEDIES; LATE FEE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 442 HEALTH CARE DECISIONS TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
<Pending Referral>
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
+ HB 439 INSURANCE PRODUCT REGULATION COMPACT TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 439(L&C)am Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
= SB 316 COURT REVIEW OF STRANDED GAS DECISION
Heard & Held
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 25, 2006                                                                                         
                           8:38 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. 308(JUD) am                                                                                               
"An Act relating to false caller identification."                                                                               
     MOVED CSHB 308(JUD) am OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 307                                                                                                             
"An Act  relating to a fee  provided for in the  rental agreement                                                               
for late payment  of rent under the  Uniform Residential Landlord                                                               
and Tenant Act."                                                                                                                
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 442(JUD) am                                                                                               
"An  Act  relating  to  the   validity  of  advance  health  care                                                               
directives,  individual  health  care instructions,  and  do  not                                                               
resuscitate orders; relating to  the revocation of advance health                                                               
care directives; relating to do  not resuscitate orders; relating                                                               
to  resuscitative   measures;  relating  to  the   liability  and                                                               
discipline   of   health   care  providers,   institutions,   and                                                               
facilities;   relating  to   proceedings  for   judicial  relief;                                                               
relating  to  an individual's  capacity  for  making health  care                                                               
decisions; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                
     SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 439(L&C) am                                                                                               
"An  Act relating  to authorizing  the state  to join  with other                                                               
states  in   entering  into  the  Interstate   Insurance  Product                                                               
Regulation Compact."                                                                                                            
     MOVED CSHB 439(L&C) am OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 316                                                                                                             
"An  Act amending  the  Alaska Stranded  Gas  Development Act  to                                                               
eliminate  the opportunity  for judicial  review of  the findings                                                               
and determination  of the  commissioner of  revenue on  which are                                                               
based legislative review for a  proposed contract for payments in                                                               
lieu of taxes  and for the other purposes described  in that Act;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 308                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CALLER ID HACKERS                                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) LYNN                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
05/08/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/08/05       (H)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
03/22/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/22/06       (H)       <Bill Hearing Postponed to 03/24/06>                                                                   
03/24/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/24/06       (H)       <Bill Hearing Postponed to 03/29/06>                                                                   
03/29/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/29/06       (H)       Moved CSHB 308(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/29/06       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/30/06       (H)       JUD RPT CS(JUD) 4DP 1NR                                                                                
03/30/06       (H)       DP: COGHILL, ANDERSON, KOTT, MCGUIRE;                                                                  
03/30/06       (H)       NR: GARA                                                                                               
04/11/06       (H)       FIN REFERRAL WAIVED                                                                                    
04/11/06       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
04/11/06       (H)       <Bill Hearing Canceled>                                                                                
04/18/06       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/18/06       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 308(JUD) AM                                                                              
04/19/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/19/06       (S)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
04/25/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 307                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: LANDLORD REMEDIES; LATE FEE                                                                                        
SPONSOR(s): LABOR & COMMERCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/23/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/23/06       (S)       L&C, JUD                                                                                               
03/09/06       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
03/09/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/09/06       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/16/06       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
03/16/06       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
03/28/06       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
03/28/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/28/06       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/30/06       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
03/30/06       (S)       Moved SB 307 Out of Committee                                                                          
03/30/06       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/31/06       (S)       L&C RPT  2DP 1NR 2AM                                                                                   
03/31/06       (S)       DP: BUNDE, STEVENS B                                                                                   
03/31/06       (S)       NR: DAVIS                                                                                              
03/31/06       (S)       AM: ELLIS, SEEKINS                                                                                     
04/19/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/19/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/19/06       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/25/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 439                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: INSURANCE PRODUCT REGULATION COMPACT                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) COGHILL                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
02/10/06       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/10/06       (H)       L&C, JUD                                                                                               
03/01/06       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
03/01/06       (H)       Moved CSHB 439(L&C) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/01/06       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/03/06       (H)       L&C RPT CS(L&C) NT 3DP 3NR                                                                             
03/03/06       (H)       DP: LYNN, ROKEBERG, KOTT;                                                                              
03/03/06       (H)       NR: CRAWFORD, LEDOUX, GUTTENBERG                                                                       
03/22/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/22/06       (H)       <Bill Hearing Postponed to 03/24/06>                                                                   
03/24/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/24/06       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
03/27/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/27/06       (H)       Moved CSHB 439(L&C) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/27/06       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/28/06       (H)       JUD RPT CS(L&C) NT 4DP 2AM                                                                             
03/28/06       (H)       DP: COGHILL, ANDERSON, KOTT, MCGUIRE;                                                                  
03/28/06       (H)       AM: GARA, GRUENBERG                                                                                    
04/05/06       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/05/06       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 439(L&C) AM                                                                              
04/07/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/07/06       (S)       L&C, JUD                                                                                               
04/11/06       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
04/11/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/11/06       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
04/20/06       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
04/20/06       (S)       Moved CSHB 439(L&C)am Out of Committee                                                                 
04/20/06       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
04/21/06       (S)       L&C RPT 3DP 1NR                                                                                        
04/21/06       (S)       DP: BUNDE, SEEKINS, STEVENS B                                                                          
04/21/06       (S)       NR: DAVIS                                                                                              
04/25/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 316                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: COURT REVIEW OF STRANDED GAS DECISION                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): JUDICIARY                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
04/13/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/13/06       (S)       JUD                                                                                                    
04/19/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/19/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/19/06       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/20/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/20/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/20/06       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/21/06       (S)       JUD AT 9:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/21/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/21/06       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/22/06       (S)       JUD AT 9:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/22/06       (S)       -- Continued from 04/20/06 --                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 308                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Dirk Moffatt, Legislative Aide                                                                                                  
Staff to Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on HB 308                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Larry Ostrovsky, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                     
Oil, Gas & Mining Section                                                                                                       
Department of Law                                                                                                               
PO Box 110300                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0300                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding SB 316                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Rynnieva Moss, Legislative Aide                                                                                                 
Staff to Representative John Coghill                                                                                            
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 439                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Linda Hall, Director                                                                                                            
Division of Insurance                                                                                                           
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
PO Box 110200                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0200                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on HB 439                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Jane Alberts, Legislative Aide                                                                                                  
Staff to Senator Con Bunde                                                                                                      
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced SB 307                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ed Sniffen, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                          
Department of Law                                                                                                               
PO Box 110300                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0300                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding SB 307                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  RALPH   SEEKINS  called  the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 8:38:58 AM.  Present were Senators                                                             
Hollis French, Charlie Huggins and Chair Ralph Seekins.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                    HB 308-CALLER ID HACKERS                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:39:52 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  RALPH SEEKINS  announced CSHB  308(JUD)  am to  be up  for                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BOB  LYNN, bill sponsor,  introduced the  bill. He                                                               
warned  the committee  that the  telephone caller  identification                                                               
(ID) system is no longer  to be trusted. Both private individuals                                                               
and   commercial   "spoofers"   can  now   cause   false   caller                                                               
identification to be displayed on any caller ID screen.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
The  power to  create serious  mischief with  caller ID  spoofing                                                               
technology is  almost unlimited. It  can facilitate fraud  and be                                                               
potentially  dangerous. Scam  artists  who appear  to be  phoning                                                               
from a reputable  agency can defraud victims with  ease. There is                                                               
also potential for  hoax emergency calls with false  caller ID to                                                               
law enforcement or the fire department.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Anyone with  sufficient computer and telephonic  skills can spoof                                                               
telephone  caller  ID  systems.  In  fact,  an  entire  telephone                                                               
spoofing  industry  has  emerged   and  is  growing  daily.  CSHB                                                               
308(JUD) am  would make it a  class B misdemeanor for  any person                                                               
who inserts  false information  into a  caller ID  system, except                                                               
for legitimate reasons.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:43:28 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HOLLIS FRENCH  asked whether there has  been any spoofing                                                               
done in Alaska.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN said probably but he had no evidence of it.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH asked Representative  Lynn whether he checked with                                                               
the Consumer  Protection Agency and  law enforcement  agencies to                                                               
see whether this is a problem in Alaska.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN said no.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH asked  whether the  attorney general  or any  law                                                               
enforcement agency has contacted him regarding the issue.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN said no.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DIRK MOFFATT,  Staff to  Representative Lynn,  directed committee                                                               
members  to a  letter  of support  in the  bill  packet from  the                                                               
Alaska Network for Domestic Violence  and Sexual Assault. He said                                                               
it was a  new issue. Anyone can purchase what  is called a "spoof                                                               
card,"  phone into  a call  center, enter  the phone  number they                                                               
want displayed on the caller ID,  enter a name, and even select a                                                               
change of voice. It takes no special skills to do so.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:46:43 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GRETCHEN GUESS joined the meeting.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  asked whether a  person wanting to  protect their                                                               
identity could still do so.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. MOFFATT  said that  option is  available through  the regular                                                               
phone company  service. The  bill is trying  to stop  people from                                                               
pretending to be an institution such as "Bank of America."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN added  that entering  the false  information                                                               
would be the  crime. Caller ID spoofing is very  easy to do using                                                               
voice-over technology.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  CHARLIE HUGGINS  asked  Mr. Moffatt  how detectable  the                                                               
spoofing is.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. MOFFATT said it is very difficult to catch someone doing it.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:49:39 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGGINS asked  whether it  was  easy to  ensure that  an                                                               
innocent person was not charged with the crime.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN  responded  that   the  call  would  not  be                                                               
emanating from an  innocent person's phone. It  would just appear                                                               
that  it was  coming  from someone  else's  phone. United  States                                                               
Congressman Tim Murphy was a victim  of caller ID spoofing and is                                                               
currently encouraging  all fifty  states to enact  legislation of                                                               
the same type.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS noted he uses a  calling card to make long distance                                                               
calls and  the number displayed  on the  caller ID system  is not                                                               
the number from where he is  calling. He asked whether that would                                                               
be a violation of the law.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN said  he did  not think  so because  in that                                                               
situation there would be no intent to impersonate somebody.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:51:46 AM                                                                                                                    
ROBERT  DOUGLAS, Information  Security  Consultant, informed  the                                                               
committee  of  his  background as  a  private  investigator  with                                                               
experience in  political corruption and  international terrorism.                                                               
He  said  he  testified  before the  United  States  Congress  on                                                               
information  security issues,  such  as  obtaining phone  records                                                               
with deception, and  caller ID spoofing. He  testified in support                                                               
of HB 308.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. DOUGLAS gave an example where  a swat team was forced to shut                                                               
down a  neighborhood in  New Jersey  after receiving  what seemed                                                               
like a legitimate distress call. It  was later determined to be a                                                               
spoof. It is also possible to cause  a call to appear as if it is                                                               
coming  from  a   person's  home  and  with   a  little  personal                                                               
information,  a "spoofer"  is able  to move  money from  one bank                                                               
account to another.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:58:18 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Gene Therriault joined the meeting.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS closed public testimony.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGGINS  moved  CSHB 308(JUD)  am  from  committee  with                                                               
individual recommendations and attached  fiscal notes. Hearing no                                                               
objections, the motion carried.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
          SB 316-COURT REVIEW OF STRANDED GAS DECISION                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
9:02:10 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR RALPH SEEKINS announced SB 316 to be up for consideration.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR CHARLIE  HUGGINS moved to  adopt CSSB 316(JUD)  version Y                                                               
as  the  working  document  before   the  committee.  Hearing  no                                                               
objections, the motion carried.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS  reviewed the changes  in the  committee substitute                                                               
(CS). The title  has been changed. Section 1 makes  it clear that                                                               
the  portions of  the  records  and files  of  the Department  of                                                               
Revenue   (DOR),   Department   of  Natural   Resources,   (DNR),                                                               
Department  of  Law  (DOL),  and  any  municipal  advisory  group                                                               
established reflect, incorporate, or  analyze information that is                                                               
relevant to the  development of the strategy  of the commissioner                                                               
are  public  records after  the  commissioner  of the  DOR  gives                                                               
public notice.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS advised  committee members that he  would give them                                                               
time to  review the CS and  the committee would discuss  the bill                                                               
more the following day.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:06:15 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GENE THERRIAULT asked whether  the process of a challenge                                                               
to the  findings and  determination of  the Legislature  would be                                                               
the same as a challenge to the commissioner's findings.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS deferred the question  to a representative from the                                                               
Department of Law.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR THERRIAULT reiterated his question for the witness.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LARRY OSTROVSKY,  Assistant Attorney  General, Oil, Gas  & Mining                                                               
Section, Department  of Law  (DOL), said he  did not  have enough                                                               
time to review the CS and give an affirmative answer.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   THERRIAULT  suggested   the  committee   wait  to   ask                                                               
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH informed Mr. Ostrovsky  that his chief concern was                                                               
whether  or  not the  CS  preserves  every substantive  right  to                                                               
challenge the finding.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS  said his understanding  was that  the Legislature,                                                               
by inserting  itself into  the procedure,  was the  final trigger                                                               
point. It  would be  up to  the Legislature  to determine  if the                                                               
commissioner's findings support whether  the contract would be in                                                               
the best financial interest of the State of Alaska.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:10:58 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS held SB 316 in committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
At ease 9:11:13 AM                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
          HB 439-INSURANCE PRODUCT REGULATION COMPACT                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:12:03 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  RALPH SEEKINS  announced CSHB  439(L&C)  am to  be up  for                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
RYNNIEVA MOSS, Staff for  Representative John Coghill, introduced                                                               
the bill.  The Interstate Insurance Product  Regulation Act would                                                               
culminate in  the regulation of insurance,  annuities, disability                                                               
income,  and long-term  care products.  Alaska would  join twenty                                                               
other states  in creating a  commission governed  collectively by                                                               
the  states  that would  establish  uniform  standards for  those                                                               
products.  Language  was added  on  the  House floor  that  would                                                               
direct the  director of the Division  of Insurance to opt  out of                                                               
the  commission  if  the  standards  adopted  are  less  consumer                                                               
protective than are currently in state law.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:14:58 AM                                                                                                                    
LINDA  HALL, Director,  Division  of Insurance,  (DOI) said  CSHB                                                               
439(JUD) am  is a  model act  that was  proposed by  the National                                                               
Association of  Insurance Commissioners  in response to  a number                                                               
of perceived  needs, including a recognition  that the population                                                               
is becoming  increasingly mobile and that  insurance products are                                                               
not  state specific.  Life insurance  and annuities  are products                                                               
that people keep  for a long time and are  not like an automobile                                                               
policy, which is state specific.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
There is  a move  by certain portions  of the  insurance industry                                                               
toward  federal regulation  but Ms.  Hall  stated that  she is  a                                                               
strong  supporter   of  state   regulation.  She   said  consumer                                                               
protections are best  done on a state-by-state  basis where there                                                               
is better access to the regulator.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
The other particular  need is "speed to market  of products," she                                                               
said. The basic  structure of this particular compact  is that it                                                               
would delegate to  a commission the authority  to develop uniform                                                               
standards for products.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:16:55 AM                                                                                                                    
Insurance companies could  choose to file either in  the state or                                                               
file with the  commission. Each state member would  have a single                                                               
vote and  it would take  a two-thirds majority of  the commission                                                               
to adopt the  product standard. There are two ways  to opt out of                                                               
individual  standards.  Either  the regulator  could  decide  the                                                               
standard is not  appropriate or the Legislature could  opt out of                                                               
any standard they feel does not  meet the needs of consumers. She                                                               
said she believes  the standards adopted by  the commission would                                                               
provide greater consumer protection.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS  asked Mr. George  whether he  was in favor  of the                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  GEORGE,  American  Council   of  Life  Insurers,  expressed                                                               
support of the bill.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS closed public testimony.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  CHARLIE HUGGINS  moved CSHB  439(L&C) am  from committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations   and  attached  fiscal  notes.                                                               
Hearing no objections, the motion carried.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
               SB 307-LANDLORD REMEDIES; LATE FEE                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:21:00 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR RALPH SEEKINS announced SB 307 to be up for consideration.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR CHARLIE HUGGINS  moved version G as  the working document                                                               
before the committee. Hearing no objections, the motion carried.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
JANE ALBERTS,  Staff to  Senator Con  Bunde, introduced  the bill                                                               
and  said  Senator Bunde  has  offered  the  bill by  request  of                                                               
landlords who deal with large  numbers of tenants. Landlords feel                                                               
that a  court ruling in  2002 changed  how they collect  rent and                                                               
late fees and they are concerned over the issue.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The bill  would allow landlords  to send  out one notice  to warn                                                               
tenants  of  the  rent  and   the  accompanying  late  fees.  The                                                               
committee substitute (CS) addresses a  concern heard last week in                                                               
the  Senate Judiciary  Standing  Committee and  Ed Sniffen  would                                                               
discuss that concern.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:23:21 AM                                                                                                                    
ED SNIFFEN, Assistant Attorney General,  Department of Law (DOL),                                                               
said he reviewed the CS and  in order to address Senator French's                                                               
concern that landlords  would be allowed to  "shoehorn other fees                                                               
into a  streamlined process."  He said the  best option  to solve                                                               
that would require  a total re-write of  the Landlord-Tenant Act.                                                               
The  CS puts  a ten  percent cap  on the  amount that  a landlord                                                               
could charge for a late fee.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:25:32 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GRETCHEN  GUESS asked  Mr. Sniffen  whether it  was still                                                               
the  situation that  somebody  could get  evicted  solely on  the                                                               
basis of not paying the late fee.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. SNIFFEN indicated that was true.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS asked  whether the statutes addressed  the point of                                                               
when rent is late.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SNIFFEN  replied  that  is normally  stated  in  the  rental                                                               
contract.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:27:15 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HOLLIS FRENCH asked Mr.  Sniffen whether there were rules                                                               
and regulations  in respect to  late fees in  other transactions,                                                               
such as car loans.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SNIFFEN reported  that in  the mortgage-lending  arena there                                                               
are  federal  regulations  that   control  the  lending  process.                                                               
Federal statute and other usury  laws impose some limitations. He                                                               
said when a  person fails to pay the mortgage  there is a process                                                               
that takes up to 60 days  before that person would lose the house                                                               
but the eviction  remedy is more serious  and treated differently                                                               
in statute.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:29:37 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS held SB 307 in committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Seekins adjourned the meeting at 9:29:54 AM.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                

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